Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Your thoughts on Cooking Light Magazine...

01-04-2008, 01:18 PM
Just wondering what opinions are out there on Cooking Light magazine? I've bought several issues and am considering a subscription...Some possible opinions I'd like to hear:

Do you think CL mag offers genuinely healthy recipes?

Have you ever discovered a great recipe in CL mag?

Is there a variety of recipes from month to month?

Which type of diet do you think CL mag serves best - lowcal, lowcarb, med/sonoma, diabetic, etc?

What do you like most/dislike most about it?

Do you find there are many good articles on topics besides cooking?

And other thoughts you might want to share!

Thanks :hug:

01-04-2008, 01:39 PM
I am a long-term subscriber. My thoughts?

This magazine gives very HEALTHY recipes. That being said, I don't know that their recipes are exceptionally LIGHT...usually they are too high calorie for me to eat on a regular basis. If I'm going to eat something high, though, using their recipes makes my high just a little LESS high, if that makes for example, I used Cooking Light recipes for Christmas cookies, because if I'm going to eat cookies, I might as well eat lighter ones.

The magazine seems oriented to a whole foods lifestyle...not a lot of packaged product going into their meals. It isn't necessarily low fat/low calorie, but they aim for a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and fat.

The magazine does provide a great variety of recipes, from different cultures, which I love. They also provide a good "basic technique" thing they teach you how to do really well each month.

They also have really great articles on exercise and nutrition - I've gotten some AMAZING arm and core workouts out of CL.

Overall, it is a good magazine. I use it a lot for ideas, and take the calories down even further on some of their recipes with minor tweaks.

01-04-2008, 01:47 PM
I like Cooking Light.
Everything Amanda said: it's not super light like Hungry Girl recipes that use things like Splenda and fake dairy, but CL uses real food, which is the only kind of food I want to eat anyway! They list the nutritional info for every recipe so if you are counting calories or carbs or whatever, it's all there. These are definitely the kinds of recipes I like to make. For me, there are some recipes that are not useable, like meat recipes or desserts, but even still, the quantity of recipes in each magazine is so huge that there are always several that will interest me. I have made quite a few of the recipes and all have been delicious.

01-04-2008, 02:00 PM
I subscribe to it and like it quite a bit. I usually find a couple recipes that I want to try in each issue. I know there are some "foodie" types that don't like all the fitness tips (the January issue seems to be half fitness/diet and half recipes). If you don't want to go to the expense of subscribing, you can still get ALL the recipes online at (where you'll notice that they tend to do a few over and over with only slight variations). I have to say that almost all of my lower fat recipes come from Cooking Light and it is the first place I look when I'm looking for something new.

01-04-2008, 03:48 PM
I have subscribed on and off over the years.

What I don't like: Too much life-style and not enough recipes. Many of the recipes seem too fussy to me - too much time, too many ingredients or unusual ingredients. Echoing Amanda, I feel that the recipes are really not all that light for every day eating.

What I do like: Cooking Light is an attractive magazine, has good ideas, and yes I have made a few things I really liked from the magazine.

I think that this year I am going to try Eating Well. After a while, they all sort of run together in my mind. :lol:

Just made this and like it a lot. I quartered and toasted 2 Trader Joe's mini pita and dipped them in this.

01-04-2008, 07:54 PM
Another long-term CL subscriber here. I like it a lot, though like most other mags it has waaaay too many ads. :lol: I've made lots of great things from it, and like Allison often look to it first for new things to make. I like that is has all the nutritional info.

I've looked at Eating Well, and often snag it if I see it on the free mags area at the library. Another one I like is Cooks' Illustrated. It is totally not low cal, but the articles - all on food - are well written. They go into trying to make the absolute best of whatever recipe they've chosen. It's just fun to read - at least to me. But you need to understand that I read cookbooks for fun. :rofl:

01-04-2008, 08:25 PM
Little too foodie for me, Taste of Home Light and Tasty would be more my speed

01-04-2008, 11:02 PM
It is very gourmet I think...not great for everyday. A lot of good ideas and some really good recipes. WAY heavy on the desserts. I used to subscribe and quit when it got more into the lifestyle and less about the food, but I still pick up an issue now and again. Good for trying new recipes or for dinner parties.

01-05-2008, 01:49 PM
Thank u everyone for sharing your thoughts :hug:

I am really into the 'whole foods' idea and anything that tabulates nutrition is a winner in my maybe this is the cooking mag for me.

