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Cooking Light The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook: Over 350 delicious, easy, and healthy meals Hardcover – September 8, 2009
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About the Author
Cooking Light, America's leading epicurean magazine and authority on healthy cooking, is dedicated to helping its more than 12 million readers eat smart, be fit, and live well. With a staff of registered dietitians and culinary professionals-and over 20 years of experience-Cooking Light is unrivaled in identifying emerging food trends and providing superior flavorful and healthful recipes.
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I feel like I must reiterate this, the recipes are not healthy or wholesome, they are pretty much just calorie/fat conscious.
I saw a few comments worth addressing:
1) Healthy - I feel the menus present a healthy approach to eating. Some of the recipes are high in sodium, but easily adjusted through the elimination of salt, use of low and no-salt versions of ingredients. In a few recipes where it calls for italian sausage, I have substituted turkey italian sausage and still loved the result. I often add more vegetables than it calls for to "use up" the ingredients. I have been successfully losing two-pounds per week, we don't feel like we are sacrificing flavor and my boys are eating more fruits and vegetables than ever before.
2) Expensive - I have not found that to be the case. Certainly when it comes to the seafood dishes, I have substituted due to local prices (Halibut at $22/pound -- Mahi Mahi at $8/pound) and still enjoyed the dish. Sometimes I splurge (bought the UGLY fruit for the salsa) to expand our horizons. It was just a big orange....next time, we'll just use an orange - but it was fun to try and we loved the recipe. If anything, we save money because I buy exactly what I need, use it all by the end of the week and toss very little.
3) Difficult - My husband has made a few of the meals and he does find them a bit challenging to pull together. I have no trouble getting dinner on the table in less than 45 minutes. There is a lot of preparation, (measuring seasonings/condiments)(cutting vegetables) but if you prepare everything in advance (get the kids involved!) the final 10-15 minutes comes together quickly. I choose not to buy anything pre-cut, pre-shredded or pre-made -- but that's just my choice. The use of pre-cut vegetables, shredded cheese and prepared sauces could definately speed things up.
I plan to make every meal in the book - I only hope they come out with a new one by the time I'm done!
1. There is a photo for each recipe.
Sometimes it is a full page, but at least half page for each recipe - this is so useful when the recipe says shredded lettuce, shredded chicken, and chopped tomatoes. (page 45 Smoky Bacon & Blue Cheese Chicken Salad Pitas - the first recipe we made from this cookbook - we gave that recipe 4 stars by the way) You can get a clear view of the sizes of the shredded lettuce and chicken (not shredded into nothing), and see that the chopped tomatoes are not very large chunks.
2. It offers a full menu.
You aren't given just an entree, while you try to figure out what a good side or dessert would be. They offer two other suggestions with the entree.
Sometimes just the entree and one side make a well rounded meal, and they suggest something like Cold Beer - My husband wants to try that recipe! (page 55 Salmon Burgers, Summer Fruit, and Cold Beer.)
3. It gives a Game Plan.
Things to do for the entire menu in sequence ... ex ) preheat oven, start boiling water, chop this, while this bakes, steam vegetables, shred cheese. It is just a game plan though, a general sequence of when to start things, but I find it helpful.
Each recipe includes:
1. A menu that suggest pairings for a complete meal
2. A 'game plan' which suggests how and in what order to prepare the meal & menu
3. A huge gorgeous picture showing you what it should look like it (1/3 to 1 whole page)
After discovering that life need not be this way, and that, miraculously, light itself can be COOKED, I have been wholly transformed into a being of pure photonic energy! Gone are the days of wondering if that lasagna will work its way down the tunnel of love, or live to fight another day. The only nutrition I need now is the nuclear embrace of Sol, the star which we owe our very existence to, and we HAVE BECOME ONE.
Do yourself a favor, meatbags, and learn to cook light today. You'll look back and laugh at all that time you wasted on protein and probiotics.