Perhaps like many users of Cooking Light I have been on a Weight Watchers program. Although I am not a current weight watchers member I have managed to keep off over 25 pounds I lost through continuing to watch portions and basically what I put in my mouth.
That is where Cooking Light comes in. My husband actually bought me the subscription over 2 years ago, I have now become a Cooking Light fanatic, here's why:
Obviously, I have not tried every recipe, but the ones I have tried have never been less than GOOD. Most are GREAT. They list portion size and all nutritional information. They also have an index in the back of each issue containing all the recipes by category or main ingredient. (e.g. bread, chicken) Note: these recipes do sometimes use butter! Butter is not evil and soon with the information regarding transfats maybe it will turn out to be just as safe as margarine. It is all about how much, and the amount used is usually very minimal.
If you have a subscription, or purchase an issue at the store you will have access to their online Website. Although some areas of the Website area free, the very important recipe area is now only accessible for subscribers, AOL users and newsstand buyers. I routinely use the recipe search because I have a main ingredient, such as lemons, I need to use up. Using the keyword "lemon" I can do a simple search, or do an advanced search if I want to specify what type of dish (dessert) or even if I don't want to use eggs. PLUS, there are tons of us that write reader reviews of recipes with comments related to additions and modifications.
Other Areas Included
Although most people buy the magazine for the recipes, and information regarding food they have a few other areas which are becoming quite popular. Below I will list those with a few of my favorite "food" areas:
-"Dinner Tonight" and "Superfast"
These are my favorite areas with superfast containing recipes that can be made in 20 minutes or less, and dinner tonight containing an entree, side and dessert that is usually ready in ~45 minutes flat!
Detailing what you can make ahead, table decor/serving, and even what order to prepare items on the "big day". For those of use who sometimes end up with a cold entree by the time the other items are ready this is GREAT for planning.
Gin Miller gives tips on how to improve various parts of your body each issue. Last month it was those upper arms by performing a simple move using a dumbbell or exercise cord.
Each issue they feature a city (or place) that you might want to visit. Last month was Phoenix, AZ. Not only did they list great places to eat/sleep, they showed various healthy attractions such as hiking, and relaxation spots.
They have been including more in terms of sports and fitness for the last year. In some issues they have included training schedules to prepare for a 5K, or a swimming workout schedule for 5 weeks. I have really enjoyed learning more about some sports I had never performed (Pilates/Yoga) and have even started Yoga classes at a gym nearby.
From reader submissions, health tips, information on various spices, it is chock full of good stuff.
So you know by now that I am a true fan of this magazine. I have even created binders to store the recipes and other articles I want to save. (Just get a 3 ring binder and transparent sheets.) If I think I will try a recipe it gets to go in the flap of the binder. When I make it, if it is above 4 out of 5 by my rating for taste/work it gets to go in a protective sheet for storage. Right now I have a lot to try out, but I already have so many that are "stored".
If you do prefer Cookbooks, you can purchase a compilation of annual recipes. I'm pretty sure they publish then every year although I only have the 2002 edition.
Enjoy Cooking Light one way or another!
Recommended For: Anyone
If you've ever thought about eating more healthy food, this is the magazine for you. I'm not the type of person who goes around dieting all the time, but I like eating healthy meals that taste good. Cooking light provides a great collection of recipes that fit this description, as well as other interesting articles that make it an all around good-for-you magazine.
Because of the title, I'll start with the recipes. I've had a subscription to Cooking Light for three years and I've found recipes for everything from easy sandwiches to gourmet Thanksgiving dinners. There's meat dishes, vegetarian dishes, great dessert ideas (my favorite is the red velvet cake), and a collection of featured ingredient recipes every month. Oh, and did I mention they are all prepared in a method that is low in fat, high in vitamins, and incredibly delicious?
In addition to the great recipes, there are also great tips for cooking. Sometimes they are tips that are for specific recipes or ingredients, and sometimes they are just helpful for all-around kitchen duties. Either way, you get a good education in cooking, not just in cooking their recipes.
