Calorie Counters - Any Suggestions?

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01-26-2010, 12:14 AM
So in the last couple of months I have cut back on a lot of things I use to eat. But there are two things that I still don't think I can live without LOL.

1) Kraft Mac & Cheese.

I have tried frozen healthy mac & cheese (like weight watchers ones, etc) but they taste really bad. Anyone found any good ones?? Because its like 410 calories in one cup (and one cup sure isn't enough) haha.

2) Peanut Butter.

Any good tasting healthy ones?


01-26-2010, 12:29 AM
I'm a big fan of Naturally More peanut's slightly lower calorie, has more Omega-3 fatty acids from flax, and is sweetened a bit with some honey. It's good!

I also like FiberGourmet pasta and mac and cheese mix. You can check them out at

Hope that helps!

01-26-2010, 12:55 AM
Well, I love mac and cheese too! I don't think the Lean Cuisine brand one is that bad, but something I've done is added a little extra cheese to it. I actually am a big fan of blue cheese, so I've added a little reduced-fat blue cheese to a Lean Cuisine meal and it tasted pretty gourmet! But I agree that the portion is small. I know there are a lot of low-fat recipes for mac and cheese, but I've never tried them yet.

01-26-2010, 01:14 AM
On the rare occasion that I eat mac&cheese (I love it, I just can't control myself lol), I make it with whole wheat macaroni (or regular mac, same calories but one's healthier than the other), 2% velveeta, and a little skim milk. I never understood the purpose of adding butter to mac&cheese, nor do I add salt. I think if you like kraft mac&cheese, just eat it... Just don't eat it all the time, or just consider it in your calories for the day. =)

01-26-2010, 08:06 AM
I L.O.V.E. Kraft Dinner! I just try to avoid it as long as possible, then when I really can't take it anymore I have a big ol' bowlful, count the calories out of my daily limit, and just eat really well the rest of the day.

01-26-2010, 09:29 AM
I like the trade Joes mac and cheese, 300 calories I think

We use the TJ natural PB, pretty good in my book but there is also PB2 ( which is a powder you add water.

01-26-2010, 10:05 AM
I love Kroger's natural pnb - if you have a Kroger store, I'd recommend it.

Thighs Be Gone
01-26-2010, 10:12 AM
LOL--okay, I know some people are going to gag when I say it.

I too LOVE mac and cheese. I have been making it though with the Shiratake noodles. Then, I use a partial packet of cheese mix, mixed with skim milk and 5 calorie butter and lots of salt and pepper. It's worth a try in my opinion.

01-26-2010, 11:14 AM
Mac and cheese is one of my "downfall" foods, too! I will try making homemade with whole wheat pasta, 2% velveeta and skim milk, no butter, as previously suggested. There's also the option of using nonfat evaporated milk. That's great for reworking a lot of "sinful" dishes, like pasta alfredo, etc.

I am also going to try making the same cheese sauce but pouring it over broccoli once in a while and see if that satisfies my craving.

01-26-2010, 11:47 AM
I am the same way with peanut butter. I refuse to eat anyother kind other than Jif. So I eat it!! I have peanut butter toast for breakfast every morning. I use that 45 calorie bread by Sara Lee (90 cals) and 1 tablespoon pb (90 cals) with totals UNDER 200 calories!! It's not A LOT of peanut butter, about a 1/4 of what I use to be able to eat but I still get my fix every morning!!! I think we can eat almost anything just in moderation. And if we stop eating something we love completely we are more likely to binge.

Good luck on the mac and cheese thing. My weakness is ooey gooey pizza with lots and lots of cheese. *sigh* I miss it.

01-26-2010, 11:47 AM
I found a recipe in the WW magazine, I haven't tried but I have made tons of their recipes and they are good (my husband don't even notice:devil:).

1/2 lb. whole wheat pasta elbow (about 2c)
3 Tbsp. light stick butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2c. fat free milk
2c.shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese
1/3 grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes with their juice
1/4 cup plain dried crumbs

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook the macaroni according to the package. Melt 2Tbsp of the butter in a larg saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, add the flour stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk. Increase heat and cook, whisking constantly until slightly thickened (3-4 min). Whisk in the Cheddar, Parmesan,salt and pepper. Cook, whisking until the cheeses melt. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the macaroni and the tomatoes with their juice. Divide the mixture evenly among the baking dishes (8- 8oz each sprayed with non-stick spray). Melt the remaining 1 Tbsp butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly,until evenly coated (about 1 minute). Sprinkle over the dishes; bake until the casseroles are bubbling and the tops are golden, about 25 minutes.

The recipe as it is: 236 calories for 1 cup! I guess if you want just simple macaroni you don't need the onion, tomatoes and bread crumbs which can cut the calories per cup. Also, personally, I don't need the butter wich makes it much lower in calories.

Also, if you don't like the texture of whole wheat pasta I'll suggest to you the Dreamfields brand, you won't notice the difference (my husband and my 2yr old eat it all the time).

Hope it helps!:)

01-26-2010, 11:58 AM
I have learned that Mac & Cheese is a SIDE dish, not a main course. It is ok to eat only 1/4 cup and to eat small bites. And when I make it, I make it with skim milk and no butter and I can not tell the difference.

As for peanut butter, I make my own. I like almonds, so I put almonds and about 1 tbsp olive oil in the food processor and blend for a full 6 minutes. Then I add a touch of honey and blend to mix. Nothing tastes the same after this! LOL! You can do this with peanuts too. I'm going to try walnuts next.

Thighs Be Gone
01-28-2010, 06:57 AM
I am going to SO try your almond butter recipe. I love raw almonds and always have them on hand.

01-28-2010, 02:35 PM
Here is one I make:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1 can ( 10 3/4 oz) cheddar cheese soup (Campbells)
1/2 milk (use the can and measure half)
1 t. mustard
1/8 t. black pepper
2 c. hot macaroni ( about 1 1/2 c. dry)

In 1 qt. casserole, combine soup, milk, mustard, black pepper. Stir to combine, add macaroni. Stir.

Bake at 400, for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Makes ( 2 1/2 c.) Either use as 2 main dishes or 4 side dishes.