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105 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
This book is a great resource for recipe ideas that are about as low-cal as you wish to make them. I see lots of reviews angry about the over-dependence on processed foods in this book - if you have concerns about a particular ingredient, simply use the real one. The general rebuttal that I see to this is "then the calorie counts go up!" however if you utilize a calorie database (such as and do your own math, you may find that the counts do not go up as much as you might expect. For example, instead of 2/3 cup egg substitute (90 calories) you can use one whole egg and two egg whites for 104 calories. Recipes that call for granulated splenda usually use it in small, sparing amounts - using real sugar instead is not going to inflate the calorie counts beyond all reason. Add these simple changes to the fact that MANY of the recipes in the book manage to be under 200 calories, let alone 300, and you'll find there is a lot of wiggle room. Also, ultimately, 300 calories is not very much for a meal. Use better ingredients and bring it in under 500 and you are still doing a fine job at a healthy meal.

My favorite thing so far in this book is the cupcake lasagnas (see the picture I added under customer photos). I use low-fat rather than fat-free ricotta, a bit less mozzarella to offset that, and one real egg instead of egg substitute. I am fairly certain that with these changes this meal has no processed ingredients, and a delicious muffin-sized lasagna comes in at only 163 calories. And that's even with the little dollop of neufchatel that I hide in the center of each lasagna! At 163 calories you can eat 3 of these with no guilt and that's a LOT of food. This is just one example of a recipe that I never would have discovered without hungry girl!

I've also made several of the egg mugs and oatmeals in this book. In my egg mugs I use a real egg and then egg whites rather than egg substitute but these wonders still usually come in under 200 calories and are so filling. I had never heard of egg mugs before the book.

The desserts are also tasty, although these are one category where you'll need to get creative if you want to avoid processed ingredients. It's a fact of life that desserts tend to be bad for you, and she does a great job lightening them up without sacrificing taste.

In conclusion - I'm VERY happy with this book. I don't follow the recipes to the letter when I want to use more natural ingredients, but that's ok. A little imagination and it is a fabulous foundation for great meals.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2011
I love the Hungry Girl recipes. I can always count on them to be low-cal and still taste great! I have been doing these kinds of meals for several weeks now and my body is getting used to things nicely and my clothing is fitting better! I am surprised that more emphasis is not placed on low-cal HEALTHY eating but that is fine. Still, as with some other reviewers, I agree that the processed foods and artificial sweetners can lead to problems that are on par with extra weight, or even worse.

I think a combo of Hungry Girl and Naturally Skinny: 100 Organic Recipes Under 350 Calories would be a fantastic duo, so you still have the fun recipes in Hungry but you also get another assortment of fun and low-cal recipes in Naturally Skinny only those are ORGANIC and extremely healthy. Some processed foods once in a while is fine but certainly don't go low-cal AND bad foods at the same time.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
I love this book! So many amazing recipes, I make at least one everyday. I cannot live without the egg mugs, they have really saved me from boring diet breakfasts. All the recipes are fast, easy and inexpensive, and my whole family enjoys them. It's crazy what wonderful combinations they come up with. Hands down my Fav diet cookbook EVER! Easily compatible with weight watchers points systems.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2011
If I had a nickel for every time that phrase came out of my mouth, I'd be a wealthy woman! I really, really like this book!

I made my first recipe today for breakfast, the Bean 'N Cheesy Soft Taco in an Egg Mug. I usually have Egg Beaters every morning for breakfast, so it wasn't a big departure for me. I definitely liked the Mexican flavor as a wake-me-up, and, with under 200 calories, it was a protein-packed, low-cal way to start the day. I can't wait to try out the Ten-Alarm Southwestern Corn Chowder, Crock-Pot Cinna-Apples 'N Oats, Crock-Pot Fake-Baked Beans, and Crock-Pot Coq Au Vin, too!

I lost 35 pounds last year, and Hungry Girl recipes and food recommendations were a big part of that. Some reviewers have knocked Lisa's practice of name brand name dropping. I actually really appreciate it, because then I know what product she used to get her calorie totals and therefore, what to search for at the grocery store. She admits up front she is not a nutritionist (she doesn't call herself Healthy Girl!), so the people who knock her for her "unnatural" ingredients need to get over it -- her books are about low calories. No one is going to be healthy eating too many calories! And although I don't care for some of her ingredient choices (the tofu shirataki noodles and Cool Whip come to mind), I either modify the recipes to meet my tastes, or I select another from her myriad of choices!

Keep it up, Hungry Girl!!
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314 of 398 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
This is actually my first HG book. I'd heard alot of hype about the website/show/books, but didn't know much about them until I happened across the show one evening. I liked that the recipes she was making seemed quick and easy, but appealed to the not-so-healthy cravings we all get sometimes. I signed up for the mailing list and friended on FB...hence how I found out about the new cookbook. I preordered it for the Nook the day before release and got the download early yesterday morning.

Having spent a good portion of yesterday and this morning perusing the recipes, I have mixed feelings about this cookbook. While I love that they are all under 300 calories and many look like they would be tasty, alot of them don't seem all that healthy. Artificial sweeteners are used ALOT (as a caveat, she does add as a tip more than once that you can use Truvia or regular sugar instead), and while the calories are low, the sodium and carb levels on several recipes I saw were pretty dang high.

Another little nit-picky thing that bugs me in cookbooks that is also in this one is brand-name dropping. There's alot of brand names used and in a good majority of the recipes (Laughing Cow, Pillsbury, Fiber One, etc). I realize that the author is probably getting kickbacks to endorse particular brands in their cookbook, but if I wanted constant advertisements for brands, I'd buy that brand's cookbook or a magazine. There is a "Recommended Products" list at the back of the book and I like that...just wish all the name-dropping could have been confined to there.

