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Dear Hungry Girl,

I am wondering, do you have any recipes for homemade veggie burgers? Thanks!

Veggie Burgers 4 Me
Dear Veggie Burgers 4 Me,

YES!!! There's a FANTASTIC HG recipe for veggie burgers. They're called "Oatstanding Veggie Patties" and the recipe can be found here. Each of those patties has only 70 calories and 0.5g fat, plus 5g fiber (POINTS® value 1*). That recipe is also great if you toss some canned beans into the burger "batter" for added protein. You can also experiment with different vegetables and more spices. Now even though you didn't ask, I'm gonna give you MORE veggie burger info. I LOOOOOVE the following store-bought VBs. In no particular order, here are my TOP ATE!

1. Amy's Texas Burger (120 calories, 2.5g fat, 3g fiber -- POINTS® value 2*)

2. Amy's Bistro Burger (90 calories, 2.5g fat, 2g fiber -- POINTS® value 2*)

3. Boca Original Burgers (70 calories, 0.5g fat, 4g fiber -- POINTS® value 1*)

4. Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle Veggie Burgers (80 calories, 2.5g fat, 5g fiber -- POINTS® value 1*)

5. Gardenburger Portabella Veggie Burgers (90 calories, 2.5g fat, 5g fiber -- POINTS® value 1*)

6. Gardenburger Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Veggie Burgers (100 calories, 3g fat, 5g fiber -- POINTS® value 1*)

7. Dr. Praeger's Veggie Burgers (110 - 120 calories, 4.5 - 6g fat, 4 - 5g fiber -- POINTS® value 2*) Heads Up! ALL of Dr. P's burgers are good, but be sure to BLOT the oil off of them -- they're SO oily!

8. Morningstar Farms Philly Cheese Steak Burgers (120 calories, 6g fat, 3g fiber -- POINTS® value 2*)



I am so confused about all the conflicting information about artificial sweeteners. Can you please share your personal views on them?

Dear Sweetener-Challenged,

I want to start by saying that the following are just my personal opinions, and the decision to use artificial sweeteners is obviously totally up to you... You may recall that a few weeks back we featured a news story about the recent sweetener study and the implication that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain. The HG opinion regarding that conclusion -- which was based on one small study only evaluating saccharin -- was and remains to be that it is inconclusive, and that those of you who use artificial sweeteners shouldn't necessarily worry about them leading to weight gain. This is and was just my opinion -- and it was not my intention or the intention of Hungry Girl to imply that artificial sweeteners are completely safe. In all honesty, no one knows that for sure. While I don't drink a lot of diet soda or eat an unusually large amount of artificially sweetened foods, I do consider artificial sweeteners and foods containing them to be great alternatives to sugar-packed foods and beverages -- those can cause people to take in too many calories and potentially lead to unhealthy weight gain. My artificial sweetener of choice, and the one used and recommended in many HG recipes, is Splenda (aka sucralose). My doctor is a supporter of Splenda, as are thousands of other health professionals. That being said, there are many Hungry Girl subscribers who prefer not to use ANY artificial sweeteners or simply to use natural ones (like stevia), and I support that, too. I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. Most of my opinions are based on a combination of the way foods taste, research I do, and conclusions I draw after talking to health professionals whose opinions I value and trust. You can pick and choose the HG info and recommendations that work for you, and skip the ones that don't. Again, to those of you out there who do not use artificial sweeteners -- I support and respect your decision. And remember, you can always substitute your sweetener of choice in ANY of our recipes (nutritionals will vary, of course). Thanks for checking in...

Today, March 12th, is National Baked Scallops Day. Scallops on their own are low in calories and fat -- only 100 calories and 1g fat per 4 ounces. But if you decide to bake 'em, do yourself a favor and skip all the batter, breading and creamy sauces!
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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.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.