Aside from cooking, the magazine has a general health focus, so you can often find interesting articles on exercise, travel, gardening, and other ideas for getting out and about. There is usually a mix of these articles every month and they give the magazine a more well-rounded content.
Finally, another thing I really enjoy is the reader interaction in each issue. Cooking Light prints pages of reader letters with answers to questions, and they also have a section for reader recipes. This makes me feel like I'm part of a community that values good tasting food.
There aren't many cons to this magazine, but the small one I can think of is occasionally a recipe will assume a gourmet-style kitchen or a level of expertise that I don't have. This only happens once or twice a year, though, so it's not too much of a problem.
So, if you want to cook or love to cook but worry about the fat content in your recipes, get this magazine. It's a great resource and you'll enjoy the delicious results.
Recommended For: Anyone
I will go out on a limb here and say that the Cooking Light Magazine is the absolute best out there for health conscious cooks who like easy to follow great recipes. I have subscribed to this magazine for the past three years and now I could never live without it. By that I mean I started Weight Watchers two weeks ago and this magazine has been a tremendous help.
The recipes that are featured in Cooking Light really are usually very easy and do not require difficult to find or weird ingredients. What I love about the recipes is that they give the calorie count, fat count and fiber so I am able to calculate the Weight Watcher Allotment for the points in any given dish.
Since Weight Watchers is based on a daily allotment of points which correspond to the foods you eat and are based on your weight this magazine is a big help. I find the recipes really very easy and most of the time are quick to do durning the week when I am working.
Just recently I made a Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry with soy, honey, orange juice and green beans...which was fabulous. My husband loved it and did not know how very healthy this meal was. More importantly for me it was only five points and I could have two servings. Who could ask for anything more.
Typically I will try at least one of the more complicated recipes on the weekends. They really are not much more difficult but they may require a little more preparation.
The recipes are always accurate and very easy to follow. After I have make a recipe I put in on an index card and file in my recipe box. Everyone at work waits for me to bring in my old copies so that they can copy recipes out for themselves.
In addition to the recipes the articles are interesting and typically health or every day life related. I find the articles a nice addition to these great recipes.
This magazine would make a wonderful gift to anyone who loves to cook.
My husband was recently diagnosed with very high cholesterol. He did not want to use drugs to lower his level, so we were going to try very hard to maintain his cholesterol level with diet. I went to the library and tried numerous low fat cookbooks. We were miserable! We have never tried so many awful dishes.
I seen a Cooking Light magazine in the grocery store and bought it hoping the food actually tasted as good as the pictures looked. It was absolutely excellent! We could not tell we were eating low fat for once. They have lots of variation in the dishes and most are not difficult to make. They offer recipes according to the season so you can take advantage of what is fresh and available at your local market. My only suggestion for this magazine would be to list preparation and cooking times. In this busy day and age I find that is very helpful in deciding what to cook and when.
After enjoying many of their recipes I purchased their cook book "Five Star Recipes". I was not disappointed in a single dish.
I have been a diligent reader of Cooking Light for two years. What a wonderful magazine it is. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, and I find that Cooking Light provides me with all the tools I need to maintain my weight. It is not just a cooking magazine; rather, it is a magazine that encourages a healthy lifestyle. I have lost 95 pounds, and Cooking Light has taught me how to cut calories and fat in my cooking without sacrificing the taste. Cooking Light magazine contains delicious recipes that are easy to follow. There is an index at the end of each issue which makes for easy reference when you want to look something up. The nutritional information for each recipe is very helpful. I love that at the end of each recipe they say exactly how much food is in one serving. It teaches you not to overeat. The enlightened traveler section of the magazine is very informative. It provides information on different parts of the world and offers suggestions on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do and see. There is also a password in each issue that provides access to the Cooking Light website, which is a wonderful tool. Cooking Light encourages me to think outside the box when cooking. I have learned to try new combinations of foods that I would not have considered on my own. The food is incredibly tasty. It is hard to believe that what we are eating is actually good for us!
