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Hungry Girl Today: 11.02.11

Hi Hungry Girl,

I keep seeing your "I love butternut squash" professions, and I too have recently taken a huge liking to the winter squash. What is the easiest way to peel and cut this squash? I've spent almost 25 minutes trying to peel and cut it for fries, and my hands are sore.

Cassie Can't Cut It

Hi Cassie,

It's true -- I'm in love with butternut squash, and I'm proud to be. It's an AMAZING sweet potato swap -- great sweet taste, but with fewer starchy carbs and about half the calories. (A cup of uncooked cubed squash has around 65 calories and 3g fiber.) Plus, it's PERFECT for making baked fries! That being said, it's also true that butternut squash can be a total pain to work with. It's worth the effort, though -- promise! And once you've mastered the technique, it's really not bad at all.

First thing you want to do is pick out a long squash with a short round section. Cut off the ends with a sharp serrated knife, and slice the squash in half widthwise (just above the round part). If your squash is really firm and tough to slice, heat it in the microwave for about a minute -- that'll soften it up. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin until you get to the bright yellow-orange part. Then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Slice off or scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers and throw them away. (Or bake the seeds as a snack! A 1/4-cup serving has about 70 calories, 3g fat, and 3g fiber.) Then chop or slice the rest of the squash. For fries, I like to use a crinkle cutter with a handle. For shredding, a box grater. Otherwise, a serrated knife is the way to go.

Now that you've got the 411 on squash prep, put it to use in HG recipes, like those fries I mentioned, these pot stickers, and this super-delicious frittata! BTW, if you're in a rush and need cubes of the squash, you can usually find it pre-cubed in the produce section. Click here for even more on butternut squash. Good luck and happy chewing!

Hi Lisa,

I see that you offer many recipes that are low in fat and calories. I've made a decision not to eat foods that contain more than 7 grams of sugar (with fruit being the exception). Any suggestions for some yummy, low-sugar recipes?

Sugar Stickler

Hi Sugar Stickler,

I have TONS of recipes that fall within your sugar range (too much sugar adds up to too many calories!). From breakfast to dessert, here they are now...

Sweet A.M. Eats - This Strawberry Short Stack recipe is pretty spectacular, and this swap for IHOP's Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes is equally awesome. Also check out this hot-couple recipe -- thick 'n fruity, protein-packed yogurt with only 6g of sugar.

Low-Sugar Starters - BCCs (Beany Cheesy Cups) are a smart pick -- have five of these cute cups for just 1g of sugar. Another great one? Buttery Parm Breadsticks -- flavorful and savory with just a single gram of sugar each. Beneath the breadsticks on that page are our sugar-savvy Simply Sweet Meatballs. And here are three soups with 4g of sugar or less per cup. Score!

The Main Course - Ranch-O Bacon Chicken is a favorite -- half a gram of sugar and just THREE simple ingredients! This personal-sized sausage pizza and these Unique Greek Turkey Burgers have 3g of sugar or less each. Also, all of the sliders in this email fit the bill, plus they're super-cute!

Sweet Stuff - HG's Toffee Mocha Hott