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Hungry Girl Today: 1.13.12
GIRLS BITE OUT
If you love Chinese food but don't know how to make guilt-free versions at home, READ ON. We've got ingredient staples, a BRAND-NEW recipe, and a sneak peek at this Sunday's "Chinese Food" episode of Hungry Girl on Food Network!
HG's TOP ATE Must-Haves for Guilt-Free DIY Chinese Dinners!
1. Wonton and Egg Roll Wrappers
We love these things more than we can possibly express in a few sentences... so click here for the full 411 on the wontons. Make lightened-up swaps for things you thought were off-limits, like the pork 'n shrimp egg rolls featured below...
2. Reduced-Sodium/Lite Soy Sauce
This stuff is 100 percent essential. We like to save sodium where we can, so this lower-salt sauce is our pick when it comes to soy-saucing our food.
3. Sweet Asian Chili Sauce
This is like the more delicious, slightly spicy sibling of sweet & sour sauce -- it adds terrific flavor to so many goodies! It has about 35 calories per tablespoon, and a little goes a long way. (P.S. The sauce itself is actually Thai, but we use it in plenty of Chinese-style dishes.)
4. Brown Rice
Rice is pretty pervasive when it comes to Chinese cuisine, so while we tend to keep amounts to a minimum, sometimes we've just gotta have it. Brown rice has more fiber than the white kind, so it's more filling. Buy it precooked if you're not so great at cooking grains. P.S. For noodle-y dishes, it's all about House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodle Substitute...
5. Slaw Mixes and Bean Sprouts
These produce picks are great for stir-frys -- since the pieces are bite-sized, you don't need to do much other than cook 'em up. (Plus they cook pretty fast.) Both regular cabbage coleslaw and broccoli slaw mixes work well, and a fistful of bean sprouts bulks up food for very few calories. HG Tip: Steam these and add them to saucy Asian frozen meals (guilt-free ones, of course).
6. Canned Items in the Asian-Foods Aisle
We cheated a little and combined these into one category. (It's our website; we'll do what we want!) Some of our favorites are bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and straw mushrooms. We especially love the crunch of water chestnuts in Chinese-style stir-frys and slaws...
If your Chinese-style dish seems like it's missing something, there's a good chance that what's missing is ginger. The fresh kind is potent and delicious; the ground kind is great for impromptu seasoning. (Side note: If you're not the type to keep individual seasonings around, check out the Asian-style seasoning packets in the spice section or Asian-foods aisle -- shortcut central!)
8. Sesame Oil
This is one of the easiest ways to add a TON of restaurant-style flavor to your dishes. Add half a teaspoon (20 calories and 2.5g fat) or so to your dish for a little extra oomph. We like to use it when a low-fat dish needs a little more richness -- it WORKS.
Fully Loaded Egg Rolls
PER SERVING (1/8th of recipe, 1 egg roll): 109 calories, 1.5g fat, 380mg sodium, 15g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 9g protein -- PointsPlus