130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2009
I had the first book and, although I don't make many of the recipes, thought it was worth buying book 2. Most of the people who give her books bad reviews complain about the processed foods and lack of nutrition. She never claims that it is a nutrition book, she clearly states that she is just making the best food she can for the fewest calories. If you want to add nutrition, add a side of baby spinach with a splash of apple cider vinegar, like a side salad, with only 10 cals, or something along those lines, and you're fine. Take this book for what it is, an idea book, with a few "recipes". Change the fat free cheese for regular, just use half as much, use light milk instead of soy (it only a few calories differece, anyway) Just figure out what is worth spending the few extra calories on, and modify, for pete's sake. Use common sense if you don't want to use all the "fake" stuff.
There are a few great recipes that my whole family loves. There is a "hot pocket" style sandwich using low carb wraps and of course, laughing cow cheese, and its warmed in a pan with PAM. I've used this style with lean hamburger (my substitution)and pickles; pizza sauce with the turkey pepperoni she reccommends; and eggs with spinach, with a sprinkle of real cheese. This may not be the healthiest lunch around, but its a heck of a lot better than fast food, or frozen kids entrees, and just as quick to make, and, even with my "non- fake" substitions, around 200 calories. I make a lot of the cupcakes as-is from the book, and my kids love those, too. There is a "mousse" with FF cool whip and peanut butter that has enough PB to satisfy my craving for it, with less than half the fat and calories.
So, I find this to be like many of the other cookbooks I own. I use some of the recipes, some I don't, and some come out just plain gross. That is the way life is. I don't think you will find a book of recipes that everyone will like with ingredients that everyone likes, and theat they will like every recipe in the book from start to finish. That being said, if you want quick ideas for low calorie lunches and snacks, and aren't afraid to sub every once in a while to add a little more flavor (and maybe add a few calories, big deal) then you will love the ideas this book will give you. It's worth it
272 of 312 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2009
Before I purchased this book, I was so excited from all the reviews, only come to find out that 90% of the recipes in the book call for some sugar substitute of some kind, which gives me headaches. So if you are thinking of buying this book but don't enjoy artificial sweeteners, DON'T BUY IT. But, if you don't mind them, go for it.
129 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2009
As a life-time Weight Watchers member, I've known all the basics, and tried time and time again to get back on track. I had my staple go-to foods, but was bored and needed something different to keep me on my toes and add some variety. Without that, the drive-thrus and restuarnats were such easy mind-less alternatives. I struggled, until I picked up the 1st HG book and instantly felt like I had something new and exciting to get me refocused and make losing those extra pounds (courtesy of the drive thrus) easier. Most recipes are inspired by restaurant favorites, with a fraction of the calories and fat. Being single, they are perfect as most are for 1 or 2 servings (a plus since making some recipes tends to get expensive when making for only 1, and leftovers from 4-6 servings often go to waste). Plus most are so quick and easy to make they fit perfectly into my on-the-go lifestyle. Since I enjoyed the 1st book so much, I pre-ordered the 2nd and have already tried 3-4 recipes in the 2 days I've had it. Been satisfied with them all, and anxious to try more! I highly recommend HG's books to anyone looking to make quick and easy meals and stay within your "weight watchers" budget. I would also recommend to anyone who is tired of the same-old foods, and looking for something new to add back some variety and make weight loss fun! The books, coupled with the website and daily emails are a great way to keep focused, enjoy restaurant-inspired meals, get new ideas, and stay on track!
161 of 185 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
I must admit that I did not like her first book and I was not going to buy her second one. But, low and behold I receive this book-as a gift- yesterday in the mail (one day early) and I opened it up and the recipes didn't look that bad. So, I decide try some recipe last night and they were pretty good. The jelly filled cupcakes so far are my favorite. She still uses alot of processed foods, which is why I never really cared for her recipes. But, I do like this book and its worth taking a look at.
