Archive for Cooking Light

Recalling Fall with Favorites from Cooking Light

You know the feeling when you run into someone who you know you know, who you probably worked with, or traveled with, maybe dated… but for the life of you, just can’t place them or recall their name?

That was me trying to make pizza this week. There was a time that muscle memory would immediately kick in, and my hands would assemble, knead, proof and stretch the dough without an assist from any higher brain functions. I knew that recipe, inside and out; made it at least weekly, often a few times a week.

Dough2

But after a long pizza-making-free stretch (moving, work, the usual), I was staring at a jar of yeast and bag of bread flour, dumbfounded. It’s what, five ingredients and a handful of steps? How have I forgotten this?!

Maybe this was part of a bigger food-related amnesia, as I have been stumbling through the switch from no-bake summer fare chock full of fresh new produce, to the warm, hearty fall standards. Squash? Crockpots? Pies? What are these things and HOW DID THEY GET IN MY KITCHEN?

Our CSA went bonkers with the apples in the last couple weeks

Our CSA went bonkers with the apples in the last couple weeks

Thankfully, Cooking Light helped jog my memory with 24 favorite fall recipes. Reading through the collection – soups, desserts, pumpkin-y things, spiced meats, vegetable-rich sides – and then reviewing the aforementioned pizza dough recipe, that muscle memory clicked back on. Right, yes, I do know what to do with flour, yeast and salt! Apples, butternut squash, bring them on!

Pizza

Need a little guidance on your memory-lane trip? Here’s a week’s worth of recipes from the CL list that I thought looked especially good, plus a oldie but goodie from me (fruit-and-barley-stuffed butternut squash), now that I remembered my own recipe:

  • Apple, goat cheese, walnut pizza from Cooking Light (here)
  • Bacon & butternut pasta from Cooking Light (here)
  • Savory baked apples from Cooking Light (here)
  • Baked Italian-style cauliflower from Cooking Light (here)
  • Fall vegetable curry from Cooking Light (here)
  • French onion & apple soup from Cooking Light (here)
  • Fruit-and-barley-stuffed butternut squash from Eating the Week (here)

Celebrating the 100-week mark with Cooking Light 100-recipe collections

This post marks a blog milestone of sorts, because it is the 100th food-and-nutrition-themed week on ETW!

In the 99 weeks preceding this, there’s been brunches and dinners, strangers and the strangely absent, stuff for the littler eaters, things for the veg-heads, lots of ReDuxing, and the occasional running-food rambling. I briefly thought about a celebratory “100 Best of ETW” post, but that sounded like the most tedious writing job ever, so I can’t imagine you all would want to read it, either.

I turned instead to the good folks at Cooking Light and found several of their 100-recipe collections – 100 Easy Chicken Recipes, 100 Healthy Cookies, 105 Slowcooker Favorites (let’s just round down for the sake of celebration, alright?) and more. We could easily spend 100 weeks trying to get through all of these recipe collections, so I pulled out just 1 week’s worth of the recipes that caught my eye.

I put their roasted veggie & ricotta pizza from 100 Healthy Tips to the test. I’ll admit, I was expecting bland (ricotta always seems like such a taste waste to me), but this was surprisingly tasty and packed a good daily dose of vegetables.

We also made a slowcooker sweet potato gratin; while this had great savory flavor and was easy to assemble, I don’t know who these 12 people are that CL suggests are getting fed by that recipe. My yield was maybe enough to give 6 people very modest portions. But for the average family dinner, that’s probably just the right amount.

These and several more are included in this week’s recipe list – just seven out of roughly 700, so you’re not still slogging through it when I write my next-100-weeks post:

But hey, if you’ve got the time, by all means try out the rest. Drop me a comment sometime in 2016 when you’re done.

Snowed in for The Week – Winter seasonal recipes

It looks like I owe you readers (particularly those in the Northeast) an apology, because I think I jinxed things with this week’s theme. “Oh, hey, it’s the middle of winter,” I thought, “Let’s do another winter seasonal recipe week.” And just a few days later…

Miles on top of Mount Snow

Was it the siren song of dark, leafy greens, one of the staples of mid-winter seasonal eating?

Or the lure of the hearty taste of roasted root or cruciferous vegetables, tossed with crunchy sunflower seeds?

Whatever brought it calling, the blizzard’s sweep through our north-of-Boston town sure provided me with a timely backdrop for this week’s recipe theme.

I first tried out the roasted cauliflower, beet and greens salad pictured above after my husband earmarked it in the recent Nutrition Action issue. It’s a classic combo of those dark greens and root vegetables that are key to many winter seasonal recipes – salads, stews, pasta dishes and more. But this time of year, there are also great ways to make use of the bright, crisp citrus fruits that thankfully become plentiful.

