Tag Archives: pasta

Healthy Recipes for Memorial Day Parties

Memorial Day is one holiday almost everyone looks forward to. What’s not to love? The last Monday of every May, we honor our fallen U.S. soldiers and their families on a weekend when the weather starts to heat up in most parts on the country. Barbecues, camping trips and outdoor parties are how most people celebrate Memorial Day, the sunshine, and show their patriotism.

Memorial Day is tons of fun, but barbecues are notorious for being full of calorie and fat packed foods, so plan ahead. If you are taking advantage of the long weekend and going camping, indulging in 3 days worth of this indulgent food can really do some damage. If you are hosting, you have full control of the menu, but if you are a guest, bring your own “safe” dish that you know is healthy, and you already know the calories and fat per serving.

Whether you’re planning to usher in summer at the beach or with a backyard cookout, there are a lot of tempting, warmer-weather treats that might appeal to you no matter how much you want to stick to a healthy diet. Fend off cravings by making slimmer versions of your favorite meals and treats.


17 Healthy Carbohydrates You Should be Eating

The 17 Day Diet seems to be all the rage these days. Created by Dr. Mike Moreno, the diet was recently featured on The Doctors and the Dr. Phil Show. To go along with this “17” craze, we’re featuring a list of 17 healthy carbs that you should be eating for overall health.  With so many healthy options, you’ll never fall into a food rut again!

1. Oatmeal. It may seem boring, but oatmeal is such a delicious and filling breakfast choice. With lots of fiber, five grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, three grams of fat and only 150 calories, you get a lot of nutritional bang for your bite!

2. Barley. Also high in fiber, barley is great in soups, as a whole-grain side or even as a healthy rice replacement in risotto!


Healthy Recipes for Your Labor Day Party

As the summer draws to a close, Labor Day is the perfect time to gather all of your loved ones and celebrate the last days sunshine with relaxation, fun and, like any get together, food.

Labor Day doesn’t have to make or break your diet. By taking advantage of the fresh produce in season this summer and offering healthy, fresh and delicious dishes to your guests, you’ll be able to enjoy your party, guilt-free, without worrying about busting anyone’s swim suit seams.

Running low on ideas? Here are a few of our tried and true recipes that will satisfy your guests’ taste buds without expanding their waistlines.

Barbecued Corn What’s a summer celebration without corn on the cob? Instead of drenching it in butter, try topping your corn with a bit of Parmesan cheese, pepper or a little garlic. (more…)

NoOodle, The No Calorie Noodle

If you’re  a pasta-loving, carb-watching health enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of or tried the Miracle Noodle, a zero-calorie noodle-like product that is made from the konjac plant.

The plant is sometimes referred to as elephant yam, even though it is an entirely different plant from the orange tuber yam that we are familiar with. Konjac is widely used in Japanese and Asian cuisines. It contains a kind of fiber called glucomannan, which has been associated with controlling blood sugar levels. The fiber is often used as a thickener in foods.

Now, a company called NoOodle has created an entire line of super low-calorie noodles and entrees.  (more…)

Lessons Learned in Eat Pray Love

In the book Eat Pray Love, a true story based on one woman’s journey across the globe, we get to follow along as she eats, prays and loves her way through three very distinct countries. Starting August 13, women will be flocking to theaters to see and experience what this journey was really like as the film opens nationwide, starring Julia Roberts.

While we may not all be as carefree or brave as Elizabeth Gilbert, played by Julia Roberts, Eat Pray Love has its share of lessons that many of us can benefit from. In keeping with the three main themes of the book, which I myself read and loved, I wanted to share my advice and lessons that I gathered:


Elizabeth begins her journey in Italy. This is where she works through a large portion of her emotional turmoil and turns to food as many of us do to help her through the difficult time.

