Easiest-Ever Recipes, Plus Herbs & Spices 101!

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Hi Hungry Girl,

WOW! I just made the Dreamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge I saw on your show -- amazing! Not only is it super-delicious, but it's also so simple to make. I was wondering, do you have some other no-fail recipes with four ingredients or less? I guess I'm looking for an Idiot's Guide to Hungry Girl Recipes. Thanks for all the advice and inspiration!

Make-It-Easy Melanie

Hi Melanie,

I'm glad you're enjoying the show and the fudge! And I completely understand the need for simple recipes. That's always been a goal of mine -- to create great-tasting, guilt-free recipes that anyone and everyone can make. Since some are easier to make than others, I'm sharing the absolute EASIEST ones with you. Here they are...

Check out all of the Hungry Girl "Hot Couples" (a.k.a. two-ingredient recipes). Whip up everything from filling breakfasts to no-guilt dinners by combining just two ingredients -- click for proof! Here are some holiday-inspired couples too.

Trios (my three-ingredient recipes) are another safe bet. These comfort-food trios are perfect for this time of year. Want more? Click here and here. That's a trio of trio sources for you. (You can also find seven chapters of trio recipes in Hungry Girl 300 Under 300!)

Parfait recipes are also great. Ours typically have very few ingredients, and there's not much work involved -- just layer and enjoy! Check out the latest HG parfaits.

Other easy recipes? Egg mugs!
These microwave scrambles practically make themselves. Click here for the 411 on those.

There are also some super-easy recipes with more than four ingredients. No-cook recipes take just a little bit of prep and they're good to go -- here are the latest to come out of the HG kitchen. And here are some speedy recipes that you can make in five minutes or less. There's even an entire Hungry Girl episode devoted to under-five-minute recipes.

Now you've got lots of recipes to get you started. Best of luck (although you won't need it!). P.S. Check out the brand-new "Holiday" episode of Hungry Girl airing this Sunday (12/4) on Food Network, featuring a slew of seasonal no-fail recipes. You'll be ready to host your own holiday party in no time!

Dear HG,

I know spices and herbs are a great way to add flavor without fat, but I'm clueless when it comes to which I should buy and how I should use them. Please help me spice up my life!

Buh-Bye Bland

Hi Buh-Bye Bland,

Glad you asked. Spices and herbs are virtually calorie-free and they're flavor-packed. Basically they're miracle ingredients because they can add tons of taste to low-calorie items. It might take a while to figure out which ones you like best, but here's some info to get you started...

When it comes to dried spices, your basics are garlic powder and onion powder for savory foods and cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice for sweet stuff -- you really can't go wrong with these. Italian seasoning is another important one -- great for flavoring up tomato sauces. And if you like some heat, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes are great. As for herbs, the dried kinds are great for customizing foods in a flash, but it's sometimes worth it to use the fresh stuff. Dill is great for dips, deli-style salads, and seafood dishes. You can also use it to liven up boring, fat-free ranch dressing. (Just chop some dill and stuff it inside the bottle.) Basil is an essential ingredient in Italian dishes, like this spaghetti & meatballs swap and this bruschetta-inspired salad. I LOVE the way basil smells... SO GOOD! Mint can be nice for beverages and desserts... although, truth be told, it's not a personal favorite. Parsley works well in Italian and Greek dishes, and it's a foolproof garnish for just about any food -- it'll make your meals look schmancy. (I personally do NOT like parsley, but most people like it so I recommend it often.) And when it comes to Mexican food, it's all about cilantro -- not everyone loves it, but I definitely do... especially in these Shrimp Cocktail Tacos and these Saucy-Q Chicken Soft Tacos.

For tons more about the most popular herbs and spices (including lots of HG recipes that feature them), click here. And if you're looking for more specific info about a particular spice or herb, check out The World's Healthiest Foods site. You'll find more than you'll ever need to know there. In the meantime, follow some of the spice-wielding HG recipes linked to above. It's the best way to become familiar with the flavors. Then have fun experimenting!

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Today, November 30th, is the last day of Good Nutrition Month. So eat well today and go NUTS tomorrow. (Kidding about the second part!)

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