As a subscriber, I am often disappointed that I find the latest issue of Cooking Light on the news stand before it arrives in my mailbox. Sometimes it is difficult to find all of the ingredients for recipes. Like most cookbooks, some of the recipes are terrible. The title of the magazine is somewhat misleading. It is not entirely a cooking magazine; rather, it is primarily about living a healthy life.
Recommended For: Anyone
I have been receiving Cooking Light for so long that I can't remember exactly how I came across this magazine, but I'm glad I did!
As someone who loves to cook and bake, I was initially skeptical about any magazine that touted "Light" cooking. I imagined bland meals with little flavor or imagination that sacrificed taste for better health.
Was I wrong! Cooking Light features some of the most inventive, robust, flavorful recipes that I have ever tried. Everything from the traditional to the unique is crafted with a healthy touch. Recipes each month run the gamut from exotic to homestyle - meats to vegetarian - appetizers to desserts. Cooking Light also helps you craft a meal, plan a dinner party or special occasion or re-work a fatty favorite into a low-fat masterpiece. The front of the magazine features a section on healthy living with information on exercise, lifestyle and products geared for improving overall fitness. (I skip over this part and go straight to the food!)
The recipes can be joyfully simple or require a bit more planning and legwork in the kitchen, but I've never had to run to Williams-Sonoma or the exotic grocery store in search of an obscure tool or spice.
The entire magazine itself is like a great meal. In addition to tantalizing recipes, the magazine is beautifully photographed and artfully written - it sometimes borders on being the J.Peterman catalog of food! An issue devoted to soups conjures up wintery scenes in front of a fireplace...an issue on party snacks makes you want to organize a Super Bowl party...an issue on the foods of New England makes you want to wake up in a B&B on the coast of Maine.
I save every dogeared copy of Cooking Light...they have truly replaced my cookbooks. I have also given this magazine as a gift many times.
Whether you are new to the kitchen or a true gourmet, Cooking Light will reawaken your love of food and inspire you to cook more often.
I LOVE THIS MAGAZINE! :-) I also get the recipes by disc each month and by CD at the end of the year!
It doesn't matter if you are trying to eat better or loose weight or are just wanting something different for supper, this magazine won't let you down!
When I first started experimenting with low fat cooking, my poor family were the guinee pigs! Of course, they didn't know two things: #1, that is was low fat and #2, What exactly were in the recipes! For example,
There is a recipe for mashed potato casserole that is my family's favorite dish! However, it has plain yogurt, and cream cheese in it. They don't know it and they can't taste it, and I definetly don't TELL them! You see, my husband "won't eat ANYTHING with cream cheese in it!" He swears he can taste it no matter what it is in!
So, to fool him, if he is helping me in the kitchen, when I buy the yogurt and the cream cheese, I put them in a sour cream container. Then, I ask him to hand me the "sour cream" our of the refrigerator. He thinks he has and he thinks that is what makes the dish so creamy and he LOVES IT! He will NEVER know the truth... he would SWEAR he could taste it!
That is the great thing about this magazine! They take typical recipes and by using different ingredients end up with something that taste, in my opinion, even better than the original, and with MUCH less fat!
Each month the magazine will feature a specific type of food; cake/cookies, holiday cooking, BBQ, pasta, etc... but, they also add other recipes to give a variety.
The other thing I like about this magazine - probably the most important thing I like about this magazine is that they show pictures of the recipes. I like to know how a recipe is supposed to turn out BEFORE I attempt to make it - that way, when mine turns out right, I know it and if doesn't, I know that, too.....
They also have very informative articles. Some months they will talk about exercise, walking, using spices, different locales, etc.
So far my "MEATS AND POTATOES" husband has liked everything I have cooked from the Cooking Light Magazine! And my young child loves it, too!
The other thing I like about this magazine is that they give both time consuming and very fancy dishes, down to the five minute preparation type dishes. They will give you a full dinner itinerary. They even will let you know what dishes you can prepare ahead of time, or the night before.
