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Hungry Girl Today: 3.23.12

We're talking about all things SAUCE today, from top supermarket finds to risky restaurant traps, plus great recipes! Mmmmm...

Best Store-Bought Sauces

Dei Fratelli Tomato Pasta Sauces - There are so many ways to go when it comes to low-fat tomato-based sauces. The Dei Fratelli brand is an HG favorite, but any jarred sauce with 3 grams of fat or less per 1/2-cup serving fits the bill. If you're feeling super-fancy, grab a high-end sauce like Dave's Gourmet Red Heirloom Organic Pasta Sauce. (We HAD to give that fantastic find a shout-out.)

Lawry's Teriyaki Marinade with Pineapple Juice - There are a ton of thick teriyaki marinades and sauces out there, and the stats are typically very reasonable. This fruit-infused stuff is a good all-purpose pick. Lawry's also makes many other great marinades, and Mrs. Dash has a sans-salt teriyaki marinade. If you want to cut the intensity of your teriyaki, try stirring in a little water.

Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce - Some like it hot, and many of us at the HG HQ are among that some. In other words, we love hot sauce, and Frank's is our main squeeze (even though the bottle is not squeezable) -- it adds delicious Buffalo-wing flavor to everything. We also keep a stash of other hot sauces -- click here for a rundown of our collection!

Chris' & Pitt's Bar-B-Q Sauce - This is barbeque sauce perfection to our taste buds. A bit sweet, a bit tangy, a bit spicy... It's just what a barbeque sauce should be. In general, look for BBQ sauces with 45 calories or less per 2-tbsp. serving. Need a sugar-free BBQ option, or just looking for some super-low-calorie choices? Check out Guy's Award Winning lineup -- so tasty!

Fresh salsa - Salsa is literally "sauce" in Spanish, so we couldn't leave it out. As much as we adore shelf-stable basics like the kinds by La Victoria and Pace, we're SO in love with fresh versions found in the refrigerated section. We also dig salsa with corn and black beans in it.

Newman's Own Lite Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing - Sure, it's technically a salad dressing, but we use this all-natural magic-in-a-bottle for much more. Top grilled chicken or fish with it, sauce up your stir-fry, dunk cut veggies in it... Get creative!

Other Asian sauces - In addition to (the obvious) reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce, thick sauces like sweet chili and oyster are great to keep on hand. A small amount is perfect for adding a punch of sweet or savory flavor to your recipes.

At a Restaurant? Look Out For...

Super-Heavy Sauces: Anything creamy, cheesy, buttery, or oily is a red flag.

Over-Dressed Salads: Don't let someone slather your salad in goo; ask for the dressing on the side. And just because a small vat of dressing comes with your greens does NOT mean you should use it all. Dip, don't pour.

Deceptive Sauces: Get skeptical. Pesto seems safe ("It's GREEN!") but it's commonly loaded with oil, cheese, and nuts. Same goes for curry -- it may not LOOK creamy, but it often contains a lot of cream and butter. Stay smart!

Our Top Sauce Recipes!

The aforementioned warnings fly out the window when you're dealing with HG recipes...

Spaghetti Swap & Meatballs Sauce - We love this recipe as a whole, but even the sauce alone is a standout! Make it without the meatballs, squash, and Parm-style topping, and you'll have two impressively sized portions (about 3/4 cup each) with around 110 calories and 0g fat per serving (PointsPlus