The fact that she is in Italy with delicious food surrounding her could only have made it that much easier. While food should never be your crutch, pasta and pizza are not the enemy. Carbohydrates are an essential part of one’s diet and by including whole grains and loads of fresh veggies, this hearty meal will keep you feeling full and happy! (more…)

Jersey Shore’s Sammi Sweetheart Stops Eating Pasta

Jersey Shore's Sammi diet and workoutLest she be left off the Jersey Shore‘s diet party bus, Sammi “Sweetheart” has revealed her diet and weight loss strategy. Unlike her female co-stars, Sammi chose to lose weight by relatively conventional means. Snooki reached her weight loss on Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet and J-WOWW is taking the controversial pregnancy hormone, hCG.

How did Sammi Sweetheart drop 15 pounds? She stopped eating pasta, which just might be as sacrilegious for the guidette as cookie meal-replacements or hawking hormones. She confessed that giving up noodles had been hard. “I miss it like crazy, but I don’t eat pasta anymore. I eat my vegetables and try to stay healthy,” she said.

Frugal Cooking Tips from Clara, a Great Depression Survivor

Great Depression Cooking with Clara

Great Depression Cooking with Clara

In these uncertain financial times, it’s always good to be aware of how much you’re spending on food. If you’re looking for frugal cooking tips, go no further than this spunky 93-year-old cook named Clara. If anyone knows what it’s like to survive in tough times, it would be someone who lived through the Great Depression. She turned that experience into valuable inspiration for the rest of us.

It’s those experiences that were the inspiration for her Great Depression Cooking with Clara DVD. It’s a collection of her popular YouTube cooking shows, plus extra features you can’t find anywhere else.


Food Fight: Pasta vs. Pasta

food fight

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the very first DietsInReview.com Food Fight. You won’t get messy, but you will be a little more informed. Every two weeks (alternating with Food Finds), we’ll present a food match-up: two similar foods, both claiming to be the healthiest option, will go head-to-head in our nutritional ring to find out which prevails as the best. We’re looking at a three-round match: Nutrition Facts, Taste and Ingredients, Cost and Accessibility. So, let’s get started.

Our first Food Fight is between Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta (FG) and Barilla Plus (BP) pasta.

fiber gourmet pasta barilla pasta

Fiber Gourmet says it is “the world’s first ‘light’ or reduced-calorie pasta with 40% fewer calories. It has been engineered to taste like “regular” pasta, but offer more nutritional value.

Barilla Plus is a multigrain pasta, endorsed as part of the Bob Greene Bestlife diet. It offers a good source of protein and ALA Omega-3.

ROUND 1: Nutrition Facts
Serving size, printed on the package, based on 2oz. of uncooked pasta.
Calories: FG = 130, BP = 210
Fat: FG = 1g, BP = 2g
Sodium: FG = 120mg, BP = 25mg
Total Carbs: FG = 42g, BP = 38g
Dietary Fiber: FG = 20g, BP = 4g
WW Points: FG = 2, BP = 4

Fiber Gourmet seems to lead the round, based on having significantly less calories, more fiber and less fat than its competitor. The near 100mg more of sodium found in FG is definitely cause for concern. Barilla Plus does have calcium and more iron, where the FG does not.

fiber gourmet pasta

ROUND 2: Taste and Ingredients
This is a tough round because each person’s personal preference will vary. I only eat whole grain pasta, and often the Barilla. I’ve grown accustomed to the taste. The Fiber Gourmet was definitely the right pasta for someone who enjoys that “traditional” starchy white pasta taste. It did seem a bit pasty to me, but firm and when blended with sauce was not too bad. The Barilla has a taste that does vary from the “traditional” pasta, but not so much that its a turn off. It’s not grainy and actually has a lot of flavor, it also cooks to a perfect al dente stage and tastes great no matter what it is in.

FG only comes in a fettucini-style noodle, but in flavors like whole wheat, classic, spinach and tomato. BP only comes in its regular multigrain pasta, but in six noodle styles.

As for ingredients, both have great lists that don’t call out any concerning items. Both have semolina, niacin, iron, riboflavin and folic acid. The FG has modified wheat starch and wheat gluten, while the BP has a grain and legume blend with lentils, chickpeas, egg whites, barley, flaxseed, oats and a few other items.

This round goes to Barilla Plus.

