Most helpful positive review
197 of 198 people found the following review helpful
This really helped me plan and prepare good-tasting food on HCG
on February 21, 2010
This book helped me so much. I've done three rounds of the HCG diet in the last year and have lost 40 lbs and have stayed within my 2 lbs. each time. I used the sublingual drops. The first time I did the HCG diet I didn't have this recipe book. My food was so boring and I spent all my time cutting, dicing, cooking, weighing, etc. I got so tired of chicken and I didn't really know how to make apple cider vinegar into something that actually tasted good.
I bought this book before I did my 2nd round of HCG. It made my 2nd (and 3rd) round so much easier. The two most helpful recipes for me were the Chicken Bouillon Base and the Garlic Italian Roast. Both of these allowed me to cook a large amount of meat ahead of time and then freeze portions for warming up. That saved so much time, I must say how thankful I am.
The Chicken Bouillon Base used six 3.5 oz portions of chicken...so you're cooking six chicken meals in advance. I froze them in individual baggies and warmed up in the microwave when needed. The Bouillon is saved in 2-cup portions and frozen so that it can be used as a base for soup (all using the HCG allowed foods). With the saved chicken broth, I was able to make the French Onion Soup recipe, which adheres to the protocol. They have a tomato soup recipe that is really good! I used the saved broth to make a serving of chicken soup with my 3.5 portions of chicken and celery. I added cilantro to the broth. You can get creative with the broth. They also recommend saving off 4 tablespoons of broth in individual servings so that it can be used to saute vegetables (since oils are not allowed on the diet).
The Garlic Italian Roast is my absolute favorite. I've only made it with eye of the round roasts, since those are the leanest roasts I've seen. I didn't even think about cooking a roast on my 1st HCG round, because the food is supposed to be weighed raw, and how would I know what the cooked weight is unless I cut the roast up beforehand. Well, these authors included it in the instructions. So, you cook the roast, you slice it, and 3 oz. cooked is your portion. I would buy a 3-lb roast and would put 3 oz. cooked portions in baggies and freeze. Then just heat up on the stove (with a little water or broth) or in the microwave from frozen. They also list the leanest cuts of meat you should buy, since the goal is to have no oils or fats. The leaner the better.
There are many helpful things in the book. You can take their recipes and improvise if you want a little more spice, etc. My 2nd and 3rd rounds were so much easier because I could make these things in advance and freeze them. And the recipes tasted good to me. I'm not a fan of stevia in large quantities, but they have some salad dressing and marinades that call for it. I thought it would taste bad, but somehow, their recipes that involve stevia are just the right amount.
When I first received the book, I had my doubts: it was thin and the photography leaves a lot to be desired. The book cover could use a facelift, for sure. And the black and white photos inside the book are hard to make out. Not a superior print job. But my advice to you is just ignore those small annoyances, because what's important is the text, the recipes. I wish it had more recipes, but I'm just happy that there is something with this many, because it can get pretty lonely and boring on the HCG diet with the limited choices for food. This helps break the monotony and offers up some tasty ideas, as well as cooking large amounts in advance that can be put into the freezer in portion sizes.
Also, the authors stick to the original protocol, so there is no mixing of vegetables, no mixing of fruits, no fruits or veggies that are not allowed. So, you're getting the strict stuff, which is what you should be getting. These authors have done the diet, so they know. Blogs and other forums might have some HCG recipes, but I have found that many of them are using vegetables not allowed, or mixing them. You won't find that here. These are good recipes that strictly adhere to the original protocol. Many thanks.