Dr. Oz and Lisa “Hungry Girl” Lillien Talk Carbs and Calorie Cutting

Dr. Oz guests Lisa “Hungry Girl” Lillien on The Dr. Oz Show to talk about carb cheating. Yes! For once, it’s actually okay to cheat! As they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” right? And, seriously. How many of us can actually avoid carbs for so long? Think about all the yummy carbs out there: mac and cheese, pasta, pizza, baked ziti, quesadillas, and fries! (That last one there is a surprise – a fries suprise twist!)

If you don’t know who Lisa Lillien is, she is best known as her brand “Hungry Girl.” She has her own show by the same name brand “Hungry Girl” on the Food Network and Cooking Channel. She’s also an author of SIX best-selling books, too. Not only that, you can also find her contributing columns to WeightWatchers and Yahoo!, and of course, guesting on shows like with Dr. Oz.

A self-proclaimed “foodologist”, she may not have a fancy degree from a fancy university, but one taste of any of her recipes and you’ll come to realize that Lisa Lillien sure does walk her talk. Speaking of talk, Dr. Oz and Hungry Girl share with us five meals – a whole week’s worth of yummy yet healthy foods – packed with our favorite carbs that can still help us lose weight. Before we get to those delicious recipes, Lillien shares her secret: you have to pick the right carbs that are low in calories but high in fiber mixed with some protein – this will keep us feeling satisfied and full. Here are the recipes her and Dr. Oz share with us today on The Dr. Oz Show:

HG’s Carb Cheater #1: “Cheeseburger Mac Attack”


  • 1 ⅓ cups low calorie, high fiber Elbow Macaroni
  • 10 ounces lean Ground Turkey
  • ½ cup Onion, chopped
  • 3 cups Cauliflower, frozen
  • 2 tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2 slices 2% American Cheese
  • 5 wedges light Swiss Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Light Sour Cream
  • 2 Scallions, sliced
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Prepare the pasta very al dente in large pot. Cook the pasta for about half the time stated on the package instructions. Drain.
  2. Mix well in a large bowl some turkey, onion, and ketchup. Next, stir in the cauliflower and the cooked pasta. Transfer that mixture to the crock pot.
  3. Cover and cook on high for three hours or on low for seven hours. The turkey should be completely cooked before serving.
  4. Add the last remaining ingredients. Stir. Then cook for another 15 minutes or until the cheeses melt.
  5. Before serving, stir one more time, and finally, emjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 and 1/3 serving):

  • 300 calories
  • 9.5g fat
  • 659mg sodium
  • 38g carbs
  • 13.5g fiber
  • 8.5g sugar
  • 24.5g protein

HG’s Carb Cheater #2: “Voda Impasta”


  • 1 ¼ cups low calorie, high fiber Penne Pasta
  • 1 cup Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 cups Spinach Leaves, chopped
  • ⅔ cup low fat Marinara Sauce
  • ½ cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, chopped
  • 2 wedges light Swiss Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons low fat Parmesan substitute
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Cook the pasta accordingly based on the directions on its packaging. Drain. Keep warm.
  2. In a skillet, medium heat, combine onion, tomato, garlic, and the salt & pepper. Cook for five minutes. The onions should be soft.
  3. Next, add the spinach, and stir until the leaves wilt.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (save the pasta), combining until the cheese melts.
  5. Finally, add the pasta, stir until all ingredients are mixed and heated through, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 cup serving):

  • 282 calories
  • 5.5g fat
  • 781 mg sodium
  • 62.5g carbs
  • 22g fiber
  • 11.5 g sugar
  • 13.5 protein

HG’s Carb Cheater #3: “Pizza Loaded Potato”


  • 1 medium Potato
  • ⅓ cup Bell Pepper, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Mushrooms, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 stick light String Cheese
  • ¼ cup Pizza Sauce
  • ½ Italian Chicken & Turkey Sausage Link, chopped


