the verdict on cooking light

2 Apr

Okay, so it’s been almost two weeks since I wrote about giving Cooking Light a second chance. Aren’t you all just dying to know how the recipes turned out????

Well, first off, I want to thank those of you that shared your feelings on the re-design of the magazine. It was good to know that I was not alone in my feelings that it is not so great. However, it was interesting to hear those of you that like the new look. Hearing that made me want to give a stronger effort to embrace the change.

What really matters to me though are good recipes that I can rely on that keep things interesting in the kitchen. Cooking Light had provided that in the past….are they still up for the challenge?

To recap, here are the three recipes I tried in my second chance run:

I am happy to report that we liked all three and I would make all three again. They were all super easy and super fast and completely doable for a week night supper.

My plan was to take a photo of each to share. I failed. No photos, but what I came up with really did look like the photos on the CL website.

Our favorite was hands down the Spicy Chicken Shawarma  (recipe below). It was filling and delicious. The tahini/yogurt spread was genius and I will be using that for other things – sandwich spreads, salad dressings, etc. It was the perfect balance of tangy and creamy.

Spicy Chicken Shawarma

As written in Cooking Light with suggestions and comments by Jen

Note: If you’re apprehensive about buying a big bottle of tahini, don’t be. Once you have it, you can use it to make your own hummus. It’s cheaper and super easy to make. And, it  keeps well in the fridge.


  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper – (I thought this was a good amount and it was enough for my lips to tingle, but I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to spice so you could add more)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin – I added more because I think more cumin is always good.
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 5  tablespoons  plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt, divided – I used Fage 2%, which I highly recommend.
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced – thighs would also work well here
  • 2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon  tahini
  • 4  (6-inch) pitas, halved
  • 1/2  cup  chopped cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  chopped tomato
  • 1/4  cup  chopped red onion

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring frequently.

2. While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 garlic clove, and tahini, stirring well. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons tahini mixture inside each pita half; divide chicken evenly among pita halves. Fill each pita half with cucumber, tomato, and onion.

I didn’t serve anything with this as it was just the two of us. It was completely filling on it’s own. However, if I were entertaining, I would serve some fresh fruit and a green salad.

So, I know you’re all wondering if I will keep my subscription or not. Don’t lie, I know it’s keeping you up at night.

Because of my success with this issue, I’ve decided to keep it in the rotation. I just cannot break up with Cooking Light yet. When you’ve been together for as long as we have, you can’t just let one little dry spell tear you apart.

I know there are some of you out there that bought this issue after I posted. Have you made anything from it? What were the results? Any must-try recipes?


4 Responses to “the verdict on cooking light”

  1. Willa April 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Bought the issue after I read your first post about CL. I dog-eared the chicken shawarma recipe too, can’t wait to try it. Might even make an appearance this weekend as we have everything except the pitas.

    It’s sort-of weird but the one thing I dislike are recipes that serve 6; I prefer recipes that serve 4 because we are two and it is perfect amount for dinner + lunch the next day. Vegetarian Times is another publication that uses the Serves 6 portion a lot too. Just rubs me the wrong way.

  2. Kate April 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Like you, I was a long-time subscriber but I actually ended my subscription (no easy feat) before the redesign. I was ready for new cooking inspiration. Your blog post intrigued me and I bought the April issue – and the next day received an e-mail from CL asking me to come back. Spooky…

    Anyway, we just had the Ma Po Tofu for dinner. It is Thai-inspired and very tasty. A bit too spicy for my taste but my husband (who orders 5 stars at Thai restaurants) thought it was great. My boys also liked it and it had the added benefit of making each of them drink 3 glasses of milk. It came together quickly and the general consensus was to make it again.

    I don’t like the redesign and won’t re-subscribe but I’ll definitely keep this copy for a while and try some of the other recipes.

  3. Monica April 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    I bought all the ingredients for the black bean burgers – should be cooking them tomorrow night!

  4. Monica April 4, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Really liked the BBB – mine broke apart a lot, but they were still tasty.

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