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Old 08-07-2008, 09:48 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I know there's a sticky about gourmet foods that you buy. But, what about regular products that you buy and use on a regular basis? Are there any products that you use a little differently than intended? Or, do you have a way to spice it up and make it better?

Here are a few of the things I use and the way I use them.

I have difficulty getting fiber into my diet. I had tried bran cerals at different times and hadn't cared for them. So, I took a chance recently and bought a box of Kelloggs All-Bran buds. I don't like them with milk. However, I DO like them dry, and a serving is *only* 1/3 cup, 70 calories and 13 grams of fiber. I just measure the cup in the morning, count it in my daily calories count, and take bits throughout the day.

I also boil a dozen eggs at a time and don't eat the yolks. I usually eat 3 egg whites and it only costs 50 calories, 0 fat, and 10 grams of protein.

Sugar-free jello is another favorite. When I have them I toss in a few berries.

Refried beans is another staple. A zillion ways to spice them up and all of those ways healthy. I love to chop lettuce, sliver onions and chop jalenos. I don't even miss the cheese. I also add water to the beans, which helps my water intake, while making the beans smooth. I get a whole meal for less than 200 calories and it's so filling!

Nutella is another favorite. I know it's packed with calories and fat. HOWEVER it is much lower in fat than peanut butter, it takes like heaven, AND a very, very small amount goes a very long way. I warm a 100 calories mini-bagel and spread just a very thin layer of Nutella on it, less than a teaspoon. I count it at about 30 calories and 2 grams of fat. Anyway, it is a filling and satisfying snack for just a few calories and feels so indulgent.

There are a few of my favourites. Please share a few of yours.

I'll look back later. I'm heading to work out!

Beth
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:10 AM   #2
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I like to eat sugar-free chocolate pudding with fresh strawberries for my morning snack. I spoon the pudding onto them for a healthy version of chocolate covered strawberries.

As I posted on another thread--I just discovered the joys of seasoning mixes & roasted veggies this week. I put broccoli & cauliflower florets into a gallon sized ziplock bag, sprayed them with some "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," then sprinkled in some ranch dressing mix (powdered) and shook the bag to coat the veggies with it all. Then I roasted the veggies for about 10 minutes in the oven. Delish!
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
what about regular products that you buy and use on a regular basis?
Steel cut oats - I eat them with cheese and salt and pepper sometimes instead of sweetened.

Yogurt - I make my own, but I eat at least 1 serving of yogurt every single day. Usually with frozen blueberries.

V8 juice - regular or spicy. It's a standard afternoon snack for me.

Eggs - I eat boiled eggs, egg salad, scrambled eggs ... eggs are a great snack and easy and fast. I eat the whole egg.

Apples - I love to try different varieties of apples. Right now I'm really hooked on the Jazz apples (which are imported from New Zealand, but are soooo incredibly good) and the Honeycrisps. Slice them and sprinkle them with a tiny bit of seasalt. Mmmmmmm.

Whole grain pita - sometimes I stuff a 1/2 of one with tuna or chicken salad or whatever. Sometimes I split one into 2 rounds, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and crisp up in the toaster for a yummy snack or to serve with soup.

Cabbage - for some reason lately I've been on a cabbage kick. I make cole-slaw with light asian sesame dressing, make cabbage soup, add it to stir fry, use it in fish tacos ... just lately it's been a big thing for me.

Hm. I know there are tons of other "regular" foods that are staples, but I think I'm so used to buying them, that I can't really think of them right now.

.

Last edited by PhotoChick : 08-07-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:05 AM   #4
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This isn't that original, but plain FF yogurt - it's great because you can make it sweet (with honey/maple syrup, fruit, granola, etc.) or savory (as a mayonnaise/sour cream substitute).

I also love cottage cheese on whole-wheat toast as a substitute for cream cheese on a bagel!
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:37 AM   #5
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Nuts and seeds go a long way toward adding crunch and flavor to foods and it only takes a little bit. I got a big bag of pistachios and when I am really wanting some potato chips, I can have a few of those and feel satisfied.

