“Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-free Eating in the Real World” by Lisa Lillien
Just a quick note to say that I’ve made two recipes from Lisa Lillien’s 2008 “Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-free Eating in the Real World” in the past week and they’ve both been absolutely delicious.
Hooray for New Year’s Resolutions, right?
Lillien built her “Hungry Girl” empire on the idea that there should be lower-calorie ways to eat the foods you love, and people flocked to her ideas, including me. A few years ago, I lost 40 pounds, and Lillien’s website and books were a key part of that transformation. Because I’m not about to give up eating stuff. So there. I appreciated the smartness of some of her food swaps, as well as her quest to reveal the hidden calorie horrors in food from restaurants.
The cookbook is full of tasty and low-calorie versions of everything from onion rings to pasta. There’s also an extended section of how to make blended coffee drinks that are comparable to Starbucks, and a chunk about the best options to pick when out in the real world. If I had a complaint, I’d say it’s a little skimpy on the photographs of the dishes, with only a small insert.
I made the Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes, as well as the Crazy-Good Turkey Taco Meatloaf, and will absolutely be making both again. The cupcakes (which are really more like muffins) benefit from pure pumpkin, light vanilla soy milk, and egg beaters in place of oil. The MeatLoaf is made from extra lean ground turkey, and involves a lot of veggies and taco seasoning for extra oomph. (Lillien and her staff are big fans of cooking with certain ingredients – Canned Pumpkin, Splenda, Ground turkey, and Tofu Shirataki noodles – and they pop up frequently within these recipes.)
My copy is the 2008 edition, so there may very well be a newer one out there. It’s a great book if you’re trying to get healthy and drop some pounds – and her other books are pretty cool, too. (I also own her “200 recipes under 200 calories” book.)
The Hungry Girl herself herself appeared on the Rachael Ray show to make the cupcakes. I heard her speak at a Borders here in Chicago (you know, when Borders was a thing) and she was lively and charming. Check it out.