Reviews For Cooking Light Magazine

Cooking Difficult and Time Consuming

My sister got me a subscription to this magazine a couple of years ago. I was excited, as a new wife, to have a guide to cooking healthy meals for my family. Unfortunately, Cooking Light seems to be geared more towards the gourmet who has hours of preparation time and access to many not-found-at-the-local-supermarket ingredients.

I expected a cooking magazine devoted to light recipes to have a range of recipes, not only in difficulty, but in taste. I found myself constantly substituting many of the unusual ingredients for ones that I happened to have on hand that I thought might do the trick.

This is not to say that the recipes I did try weren't tasty. They were. In fact, there is a spinach quiche recipe that I have reused many times and have been complemented on on numerous occasions. However, I maybe tried 5 recipes out of a year's worth of magazines.

I marked many, thinking they sounded interesting and tasty, but on review, noted the time involved and the laundry list of ingredients. I only wished for a Cooking Light magazine geared more toward the average American in Small Town, USA that doesn't have access to lemon grass or adobo chiles.

This magazine is not for the average person. It may have scrumptious looking recipes, but you will rarely find the time or energy to use many of them.


More Food, Less Lifestyle Please

Cooking Light is a magazine filled with low-fat and calorie-conscious recipes. Unfortunately, almost half of the magazine is devoted to exercise and healthy lifestyle tips. Don't get me wrong, I work out at the gym and exercise frequently, but if I want to read a magazine about fitness I'll pick up Healthy Living. Cooking Light should be about cooking, or the title of the magazine should be changed.

The cooking articles and recipes are fantastic, though. One regular feature (and often several other articles) every issue takes a fat-laden dish and trims it down to make it low-fat, without sacrificing too much of the flavor. I've tested some of the se and most of them live up to the magazine's claim: they do taste almost as good as the original recipe, but are much better for me.

One final note: the magazine and its articles are first-rate. The same company that publishes Cooking Light also produces Southern Living, a great magazine of itself.

In all, I love the recipes in Cooking Light, but could do without the lifestyle articles. But, the food insight is enough to keep me subscribing.


Recommended For: Anyone

Cooking light....

A wonderful magazine with lots of articles about food trends and how to lighten your recipes. The only downfall of course is all the advertisng. Some months I collect quite a few recipes others I toss aside with nothing special.

What happened to my favorite magazine?

I subscribed to Cooking Light for almost ten years, and thought the magazine was fantastic. I loved that the recipes were healthy and delicious at the same time, and I would try at least two or three dishes from every issue. Every single recipe I tried turned out great. I even bought gift subscriptions for friends and family.

Then everything changed. Cooking Light became far more of a lifestyle magazine and far less of a cooking magazine. I tolerated this up to a point, until I realized there were fewer recipes that appealed to me in each issue, and the ones I did make were disappointing at best. The complete design overhaul was the last straw - half the time, I can't tell the recipes from the ads anymore!

When my subscription ran out a couple of months ago, I didn't even consider renewing it. If Cooking Light ever returns to what it used to be, I'll be among the first to sign up. Until then, I'll spend my money on magazines that actually focus on food.

Nothing special...

I've read Cooking Light since its inception and have been a fairly consistent subscriber as well. I agree with previous reviewers that the recipes have become progressively more uninteresting, mundane, and less healthy. I also must admit that I didn't particularly care for the print/format/layout changes. These changes make the magazine look pretty much like Southern Living and somehow detract from its previously uncluttered look. The recipes have become progressively more exotic, and for the budget-minded family cook trying to put healthy meals on the table, there's a lot left to be desired. I'd check it out from the library, but I won't renew my subscription after this year. A consumer would be better served searching for recipes online at this point.

Mag Received

It's a standard cooking magazine containing both some interesting and some not too interesting recipes and articles. Not on the higher level of Bon Appetite or the late Gourmet magazines.

Lots of advertisements but very few recipes

I ordered this magazine in hopes of getting some great recipes to cook this year that are more healthy and tasty for my family to eat. However, after the first 27 pages and still no recipe, I was sorely disappointed. I assumed the magazine was geared towards recipes and eating light, hence "Cooking Light", however, I find that it's filled with advertisements for the most part, then other articles like exercise in one section (if I wanted articles on exercise I do believe I would have ordered something more specific to that...again...COOKING light...not looking for EXERCISE light). There were other articles as well and that I expected because I assumed there would apt to be discussions on why and how cooking/eating light is important. When I did get to one of the recipes that was pictured early in the magazine...but the recipe was in the back....I find a side note that states something to the effect "this is great as an appetizer but if you plan to eat it as your meal you are splurging".....are you kidding me?! I thought this was about cooking light? If I wanted a recipe that is tasty but I have to ration what I can eat of it due to high calories/fat/ you think this Cooking Light magazine would be the appropriate place I would look? Out of the few recipes in the magazine I only found one I would even consider. I suppose expectations of something play a big part in satisfaction, or lack there of, and my expectations were to get a great magazine that was packed with healthy eating options and very little more than that. Sad that it has to be packed with everything else and just a little of what I expected. Oh well, you can't win them all.....for me this is certainly not a winner.

Cooking light does NOT mean cooking easy, nor cheap!

I am always looking for new inspiration in the kitchen, so I was excited to order this subscription. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how time intensive and expensive it would be to try these recipes. Maybe I'm just slow, but it seems I've been unable to make anything from this magazine in under an hour. And what's with all the fancy, hard-to-find ingredients? Sorry, I shop at Publix, not the farmer's market!

The few times I did go out of my way to get all the ingredients and follow the recipe to a T, I was not very impressed with the results and had spent about 3 times as much money than I would have on a regular dinner. What a waste!

And just an observation, if you LOVE arugula, then this magazine might just be for you, as they call for it in every other recipe.

Recipes look good, but lack flavor

I've tried a number of Cooking Light recipes, but they almost always come out lacking depth and flavor. The magazine is well laid out, recipes look tasty and attractive, but they just don't taste very good. I understand that the point is cooking light, but they go too far. I'm a fairly experienced cook and familiar with a wide variety of cuisines and I don't think that cooking light should equal cooking boring, tasteless food. I suppose if you are looking for something lighter than hamburger casserole or fast food, this would work. If you want recipes that are healthy and actually taste good, keep looking. I would recommend Eating Well, which I have cooked with for years, it is a fantastic magazine with wonderful recipes. We once tried a week of Cooking Light recipes and then a week of Eating Well recipes at our house (from the current issues), Eating Well won- hands down.

Light, you say?

Heavy cream, gratuitous amounts of cheese, ubiquitous butter, white sugar, white bread, processed foods (like heath bars and corn syrup), white pasta, fatty cuts of meat, I could easily go on. This magazine knows nothing about eating light. Simple carbohydrates, processed breads, and saturated fats are BAD FOR YOU. In moderation, all of these are perfectly fine to eat. Cooking Light, however, fails to reach the goal of "Moderation in all things."

In addition to the ubiquity of the cream, butter, and processed foods, the magazine is loaded with articles that are just plain useless or at the very least exceedingly superficial. The entire first half contains articles about table settings, Martha Stewart-esque home decorating tips, and recommendation for which dark chocolate is healthiest to eat, set side by side with a Hershey's Kiss ad.

There's just something about the rampant hypocrisy of this magazine that irks me. Don't tell people how to live healthier lives and then call for 10 tablespoons of butter and 2 1/2 cups of sugar on the next page. Don't advertise Muir Glen Organics and then support Splenda in your next recipe.