Thanks everyone!!! I have been to the recipe site and I love lots of recipes that I find there, I have seen the calculator but I did not think of that! I will be using that more often. I think that is just what I was looking for!!!!!! I have a great kitchen scale and keep a pen and paper handy but it will be nice to have some of the information saved.
Add up everything as it goes in, note the total weight, and then put your plate on the scale, zero it, and add your noodles. Note weight. Zero again and add your sauce. Note weight of sauce. Now divide your portion weight by the total amount, and multiply by the total calories in the total amount. Keep a notepad and calculator handy in the kitchen. If you don't have digital add & weigh scales they are a good investment.
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I also measure things as I go along. For example, there are three people in my family. So when I put the pasta in, I measure three 3/4 cups. When I make the sauce, I measure that as three 1/4 cups.
So basically, I break it down into three servings as I'm cooking. If it's something I'm making where I can't do this, then I definitely use the Spark calculator that the ladies above mentioned.
Last night I made the beef stroganoff recipe from Sparkrecipes.com I couldn't measure each ingredient into three servings, so this is where their calculator tool was helpful.
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If you go to www.sparkrecipes.com you can use the recipe calculator there. You type in all the ingredients individually, the pasta, sauce, cheese, etc. you use for the WHOLE recipe. And then you type in the number of servings the whole dish makes and it will tell you how much 1 serving is. For a 9X13 casserole dish, you could split it into 6-8 servings...even if other people in your house end up with 2-3 servings, you can take a portion that you know is 1/6 or 1/8 of the whole thing, and know you're getting one serving, and have a better idea of the calorie intake. It takes a little time to put it all in there...but you can save them, and if you ever make the dish again, its already there. Oh and there's even a button that lets you add it to your Spark food log once you've created the recipe. Hope that helps!
To explain.... I like to make homemade pasta dishes and casseroles...I do not always follow the premade recipes....expecially with the pasta dishes. My concern is for portion and calories. I know what 3/4 cup wheat pasta looks like (kinda) and do fine when I make a meal for just myself (measuring everything)...but when I make it for the family I loose all track of how many calories are in the portion and second guess my judgement in the measurements...I do not know if I have the same amount of sause (it looks the same), if I am over 1/4 cup in my portion, etc. Making two different batches of noodles and sause is a pain and I do not stick to that plan for long (though I have tried). I am looking for some thoughts and ideas as to how I might work through this delema. I am starting college again next month and worry that my eating habits are going to go out the window... I would like to address this concern BEFORE then.
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