On the plus side, there is good website support for the book. The ebook version doesn't include any pictures, but there are pictures of every dish on the website, along with WW point values for those using the WW system. The WW points doesn't matter to me, but any cookbook I buy absolutely has to have pictures. Not having them right there on my ereader with the recipe is kind of a bummer, but there are very few cookbooks that have pictures for every single it comes out a win. Also the sheer volume of recipes insures that there is something here for everyone. There are also lots of good tips scattered throughout the book.

Overall, I think this looks to be a pretty decent cookbook. I'll probably tweak some of the recipes to suit my own tastes/standards, but most of them look pretty tasty...and the fact that they're lo-cal is a bonus.

***EDIT*** Having perused the entire book now, I'm not too impressed. Way too many processed foods used and, due to that fact, a huge portion of the recipes were also super-high in sodium...NOT healthy at all. What's the point of going lo-cal if you're going to be bloated and have clogged arteries? Also, so many of the dishes seem very "heavy" in multiple types of sugary (or "Splenda-y" as the case usually was) ingredients layered into one dish, or "faux-fried" covered in sauce, topped with cheese. So many look like those odd "family" dinners you'd find in a 1940s cookbook, but with the high-calorie (but real) ingredients subbed out with 21st century "better living through chemicals" processed "fat-free"/"lo-cal" fake foods. I suppose it's good and well for the occasional craving, but for a truly healthy lifestyle (and not a lo-cal "diet" that might drop the pounds in the short-term but is detrimental in the long run), I wouldn't use this cookbook regularly without doing alot of subbing of ingredients. Still giving it 3 stars because there are some decent dishes as well as some that aren't so great in their published form, but could be good with some tweaking. It's inspired me to start cooking more, so I have to give it credit for that.

Having read reviews for the previous HG cookbooks, I've seen the same complaints. A pity because the concept might be good, but sad that so many people are fooled into thinking that these dishes are healthy just because they're "lo-cal" and/or "low fat". I'd hope that Lisa would start trending more away from the processed foods...but with so many people who don't care about that (and so many manufacturers of processed foods who are sponsoring her), I guess she has no reason to change.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
Once again, she has done an amazing job on the newest HG book! I have cooked her other cookbooks and this one just goes above and beyond! The Spicy Chicken Crunchtastic Supreme is one of the best chicken meals I've had (i'm super picky when it comes to chicken). I really like how there are tips listed throughout the book (crushing / squash / working with dough, etc). I highly recommend this cookbook - you will not be disappointed. Hungry Girl has a great collection of all things good! We will be cooking our way through it over the next few months :) Thanks Lisa!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2011
I absolutely LOVE this book! The Nacho-rific Chicken is awesome! I have all of Lisa's books and while some recipes tend to have a lot of processed ingredients, there's always a small amount of them. I have recommended her books, newsletter and website to a bunch of people that I work with. It's a great start to leading a healthier lifestyle. I have only one suggestion. How about a book that's all desserts? Thanks so much!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2012
I received this book today, and I eagerly flipped through each section of the book. I found both positive and negative aspects that I will list below.

1) There is a huge variety of foods. Anything from mug meals to crock pot to skillet meals and everything in between that you can imagine is in here. There is a variety of flavors and cultures honored. I was extremely impressed.
2) It is organized in an extremely easy-to-understand fashion. There is never multiple recipes on the same page like some cookbooks. The directions are well written and easy to follow.
3) There are pictures of each recipe and cooresponding Weight Watchers Points Plus points on the HG website.
4) There are some ingredient swap suggestions.
5) The nutritional value per serving is featured at the top of each page. These include calories, sodium, carbs, protein, fiber, fat, and sugars.

1) The sodium content is EXTEMELY HIGH! For some recipes, it is well over 1,000mg. This is not for all of them, but I was disappointed that many recipes were relatively high in sodium content (500mg+).
2) The amount of processed foods used is crazy. This also adds to sodium content.
3) While it is not a huge negative, there were many brand name products mentioned repeatedly. What bothers me is that some of these items are not available in my area.

While I do feel disappointed with the negatives, I do not regret my purchase. I will be substituting processed foods for the real thing a lot (egg beaters for real eggs and homemade salsa for the canned for example), and also subbing low carb options when I can.

If you feel comfortable enough to diverge from the recipe in terms of ingredients, I recommend doing so!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2011
I have 3 Hungry Girl cookbooks. Love them all, but 300 Under 300 is by far the BEST! Have already made about 10 recipes from it and am happy to add that I'm down more than 20 pounds with the Help of Hungry Girl! You make guilt-free food FUN! Would recommend this cookbook to anyone (not just those dieting) and plan on buying it for gifts in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
This book is crammed with great recipes. Some I follow verbatim, some I modify to suit my own preferences.I have gone down one dress size by incorporating some of Lisa Gillien's recipes into my diet. My son is a high school wrestler who has to watch his weight and I cook HG recipes for him, too. Gillien thinks outside the box and the results are tasty and low in calories. Many of the recipes approximate fast food items and snacks from popular restaurants. Are they indistinguishable from the real thing? Of course not but if you are craving a breakfast skillet or nachos from that chain restaurant, Gilliens 250 cal concoctions may be close enough to satisfy your yearning.I still use my other light cookbooks but my HG books have definitely enhanced my cooking.
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