I have tried a few more recipes and just wanted to voice my opinion on them
1. Philly cheesesteak lettuce cups- I was surprised, this recipe is very good.
2. Scoopable chinese chicken salad- I like this one alot.
3. Holy moly guacamole- good!
4. H-O-T hot boneless buffalo wings- I only tried this once and that's all it took!
5. Cheesed up pepperoni pizza scramble- didn't like this either. I think it was the egg substitute.
6. Gooey cinnamon rolls w/ cream cheese icing- very good but it was small portion.
7. Sweet cinnamon fritter fries- didn't like this either.
8. Jelly filled cupcakes- this still is one of favortives.
9. Strawberry shortycakes-good, this one is a bed time snack!
177 of 208 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2009
I'm not a big fan of the Hungry girl recipes but there are a few I do like. The cheese sticks and peanut butter cups are really great! The main problem I see with this book is that it doesn't offer low-calorie HEALTHY recipes with NATURAL ingredients. Instead, most of the ingredients are artificial and more importantly, filled with TRANS FAT! I'd rather eat high calorie foods filled with good fats and gain a few then eat lower calorie trans fat filled food and get heart disease.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
EDIT: After having this book for a few days now, I've tried several of the recipes and wanted to point out that this is NOT a cookbook for the most fantastic-tasting dishes you'll ever savor. In fact, as some of the other reviewers have already pointed out, some of the recipes can be a little bland. Still, I think that HG's cookbook is an awesome resource to have for making smart substitutions, and inspiration for creating your own healthier version of an old favorite. My new fav is HG's pumpkin trifle, but instead of using Fiber One cereal, I use crushed gingersnaps! Perfect for me, but just a slight change from HG's!
One of the things that disappointed me about the original Hungry Girl cookbook was the dismal dessert selection. Sure, I'd had some success with the pumpkin cupcakes and brownies, but I have a real sweet tooth to keep in check, so I wanted more dessert suggestions.
Fortunately for me, Hungry Girl's follow-up follows through nicely. The format is similar to the origina - a list of recommended products and staples (which are mostly the same), then the best part - more recipes to try! A lot of these recipes call for the same 'Hungry Girl stapes' - Fiber One, shirataki, eggbeaters, so you don't actually have to buy a whole slew of new foods to try out most of these recipes.
For the breakfast section, I was happy to find some pretty creative oatmeal recipes - oatmeal chocolate chip pancakes, and oatmeal sundaes. I was particularly excited to try the blueberry muffins - which don't call for a cake mix (yay!) - they turned out nicely, even though I used white flour instead of whole wheat...
The foods in this book, though snacks by calorie standards, seem heartier and more diverse. There's a goolash recipe, cioppino(!), cornbread, and buffalo wings.
But on to the desserts...There are FOUR chapters devoted to dessert, and two that are mostly dessert. Yay!! First, to satisfy the cupcake fetish everyone seems to have nowadays - there's a chapter devoted to cupcakes, which includes red velvet adn even chocolate marshmallow - can't wait to try that one! Then there's creme brulee, tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, and apple fritters.
Like in the last book, Hungry Girl also sectionalizes the last part of the book for specific foods - in this book, that's Cool Whip, Fuji apples, Fiber One, and Vitalicious. The photos in this book also seem better organized - they're organized by chapter, making for easier reference and flipping.
As with the first book, my only real gripe with the whole Hungry Girl diet is the use of artificial sugars in a lot of the recipes, as they tend to give me headaches. Even then though, many of these recipes make such good substitutes for the unhealthier restaurant version, that it doesn't hurt too much to use real sugar instead of Splenda, so I can't complain!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2010
This doesn't have to be either-or. It seems people either love or hate this book. I'm somewhere in the middle, seeing the value and the criticism. Yes, she uses a lot of convenience foods, substitute foods, and fake foods. However, many of her recipes do not. She makes just as many healthy substitution suggestions (i.e. adding pumpkin puree to foods, "frying" in Fiber One). Her mini-meal foods are full of fresh produce and lean protein. Sure, her Cap'n Crunch milkshake isn't health food, but this book contains a variety of foods, both healthy and unhealthy. If you want a treat, you won't blow your diet.
