7-Layer Dip, BIOTCHES!!! By Natalie

Two days ago it was Superbowl Sunday. Woo! Honestly, I didn’t care about the football game. I was all about Beyonce and the return of Destiny’s Child (fierce, right? I mean, despite the fact that Michelle and Kelly’s mics were turned down so low that they were barely audible…). But, I do have a dude in my life who was pretty psyched about the SB/commercial watching so I thought I would make some healthier snacks for us to enjoy the concert/commercials/guys stretching in the semi-dark with.

Besides the shrimp cocktail I provided (great healthy and high protein choice for belly filling de-hangering) I made a Seven Layer Dip that is actually much healthier than I thought it would be, and easy as all get out to make. So, I’m going to share it with you. Right now. And even though I know you’re thinking, “Thanks, Natalie, I could have used this recipe two days ago,” this is still a pretty rockin’ app to bring to your next potluck, so don’t be too mad at me that you didn’t have this for your Superbowl Party pleasure.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

1 can of refried beans (fat-free or regular, but in all honesty, go for the full fat. There is only 1.5 grams/serving so what are we arguing over here?)

A package of ground turkey breast–preferably organic (make sure it says turkey breast on the container because otherwise you’re getting ground turkey, and that means you’re “enjoying” other turkey parts which is neither as healthy or as desirable a choice)

1 Container of Guacamole

Montery Jack Cheese

0% Plain Greek Yogurt (2 small containers)

Salsa

Half a tomato

2-3 Green Onions

A couple handfuls of Black Olives

*Side note, you can make this dip vegetarian by nixing the turkey breast. But you already knew that.

First brown the turkey in a pan:

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While it’s cooking, spread the refried beans in a large dish.

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Make sure that while the turkey is cooking, you’re constantly forking it (yes, forking it) to break it up into small pieces, because you’re going to need it bite sized to ensure easy chip dipage. After the turkey is cooked, put it to the side to cool to room temp.

Then, you’re supposed to sprinkle cheese on top of the beans and the turkey on top of that and THEN sour cream (or in my healthier case, greek yogurt) on top of the turkey. BUT, I f–ed it up and put the cheese on top of the turkey, thinking it would cause the cheese to melt a little bit, but what what it really did was make the greek yogurt hard to spread and make  the cheese stick to my spreading spoon. It was annoying, but not that big of a deal. SO, long story short, first put down the cheese, then the turkey meat and then the greek yogurt. Mine looked like this:

beansturkeysourAlso, you guys should know that I used real sour cream on half of the bean dip just in case my main squeeze got a little peeved that I made this dip too healthy and noticed a difference in the taste (spoiler alert: he didn’t notice the difference).

Then, on top of the sour cream, you add the guacamole. I used organice guac from Whole Foods. Side note: I’m really trying to eat all organic these days because I’ve been learning a lot about the horrible chemicals that are in all non-organic foods. It only generally works out half the time, but I do what I can.

guacAfter you layer in your ORGANIC guacamole, throw a whole bunch of salsa on top. I like to use medium spiciness. I’m still a midwestern girl after all…

Then after you’ve done that (sorry I don’t have a pic for that but let’s be honest, do you really need the salsa view? I didn’t think so), you sprinkle a bit more cheese (for calorie conscious living, don’t be as liberal with the cheese sprinkling) and add some diced tomatoes, sliced olives, and chopped green onion. Slice ’em, dice ’em, and chop ’em, my friends! The the finished product looks like a dis:

finished product

Are my camera phone skillz getting better? Yeah, I didn’t really think so either. Doesn’t this look delish, though? You guys, it was. I admit, I indulged a little bit, but only a little bit. My boyfriend killed this sh*t. I have the photo to prove it.

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Like I said, he didn’t notice the greek yogurt substitue at all. Score for the calorie/health conscious! How my dude stays trim is beyond me. Oh, and just because he offered it up, I’ll share with you my bf’s superbowl shirt:

scottsquir

He was rooting for The Squirrels, obviously.

Enjoy this semi-healthy dip, my friends. Oh, oh, oh! And for dipage, you can use blue corn tortilla chips, carrots, celery, or you can make your own chips. I will let Greta do a post on those since she makes them (COUGHHERBOYFRIENDMAKESTHEM), so she is the authority there. They are much healthier than the normal chip, and I definitely recommend.

DE-HANGER SUPERBOWL!

