An Easy Guide to Clean Cooking
Book Festival

An Easy Guide to Clean Cooking

The latest Hungry Girl cookbook offers substitutes for everyday comfort foods.

Lisa Lillien’s “Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry Obsessed!” includes a wide variety of all-natural recipes for all the foods you crave. The book is easy to read, eye-catching and filled with colorful photos of every recipe.

Lillien includes an introduction to her 12th cookbook in which she describes her obsession with food from an early age. She remembers the taste and texture of the chocolate-chip cookies she ate as a child, and, growing up, she read the packages of food in every vending machine she saw.

She describes a love of comfort foods that are typically not good for you and a desire to transform them into healthier options.

The chapters are organized by type of food, and chapters and recipe names are clever, such as You Wanna Pizza Me?, Welcome to Goodburger, Love Me Tender Pot Roast, Trop ’Til You Drop Island Salsa and Mom’s the Word (comfort food). She includes recipes for breakfast items, main dishes, soups, appetizers and desserts. Every recipe has large portions, is low in calories and starchy carbs, has ingredients that are easy to find, avoids processed foods, has little or no added sugar, and is often high in protein and fiber.

It is a “delicious and satisfying, real-world approach to eating clean and staying lean.”

Lillien includes icons for recipes that are five or fewer ingredients, are quick to make, or are gluten-free or vegetarian. Calories are in large print at the top of each recipe, and full nutritional values are included.

Many recipes include fun facts about the ingredients with the heading “Chew on This.” Lillien often references other chapters, sections or pages for similar recipes or other uses of the same ingredients. For example, if you like peanut butter, she lists all the recipes with peanut butter. A chapter in the back of the book, “HG Obsessions! Recipes at a Glance,” offers that information.

Also in the back are recipes for such staples as salsa and ranch dressing, techniques such as spiralizing zucchini and cooking spaghetti squash, and a shopping guide and ingredient FAQs to help for trips to the grocery store.

Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry Obsessed!
By Lisa Lillien
St. Martin’s Griffin, 400 pages, $21.99

Overall, I was impressed with “Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry Obsessed!” The layout of one recipe per page and the organization of the book make the recipes easy to find and follow. Every detail is given a great deal of thought, and everything is explained thoroughly.

I thought that adding a recipe skill level for beginner cooks would improve the book until I realized that every recipe is explained so well that it works for any skill level.

I tried a few of the recipes, and everything smelled and tasted delicious. The Z’paghetti Bolognese was easy to make, tasted great and was filling. The Totally Turnip Home Fries turned out better than I expected and had the consistency of potatoes.

I highly recommend this book to any food lover, especially those who are trying to eat lean and clean.

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