Pantry: Hungry Girl's Guilt-Free Essentials

Want to pack your pantry the HG way? Here are Lisa Lillien's TEN Hungry Girl staples.

Lisa Lillien aka "Hungry Girl" invents simple, delicious recipes that are guilt-free, satisfy cravings and taste great, without adding lots of extra calories and fat grams to your daily diet.

Lisa Lillien aka "Hungry Girl" invents simple, delicious recipes that are guilt-free, satisfy cravings and taste great, without adding lots of extra calories and fat grams to your daily diet.

Canned Pumpkin: I use this fiber-filled favorite to bulk up so many recipes and foods — from soups to dessert batters — without adding very many calories or fat grams. Make sure to buy 100% pure pumpkin — NOT pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar.
 
Shelf-Stable Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk: How can a 40-calorie cup be so rich and creamy? I don't know, but I LOVE it! It's fantastic in cereals (both hot and cold) and shakes. Just remember to refrigerate it after you open it.
 
25-Calorie Hot Cocoa Packets: These are not JUST for hot chocolate. Expand your horizons, people! I like to use them when making baked goods, smoothies, and various desserts to boost the chocolate flavor. Don't forget to get the ones with about 25 calories per packet.
 
Old-Fashioned Oats: I know, instant oatmeal is faster to whip up, but old-fashioned oats just have more substance. This is an essential ingredient in all of my "growing oatmeal bowls," and it's perfect in baked granola mixes.
 
Canned Low-Fat Creamy Tomato Soup: Another versatile product (with a nice shelf life). Use it as a tomato-sauce swap on pasta and pizza, pour it over chicken and veggies, or just eat a bowl to warm you up on a cold day.
 
Canned Crushed/Diced Tomatoes: Lower in fat and generally cheaper than premade tomato sauce, canned tomatoes come in many varieties. I like the fire-roasted ones best, but have fun and try them all!
 
Freeze-Dried Fruit: When I need something to satisfy a fruit craving and I don't have the fresh stuff on hand, I turn to packs of freeze-dried fruit. These make a great travel snack. And try mixing 'em with some fat-free cottage cheese or into homemade trail mix for a delicious treat.
 
Calorie-Free Sugar-Free Flavored Syrups: I use these in guilt-free coffee drinks, various recipes, and mixed alcoholic beverages.
 
Dry Seasoning Mixes: When I'm looking for an easy way to spice up food or make flavorful guilt-free sauces, I turn to these packets. I especially love to toss some in with meat and veggies for tacos, fajitas, and chili.
 
High-Fiber Bran Cereal Twigs: This stuff works great as a coating when "faux-frying" foods — just grind it to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor. Then add lots of spices!

 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Lisa Lillien Bio

Get to know Lisa Lillien host of Hungry Girl.

Hungry Girl's Guilt-Free Mexican Pantry

Mexican food is delicious, but a lot of the time comes loaded with fat and calories. Another basket of chips, anyone? Hungry Girl pulls together a list of key ingredients for whipping up some guilt-free Mexican cooking right at home!

Pantry: Brunch Essentials

Every Saturday and Sunday morning, there's a possibility for brunch. Bobby keeps these brunch staples on hand to avoid early-morning trips to the market.

Pantry: Indian Essentials

For easy Indian cooking at home start with these basic pantry ingredients.

Pantry: Italian Essentials

A well-stocked pantry makes whipping up delicious Italian meals a snap. Countless dishes can be made from ingredients on hand, but with a quick dash through the express line for perishables, the options are limitless.

Pantry: French Essentials

Find the most important ingredients for French cooking.

Global Pantry: Everyday Exotic Essentials

Here are a handful of pantry essentials for Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean, Indian, Asian and good-ole Southwestern cooking.

Essentials: Wine Guide

With a basic understanding of wine, including where to buy, what to buy and how to pair it with food, you'll never fear the wine aisle again.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to know a few clever tasting terms.

Essentials: Herb Guide

Herbs can elevate a dish from simple to sublime. For the best flavor and refreshing lightness try using fresh herbs instead of dried.

On TV

So Much Pretty Food Here