They offer discs each month, either a professional disc- which has ALL of the recipes in the magazine, or a personal - which only has a select few of the recipes. This I love, because then I can call it up on the computer and print it off. The only thing I do not like about this magazine is the fact that these discs are a little costly, considering that you are already paying for the yearly subscription to the magazine.
Now, you can order the year-end CD, it doesn't contain ALL of the recipes, at least not to my knowledge, but it does contain the majority of them.
I would recommend this magazine to everyone!
Buy it, try it and ENJOY IT!
There was a time when I never cooked. I was in graduate school, I lived alone, and cooking just seemed like a waste of time when I could be writing my thesis. So I survived on Chinese take-out and pizza delivery, Subway sandwiches and pasta served with warmed-up sauce.
Then I discovered cooking. I always baked for relaxation; one day, having decided that I needed a better diet, I bought a low-fat cookbook on a whim and began to try things out. Cooking was fun, I discovered, less expensive than endless take-out, and done properly, better for my health.
That was several years ago. I kept cooking, but it became less fun. After I'd tried all the recipes I was interested in, after I'd made Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Cherry Tomatoes and Hot Fudge Pudding Cake fifty times each, I got bored. There was no challenge left. I bought other cookbooks, of course, but that got expensive, particularly when I only found a few recipes per cookbook that I wanted to make.
And so, years after I discovered cooking, I discovered Cooking Light. I bought it on a whim--I was looking for something new and light for dessert and saw the Lemon Squares on the cover. After reading the first issue, I subscribed immediately, and I have not been sorry. There are dozens of recipes in each issue, so every month I have new things to try out. Better than that, each issue features a "Cooking Class" column which breaks down a difficult cooking technique and offers recipes using that technique. Since subscribing to Cooking Light, I have made cheesecake, risotto, and crepes for the first time.
Each issue also features several recipes that take less than half an hour to make. This is important to me, as I sometimes work long hours and I prefer to keep cooking time to minimum on weeknights. A Chicken Piccata recipe in the June issue is so quick and easy to make that it has already become a standard in our house. There is also a monthly vegetarian column, and at least one recipe per month that is designed for two people instead of four, six, or eight.
Cooking Light also features stories on fitness and general health. These are sometimes interesting, although I subscribe to a fitness magazine and would really prefer Cooking Light to focus solely on recipes. My only real criticism of the magazine is that it offers too many dessert recipes--how many people make dessert once a week, or even once a month? But as a source for healthy, challenging recipes, Cooking Light can't be beat.
When friends ask me where I get my ideas and recipes, Cooking Light is always the first source I recommend. There are lots of recipes for good, fast dinners, and always a few good dinners for when I have more time to cook, like Sunday nights. There are occasionally errors in the recipes, which is aggravating, but for the most part, I have had very good results with their recipes.
A few of my favorites are a low fat white bean dip, apple cake, and pizza with fresh basil and tomatoes. These are recipes that I cook again and again, and pass on to my friends.
There are also monthly articles about health and fitness - for example, a monthly feature on stretching exercises and a walking routine that you can build on every month. The main feature is the recipes though. This magazine also makes a great wedding shower gift for the person who has everything. It's not just for people on diets - the recipes don't taste like diet recipes, and many of them aren't low-cal - they just have less fat than average.
My sister-in-law got me Cooking Light as a gift, and my husband has thanked her ever since!
It gives me inspiration to skip the drive-through and make something healthy and tasty at home instead. Most recipes are basically easy to make and cover all aspects of meal time -- appetizers through dessert, entertaining to "just us" at home.
Since getting the latest issue, I've made the low fat chocolate chip cookies four times in four weeks. I'd say they're winners! The writing is concise and enjoyable, the photos are nice to look at, and I usually take away some interesting tidbit about the food we eat.
This is my favorite magazine, and I'm clearing a shelf in my house to keep all my issues.
Recommended For: Anyone