I put toasted sunflower seeds on salads, toasted sesame on stir fry and, of course, chopped cashews in asian salads. I don't even miss the croutons, noodles or gobs of rice that I used to eat and I am getting a powerful punch of good oil and trace minerals.

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Old 08-07-2008, 11:56 AM   #6
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Broccoli slaw - love the stuff and eat at least a sack a and half a week in sandwiches or cooked up in a hash for breakfast

Fresh spinach - so easy to sneak into things to boost nutrition

Fat free cream cheese and fat free sour cream - yes I know lots of people are making faces right now but I find when I use these products as a part of a recipe with some spices, they are quite good and really make something taste richer.

fresh parmesan cheese - not the stuff from the can. I find I can use a lot less of this than the canned and get more flavor out of it.

Flat out wraps and la tortillas - essential for hitting my daily fiber of 40+

Mushrooms - can add a meaty taste to almost any dish without the calories or fat from meat

Of course there are odd things like PB2, sauces from Trader joe's.. etc, but the above are items from any grocery store
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:15 PM   #7
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Other than the obvious (lean proteins, veggies, and fruits):

Nonfat Greek Yogurt
Oroweat Double Fiber English Muffins - 110 calories and 8 grams of fiber
Alternative Bagels - 110 calories, 8 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein
Wishbone Spray Dressings
Laughing Cow Cheeses
Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth - I use this for everything..to "stirfry" veggies, in dressings, in soups, in sauces...
Trader Joes Marinara Sauce - I cook dinners in 4 serving batches, and most spaghetti sauces come in 6 serving jars. TJs has the small jars, and they're CHEAP.
Brown and Wild Rice blend
Whole Wheat Couscous
Polenta
Single serving lower-calorie ice cream bars
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
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OH yeah ... others posts have reminded me:

Fresh spinach - I go through about 2 bags of this stuff per week. Sometimes more. I cook it, make salads out of it, include it in stir fry, whirl it up in smoothies, etc.

Kraft Asian Sesame Light Dressing - I love to make cole slaw with this. I use it on lots of things.

Mushrooms of all kinds - but I'm especially fond of the sliced baby bellas.

Brown rice - I bake a batch at least once a week and use it for all kinds of things.

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Old 08-07-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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Wowza...

I'm loving this too....

*mental note to self... need to ask/find out how to use the Fage yogurt cup I got.... and... how to use brown rice as I am only now developing a taste for it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #10
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FF cottage cheese mixed with FF yogurt, sweetened with a little splenda (or sugar), add a little cinnamon, and top with 1 oz of berries. This is my newest favorite snack. The cottage cheese adds texture to the yogurt and the yogurt adds creaminess to the cottage cheese.

Oatmeal or oat bran hot cereal with 1 tbsp FF cream cheese stirred into it. The cream cheese makes it nice and creamy. True comfort food--I eat it almost every day.

Stone fruit (apricots, peaches, etc.) broiled and added to sandwiches or wraps. Broiling really brings out the sweetness and makes the sandwich/wrap something special. It's especially great with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

I absolutely couldn't live without FF Greek yogurt. I eat it every day for breakfast and use it as a sub for mayo and sour cream in all sorts of different recipes. Most recently I subbed it for buttermilk in Meg's Fiber One Muffin recipe and the muffins came out beyond fantastic.

Any kind of pickled vegetable--regular pickles, pickled cauliflower, pickled beans, pickled asparagus, marinated mushrooms. I love them all and they are so low in calories.

Fiber One cereal. I eat 1/2 cup dry as a snack.

Polenta. I use it as a substitute for rice and pasta, and even bread (e.g., I'll have chicken sausage over polenta rather than in a bun). 2 tbsp dry is more than enough for me and is only 65 calories--that beats 160 calories for rice or 180 calories for a serving of pasta hands down! I also use it as a substitute for tortillas with tacos or in Mexican casseroles (see my Tamale Pie recipe). I even bake it with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and splenda for a sort of Indian-pudding like dessert.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:20 PM   #11
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I also love the broccoli slaw.

