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Dear HG,

I love all the foods you say are good. You have GREAT taste! What are your ten favorite diet-friendly foods and/or food products and why?

Seeking HG Foods
Dear Seeking,

Hmmmmm... that's a hard one, but a REALLY good question. My favorite diet-friendly foods change a lot, and they vary an awful lot, too. So I'm going to make a list -- but just know that this list can change on any given day. But as of right now, here are my top ten faves (in no particular order)...

1. House Foods Tofu Shirataki
- This is the world's best guilt-free pasta swap (40 calories for a whole bag)!

2. The Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges - Only 35 calories per wedge, and they make an awesome ingredient for cheese sauces and can double as a cream cheese swap.

3. Almond Breeze, Unsweetened Vanilla - Less than half the calories of skim milk with twice the flavor. Just 40 calories for a WHOLE CUP.

4. Vitalicious VitaTops - Skip cake, muffins and brownies. Have an insanely delicious, 100-calorie, high-fiber VitaTop instead.

5. Butternut Squash - To me, it's the world's best-kept food secret. Soooo delicious and soooo low in calories. Have you tried our Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries?

6. Fuji Apples - OMG! There's nothing better than a giant Fuji apple. Yum! (And apples are REALLY good for you, too!)

7. La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low-Carb/Low-Fat Tortillas, Large - 80 calories and 14 grams of fiber?! Wrap these things around lean meats, salads, egg whites, veggies -- you name it!!! Keep an eye out for their new packaging, which says Smart & Delicious Low Carb.

8. Egg Whites/Egg Beaters - Scrambles ROCK. I eat them many times a week -- and they all start with some sort of fat-free egg substitute.

9. Canned Pure Pumpkin - Bake with it, cook with it, add it to oatmeal, puddings, sauces, etc. It's low in calories, high in fiber, and very good for you.

10. Fiber One Bran Cereal (Original) - The love affair isn't even CLOSE to being over. As a b-fast cereal, or made into "breadcrumbs" for faux frying, this stuff is essential to my happiness.


My friends and I LOVE, LOVE your site. Thank you! We do have one question, though. We're not fans of light soymilk, and a bunch of the HG recipes call for light vanilla soymilk. We would rather substitute skim or low-fat milk in your recipes. Would that affect their outcome? Does the soymilk act as a thickener?

Another Hungry Girl
Dear Another HG,

You can definitely substitute other milks in place of light vanilla soymilk in HG recipes. It shouldn't affect the texture too much -- with skim, your results may be a little less creamy. Using ordinary, unflavored milk instead of light vanilla soymilk will cause your recipes to taste a bit different though. They'll be slightly less sweet and vanilla-y. But, you can fix that by adding a drop (and I mean a DROP) of vanilla extract and a bit of no-calorie sweetener to the milk to get the vanilla taste going. As for the nutritional difference, skim milk has about 20 calories more per cup than the average light vanilla soymilk, and 2% milk has about 50 extra calories and 3 grams more fat per cup compared to light vanilla soymilk. One last soymilk swap I recommend for HG recipes (it's also my favorite!) is Almond Breeze in Unsweetened Vanilla -- this stuff only has 40 calories per cup (about half the calories of skim milk!), but it's sooooo creamy. So when it comes to soymilk swapping, go for it, but use this info to determine how the taste, texture and nutritionals will be affected. Good luck!

Today, September 5th, is National Cheese Pizza Day. Check out Fit 'n Free Pizza for a guilt-free version -- or whip up some at home by baking a low-cal tortilla 'til crispy and topping it with tomato sauce, fat-free mozzarella and spices!
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