Saturday, December 26, 2009

Book Review: Hungry Girl 200 under 200

I guess this is a fitting review coming right after the holidays. If you are looking to cut calories while still eating yummy, creative foods...then this is the book for you. Lisa Lillien does an outstanding job showing the average cook how to simplify their recipes to be much more figure friendly! I LOVE this idea! Many times recipes are yummy but tend to add too much to the backside! So, this cookbook shows you how to keep it under control!

I had some difficulties with these recipes because I prefer to make everything from these recipes did not really work well with my cooking style, but they will probably be GREAT for the average mom. I chose to make a LOT of changes to these recipes to accomodate my families eating styles, yet the premise was the same. By this I mean I substituted things like...egg substitute for real organic eggs, Splenda/sweetener for agave nectar, honey, stevia or plain ol' sugar. I also nixed things like Coffeemate creamer, whip cream/Reddi-wip, boxed cake mix, ect... I know this added the calories back into the recipes, but the calorie count was not my focus.

This cookbook include some fabulous breakfast options, sensational salads, happy appis and mini meal mania. The author, Lisa Lillien, does a great job of dialing down the fat and calories in many of our everyday recipes while also intermixing some fun new ones! Yet, I focused on the sweets. Since the holidays, I have had my eye on baking and with baking comes lots of tasting. So, I figured the least I could do was try to the lightened calorie count on these tasty treats.

(By the way, there are a bunch of fun cupcake should check them out!)

Tiramisu Pudding
1/2 c ricotta
1/2 Jello sugar free Vanilla Pudding mix (organic sugar free vanilla pudding)
1/4 c Cool whip (I made my own)
2 T Splenda (Stevia)
1/4 t vanilla
1/4 t unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Combine everything (except the cocoa powder) until smooth and sprinkle the cocoa powder on top. This was super simple and yummy. This is a fun little pudding snack!

***I added a bit of instant espresso powder to mine.

Gooey Crunch Fruit Tartlets
1 1/2 c strawberries, halved
1 1/2 c peaches, sliced
2 T Splenda (Agave Nectar)
2 T cornstarch
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t vanilla

12 small wonton wrappers
Non-stick spray

1. Combine Splenda,  cornstarch, cinnamon, vanilla, and a dash of salt. Add 1/2c cold water and stir until all ingredients are dissolved.
2. In a non stick pan over medium heat, boil the Splenda mix, strawberries and peaches. Stir constantly until a thick syrup forms. Then, cool completely.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the cups in a mini muffin pan with nonstick spray. Place the wanton wraps in the munnin cups then spray again with non stick spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until firm and brown. Allow to cool, then transfer  to a plate.
4. Spoon chilled fruit filling into the cups. Top with cool whip.

***These were good! I could have personally cut pack on the syrup. These would also be great as an actual tart. Using 4" tart pans with fresh fruit and cover top with syrup (ooh and a cream under the frash fruits would be delightful)

Fuji Fritters
Apple Mix:
3c Peeled Fuji apples
3 T Splenda (Sugar)
1 T cornstarch
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla

Fritter Base:
1 1/3 c regular oats
2/3 c Bisquick mix (I made my own Biscuit mix)
2/3 c vanilla soy milk
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T butter
1 t baking powder

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Place apple chunks in micro with 1/4 c water for 2 1/2 minutes. Drain water and set aside. (I did on the stove instead)
2. In a pot, combine the Splenda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and vanilla with 1/2 c cold water. Cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened to a caramel like consistency. Remove from heat and stur into apple chunks.
3. In a mixing bowl combine fritter mix and fold into apple mix. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray and spoon 12 mounds onto sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until centers come out clean.

***I made these, but used half zuchini and half apple. They were yummo! Could also be done with sweet potatoes, carrots, ect... be creative.

Fluffy Lemon Squares
1 1/2 c Fiber One Cereal
1/4 c butter, melted
2 T water
4 T sweetner (Powdered sugar)

1 c egg substitute (4 organic eggs)
1 2/3 c Splenda (Stevia)
1/3 c White sugar
6 T Whole wheat flour
6 T fresh lemon juice
2 T lemon zest
2 t baking powder

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind up cereal. Combine with butter, water and sweetner.
2. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Press crust evenly on the bottom of the pan and bake for 5 minutes.
3. In a seperate bowl, combine filling ingredients and mix well. Pour into crust and bake 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely. (I sprinkled powdered sugar on top and served)

***These were a nice way to use a up a few lemons from my tree. The crust was a healthy alternative, but I still prefer a fattening butter, flour and sugar alternative.

Oh My! Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 c regular oats

1/3 c whole-wheat flour
1/4 c raisins, chopped ( I left whole)
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T Splenda (1 T honey)
2 T light whipped butter
2 T applesauce
2 T egg substitute (1 organic egg)
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t cinnamon
dash salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine brown sugar, Splenda, butter, applesauce, egg substitute, and vanilla extract, and mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and stir until completely mixed and smooth. Add oats and raisins.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon 6 cookie mounds onto the sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread and flatten batter into circles about 3 1/2 inches wide.
3. Bake for about 10 minutes.

***These were great alternatives to the trad oatmeal cookie recipe. As always I added in a bit of shredded carrot.

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