French Fry Swaparama, and the Full 411 on HG's New Book!

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Hi Hungry Girl,

I really love your baked French fries made from butternut squash. So cool! I'm wondering if you've ever tried making fries with other veggies or different types of potatoes?

Baking in Birmingham


I am a French-fry-aholic, so I love this question -- it inspired me to get in the kitchen with different items and test 'em out. I did a little research and found that the basic method I use for Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries works pretty well with all of them. Here are some very valuable findings, straight from the HG HQ!  

Sweet Potatoes & Yams - No surprise, these are delicious and bake up nice and crispy. And the stats aren't too bad, with 24 - 33 calories per ounce. But it is EXTREMELY important to weigh your spuds if you are counting calories. My sweet potato was large -- a whopping 20 ounces (480 calories)! And the medium-sized yam I got weighed in at 12 ounces (396 calories).

Russet Potatoes - If you crave real potato French fries, bake these into fries instead of hitting the drive-thru! About 22 calories per ounce. But just like the others, you MUST weigh these things. The potato I bought weighed in at 12 ounces, for a total of 264 calories.

Carrots - Really sweet and delicious and a LOT easier to prep than the squash options. They didn't get super-crispy, but their low calorie count (12 per ounce) made up for it. I cooked up 6 medium carrots (12 ounces) to get a good serving size -- so only 144 calories total.

Turnips - I took a chance on these things, and it COMPLETELY paid off. They tasted really good -- ever-so-slightly like cabbage (which is only a problem if you're sensitive to that flavor!). The baked fries were a touch floppy, but still impressive overall. And turnips are crazy-low in calories (8 per ounce). My turnip weighed 12 ounces -- just 96 calories!!! But be sure to scrub your turnips very well or peel them.

Fuji Apples - Two words: EPIC FAIL. Sure, the baked apple spears tasted good, despite their limp texture. And the stats are fine, just 15 calories per ounce. (About 120 calories in an 8-ounce apple.) But a French fry swap they aren't. No biggie. Still love ya, Fujis!!!

So what have we learned? Take advantage of those supermarket scales and WEIGH YOUR PRODUCE. And, um, try the turnip fries... DO IT! P.S. In case you're wondering, my beloved kabocha and butternut squash have 10 - 13 calories per ounce... which is a good thing, since they're typically gigantic!


I am a big fan of yours. I have all your cookbooks! I have several questions for you. 1.) Since many of your recipes are under 300 calories, does the new 300 Under 300 cookbook contain a lot of repeats from previous books? 2.) Can I still get in on the pre-order promotion? I heard a rumor that all the freebie offers are gone! 3.) Are you doing a big book tour this year? I see some events posted, but not as many as usual. 4.) Finally, can you tell me anything else about the book!? SPILL!

Super-Fan in Fresno

Hi Super-Fan,

Wow, thank you! I have answers for every one of your Qs... and I think they'll make you happy! Here goes...

1.) Not a single recipe in the new book, Hungry Girl 300 Under 300, has appeared in any other HG book. In fact, more than HALF of the recipes are BRAND NEW -- as in NEVER BEFORE SEEN in an HG email, an episode of the HG show, etc. That's over 150 newbies! Cool, huh!?  

2.) The “All That and a Bag of Chips!” promotion has ended, but there are still some AMAZING deals online!

3.) I am doing several book-signing events but, you're right, not as many as in previous years. Why? Because I'm gearing up to start filming the second season of the Hungry Girl TV show. I'll be in NY, NJ, FL, CA, MN, and TN. Click here to see the tour info... I hope you can make it to one of the events! 

4.) I know I say this about every HG book, but 300 Under 300 may be my favorite EVER.
For starters, it's enormous! There are 560 pages of recipes for BREAKFAST (Giant oatmeal bowls! Pancakes! Egg mugs & scrambles!), LUNCH & DINNER (BIG salads! Sandwiches! Stir-frys!), and STARTERS, SOUPS & SIDES (Mexican pot stickers! Manhattan clam chowder! Butternut biscuits!). Plus, there are 75+ three-ingredient recipes, featuring HOT DOGS, NOODLES, CHICKEN, and more! There are full-color photos of more than sixty of the recipes in the book, plus super-helpful sidebars, prep & cook times, those nifty "you'll need" lists for each recipe... I could go on and on. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!

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Today, March 9th, is Registered Dietitian Day. Big ups to David Grotto, Bonnie Taub-Dix, Heather K. Jones, Elisa Zied, and all of our other RD pals across the globe!

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