Lisa Lillien does not profess to be a nutritionist, she’s just plain hungry! The number-one New York Times bestselling author and the creator of the Hungry Girl brand, she is the founder of www.hungry-girl.com the phenomenal worldwide free daily email service that entertains and informs hungry people everywhere! She has also written Hungry Girl 300 Under 300, the cook book where all recipes are under 300 calories. But is it any good?
Well, with nearly a year’s worth of recipes that all clock in at under 300 calories per serving, her method is to use pre-made, low-calorie and/or low-fat substitutes for higher calorie items in order to create her 300 calorie recipes. Lillien offers low-calorie dishes for all times of day, beginning with breakfast and her Egg Mugs – 15 variations of eggs and other ingredients microwaved in a coffee mug, Cinna-Apples ‘n Oats, Blankies Early-Riser, through to lunch – Purple Pizza Eaters, The Crab Rangoonies and dinner – Chicken Carbonara a la Hungry Girl, Outside-In Turkey Tamale Pie, and Chicken Chili Surprise. Virtually every dish is well within the abilities of even the most novice of cooks, and her “Trios” – dishes with just three ingredients – are so simple that even a child could make them. The majority of her dishes are healthier takes on the familiar and will give time-starved cooks much more choice.
However, quite a few of her recipes include unhealthy processed foods that are also super-high in sodium which are not healthy at all. So you have to ask the question what is the point of having a low-calorie diet if the calories you are eating are made up of highly processed foods? Also, so many of the dishes seem to be covered in sauce or topped with cheese and have a large chemical base to the additives in them. You could still use this book and replace some of the processed foods with healthier versions such as low-fat alternatives, then it would give you more ideas on recipes and meals for you and your family. At present, it would seem that with a little more thought and focus on healthy substitutes, this could be a really good cook book for hungry girls.