September 29, 2005

Cooking Light

Greek Chicken with raisins, capers and feta, from Cooking Light. The first time I made this, I used red onions, which not only gave the dish a visual punch, but also a certain sweet-and-sour quality that I particularly enjoyed. Next time, it will definitely be the red onions again. There is a pan-juices style sauce that is largely chicken stock and lemon juice, providing a tangy counterpoint to the sweetness of the sultanas and the salty hit of the capers and feta. I served it with lemon rice the first time, and straight-up couscous the second. A few crunchy radishes or cucumber slices on the side, and dinner is ready in about a 1/2 hour.

Most of my everyday dinners are designed around following healthy eating options. I tend toward lower fat dishes, and I prefer to use "good" oils, such as olive and canola. I have a number of cookbooks on lighter cooking styles and methods, but many of my newest recipes have come from the Cooking Light magazine collections. Several times per year, Cooking Light produces special recipe-only issues under different collection titles. There is an annual of the year's best, and a variety of other titles, such as Soups & Stews (two volumes), Easy Weeknight Dinners, etc. Most of the recipes that I've tried from any of these collections have been fairly tasty, and while I tend to mess with them (sometimes substantially) on the repeats, a number of them have become staples in my arsenal of delicious non-detrimental cooking.

I won't cook recipes that sacrifice flavour in the name of a lean bottom-line. I don't buy the monthly magazine (and I'm sure I miss some great dishes that never make it into the collections) because I cannot abide the lifestyle articles or the sheer volume of advertising in them. There seems to be a perception that people who want to buy specialized magazines on a regular basis also want to be bombarded with reassuring (although I often see them as condescending) articles that validate whatever lifestyle choice the publishers think their readers are making, which I find frustrating beyond belief. Thank goodness for the collections, though. My cooking repertoire is richer for having discovered them.


Ana said...

I used to purchase Cooking Light on a regular basis and I know what you mean both in the recipes and the advertising. You might have a point with the collection issues though and I'll pay more attention to them. I subscribed to Canadian Living since 1998 but stopped early this year. I loved the Canadian content and the articles, not to mention the recipes but I moved to a very small house and something has got to go. Also, I find that I ended up trying very few of them simply because you end up collecting so many magazines. I guess I'm ready for a magazine clean-up.

linda said...

I still buy Cooking Light, although I rarely cook from it anymore ~ I tend to use their website more.

Just wanted to let you know that I tagged you for 23/5 meme.

Dawna said...

Ana - that's the very reason that I don't collect many magazines! Even if I get good recipes from them, the ratio of "find" to advertising and sheer mass of paper is daunting. I get antsy if I have to store too many magazines. Cookbooks, for some reason, are a whole different story.

Linda - did you have to subscribe for the Cooking Light web site? I know that some of their recipes are free, but I thought that most of them were protected.

Ah, another meme! Now I've got two stacked up, so I'll have to get to them...

Templar said...

I just bought my first issue of cooking light.. I thought it was great. I wish I had the money to subscribe to it. the adds did get up my nose a bit.