Saturday, March 3, 2012

Diet Foods: Meals

This will be the longest of the diet food posts because there are so many options for lunches and diners.  Some of these are main course items, and many are side dishes.

I love using ground turkey breast in place of hamburger.  I use it for spaghetti, goulash, even pizza toppings.  Just be careful when you choose your ground turkey because some options have about the same amount of fat as ground beef.  Be sure it says something like 97% Fat Free or turkey breast (not just ground turkey).  The packages I buy contain 4 servings, so I usually brown it all at once and then divide it up.  I use one serving right away and put the other three away in the fridge for use later in the week.

I think most people probably know that chicken breasts are a nice lean meat.  I like them grilled for delicious flavor.  Since it's still cold and gross here, I have to bake them or cook them in a skillet. 

Tuna is another great meat option.  One can of tuna is usually 2 servings, but you can eat the whole can without feeling guilty.  I like to mix it with one tablespoon of Kraft Miracle Whip Light (which I think is every bit as good as the full-fat version):

I eat my tuna with Reduced Fat Wheat Thins (16 crackers for one serving) and call it a lunch:

If you like fish, I suggest you try Schwan's Breaded Blue Hake:

I ordered these after I had a random craving for a McDonald's fish sandwich, which I knew was off limits.  These are a Live Smart (diet) item, and they are crunchy and delicious out of the oven.  

If you don't order Schwan's food then you can probably find frozen Tilapia fillets (I find them at both Kroger and at Walmart).  Tilapia is a light fish and very lean.  We like it with lemon pepper sprinkled on top before we bake it.  

My last meat suggestion might seem gross to some of you.  I grew up eating cold hot dogs and still enjoy them (warm or cold!) today.  My favorites are Oscar Mayer 98% Fat Free Weiners (made with turkey).
Sometimes I eat these hot dogs plain, wrapped in a tortilla with some (diet) cheese, or even sliced and placed on top of my diet pizza (recipe to follow).

I really like Thomas 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thins:
These make great sandwiches, egg sandwiches, or even pizzas.  I lay one bagel open, distribute 1/4 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce evenly between the two halves (be careful...sauces can have a surprising amount of calories!), sprinkle 1/4 cup fat-free shredded cheese on each half, and sprinkle browned ground turkey or sliced hot dog on top.  Place the two mini pizzas on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Yum!

I have been substituting Kraft Fat-Free Shredded Cheddar for regular cheese in several recipes.  I also use the mozzarella version.

When I make pasta dishes for my family, I make mine using whole wheat pasta.  I use several brands of wheat pasta and like them all.  I use the rotini and penne all the time.  Be sure to measure your pasta to ensure you're sticking to the serving size.

Another swap I've made is substituting brown rice for white rice.  And guess kids love it!  It has a great texture, and we like the flavor with just salt and pepper on it.  I use Minute Brown Rice because it cooks quickly and in the microwave.  The box lists cooking instructions for 2 servings, so I just cut the rice and water amounts in half for 1 serving for myself (and cut cooking time in half).

 In addition to these wheat products that I love, I have been hunting for a good wheat tortilla.  My husband and I have compared nutrition facts until we were cross-eyed.  There are SO many options in the tortilla department, and most of them are tricky.  They can be low in carbs but still high in calories or fat.  We finally found the very best choice.  Learn from me and just go straight for Ole Xtreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb Tortillas.  In our grocery store, these are near the bread (not in the refrigerated section). 
 Compare the nutrition facts on these to other tortillas, and you'll be amazed.  Plus they taste great!  These can be used for breakfast burritos (with my 1 egg & 2 egg whites combo and chicken bacon), chicken wraps, etc.

I know this is a long post, but I figure someone should benefit from all of my time spent comparing products and searching for new go-to foods.  Hopefully some of these will make their way onto your table.


Here are links to nutrition information for products discussed here:
*Of course, you can always just pull up the nutrition info in your Spark People app!

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