In general, I try to say nice things about people. I’ve gone so far as to enact a rule that requires me to say five nice things about a person if I’ve said one bad thing- you know, some positive to cancel out the negative.
There are a few rules about this exercise:
1. You can’t pre plan out your positive things, just to buy yourself a “free pass” to say something negative about someone.
2. The positive things have to be legitimate. For instance, “they don’t kill people” wouldn’t count because the same could be said for most people. Same for observations. Example: “she has brown hair”. True? Maybe. Legitimate positive trait? No.
That being said, I’m here to break both of those rules as I talk about the Hungry Girl.
Certainly you’re familiar with the brand? Recipe book franchise that boasts “50 meals under 50 calories” and other such nonsense? French toast sticks made of low carb hot dog buns and egg whites? Mmm…sounds yummy!
Rule #1. Broken. And here are my pre planned five nice things:
1. The Hungry Girl raised awareness about obesity.
2. She’s cute.
3. She has a certain “Rachael Ray” likability (this might be a “con” disguised as a “pro”- not sure)
4. She tries to remake certain fast food favorites into “healthier” options (note the quotation marks on this one…)
5. She has brown hair. Rule #2. Broken.
Now that I’ve said my five nice things about the Hungry Girl, let me tell you how I really feel. Her food is fake and her recipes are gross.
All of her recipes call for fake cheese, fake tortillas, fake noodles and fake sugar.
At a time in my life that I’ll refer to as ABBH (After Baby, Before Health) I was on a quest to rid myself of “I’m pregnant so I can eat whatever I want” excuse pounds. Special K for breakfast, Lean Cuisine was lunch and Hungry Girl was my best friend.
And the weight came off but like my friend, I was truly a Hungry Girl and I knew I was putting trash in my body. It’s been a long education, but I’m finally to the point where I’m making fairly consistent healthy choices.
There was one recipe, however, that Hungry Girl had right. It was a recipe for stuffed peppers.
Hungry Girl had very specific measurements: 2 mushrooms, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup burger crumbles (Morningstar, I think), etc.
In my version, I really threw in a little of this and a little of that, which is the beauty of a recipe like this. Don’t over think it. Use what you have.
Jarred marinara sauce is the glue that bonds this whole thing together, but if you’re a purist, you might call this blasphemy (or fake food:). I don’t make my own marinara. Call me a hypocrite, I don’t care. But if you do, you’ll have to say five nice things about me…
Peppers are par baked, just to soften, then filled…
And baked again.
These were good and filling. I think a “serving” might be considered two pepper halves, but one, with some brown rice on the side, kept me full all afternoon.
I didn’t do a calorie count, but the Hungry Girl would certainly approve. She’s probably celebrating with a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich right now…
Was that mean?
Five more nice things…?
2 bell peppers, sliced in half and seeded
1/2 TBS olive oil
1 cup mushrooms
1/4 egg plant
1 package Trader Joes Beefless Strips
2 cups kale
1 cup marinara sauce
Salt, pepper, garlic to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Lay pepper halves in baking pan and bake 10-15 minutes to soften.
Meanwhile, chop onion, mushrooms and eggplant to a small dice. Sauté in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add Beefless strips and kale. Cook for 10 minutes, seasoning to taste. Add marinara sauce and stir to combine.
Fill each pepper half with approximately 1/2 cup filling. Return to oven and bake for 20 more minutes.