New Year, New _____? (by Natalie and Greta)

Happy New Year, fellow hangry folk! Isn’t the new year glorious? It’s a time for us to refresh, restart, and renew, right? Right. Right? Weeellll,we aren’t sure. Throughout the month of January, the sisters here at Hangry Chicks keep seeing all of these ads for “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” crap. It’s annoying. Really, advertisers? You can’t come up with something different? Every business in the world has somehow gotten on this exact campaign? We are sick of it. So we say, “New Year, Same You: Because you’re awesome how you are YOU”. Or, “New Year, You’re already doing amazing things for yourself so who needs new, YOU”. Or maybe, f*ck it! Hangry Chicks style, “New Year, New Squash”. That’s right. New squash. Greta tested this simple yet oh-so-versatile recipe that will knock your hanger socks off and kick your hanger to the curb (how’s that for a 1996 kind of reference?) with zero unhealthiness. Take it away, sister!

Thank you, Natalie.  While we don’t agree on everything all the time (no matter how much I try, I just can’t enjoy Shakira’s “She Wolf”), we definitely agree on the hackneyed “New Year, New You” expression:  Why must we always reinvent ourselves upon the arrival of the New Year?  Hmm?  While there’s nothing wrong with reinvention and renewal, why don’t we do something a little different this year?  Let’s break from tradition, leave “you” alone for once,  and focus on embracing a New Squash.  Since I have never interacted with or eaten (to my knowledge) an acorn squash, I decided to to make it my New Squash for 2013.  As the older sister, let me just break out some 1980s references and say the acorn squash is, like, so totally radical that you’ll have to take a chill pill to handle it.  I’m so sure!

Here’s the best part: You could have an IQ that matches your shoe size and still be able to successfully prepare an acorn-squash dish.  Why?  I’m glad you asked.  Allow me to use some visual aids to answer you.

AcornSquash1

Once you’ve completed these insultingly simple steps, you’re half-way to plating your New-Year-New-Squash meal.  The second half of this process is where you get to cater to the Old You: It’s time to stuff the center with whatever freaky food turns on your taste buds.  Smoked ostrich meat, ghost-pepper salsa, Hamburger Helper (which, according to Cousin Eddie, does just fine by itself), crumbled crabby patties — whatever your hangry, little heart desires.  That’s because acorn squash has such a subtle, versatile flavor that it goes with just about anything.

As a health-conscious chick with a hanger of 7-ish, I opted for a filling that was fast, fresh and frugal. Using a mix of vegetables that were on the verge of spoiling, I quickly sauteed them in a pan sprayed with Pam, added some Italian seasoning, and voila!  My “stuffing” was done in a matter of minutes.

AcornSquash2

As a finishing touch, I drizzled a little olive oil over the top of the squash and adorned it with some handsome parsley.  Magnifique!  As you eat it, scoop the yellow flesh, mix it with your stuffing, and enjoy the feeling of your taste buds melting.

If you’re particularly adventurous and hangry, eat the green rind, too.  That is, if the rind is fairly thin.  It’s edible but not too enjoyable if the rind is particularly thick.  Keep in mind that this advice is coming from someone who eats peanuts in the shells… whole.

Happy New Year, Old Yous.  Celebrate with an acorn squash, and show us your stuffing!  In future posts, we would love to put your creativity on display.

Movie-Candy Goodness By Natalie

I love going to the movies. Who doesn’t, really? In the past month I’ve seen Cloud Atlas, Argo, Lincoln, and this weekend, Life of Pi. (Does it seem like I’m bragging? I kind of am. MOVIES!) Good times all around. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself watching each film. But you know what sometimes sucks about going to the movies? The snacks. Here’s why:

1) They all cost about 8 million dollars per snack choice.

2) They are not healthy. At all.

3) They aren’t filling, because they are filled with empty calories.

4) They are so oversized that if you are hangry, you might find yourself snarfing the whole box of candy or jumbo sized popcorn that has about 8 million calories per bag (again with the 8 million–it’s a standard movie number). After hanger snarfing is over, you’ll find yourself in a shame spiral that will ruin the whole movie for you. I say it will ruin the whole movie for you because let’s be honest, the previews are 22 minutes long–I’ve timed–and you will want to squelch your hanger ASAP so you’ll snarf pre-movie. Then you’ll realize you snarfed 8 million calories when you promised yourself that you wouldn’t finish the whole “thing” yourself…But you did anyway, hence, movie isn’t as enjoyable. That’s no fun. No fun at all.

If you’re reading this blog you’re most likely health conscious, so I’m sure you’re privy to what you should do to healthfully movie snack. You know, make sure you go to the theater with a full belly so you’re not tempted to eat the calorie laden movie popcorn or jumbo box of M&M’s; bring a healthy snack with you (almonds or a granola bar, anyone?); buy the water instead of the soda; yada, yada, yada. But what if you want a little chocolate treat to enjoy because hey, the movies are fun and it’s a tradition to un-healthy snack whilst watching? This weekend, I discovered a way you can get around the healthy snack rules without guilt commencing, for only $1:

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Have you ever seen those big candy dispensers in the movie theater lobby? Well, what I learned is that they have these little plastic bags hooked onto the side of the dispensers (pictured above), so you can spend a buck (50 cents per spin) on a bit of candy that won’t melt in your hand (let’s face it, M&M’s melt in your hand regardless of their claim) and won’t cause you to over-snarf. This Saturday, I didn’t need a huge bag of candy, I just wanted a little bit to satisfy my craving. And satisfy I did. I did follow the “never go to the movie theater hungry” rule because I didn’t want hanger to ruin it for me, but I was able to eat a little treat without the “I’ve overindulged” guilt.  I also shared this bit of  said candy with my boyfriend. This girl is not selfish (except when hangry).

GO FORTH TO THE MOVIES IN UN-HANGER AND $1 CHOCOLATE ENJOYMENT!

Dump The Potato Chips, Fatty McFatterson – Kale Chips Want To Be Your Friend (by Greta)

I’m hangry as I write.  So hanger, in its inimitably hostile way, is going to put an interesting spin on today’s topic, which is kale.  When seasoned and baked, the leaves of kale (also known as borecole) are transformed into a delicious, healthy alternative to salty, greasy, fat-fried potato chips.  Granted, who doesn’t love strapping on a feedbag full of BBQ kettle chips?  I do.  Intensely.  That’s why I need to take a moment to remind myself of the important differences between Bad Chips and Nice Chips:

The choice is a no-brainer, isn’t it?  Assuming that this comparative view has, in the very least, convinced you to give kale a chance, here’s the best way to make your own chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash several leaves.
  3. Drying the leaves well is critical – the drier they are, the crispier the chips will be.   If you have the time, sandwich the kale between paper towels and leave them on your kitchen counter for 2-3 hours.  If you don’t have time, try to dry these wrinkly, rippled leaves as thoroughly as possible.
  4. Cut the leaves off the stem as shown below, and cut the large leaves down to pieces that are about the size of your palm.  (Don’t throw out little scrap-pieces!  Save them and mix them into a stir-fry.)
  5. Put the leaves  into a large bowl.  Spray them with a little bit of non-stick cooking spray (about 4 sprays).  The spray is a nice alternative to using oil as it has fewer calories and it’s not heavy like oil, which can make your chips soggy.
  6. Sprinkle a light dusting of salt and garlic powder on the leaves.  (Optional additions: Crushed red pepper, chili powder or cumin.)  Like the spray, be sure to use the spices sparingly because they will intensify as the kale cooks.  It’s easy to over-season kale chips – they will shrink as they cook, so use a light amount of the flavoring.
  7. Spray one or two cookie sheets (depending on how much kale you prepared) with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the leaf pieces in a single layer, barely touching each other, to ensure that they’re evenly cooked.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until you see the kale just start to turn brown, and then remove them immediately.  Check your chips for crispiness, and keep in mind that they will get crispier as they cool down.

The key with kale chips is to remove them from the oven at precisely the right moment – it’s too easy to burn these little, ugly darlings.

Here’s the best part of the kale story: eat all you want.  For those of us who recoil at the mere suggestion of “moderation,” kale chips are a godsend.  These chips are actually good for you.  And they won’t chip away at your self-esteem or try to seduce other ladies with glossy packaging and fancy flavors.    Bon appétit!

 

Back from a Hanger Hiatus with a “Spaghetti” Salutation (By Greta)

Of LSD, George Harrison* said, “The first time I took it, it just blew everything away. I had such an incredible feeling of well-being… It changed me and there was no way back to what I was before.”