  1. Heat the broiler. Prepare a baking sheet.
  2. Break the string cheese. Shred it in a food processor, or shred and chop with a knife.
  3. Create holes in the potato using a fork for ventilation. Microwave about five minutes, until it’s soft.
  4. Turn the potato over and return it to the microwave for an another five minutes.
  5. Heat a skillet to medium high. Add the vegetables, cooking them for a few minutes until they are soft. Next, add sausage to the pan and cook it around two minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove and place its contents in a bowl.
  7. Once the potato has cooled down, slice a 2” strip from the top of the potato.
  8. Use a spoon to scoop out the potato filling, adding half of it to the vegetable mixture. Trash the remaining potato filling.
  9. Add a few tablespoons of sauce and half of the cheese to the mixture. Microwave the vegetable mix for one  minute.
  10. Place the potato shell on a baking sheet. Scoop the vegetable mix back into the potato, topping it with the  remaining sauce and cheese.
  11. Broil the whole thing for four minutes until the cheese melts and potato is hot. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 potato):

  • 350 calories
  • 7g fat
  • 767mg sodium
  • 50g carbs
  • 7g fiber
  • 8g sugar
  • 21g protein

HG’s Carb Cheater #4: “Fully Loaded Baked Ziti”


  • 1 ½ cups low calorie, high fiber Penne Pasta
  • 1 ½ cups Beef Flavored Soy Crumbles
  • 1 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 cups Spinach Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Basil, chopped
  • ½ cup & 2 tablespoons Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 ½ cups Canned Tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons low fat Parmesan substitute


  1. Preheat your oven to 375. Spray an 8×8 pan.
  2. Cook the pasta al dente  in a pot according to the package instructions. Drain and put it in a bowl.
  3. Heat the skillet to medium heat. Cook the onion and stir it until it begins to soften.
  4. Add the soy and the garlic, increasing the heat to medium high. Cook for a few more minutes, until the soy thaws.
  5. Add the spinach, cooking it until its leaves wilt and the moisture evaporates.
  6. Remove from the heat, dry it, and add the basil and ricotta cheese.
  7. Mix the skillet’s ingredients with the cooked pasta. Add the tomatoes and ½ cup of mozzarella. Toss and combine it all together.
  8. Spread the mix into the baking pan. Top it all with the parmesan and remaining mozzarella.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes until cheese melts, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1/4 or baked ziti):

  • 294 calories
  • 8g fat
  • 664mg sodium
  • 46.5g carbs
  • 17g fiber
  • 9g sugar
  • 24g protein

HG’s Carb Cheater #5: “BBQ Chicken Quesadilla”


  • 1 tablespoon low calorie BBQ sauce
  • 1 high fiber Tortilla
  • 2 ounces cooked Chicken Breast, chopped or shredded
  • 1 tablespoon Black Beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 tablespoon Frozen Corn, thawed
  • 1 wedge light Swiss Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons low fat Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Scallions, chopped
  • Salsa, Fat Free Ranch, or BBQ Sauce (optional, for dipping)


  1. Mix the BBQ sauce and the swiss cheese until they mix. Spread the mix on one half of the tortilla.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients on the half the tortilla.
  3. Prepare a grill or griddle, and heat it to medium high.
  4. Cook the tortilla on the heated grill for two minutes.
  5. Flip the tortilla by using a spatula. Fold the empty half over and seal its contents. Cook for another three minutes.
  6. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (1 quesadilla):

  • 269 calories
  • 8.5g fat
  • 925mg sodium
  • 29g carbs
  • 13g fiber
  • 6.5g sugar
  • 30g protein

PLUS! HG’s “Grin’n Carrot Fries”


  • A pound and a half of carrots (should be about eight large carrots)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 425, and prepare two baking sheets.
  2. Slice the carrots into your favorite French fry shape, and try to make them all roughly the same size to ensure even cooking. Note: The thicker the slice, the longer it has to cook.
  3. Spread the carrots out on the baking sheets, allowing them room so they turn out crispy.
  4. Sprinkle salt over the carrots and stick them in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  5. Flip them over and cook for an additional 15 minutes until they’re crisp on the outside and tender on the inside when you bite into them.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Oz.