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Dear HG,

I am looking for more variety in my lunches. I bring them from home and right now it's the same old wrap with fruit and cheese. Do you have some fun ideas for lunches?? I'm not a big fan of frozen meals!

Lookin' for Lunch (in All the Wrong Places)
Hi Lookin',

With so many travel-friendly lunch options, there's no reason for you to be eating the same old stuff every day. Here are a bunch of ideas, recipes, and more...

Big Salads! I like to make HUGE salads topped with lean protein and other delicious items. Just pack the dressing on the side, or keep a bottle of low-calorie dressing in the office fridge. (I love the sprayable kinds!) Click here for a meat-free burger-inspired salad and a super-delicious shrimp & corn salad. Click here for a buffalo wing-ish salad. Click here for a BBQ chicken salad. And check out the first HG cookbook for an entire chapter of large-and-in-charge lunch-worthy salads! 

Some-Assembly-Required Sandwiches! I love deli salads like tuna and chicken (guilt-free versions, of course), but no one likes soggy sandwiches. So pack the scoopable foods in a container with an ice pack, and keep the bread separate. Then just put the salad between bread slices at lunchtime and enjoy! Check out these recipes: Scoopy Salmon Salad, Sweet 'n Chunky Chicken Salad, Citrus-licious Egg White Salad, and Veggie-Loaded Tangy Tuna Salad. And click here for a TON of sandwich tips, including bread picks, condiments, and more.

Sides 'n Stuff! Cheese and fruit are good, but they're definitely not your only options. Make some multi-serving side-dish-type recipes on a Sunday, and pack a serving with your lunch. Click here for a couple of great chilled options. For nukeable sides, check out our Glaze of Glory Candied Carrots and Corndog Millionaire Muffins. And for something sweet on the side... MAKE THIS RECIPE!!!

Hi, Hungry Girl!

I LOVE butternut squash, but they are so hard to cut! Do you have any tips for the easiest ways to cut them up?

Butternut Babe
Dear BB,

I totally agree -- butternut squash is a bit of a pain to work with! But since it's SO delicious and great in recipes, it's worth the extra effort. Here are some fantastic tips 'n tricks I've come up with over the years from working with everyone's favorite winter squash...

1. Look for a long squash with a short round section. The round part is mostly hollow, with seeds and stuff that need to be removed. But the long part is all flesh, perfect for cubing, spearing, etc.

2. Start by hacking off the ends and then slicing the squash in half widthwise. Then you'll have two easy-to-work-with pieces with flat ends.

3. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Drag it firmly down the length of the pieces in strips. Keep peeling until you get to the bright orangey-yellow part. EZ.

4. Once your squash halves are peeled, use a sharp knife to cut them in half lengthwise. If your squash is unusually firm and tough to slice, try nuking it in the microwave for about 45 seconds to soften it.

5. Carefully slice or scoop out the sections of the squash with the seeds and fibers attached, and throw them away. Then chop or slice the rest of the squash. Done!

Use your newfound knowledge to whip up some delicious and guilt-free butternut-squash fries. There are FIVE different recipes, from a ranch-n-bacon one to sweet dessert fries. BTW, when you need cubed squash, you can sometimes find the pre-cubed kind in the produce section of the supermarket. Also, look for pureed squash in the freezer aisle if you're planning to mash up the stuff anyway. Happy squashing!

Did you know that October is National Pork Month? Well, it is! And we've got just the way to celebrate... Click here to find out. (Hint: It's delicious.)
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