Sing it George.  I know that feeling.  I experience it every time I consume a substance that is, arguably, even more addictive than LSD.  You know it as “spaghetti.” I know it as nirvana.  It also happens to be the most satisfyingly delicious way to eradicate hanger.

Unfortunately, spaghetti is also the most satisfying delicious way to pack on pounds.  As much as I love it and wish to roll around in it like Mena Suvari on a bed of rose petals, I’d rather not look like a competitor on “America’s Next Top Sumo Wrestler.”

That’s why it excites me to no end to emerge from my hangry chicks hiatus with news (to me) of a superfood so exquisite that I could barely put my fork down long enough to write this post: spaghetti squash (cue the choir of angels).  This gourd is God’s gift to carb junkies: its flesh is long and thin like spaghetti, and its taste is strongly reminiscent of its higher calorie rival.  That’s where the similarities end.  Check out the differences:

As the numbers show, you could eat spaghetti squash until it’s oozing from your ears without feeling a) guilty or b) fatter than Honey Boo Boo.

I know, I know – if you haven’t experienced spaghetti squash, it sounds ridiculous that you could legitimately replace spaghetti made from semolina with spaghetti made from a vegetable.  I thought it was preposterous… until I tasted it.

Here me now and believe me later: Do yourself and your body a huge favor and follow this recipe before you tell me that I’m full of sh*t.

Give this gourd a shot.  And if you disagree with me about its ability to satisfy your spaghetti craving, then I’ll reimburse you for your squash.  No questions asked.

I need to end with a note of caution: Because this dish takes almost an hour to prepare and bake, I highly recommend preparing it long before you start getting hangry.  It keeps well in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the microwave in a matter of seconds.  For the safety of you and your loved ones, never try preparing this dish when your hanger is a 5 or more.

Bon appetit!

*Millennial readers, George Harrison was in a little band called The Beatles.

The Hangry Pillow!

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Guys, there’s a hangry pillow (special shout out to @CherylJDowling for bringing this gem to our attention)! We hangry chicks are so excited that people are getting the hangry word out. Perhaps this way, it will become a more widely accepted “condition.” Then, woman/man exchanges that used to be like this:

Woman: I’m irrationally angry!

Man: Women are crazy!

Will turn into this:

Woman: I’m irrationally angry!

Man: Oh my dearest, no worries, you’re just HANgry. I’ll make you a decedent meal stat, and we won’t have some silly argument, perhaps about how weird cats are and how you never want one walking their grubby litter ridden paws all over our apartment.

I digress…

Do yourself a favor and get one of these bad boys so that when someone is giving you the stink eye for causing a rage based out of hanger, you can throw this pillow at their head and tell them what’s what without having to explain yourself. You’ll accomplish 2 tasks: 1) Release your hanger rage in an almost playful pillowfighting way without looking cray and 2) With the definition written on the pillow,you will save precious hanger explaining time as you prepare your de-hangry meal.

DEHANGRY!

Stir-Fry! (By Natalie)

When we’re hangry, it’s all about getting food fast. But I don’t mean fast-food, because that’s not healthy and it’s horrible for your body. It would be fantastic if we had all the time in the world to make the most nutritious meal every time we sit down to the table, but sometimes we just don’t. And sometimes, we’re just too hangry to make it happen. However, this blog is all about getting healthy food together in a short amount of time because lord knows, when you’re hangry, you just cannot wait. BUT, you also don’t want to be making bad food choices that involve grease stained paper bags and meals you can super-size. So, read on my hangry friends, for a pretty nutritious and delicious meal that I made in a very short amount of time. STIR FRY!!!

Okay, so I know that rice you boil in a bag isn’t the most nutritious thing in the world for you. But, like I mentioned earlier, in a pinch, when the hanger haunts you, and the choices are either waiting 1 hour for brown rice to cook or 10 minutes for Uncle Ben’s boil in a bag to get crackin’, you’re gonna have to choose Uncle Ben’s and let it go. So, that’s what I started with for this meal.

