Cookbook Review: Hungry Girl 200 Under 200
Hungry Girl 200 Under 200: What It Is
Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 is a collection of 200 recipes, all under
200 calories. Author Lisa Lillien, founder of the popular Hungry Girl web site
and newsletter, is a self-described "hungry girl" who loves food but doesn’t
want to gain weight.
Like her web site and newsletter, this Hungry Girl cookbook is aimed at
everyday people who often turn to processed foods for convenience, with advice
on how to go about it a little more healthfully. Along with its easy-to-make
recipes, Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 features kitschy blurbs, helpful
tips, lots of illustrations, and 16 pages of color photos.
Lillien, neither a dietitian nor a chef, has devoted her career to finding
tasty reduced-calorie foods and to tasting and creating easy, fun, low-calorie
recipes. She launched the "Hungry Girl’ web site and newsletter in 2003, and
now has an estimated 700,000 subscribers.
Like many women, Lillien has long struggled with her weight. She tried
multiple diets until she finally found success with Weight Watchers (she
provides Weight Watchers points tallies for all her recipes).
The secrets to Lillien's success are her everywoman style -- and her taste
buds. "I can taste something and know if this will be something everyone will
love or only 20% of the people," she says.
Although dietitians would generally recommend a more natural, less processed
diet, Lillien says that's not always realistic for everyone.
"I wanted Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 to be fun, realistic, and
relatable for all the women who are diet-conscious but need to bridge the gap
between the ideal healthy diet and the over-the-top junk food diet," Lillien
Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 is loaded with references to branded
products, but Lillien says she endorses only products that meet her criteria of
good taste plus acceptable calorie levels.
Hungry Girl 200 Under 200: The Recipes
This is an easy-to-use cookbook, delivered in a witty, fun style that might
help get non-cooks into the kitchen. Most of the recipes are for
simple-to-prepare mini-meals or snacks that combine convenience foods available
in your neighborhood grocery store.
You'll find recipes for dishes like Cheesy Good Cornbread Muffins, Red
Velvet Insanity Cupcakes, Chocolate Chip Cookie Crisp Puddin’ Shake,
Cheeseburger Quesadillas, and No-Harm Eggplant Parm.
The recipe categories include breakfast, eggs, salads, dips, starters,
specialty drinks, tortillas, mini meals, cupcakes, sweets. There are chapters
devoted to recipes with Fuji apples, Cool Whip Free, Fiber One, and
Many of the recipes are single-serve, avoiding the potential trap of
overeating. Lillien points out that even with reduced-calorie dishes, portion
size is key to keeping calories under control.
Hungry Girl 200 Under 200: What the Experts Say
For people who like convenience products, Hungry Girl 200 Under 200
demonstrates fun ways to combine low-calorie ingredients into tasty recipes,
says Holly Grainger, MS, RD, food editor for MyRecipes.com.