Also, if you are very health-conscious as I am (i.e. not just weight conscious -- you'd rather eat real foods and have a few extra calories), you probably also know how to cook and it should be no problem to make substitutions to suit you. For example, there's no way I'm using sugar-free vanilla powdered Coffee-Mate, but if a recipe just calls for one teaspoon of it, I'll just use a scant teaspoon of milk and a shot of real vanilla. It's not that hard. If you don't like Splenda, just use real sugar or stevia. If you don't like soymilk, use milk. I would rather not use baking mixes or Pillsbury crescent rolls, so I will probably avoid those recipes in favor of things made from scratch. It's my prerogative to do that, and it's yours, too! Like one writer said, "Play with your food, people!" Speaking of switches, I have found that the La Tortilla Factory high fiber/low carb tortillas are almost inedible -- I think they are the worst tortillas I've ever tasted. If you agree, then buying a different brand you like is well worth the 30-50 extra calories, because so many of her recipes use tortillas.
If your diet has been lousy, even making the comparatively unhealthy recipes in this book will probably put you on a better track than you were on before. Plus, the key to long-term success is getting to eat the things you like. If you want a cupcake, better a 130-calorie one than a 600-calorie variety from the local gourmet bakery.
One note, though -- remember that this isn't great for cooking for families for dinner. It's good for an adult who lives alone or has no children, or in my case for my own breakfasts and lunches. But in general, my growing kids need more calories at dinnertime.
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2009
I recently purchased the book after watching The View.
I made four recipes from the book. I am sorry to say but I was very disappointed with the recipes. There were many steps involved and a lot of ingredients used to prepare a small quantity of food. I started with the apple muffins and they tasted ok but most of the muffin was stuck on the paper. I made the cheesy beefy quesadilla and it was downright awful. I had to throw it away along with the white pizza. I also made the zucchini breaded with Fiber One and was disappointed with the finished product. I am a Weight Watchers Lifetime member and have cooked many lo-cal recipes but these were by far the worst. I am sorry to complain but after purchasing so many different ingredients, the book and all the time it took to prepare, I felt I needed to express my opinion.
57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2009
My husband saw this book and asked me to check it out, since we are both working on losing the pounds we packed on during my pregnancy. I'm glad I looked at the recipes prior to ordering the book - I won't be wasting my money on this book! I want to lose weight in a way that is reasonably healthy - filling my diet with artificial/processed ingredients is not going to work for me. Moreover, I really wonder whether the author gave any thought to the use of leftover ingredients from her single-serving recipes.
Example of both complaints:
The Complete & Utter Oatmeal Insanity recipe contains more than one item that will not find its way into my shopping cart. The thought of putting soymilk, Fat-Free Reddi-Whip, sugar-free pancake syrup and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter in my mouth is less appetizing than chugging down some Simple Green (which at least smells nice, unlike that the stench that would waft from that unholy quartet). Even if I found those ingredients appealing, my first thought after making the dish would be what I could do with the other 14 1/2 ounces of canned pumpkin. Instead of this breakfast, I will stick with my McCann's Irish Oatmeal spruced up with a teaspoon of (real, full-fat) cream, a teaspoon of brown sugar and a half cup of frozen, unsweetened berries (usually, I buy the bag of mixed berries - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries). Four ingredients, all natural, tastes wonderful. 215 calories, 4g fat, 5g protein, 7g fiber, 38g carb, 3mg sodium. In a time crunch, I can swap out the Irish Oatmeal with the instant oatmeal without sacrificing too much in terms of flavor or consistency.
Ultimately, sub-200-calorie meals are a nice idea, but not critical enough to substitute real, fresh food with artificial/processed ingredients.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2009
I was a big fan of the first hungry girl cookbook and am a huge fan of the second one so far. I have already made the mozzarella sticks, boneless buffalo wings, and my favorite the frozen s'mores. All are fantastic.
However, if you are not a fan of processed food, this book rely on them heavily, so you'd be best suited to go a different route. But, if you want a fun book, with very low calorie recipes that taste amazing then this is the book for you.