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A sneak peek at Hungry Girl's new recipe cards

September 25, 2009 | 12:47 pm


We might have figured out the secret to Hungry Girl's success. Never. Stop. Working.

On a recent morning at Hungry Girl headquarters, located in a Woodland Hills apartment complex of all places, Lisa Lillien was simultaneously eating breakfast*; answering reader and business e-mails on her Mac; Twittering from her iPhone bedazzled in a Hungry Girl logo and custom colors; looking over a mock cover for her new book (due out in March, with another to follow in June); checking sales figures on her current book, "Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200" which is still holding strong on the New York Times bestseller list after landing at No. 1 in April; overseeing a server upgrade for ther 800,000-plus subscribers; critiquing and ultimately dismissing a branding proposal -- the products weren't quite right ...

And anxiously awaiting the arrival of her new recipe cards: "Hengry Girl Chew the Right Thing: Supreme Makeovers for 50 Foods You Crave." They are due in stores in December, just in time to be a calorie-conscious stocking stuffers. The recipes are a "best of" Lillien's books and from her daily e-mail blast dedicated to finding calorie-conscious ways to indulge. (Click below to see one of the recipes, for Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo, which Lillien says may be the most popular Hungry Girl recipe ever.)

"I know, it never stops," LIllien said with a laugh. The server issue was of the utmost importance on this bright morning because Lillien had just seen her subscription numbers grow a jaw-dropping 20,000 and counting after appearances on "Nightline" and "The Rachael Ray Show" within 24 hours of each other. "I just don't want people to sign up and then have trouble getting their e-mails," she said.

Utter and unrelated aside: Lillien said Rachael was completely down to earth, dropping by to introduce herself and chat -- they talked shoes -- before the show began. (Apparently such advance hellos are not always routine in TV.) "She really treated me like a guest, like you would treat a guest in your own home, I was like 'Wow!' " The two apparently hit it off: Lisa will be making future appearances on Rachael's show. But if you want to see Lillien sooner than that, she'll be on QVC this Sunday morning on "In the Kitchen with David Venable."

* Breakfast was cottage cheese -- DUH, non-fat -- with chunks of fuji apples and cinnamon, and one of Hungry Girl's trademark frothy iced coffee drinks.

-- Rene Lynch

Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo

Lillien stresses that the noodles need to be patted absolutely dry before making this dish. This recipe has not been tested by The Times' test kitchen.

1 package of House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute

1/2 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese

2 teaspoons reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping

1 teaspoon fat-free sour cream

Salt/black pepper optional

Rinse and drain shirataki noodles, pat dry, microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute. Drain any excess liquid and pat thoroughly dry. Slice into fettuccini-length pieces. Add cheese, grated topping, and sour cream. Mix well. Microwave for one minute, and then stir again. Add salt and pepper if desired. Entire recipe: 81 calories, 3 g. fat, 242 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, <1 g sugars, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein.