Over the last decade, I have subscribed to many cooking magazines including Gourmet, Bon Apetit, Cooks Illustrated, Taste of Home and others. Cooking Light is, by far, the best cooking magazine out there. As someone with a greater than average interest in cooking, I have tried many recipes from many sources. The magazine and its recipes are great for several reasons:
(1) The recipes taste fantastic. I have subscribed to Cooking Light for about four years and have tried many of their recipes. I can remember only one recipe (barbeque pot pie) that I thought was a bomb. Every other recipe I have tried has been scrumptious.
(2) The magazine includes not just recipes but articles on healthy eating that incorporates the recipes. And, let's face it, we all need to do more to eat healthy. But knowing what you should do and implementing it into your meals can be tough. That is where Cooking Light helps. It shows you where you can make small changes toward healthy eating.
(3) The recipes use easy to find ingredients. One of my major complaints with Gourmet and Bon Apetit was that I couldn't find all of the ingredients called for in their recipes. And when I did track down and purchase all of the ingredients, the odd and unusual items I purchased for that recipe just sat in my pantry. I had no other recipes that called for those obscure ingredients.
(4) The instructions for the recipes are straightforward and easy to follow. I think that is self-explanatory.
(5) The articles and recipes are seasonal so that when blueberries are in season, there are recipes for blueberries, etc. I find it hard to remember at a later date that I wanted to make a recipe with an ingredient that is not in season.
(6) Additionally, I think that the website for Cooking Light is one of the more useful cooking websites I have found. The recipes from each month are available to download directly onto my computer.
My one complaint is that there seem to be a disproportionate amount of dessert recipes in the magazine.
Recommended For: Anyone
...with an emphasis on balance. What's more, this is MY LIFESTYLE, (or at least the one I aspire to). This magazine was created with me in mind: An early 30's femme who is a recreational cook, who knows a little about nutrition and hungers for new info, who is nurturing the budding athlete within, and who is trying to develop a lifestyle that is active and healthy and that will get me to the century mark. (With all four grandparents still living, and Baby Boomers spending all that money on longevity research, I might actually have a shot at this!)
The photos and articles are inspiring and informative. The content, like the recipes, is a terrific balance of what's good for me and what's fun. Cooking Light features exercises with instructive photos, plus articles on fitness activities and individual sports. The web site is pretty cool, too, helping readers to form "Supper Clubs" in various cities. And if I can get my husband, who is gung-ho athletic but has a lot to learn about nutrition, on board, so much the better. This is a lifestyle I can pursue with a passion.
My favorite aspect is the blend of unique cuisines. Every issue seems to have interesting ethnic foods and contemporary fusion cuisine which mimic the menus of the most interesting restaurants in this City of Restaurants, Los Angeles. Yet the preparation of these recipes is not the least bit intimidating (though I am a reasonably experienced cook). The articles give you quick and clear info on the relevant spices and specific techniques, which make the recipes easy to prepare and the basis for future experimentation.
The magazine now even has a regular cooking school feature which teaches techniques and terms that apply broadly. It's wonderful for people who never learned to cook, or for those of us who are filling out our repertoire.
A recent issue featured Indian food, my latest favorite flavor. Indian cooking is intimidating because "curry" isn't a a single spice, as Spice Islands and McCormicks would have us believe; it's hundreds of possible spice blends, all different, which taste best when made fresh. And here were useful tips, pantry hints, and a few simple recipes to get me started making my own Indian cuisine. I am a happy woman.
The magazine tends emphasize Asian cuisine, probably because it adapts easily and flavorfully to a light cooking style (maybe Asians invented light cooking?). However, the magazine also does a great job of adapting, refining and re-defining "comfort foods", like the meatloaf featured on a recent cover. Cooking Light even has a regular column where the staff takes a reader's family dish, usually a hallowed comfort favorite, which is less than healthy, and transforms it into a lower fat, healthier version of the original.
The magazine's recipes include all kinds of meats and seafood, plus vegetarian dishes, balanced within featured articles, i.e. a Thai-themed article will have one recipe which features beef and one which uses tofu (which I still hate, no matter what anyone says) and one for, say, shrimp. It's not all chicken! The cuisine and the attitude are inclusive, rather than exclusive, in contrast to many vegetarian publications.
And, if you've ever seen the sumptuous desserts often featured on the cover, there's no need to sell this point here, without pictures. These are not miracle, no-calorie things to have every day, but they are part of the balanced approach to food. They take the stuff that isn't too horrible, (which usually means lower saturated fats) and acknowledge the importance of presentation and eye appeal. These are desserts that I have earned in my quest for a healthy lifestyle, and one's which I happily serve to guests without worrying that they're somehow deficient because they lack a zillion calories and a quart of cream.
Since I occasionally enjoy curling up with a good cookbook on a Saturday afternoon, it's great to have new content arrive each month with nutritional news among the recipes and workout routines.
Most of the veggie zines still seem to haul around the baggage of 70's health food craze. The gourmet magazines, on the other hand, make a point of using the *least* healthy ingredients, meanwhile selling me on expensive wines and Italian vacations I can't afford. Granola and gluttony: I'm telling you that Cooking Light is the antidote.
If you dream of making nutrition and fitness a lifestyle without dying of boredom, check out this inspiring, pragmatic, hip magazine.
I have been a loyal subscriber of Cooking Light since 1987 when I was at college, moved into my first apartment and decided that I better learn to cook. I was very interested in low fat cooking even then and often searched for interesting recipes that were easy to prepare, yet still tasted great.
Cooking Light still fits the bill after all these years. So many times cooking magazines include recipes that call for strange and exotic and expensive ingredients. Not Cooking Light. Most ingredients can be found at the local supermarket and can fit in the average budget.
The recipes, for the most part, are for items that are appealing to the entire family and the great thing is that your family might never even know that these are light recipes!!! How many times have you tried a light recipe and the texture and taste were just awful? With the recipes in Cooking Light, that happens very infrequently. The magazine often focuses on improving high calorie family favorites and it succeeds. Even my Father in Law who loves high fat recipes couldn't tell that the lasagna I made from Cooking Light was low fat!
The magazine is also inspiring in that it incorporates new food trends. It encourages you to try new ingredients and gives suggestions on how to incorporate that ingredient into several different recipes. It often shows new techniques in cooking low fat recipes.
It also includes great photography. Don't read this magazine when you're hungry and stuck in a doctor's office! Your growling stomach will alarm the person next to you.
The magazine also includes a healthy living section which focuses on exercise, beauty trends, vacation destinations, articles on body image etc. This is interesting, however, it dates the magazine. Since the magazine is so full of great recipes I tend to keep my copies. Looking at the beauty/fitness section of earlier issues is now a waste of time. Cooking Light has a solution for that, however! Cooking Light publishes yearly compilations of the magazine in hardback which means that you get all the recipes and food articles in one comprehensive volume. They also publish a "Best of Cooking Light" (which is one of my standard cook books) and have a website where you can find recipes.
If you're into light cooking, I highly recommend this magazine.
I have been a subscriber of Cooking Light for well over 5 years now. I LOVE this magazine. Every month I go through it from front to back. This is the one magazine that I actually read everything. I always find myself making a minimum of four new recipes a month. I find them mostly easy to make and my family loves eating them. My husband can never tell that they are "light" meals. When I have guests over, they are always surprised when they ask me about the recipe that it is "light" food.
One thing that I really like about this magazine is that they explain cooking techniques. I am not an expert cook so it is very helpful to have step by step instructions and pictures for "unusual" techniques.
I must tell you that I did unsubscribe for a few months a year ago to try a different magazine. I found that I really missed Cooking Light and had to re-subscribe.
This magazine is not just recipes though. They have a lot of information on health and fitness as well.
This is the magazine that I find I share with family and friends. I always ask for it back though.
I recommend this magazine to the beginner cook as well as the experienced.
Recommended For: Anyone
I stumbled upon Cooking Light by accident. I had a subscription to Weight Watcher's magazine and they closed up shop (temporarily). They wrote me a nice letter saying they would be transferring the balance of my account to Cooking Light. Joy!
I have read this magazine more than any other cooking mag I've ever had. I LEARN from their recipes, I don't just follow them. They are extremely thorough in their descriptions and offer a "cooking class" each month that taught me how to make a 'slurry'. I find it most helpful to follow their classes and pick up new tips.
I know that there is something to this magazine, as I find my boyfriend eating and enjoying the new meals I try without the usual "oh, is this good for you food?" as he would almost always with any diet meal I try to sneak by him.
Incidentally, Weight Watchers magazine started back up and sent me a card stating something about "don't let those OTHER cooking magazines fool you". Kind of interesting considering they were the ones who turned me on to Cooking Light, isn't it?
Recommended For: Anyone
I have a favorite aunt who is great at everything she puts her fingers to. She has incredible style. Her home looks like something from an art magazine. Anyway, when I stay with her she makes the best meals. I asked her once where her inspiration came from and she said, "Cooking Light." The meal not only tasted great, but the presentation was stunning.
She gave me a subscription for Christmas last year. Now I love to cook, but one of my biggest problems is creating a good menu. Another thing I love is entertaining. I have used the recipes at dinner parties with great success. Now people are asking me where my inspiration comes from.
I love that Cooking Light doesn't make drastic changes in the recipes to make the food "light." This allows for maximum flavor and regular texture without all the guilt.
There are many other great parts to this magazine. I love the cooking lessons. They have taught me such things as creating a great white sauce, baking perfect bread, and cutting veggies like a pro.
I have to be honest. I don't fix "low-fat" food. I use these recipes because they always turn out great. Consistency of quality is very valuable to me.
Recommended For: Anyone
I subscribe to many magazines, but the one magazine that I can't wait to look at each month is Cooking Light. Every issue is packed with tempting recipes that I want to jump right in and try. Best of all, I love knowing that I can make the recipes and not have to worry that I'm going to totally blow my weight loss plan.
Cooking Light is also one of the few magazines that I save every issue of. I find myself going back again and again to look up old recipes that seem new all over again when I find them. I simply couldn't part with them.
Some of my favorite Cooking Light recipes include Three Cheese Lasagna Divan, Sesame Chicken, Quick Beef and Broccoli, Chili Mac, Honey Pecan Chicken, Italian Cream Cake and the list goes on.... I can't remember a recipe from the magazine that I wasn't pleased with.
One important point to make is that the recipes, while generally very easy to make, seem updated and modern. I feel like I can prepare them and serve them to family or friends with great pride. Nothing seems diet or dull.
My only complaint about the magazine is that it is only distributed eleven times a year instead of twelve. I go through major withdrawals during my "off" month every year.
Recommended For: Anyone
I had a subscription to Weight Watchers magazine about a year and a half ago, when suddenly, they decided to revamp the magazine completely and I got a notice that my subscription would revert to Cooking Light for the rest of the subscription period. I was not a happy camper let me tell you. I had always thought of Cooking Light as a magazine with recipes that were too complicated for someone like me who has 2 small children. Boy was I wrong.
Yes, this magazine does have some complicated recipes, but it has recipes that are quick, easy, delicious, not boring, fantastically flavorful and as the name implies, lower in fat and calories. My only problem is where to put all of the recipes I have clipped!
You will find everything in this magazine from salad to soup to desserts to entrees and appetizers. There are how to sections and short cuts. There is an article about wine included. There are also great news features about the latest and greatest on vitamins, minerals and food and how it affects our bodies. There are health articles and even a beauty feature thrown in. But, don't be mistaken, this is truly a food magazine. It's just more well rounded than some!
Happy reading and happy eating!
Cooking Light is the best cooking magazine I have seen, and I've seen a lot! I enjoy Cooking Light because it offers many recipes that are lower in fat and calories than most recipes. It offers recipes that have been made over and some lighter versions of classic favorites. Each recipe comes with complete nutritional information, including serving size, calories, fat grams and percentage of calories from fat. This is a perfect magazine for anyone who wants to loose weight, maintain lost weight, or just want to eat healthy. I cannot recommend this magazine strongly enough. Not only does this magazine address cooking but it also deals with fitness. This magazine provides a guideline for better living through nutrition, fitness and well being.
Gourmet cooking magazines turn me off because I don't have the kitchen finesse or a diet rich in fat and sugar. That's why I love Cooking Light.
I first picked up the magazine when my husband was diagnosed with coronary artery disease about 10 years ago, at the age of 38. I knew low fat cooking was going to be a way of life for us, and I needed help fast. I didn't want him to feel deprived because of a restricted diet.
Cooking Light provides me with a wonderful selection of recipes that fit into our healthy lifestyle. Though not all the recipes appeal to us, I find that I can glean 3-5 from each monthly publication. The desserts are especially delicious, and features like "Thirty Minutes or Less" are welcome additions to my repertoire.
I especially like the articles where a reader sends in a favorite recipe and it's "converted" to a healthy version without ruining the taste. I also appreciate the nutritional analysis included with each recipe. Knowing the grams of fat, fiber and calorie count make it simple to figure out points in the Weight Watcher 1-2-3 Success plan.
Not only are the recipes, delicious and easy to follow, I enjoy the feature called "Cooking Class" that explains the "how-to" of food preparation. The entire Healthy Living section with articles on fitness, smart eating, beauty and health are terrific. The fitness section has inspired me to pick up the pace of my normal workout, and I find the health updates interesting and useful. The people profiles really don't interest me.
Other than Weight Watchers Magazine, I haven't read a publication dedicated solely to healthy cooking and living. Despite the name, Cooking Light is more than a fine source for recipes. It is filled with good sensible advice, information and great pictures. A subscription makes a wonderful and appreciated shower gift for newly-weds !