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I made the wise decision to purchase the pre-cut stir-fry veggies at the grocery store so that I wouldn’t have to waste precious hangry time to cut them myself. And honestly, the price of the pre-cut veggies isn’t that much more than the veggies that you have to cut yourself, especially if you regularly buy organic vegetables. When you don’t have a lot of time, it’s just the best. It doesn’t get much better than fresh veggies all cut up for you when all you have to do is throw them a pan with a bit of olive oil and you’re 18 steps closer to hanger freedom. So, I cooked my veggies separately, chopped up some chicken breast and threw that in another pan to cook. Then added two tablespoons of Kikkmon Stir-Fry Sauce:Image(only 40 calories, 0 grams of fat and 6 grams of sugar) into the mix of veggies and chicken and it looked like this (you can see that rice boiling in the bag as well):

ImageWhen the rice was all done boiling, I took a half-cup of that, leaving me with a bunch more rice for leftovers the next day (price conscious as well!). I made this meal two days in a row, and even though I’m not usually a left-over kind of gal, it was so delish, I was happy to left-over it up.

Here is a blurry picture of the food I ate that I didn’t have the desire to “present” as perhaps a chef would because A) My culinary skills are the farthest from the chef title possible and B) I was too hangry. Snarfing took precedence over presentation.

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Enjoy and un-hanger yourself with this easy stir-fry!

Summer Salad (By Natalie)

I own a book called Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads by Christine Avanti. Why the heck not, Christine Avanti? I love salads and I think they’re a great lunch or dinner option in the summer because when it’s 95 degrees out, like it is today in NYC, I don’t want to eat much else. A salad is cool, I can throw a lot of great veggies and protein in it, and it’s deliciously hanger busting.

Here’s the salad I made today:

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It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly to boot. Here are the ingredients I used:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Half an avocado
  • Almonds
  • Sprouts
  • Dried cranberries
  • A dash of olive oil
  • A dash of salt and pepper
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice

You guys, this salad was fantastic. It filled me up and it was refreshingly delicious. Look at all of the nutritious veggies! You can fill up for less calories the veggie way. Your tummy, your hanger, and your waistline will thank you. Hanger free!

Hanger Busting Dessert (By Natalie)

I love dessert. Specifically, I love frozen yogurt for dessert. It’s kind of a problem. I live in the East Village in Manhattan where there are literally 4 frozen yogurt spots on every corner. It’s ridiculous. This easy access is both good and bad…Good for hanger? Yes. Good for waistline (especially with summer around the corner)? Nay. So, I’ve put myself on frozen yogurt lock down recently, and I’ve been creating alternatives for my favorite treat. One alternative is a bit of a snooze fest, but delish nevertheless. I simply take a 0%, flavored, Chobani Greek yogurt,mix it up and throw it in the freezer for a half hour or so, and I’ve got something to spoon that is pretty decent. But, there’s no chocolate in it, and I’ve gotta admit, a big part of the reason I like the whole fro-yo thing is that I get to put some chocolate on that sh*t. Not healthy at all, but fun. We all need chocolate in our lives sometimes, am I right? Am I right? Yes, I’m right. I needed some chocolate last night and I knew that fro-yo wasn’t an option. So what was I to do? I was to create my own concoction. And that I did.

For my base, I subbed the fro-yo with a banana (I learned this trick from my former roommate and current best buddy, Andrea, so I can’t take credit for this myself). I cut up a whole banana and stuck it in the freezer for 1 hour. That way, it gets frozen enough–but not too frozen–to mimic frozen yogurt consistency. When I pulled it out of the freezer, it looked like this:

Banana in a bowl. Definitely need a picture for that.

To add some chocolate and to bump up the fro-yo quality to my base of banana, I added one fudgsicle. Remember those guys? I eat them as a treat all the time. They’re only 60 calories and some frozen fun. But that wasn’t enough for me last night. Oh no. I had to have fro-yo. So I will continue with my healthy version.

Here’s what it looked like when I added the fudgsicle to the banana. Again, picture necessary:

I forked the fudgsicle off of it’s stick, dropped it in with the banana, and then mixed it around a bit. Beautiful. THEN, I got nutty–both literally and figuratively–because I added 1 tbs of all natural peanut butter to the mix. Holla! That really made this dessert. It also helps to cut hanger unlike normal frozen yogurt, because you have healthy fat contributed by the PB and slower digesting fiber from the banana. Here, you can look at it:

It looks so yummy, right? No, it doesn’t. It looks like…well I won’t say what it looks like because then that image will be stuck in your brain and you’ll never eat it. Let me just tell you, it’s a bowl of healthy dessert deliciousness. I used normal fudgsicles, but you can also opt for the sugar-free kind to cut down the sugar of this nummers “dish.”

So, friends, enjoy and indulge with this hangry busting dessert, and as always, may the hanger NOT be with you.