I’ve rounded up a week’s worth of recipes that showcase winter’s surprisingly tasty variety. You should try them once you’ve dug the car out of that 5-foot snow drift:

  • Roasted cauliflower and arugula salad from Eat Life Whole (here)not the actual recipe I made, which has not yet been posted to Nutrition Action’s website. But if you omit the cheese and add in some cooked, diced beets, this is the same basic idea.
  • Turkey stew with root vegetables from Simply Recipes (here)
  • Winter pasta salad from The Daily Green (here)
  • Citrus curried couscous with brussel sprouts from Cooking Light (here)
  • Winter vegetable curry from The Food Network (here)
  • Skillet gnocchi with chard and white beans from Eating Well (here)I think I’ve featured this before, but it’s certainly tasty enough for two mentions
  • Snap pea, grapefruit, maple and nut salad from Lunch Box Bunch (here)

Giveaway: MyRecipes.com America’s Favorite Food cookbook

If you’re one of those people (ok, *I’m* one of those people) who can’t put down their phone long enough to read a book, then this giveaway is for you!

MyRecipes.com – sister site to Cooking Light and several other food magazines – recently published their America’s Favorite Food cookbook, featuring 200 of the top-rated recipes from the site and embedded with Scan-It/Cook-It features that bring you enhanced content through your smart phone. To quote the blurb Cooking Light sent me:

“New SCAN-IT/COOK-IT™ technology allows readers to scan more than 130 vibrant, full-color photographs, with the Digimarc Discover app (free to download; available on iTunes and Google Play) to access features including: How-To Videos, Expert Answers, Weeknight Meal Planners, Collections of Similar Recipes, Shopping Lists, and more.”

I gave it a try and found all sorts of additional content linked to MyRecipes.com – for example, I scanned a photo of quinoa-stuffed chiles and the app pulled up 13 more suggested recipes using quinoa. My anti-quinoa husband would be thrilled. And if you’re more into paper than pixels, the nearly 300-page cookbook is still full of recipes and information to keep you busy.

The folks at Cooking Light have sent me 1 copy of MyRecipes America’s Favorite Food to give away to one lucky ETW reader. Want to put your name in the proverbial hat and get cooking? Head past the jump for details!

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Don’t Snow on my Chili Week

I didn’t really need any prodding to try out Cooking Light’s roundup of their 30+ best chili recipes. I’ve been anticipating the inevitable late autumn cool-down that would sweep aside “enh, I don’t need a jacket” and replace it with “a hot bowl of something sure would warm my blue-tinged fingers right about now.” And chili can be a pretty nutritious hot bowl when you’re packing it with lean meats and/or powerhouse beans plus several different types of veggies.

So I bookmarked the list, and got to work mixing up hearty ingredients with complex spice mixes for the smoky slowcooker chili (which I then fed to omnivore Tim, who liked it).

I also served up a Moroccan vegetarian version of chili which, despite not including any actual conventional chili powder, had plenty of tangy, cumin-infused, flavor mixed into the pleasing mix of just-crunchy-enough vegetables and soft cooked chickpeas.

But juuuuust to make sure I appreciated the impetus behind this chili exploration, Mother Nature showed up just today with a timely reminder that “bowl of warm stuff” weather wasn’t impending – it was here.

Yes, ok, got it! Sheesh, couldn’t even let me finish cleaning up after Halloween, huh?

Well, no matter, because I feel pretty well-prepared, chili-wise, thanks to the CL roundup. If you want to have a look at the week’s worth of recipes that especially caught my eye, don’t wait too long because the snow’s already upon us!

  • Moroccan chickpea chili (here)
  • Smoky slow cooker chili (here)
  • Three-bean vegetarian chili (here)
  • Chipotle chocolate chili (here)
  • Chicken green chili with white beans (here)
  • Black bean and chorizo chili (here)
  • Quinoa and roasted pepper chili (here)

 

Magazine Week: Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection

If you’ve been hanging around the blog awhile, you may have noticed I’m a fan of Cooking Light. Their creative, tasty, and easy-to-do recipes have been frequent flyers in my regular posts – for example, I tested their Superfast series for speed and tastiness twice in dedicated posts, earning a spot as one of Cooking Light’s Superfast Fans of the Month in 2011.

So I’m pretty excited that Cooking Light asked me to join their Blogger’s Connection and the “conversation about the communal power of great-tasting, healthy food.” To celebrate, I dug up a few CL recipes I’d earmarked to try – coconut oven-baked chicken (which we made with chicken breasts instead of bone-in cuts), and honey-glazed carrots. Miles & Tim liked the chicken fingers paired with sweet Thai chili sauce (Tim) or honey (Miles). And while Tim wasn’t a big fan of the parsley in this dish, the honey-glazed carrots made an appearance on my plate several days in a row.

For those keeping score at home, two recipes don’t get us to the usual week’s worth. To round out the list, I turned to this month’s Cooking Light issue. More accurately, Tim flipped through the issue and found this tasty, easy-to-prepare broiled pineapple sundae which we ate for dessert as well as breakfast (the latter with not-frozen yogurt).

Several more recipes in the June CL issue are on the to-try list at Chez Lynch. Want to give them a spin, too? Here’s the week’s list, all from Cooking Light:

  • Falafel-stuffed eggplant, tahini, tomato relish (here)
  • Grilled caponata salad with grilled flatbreads (here)
  • Pinto, black and red bean salad with grilled corn and avocado (here)
  • Beef soba noodles, spinach, coconut-curry vinaigrette (here)
  • Broiled pineapple sundaes (here)
  • Honey-glazed carrots (here)
  • Oven-fried coconut chicken (here)