While visiting my folks, we bought some broccoli slaw and prepackaged shredded carrots one night as our contribution to a cookout. I mixed the entire contents of both bags with some Hellman's Canola mayonaise my mom had and some diced sweet onion and celery.

I was really surprised by the mayo. The canola mayo is only 45 calories per tablespoon, but tasted every bit as good as the regular Hellman's and better than most other brand of full fat mayo in my opinion. I'll definitely start buying it, because it's the first light mayo I've ever tasted that was good enough to buy rather than just using less of the "real" stuff.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:23 AM   #12
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NF Trader Joe's brand Greek Yogurt-I use this in place of mayo, or for part of the mayo in a dish, also mixed with salsa as a salad dressing

LF sour cream-I use this in place of mayo also, or part mayo, part ff yogurt & part lf sour cream

canned beans-garbanzo, black, red, ff refried--I add beans to salads, soups & most casseroles whether it calls for beans or not

steel cut oats-I cook them in a crock pot overnight on low
dried, no sugar added fruit to add to the steel cut oats while cooking

V-8

apples-braeburns are my favorite--crisp, but sweet, with some nat'l peanut butter on them=yummo

agave nectar

no sugar added ice cream bars

sugar free diet root beer/diet dr pepper/diet orange crush popsicles

tea...lots of plain, black, brewed strongly iced tea

I have taken a liking to Kraft mayo with olive oil, it is lower cals and tastes ok, I'm going to look for the Helmans canola to try.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:42 PM   #13
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Fresh Spinach - I buy the 2.5 lb bag at costco. I try to stick it in everything. We order a lot of soup from the soup peddler and Im always stuffing spinach in it no matter what kind of soup.

Center Cut Bacon - This stuff will add a ton of flavor to anything. I microwave a couple pieces and add to potatoes, spinach, or salad

Fiber One - I dont like it as a cereal but I add it to yogurt, pudding, and low fat ice cream. I run it through the food processor, add seasoning, and bread chicken with it

Roasted Hatch Green Chilis - Its green chili season now so i buy a ton and freeze. I eat these on wasa crackers with light cream cheese or laughing cow, add them to salad, add them to anything mexican or southwestern.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:20 AM   #14
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I'm with those of you who said spinach and mushrooms - what great, versatile foods! Especially baby spinach and big, meaty portabellas...

Odwalla bars are one of two convenience foods I eat nowadays. They taste great - real, if you know what I mean - and are the perfect size for a snack.

The other convenience food is Kashi's black beans and mango frozen meal. If I really need a frozen meal, it's going to be this one. It's yummy, filling, and vegan - but they are pretty pricey, so I don't buy them often.

LightLife's soy sausage. I am kind of addicted to it, and it is incredibly versatile.

Fresh brussels sprouts... Mmm... pan-fried in a little earth balance and fresh minced garlic.

The bulk bins at Whole Foods or, better yet, at the local natural foods store down the street. I love the variety! So many grains and legumes to choose from! I have a lot of fun experimenting with new foods, and bulk bins make it easy - just take enough to sample once, and go back for more if it's a hit - if not, no money wasted on unused quantities of food.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suitejudyblueeyes View Post
I'm with those of you who said spinach and mushrooms - what great, versatile foods! Especially baby spinach and big, meaty portabellas...
Spinach and mushrooms in most everything!

Quote:
Originally Posted by suitejudyblueeyes View Post
Odwalla bars are one of two convenience foods I eat nowadays. They taste great - real, if you know what I mean - and are the perfect size for a snack.
I'll try those. I'm not much for convenience bars, but would like to have a good one for once in a while. Most I've tried have not been so great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suitejudyblueeyes View Post
The other convenience food is Kashi's black beans and mango frozen meal. If I really need a frozen meal, it's going to be this one. It's yummy, filling, and vegan - but they are pretty pricey, so I don't buy them often.
I think I'll try that too. Again, I'm not one for frozen dinners, but a super easy back up is so important once in a while. The ingredient list (on their website) looks decent, and the picture looks very good.

Thanks for the ideas
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