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Dear Hungry Girl,

I love your KFC-Ya Later Bowl! But sometimes I have trouble finding the butternut squash the recipe calls for, and that stuff can be a bit difficult to handle. I've tried a few of my own layered "bowl" recipes, but usually the calories add up way too fast. Do you have any other delicious bowl ideas that use yummy meatless ingredients?

Bowl Me Over
Dear Bowl Me Over,

I LOVE that KFC-Ya Later Bowl as well. YUM! It's SO good! I agree that butternut squash is not the easiest thing to deal with (I devoted almost an entire page of the HG cookbook to covering the basics of it!), but it's definitely worth the trouble. However if you're feeling lazy or pressed for time, you can buy it pre-cubed in the produce section (fresh) or already mashed in the freezer aisle (just thaw and you're good to go). If you want to create new veggie-friendly bowls at home, you can use some of my other favorite stuff. Mashed cauliflower, just like mashed b-nut squash, is a great sub for mashed potatoes. Simply nuke the cauliflower (fresh or from the freezer aisle) 'til it's soft, then mash with a little light butter substitute (Brummel & Brown is the best!) or a half-wedge of The Laughing Cow Light cheese -- then season with salt and pepper! You can also use our Miracle Mashies recipe. Soy crumbles (like the ones made by Boca and Morningstar Farms) are FANTASTIC for layering. Veggie burgers (cut into small pieces) are also great for bowl-building, especially if you can't find those crumbles. Other tasty items to toss in your bowl are cooked spinach, low-fat chili (Boca's ROCKS!), canned or frozen mixed veggies, chopped pickles, and fat-free gravy. But my latest discovery for a rockin' bowl is shredded Gardenburger Riblets (I make a fantastic BBQ bowl using a Riblet, some beans, and lots of low-cal cole slaw). Now for BREAKFAST bowls, I use Egg Beaters, fat-free cheeses (hard and soft), lean turkey bacon crumbles, and various veggies. Are you "bowled over" yet? Hope so! :)

Dear Hungry Girl,

What ethnic food do you think is the EASIEST to transform from fatty to guilt-free... and why?

Wondering in Westfield
Dear Wondering,

That's an easy one! I'd say the absolute EASIEST food to make low-cal yet delicious and tasting most like the "real" thing would have to be... MEXICAN FOOD! Here's why. Mexican food is all about specific flavors and spices -- and many of those are totally guilt-free to begin with. Salsa is a Mexican staple with hardly any calories at all -- same goes for taco sauces, taco seasonings, and spices like cayenne pepper and cumin. Another Mexican staple is the tortilla, and it's ridiculously easy to find low-cal and very-high-fiber tortillas these days. Even tortilla chips (which are typically greasy and high in fat) are sold baked and not fried -- my favorite kind is by Guiltless Gourmet. Beans are also popular in Mexican food, and those are low in fat and high in fiber. Pair all of these things with fat-free cheeses, fat-free sour cream, shredded lettuce, onions, peppers, lean meats, ground-beef-style soy crumbles, etc., and you'll have a completely guilt-free Mexican fiesta. YUM! (Psssst... check out some of our best HG Mexilicious favorites -- enchiladas, tacos, guacamole, quesadillas, and ALL of our Taco Bell swaps!)

Craving More Mexican Food? You must immediately break out your HG cookbook and visit the survival guide section plus all the Mexican-inspired recipes. What? You don't have the HG cookbook?! Click here ASAP!
Hey! Today, August 6th, is National Root Beer Float Day. To make a guilt-free version, just toss a 1/2-cup scoop of Breyers Double Churn Free Creamy Vanilla ice cream into a tall glass of frosty diet root beer. Mmmmm!
Have a question for Hungry Girl? Send it in! She answers two new Qs each week (but cannot respond to emails personally).

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.

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