Hungry Girl Talks Cutting Calories From Comfort Food Favorites

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — “Every time I’m in a restaurant, I think, how can I recreate that dish and slash calories? That’s the fun part of what I do,” said Lisa Lillien, better known as the Hungry Girl.

Lisa Lillien, founder of Hungry-Girl.com and a New York Times best-selling author, is obsessed with food. And lucky for her, it’s been quite satisfying.

In fact, she’s now celebrating her food fanaticism in her 12th book, Hungry Girl, Clean & Hungry: OBSESSED!

“You’re not a trained chef,” asked CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.

“I’m trained at nothing,” Lillien said. “I’m not a nutritionist or a food professional. I’m just hungry.”

She’s hungry for healthy recipes that are good for you and contain much fewer calories.

In 2004, she started a free daily email subscription service about eating healthy, complete with the recipes. This latest book is how it’s possible to eat the comfort foods that so many of us are “obsessed” with, but without experiencing the guilt.

“This book really takes it to the next level, Lillien explained. “So the recipes in this book, and there are over 150, are for the things we are obsessed with like pizza, mac and cheese, french fries, burgers, brownies, donuts. The things we think we can’t eat. The calorie counts are less than 375 for every recipe in this book.”

Lillien showed Petrillo a few of the recipes in the book. Take, for example, the squash crust pizza, made with squash, canned crush tomatoes, low-fat, shredded mozzarella and basil.

“I have to say it tastes like a thin, beautiful piece of pizza,” Petrillo said after tasting.

“You don’t miss bread,” Lillien acknowledged.

She has lasagna-stuffed spaghetti squash made with lean ground beef, reduced fat mozzarella cheese, canned crushed tomatoes, spices and low-fat ricotta cheese.

“This one is a real home run,” said Lillien. “It’s about 220 calories for a huge serving of this. If you’re craving lasagna or Italian food, this will satisfy you.”

But nothing tops the peanut butter pie at just 192 calories.

Peanut butter pie usually has 700 to 800 calories in it. This one is out of this world. It has some magical ingredients. One is the powdered peanut butter. This piece is great frozen or chilled.

“You wouldn’t know that that wasn’t the 800-calorie pie,” said Petrillo.

Hungry Girl, Clean & Hungry: OBSESSED! is now available in stores and online on Amazon.com.

More from Lisa Petrillo
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