ROUND 3: Cost and Accessibility
Fiber Gourmet is available in 23 states in a variety of health food and chain grocery stores. Individual bags in store will vary, but cost about $3.00 for an 8oz. package. Their site lists each store in which you’ll find it. It’s also available for purchase online in bulk for prices ranging from $18.49 to $44.99.

Barilla Plus is sold in major and private grocery chains across the U.S. and the site lets you search availability by ZIP code. 14.5oz. packages sell for about $3.00 each. Online retailers like Amazon have it available in two-packs for $6.00.

This round goes to Barilla Plus.

barilla plus pasta

There is no doubt that Fiber Gourmet is a quality product- especially for those looking for a traditional white pasta flavor, with healthier nutritional value. However, due to taste, its wholesome ingredients and greater accessibility, we deem Barilla Plus the winner of the Food Fight: Pasta.

Even dieters can enjoy comfort foods

For anyone who has started a diet, on a diet, been on a diet, or just trying to eat healthier, there’s nothing harder than saying goodbye to your favorite comfort foods. They’re like good friends- always there when you need them. Unfortunately, unlike a good friend, these unhealthy food friends are sabotaging our waist lines.

Joy Bauer, Yahoo’s resident nutritionist, shows ten foods that most people cringe at the thought of giving up and healthy ways to not cut them loose. She calls them Diet-Friendly Comfort Foods. Here, we show you her recommended replacement foods along side our recommendations.

Just two slices at a restaurant can have nearly a full day’s worth of calories. She suggests making your own at home or buying the Lean Cuisine brand, both options for less than 320 calories. We recommend the Weight Watchers Deep Dish Pizza Casserole, with 6 points and 277 calories.

Ice Cream
A pint of the popular Ben & Jerry’s has more than 1,000 calories. Look for lighter options that pack just as much irresistible flavor. She recommends the Turkey Hill Low-Fat brand, we recommend Bob Greene’s favorite Skinny Cow brand.

Yes, you can still satisfy that crunchy-salty munchy attack without the calories and fat of potato chips. Yahoo’s Joy recommends soy crisps- and that’s exactly what we recommend. Glenny’s Soy Crisps come in 100 calorie packs, dozens of cravable flavors- plus offer protein!

One of the biggest dieter demons out there- two slices of this carb-packed favorite topped with butter can have upward of 260 calories. Joy recommends light english muffins with peanut butter to save 100 calories. We recommed Bob Greene’s Best Life Flat Out Wraps. They come in nearly 20 flavors, make great sandwiches and many varieties have between 70 and 100 calories.

Taco Bell
This fast-food favorite can cost you nearly a day’s worth of calories for some menu items. Satisfy your craving for spicy Mexican food with these Weight Watchers Baked Chimichangas. They are 6 points, 276 calories and a delicious alternative to greasy fast food.

When the grills start blazing this spring, know that your usual bacon cheeseburger isn’t doing you any favors with more than 1,000 calories. Joy recommends a turkey burger with only half a bun for 334 calories. We recommend these hearty Weight Watchers Veggie Burgers with only 2 points and 129 calories.

French Fries
Along side a burger, nothing is better, or worse for you. Skip the 600 calories a large fry offers for Joy’s recommended baked sweet potato fries for 220 calories. We recommend Weight Watchers Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, with only 1 point and 64 calories.

Chicken Wings
Joy says fried chicken wings can have more than 700 calories! She replaces those with baked chicken tenderloins with hot sauce for 120 calories. We recommend Glazed Chicken Bits with only 4 Weight Watchers points.

Why is it so darn irresistible? A serving of regular mac ‘n cheese can pack 800 calories or more. Joy recommends a whole wheat elbow noodle with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese for half the calories. We recommend lightening any pasta dish with Barilla Plus whole grain pastas- they’re a part of Bob Greene’s Best Life plan and have Omega-3s.

It’s OK to have your hand caught in the cookie jar if you’re not reaching for those pre-made cookie dough squares with 200 calories and 10 grams of fat! Joy says grab South Beach Diet’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies instead for exactly half the fat and calories. We recommend the Nabisco 100 calorie pack cookies.