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My husband bought me the Hungry Girl cookbook for Christmas this year, and I’ve found so many great recipes inside. When planning his birthday party, I wanted to find some party-type dishes that didn’t go overboard on the calories, so I made Hungry Girl’s banana pudding and pigs in a blanket – both were easy to make and turned out great!

Bananarama Wafer Puddin’

  • 2 cups fat-free milk, at fridge temperature
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 24 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers
  • 1 small (4 serving) package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Optional: fat-free whipped topping

Combine pudding mix and milk in a bowl. Beat with a whisk for 2 minutes or until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

In a medium bowl or casserole dish (I used a trifle bowl), arrange a layer of wafers and then top with a layer of banana slices. Continue alternating layers until all wafers and banana slices are in the dish.

Top dish with the pudding and let it seep down in between the wafer and banana layers. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. If desired, add whipped topping before serving. Makes 6 servings.

This recipe is only 137 calories per half-cup serving!

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HG’s De-Pudged Pigs in a Blanket

  • 8 fat-free or nearly fat-free hot dogs (40-50 calories each)
  • 1 can (8 servings) Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls refrigerated dough

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut each hot dog into 4 even pieces.

Take 1 of the 8 triangle-shaped portions of the dough and stretch or roll it out slightly, making it into a larger triangle. Then cut this piece of dough into 4 long, narrow triangles. Beginning at the base of each of these triangles, roll 1 hot dog piece up in the triangle until the point of the triangle wraps around the center. Place your blanketed pigs on a large, ungreased baking pan and repeat entire process 7 more times with remaining dough and hot dog pieces. (Be sure to evenly space them, as the dough will expand while baking.)

Place pan in the oven and cook for about 12 minutes, until dough appears slightly browned and crispy. Enjoy! Makes 8 servings.

I’ve made this for several parties, and the best part is that one serving is 4 pigs in a blanket! Each serving is only 134 calories and 5 grams of fat – much less than the traditional kind.

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One last tip for making a party healthier – if you’re making a cake or cupcakes, use applesauce instead of oil. The consistency of the cake will be slightly different, but most people would never know the difference! Use the same amount of applesauce as you would use for oil. For the birthday cake below, I used applesauce, reduced fat cake mix, and reduced fat frosting.

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Who would’ve thought my new favorite muffin recipe would be on the back of a Splenda bag? The thing I love about these muffins is that the base is the most important part – even the vanilla flavoring by itself would be delicious – it’s sweet like a cupcake but light enough for breakfast. Tonight I added about a third of a cup of cinnamon chips and three mashed bananas. I’ve also tried bananas with chocolate chips. The original recipe suggests trying a cup of blueberries, although other small pieces of fruit would work just as well.

  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10-12 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Beat together margarine, Splenda, and honey with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Alternately stir in flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in berries. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups and bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional Facts (per serving): 190 calories, 5g fat, 1g fiber, 4g protein

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