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My Quick and Easy Low Calorie Dinner – Hamburger Helper – Yes, Hamburger Helper!


Dieting is hard. Whats even harder is keeping the weight off once you’ve lost it. Do you mean to tell me that I have to eat cardboard crap my whole life to stay skinny? No, you just have to be a little creative!

I enjoy cooking, but a lot of nights when I come home from the ole 9 to 5, I just plain do not feel like it. But, I do want a hot meal I can enjoy, and not a frozen entree. What do I do? Do I give in to the temptation and order delivery? No, I reach for the HH – Hamburger Helper! Don’t believe me? Well, get out your calculator. It’s time to do a little math.

First and foremost, we still want to eat healthy, so reach for the new Wholesome Hamburger Helper that is made with wheat pasta and has 8 grams of whole grain per serving. I know the mix pack that comes with the Hamburger Helper is not exactly nutritious, but hey, we’re not perfect. In my grocery store, the Wholesome Hamburger Helper comes in two classic flavors – Cheeseburger Mac and Stroganoff. We’re going to use Cheeseburger Mac to determine our calorie content. I believe the Stroganoff has about 10 to 20 calories more per serving as package, but do not take my word for it. I do not have it in front of me.

The Cheeseburger Mac Wholesome Hamburger Helper has about 5 servings per package and is 100 calories per serving, as package, not including the meat and milk. 100 multiplied by 5 equals 500.

In order to make Hamburger Helper you need one pound of ground meat and 2 cups of milk. Now, instead of hamburger, we are going to use ground chicken breast. This usually costs me about $5 a pound, which is not bad in my opinion. One pound of ground chicken breast gives four servings at 80 calories per serving cooked. 4 multiplied by 80 equals 320.

I drink Light Plain Soy Milk. I can drink regular milk, I just prefer Soy. I believe the calorie content for light soy milk and skim milk are about the same, but I am not sure. The Soy Milk I use is 70 calories per 8 ounces. We need 2 cups, or 16 ounces for the Hamburger Helper. 70 multiplied by 2 equals 140.

Now, kids, lets add it up. 500 plus 320 plus 140 equals 960. Divide that total by 5 servings and you get 192 calories per serving. Do you realize how little that is? Most frozen diet meals are around 300 calories. Lets say you have a family of four. 960 divided by 4 equals 240. Still, that is nothing! My boyfriend and I make this all the time, and we eat about 3/4 of it. I am full, satisfied, and still well within my calorie range. I could eat half of the dish if I wanted at that low of calories. Now do you believe me?!

By: Bethany Ravan