Mandalinn: LIGHT CHRISTMAS COOKIES?!?! I think I may have died and gone to heaven :angel:...Did you even get to have FROSTING?!? :drool:

Gail: Thanks for the recipe link - I LOVE hummus and veggie dips of all sorts, so I will defiinitely be trying it!

Thanks again!

01-06-2008, 12:24 AM
I'm coming a bit late to this discussion, but I love Cooking Light. I'm in maintenance, and I find the recipes to be about right in terms of calories. I don't find them too fussy, either, but I do like to spend time in the kitchen.

The website is great also. I use CL recipes almost every night. I love it.

01-06-2008, 01:24 PM
Little too foodie for me, Taste of Home Light and Tasty would be more my speed

I agree. I subscribe to Light and Tasty, Taste of Home and Simple and Delicious. Pics with almost every recipe and no ads. A friend of mine bought me a subscription to Cooking Light, so I got the magazine for a year. I honestly didn't like it. I skimmed through them on occasion, but I never made any of the recipes and all of pages of ads was annoying.

01-07-2008, 02:26 AM
I love Cooking Light. I been a subscriber for at least two years now.
My daily calorie limit has ranged from 1200 to 1500 during this time period and I've found that Cooking Light has lots of main dish recipes that fit well within that range. I like to keep my lunches under 300 calories and my dinners under 350 calories and I find a lot of recipes in Cooking Light that meet those requirements. Even with the exercise and lifestyle articles, each issue has 50 to 100 recipes. I always have a huge backlog of CL recipes that I want to try.

I also find that most of the recipes come out fantastic. Tonight we had Tuna Sushi Burgers with Coconut Rice, both CL recipes, and both were excellent. The recipes also rarely taste low calorie. My SO, who is not on a diet and will not eat food that tastes low calorie, has even commented that one advantage my diet is all the great new recipes I've discovered. Most of those, including many of his new favorite dishes, are from Cooking Light.

Also, I refigure the nutritional info for every recipe and Cooking Light's info is usually spot on. This is not true for some of the other sources of recipes that I've tried (the nutritional info for recipes, for example, is almost always way way off).

I also really like the lifestyle and exercise articles, althrough I haven't actually tried any of their workouts. One thing I appreciate is that their exercise models aren't wearing such skimpy outfits that I'm embarrassed for them (unlike the models in some other exercise magazines that I subscribe to). I'm planning on letting my subscriptions to these other magazines lapse (it's not just the models, I just don't find the mags that interesting) and just keeping my Cooking Light subscription. It has everything I need. I'm really looking forward to the travel series they are running during the next few issues (vacations focuses on exercise, health, cooking, etc.).

My only complaint is that the desserts are usually too high in calories for me or the portions are really small. But it's hard to make desserts that are low in calories.

01-07-2008, 12:29 PM
I don't subscribe to the magazine though I do enjoy picking it up every now and again... I have a couple of "stand-by" recipes I've pulled from there that I will keep in my repertoire for a very long time.

I have to stick in a plug for their "SuperFast Suppers" cookbook, though -- it is AMAZING. Everything cooks in under 30 minutes, and, unlike in the magazines, all the recipes tend to use things I have on hand. (I've noticed, too, that some of the magazine recipes get a little "foodie"). I eat out of this cookbook at least 3 nights a week, and I haven't made one thing I don't like.

That's it for my glowing, unsolicited recommendation :p I just love the darn thing!

01-08-2008, 06:36 PM
I just put a hold on SuperFast Suppers at my local library.

01-09-2008, 07:54 PM
My DH and I have subscribed to Cooking Light, and we both love it! I do most of the cooking, and he can't really taste the difference on a recipe that I have used from Epicurious, vs. a recipe from CL. I find it definitely worth the investment, however, if you don't want a bunch of magazines laying around yoru house, you can certainly find a ton of recipes on their website. In fact, for Thanksgiving this year, I made a bourbon-pecan tart that was on the cover of November's Cooking Light, and it was fabulous! and it wasn't ultra-loaded with sugar, which was the best part!

01-12-2008, 10:18 PM
I like CL, but just to drool over the pictures. I have occasionally found a recipe that I would actually use, but mostly they either have too many obscure ingredients or they are too labor-intensive. I'd rather just surf the net for recipes. Recipezaar is a favorite.