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Hungry Girl,

I have a question about your new book. I've noticed that a lot of the recipes on your website use very specific ingredients like Almond Breeze and La Tortilla Factory tortillas. Is that true of the recipes in your new cookbook, too? And if so, are their nutritional stats only accurate if you use those name-brand ingredients? Any options for those of us who can't find, don't like, or can't afford them?

Wondering in Washington, DC
Dear Wondering,

Many people have been emailing in similar questions about how specific the ingredients in the book are. I do use a lot of name-brand ingredients in these daily emails, but I decided to go for mostly less-specific ones for the book. I want this book to be just as usable years down the line, even if some of the specific products from past daily emails are no longer available. Sure there are some name-brand items that are called out in the book, because (in my opinion) there's no substitute for certain things, like Fiber One cereal and Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges. But for the most part, the recipes call for general things like "any low-fat tortilla with around 110 calories" and "light vanilla soymilk". As for the nutritional stats, those were very carefully calculated using averages of TONS of brands, especially the most popular and widely available ones. And there's a very long list of recommended products in the beginning of the book that will help you shop for the best products to use when making the recipes. To order the book, click here. And to see photos of all the recipes in the book, click here. Thanks for checking in!

Dear HG,

I don't celebrate Passover, but last year I tasted something called "matzo brie" at a friend's house and LOVED it. It tasted too good to be diet-friendly in any way. Can you tell me what's in it and if it can be Hungry Girl-ized? THANKS!

Bring on the Brie
Dear Bring on the Brie,

Matzo is a Passover staple (you know, matzos are those giant square Passover crackers). Each one has around 110 calories, 0 - 1g fat, and a gram of fiber (PointsPlus® value 3*). And matzo brie, or "fried matzo", is made with eggs and typically fried in some kind of fat (like butter). So, a serving can easily contain 300+ calories and more than 15g fat. Here's my trick for making this stuff guilt-free. All you do is break one sheet into small pieces, and then soften the pieces with hot water (they should be soft but not soggy). Then, mix with two egg whites. Over medium heat, scramble the mixture in a pan sprayed with nonstick spray for several minutes, adding a tiny bit (about 1/2 tsp.) of your favorite light buttery spread. Then top it with a drizzle of sugar-free pancake syrup, cinnamon and no-calorie sweetener, or just some salt and/or pepper. This version has around 155 calories, a gram and a half of fat, and 1g fiber (PointsPlus® value 4*). You can also up the fiber by a few grams if you make this with whole-wheat matzo. (Heads Up! If you are celebrating Passover, some brands of that stuff are not considered by everyone to be kosher for the holiday. And if you're strict, make sure ALL the ingredients you use are kosher for Passover.) This recipe is SOOO good and definitely one you should NOT pass over (sorry, I had to do it).

Today, April 16th, is National Eggs Benedict Day. Sounds like the PERFECT day to whip up some Eggs Bene-chick. Woohoo!
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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.