I'm all about Cooking Light recipes all the time. Hopefully you will find something that peaks your interest and inspires you to use Cooking Light everyday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza

I must admit, I'm not a huge fan of deep dish pizza. I prefer my pizza with as little red sauce as possible and I always felt like deep dish gave you more sauce than thin crust (I've had authentic deep dish in Chicago and thought it was the case there).  But this is about the Cooking Light Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza.  For those of you who subscribe to CL, this was in the most current issue which is all about the love of my life's "other love"....PIZZA!  So naturally once he saw this he was like 'we gotta make that this week'.  This recipe does force you to make your own dough but I loved it because it was the first time I used the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  The dough has to chill for 24 hours so if you're planning to make this, make sure you give yourself enough time.  

As far as any changes to the recipe, we had two opened jars of sauce in our fridge from past recipes so we decided to use that up instead.  Next time we will make our own sauce.  Otherwise, we did not change anything.  I didn't have a metal 9 x 13, I only had a glass Pyrex dish so we did some research beforehand to make sure it would be oven safe on the bottom rack to 450 degrees.   It turns out, Pyrex can withstand up to 600 degrees but you have to be careful not to transfer it from super hot to a super cold surface or it will shatter.  I did like the author recommended and put the dish in the oven on top of a baking sheet to help crisp up the crust a bit.  Then we turned off the oven with 2 minutes to go and when we brought it out we put the baking sheet on two potholders.  We also let this cool for ten minutes which I strongly recommend!

As of today's post, three people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars.  The soon-to-be-legal other half of mine is very fickle with his ratings so a 4 means it's very delicious.  Funny thing is, I enjoyed it too!

I hope you enjoy this in your home as much as we did in ours!

Both Recipes (the pizza and the sauce) by Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light, May 2010

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 rectangle)


  • 1  cup  warm water (100° to 110°), divided
  • 12  ounces  bread flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4  cups  (5 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2  cups  Basic Pizza Sauce
  • 2  ounces  pepperoni slices
  • 2  tablespoons  grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour to 3/4 cup water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, oil, and salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Roll dough out to a 14 x 11–inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Press dough into bottom and partially up sides of a 13 x 9–inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.
3. Place a baking sheet in oven on bottom rack. Preheat oven to 450°.
4. Arrange 3/4 cup mozzarella evenly over dough; top with Basic Pizza Sauce, pepperoni, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Place pan on baking sheet in oven; bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until crust is golden. Cut pizza into 6 rectangles.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 404
Fat: 16.3g (sat 5.9g,mono 7.8g,poly 1.5g)
Protein: 16.9g
Carbohydrate: 47.1g
Fiber: 2.7g
Cholesterol: 26mg
Iron: 3.9mg
Sodium: 607mg
Calcium: 244mg
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup)

Basic Pizza Sauce


  • 2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano


1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove tomatoes from can using a slotted spoon, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes. Stir tomatoes, juices, salt, and oregano into garlic mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 66
Fat: 4.7g (sat 0.7g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 1.2g
Carbohydrate: 6.2g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 1.4mg
Sodium: 175mg
Calcium: 48mg

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chicken, Bean, and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

WHOA DOUBLE FEATURE!  This recipe is also from the Cooking Light Cookbook, 'Fresh Food Fast' and it was another hit in our house.  I know my mother (who is probably the only one actually reading this) will LOVE this recipe because it is a very light meal.  

I would say this is perfect for those summer nights when you're tired and don't want a heavy meal but you can make it ahead and enjoy it later.  The only change I made to this recipe was to use Barilla multi-grain pasta (yep snuck that one by the guy in my house). He didn't even notice the difference.  I found the sun-dried tomatoes NOT packed in oil at Giant in the produce near the peppers in a resealable bag.  A rotisserie chicken makes this fast!

As of today's post, we are the first ones to review this recipe and give it a 4 (out of 5)!
I hope you enjoy this in your home as much as we did in ours!

Recipes by Cooking Light, Fresh Food Fast, April 2009

Prep: 6 minutes; Cook: 16 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 1 1/2  cups  uncooked rotini (corkscrew pasta)
  • 1 1/2  cups  (2-inch) cut green beans (about 6 ounces)
  • 2  cups  diced cooked chicken breast (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4  cup  Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add beans during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and beans; rinse with cold water until cool.
2. Combine pasta mixture and remaining ingredients; toss gently to coat.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 315 (25% from fat)
Fat: 9g (sat 2.7g,mono 3.9g,poly 1.1g)
Protein: 28.8g
Carbohydrate: 30.1g
Fiber: 2.8g
Cholesterol: 65mg
Iron: 2.5mg
Sodium: 192mg
Calcium: 75mg
Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, Oxmoor House, APRIL 2009
Sun-Dried Tomato Vinagirette recipe (also by Cooking Light, Fresh Food Fast, April 2009)
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Yield: 1/4 cup (serving size: 1 tablespoon)


  • 2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon  water
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh basil
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped red onion


1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in tomatoes, basil, and onion.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 43 (75% from fat)
Fat: 4g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 0.3g
Carbohydrate: 2.6g
Fiber: 0.3g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 0.2mg
Sodium: 37mg
Calcium: 6mg

Refried Bean Poblanos with Cheese

This is the first of two posts today.  I was looking through myrecipes.com and found a few new Cooking Light recipes I had never seen.  Oxmoor House released a book in April 2009 called 'Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast'.  The basis of the cookbook is quick and easy meals.  We love Mexican food and decided to give this one a try!

The picture is deceiving of the true portion. I bought only 2 poblanos and intended to use half of the filling mixture. However, when it came time to make this, I forgot and we stuffed ours a little fuller.  I also substituted some spicy salsa we already had in the fridge in place of the picante sauce, threw in 1 tbsp of a taco sauce packet we had open, and used Uncle Ben's Spanish Rice instead of long grain to give it more kick (only about 20 calories more per serving).  In my opinion, the cilantro garnish is a must.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it in your microwave (no oven required)! Great for college kids, urban dwellers with closet-sized kitchens (been there, done that) and for those looking for a delicious and fast recipe.

If you like this type of food, it's a 'must make'! 

As of today's post, I am the only one who has reviewed this recipe, and I gave it a 5!

I REALLY hope you enjoy this in your home as much as we did in ours!

Recipe created by:  Cooking Light, Fresh Food Fast, April 2009

Prep: 2 minutes; Cook: 6 minutes
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed chile halves)


  • 4  medium poblano chiles, halved and seeded
  • 1  (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
  • 1  (8.8-ounce) pouch microwaveable cooked long-grain rice (such as Uncle Ben's Original Ready Rice)
  • 1/2  cup  picante sauce
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


1. Place chile halves, cut sides up, on a round microwave-safe plate. Cover with wax paper; microwave at HIGH 3 minutes.
2. While chiles cook, combine beans, rice, and picante sauce in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon bean mixture evenly into chile halves. Cover with wax paper; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes. Uncover chiles, sprinkle each half with 2 tablespoons cheese, and microwave at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 303 (19% from fat)
Fat: 6g (sat 3.1g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 17g
Carbohydrate: 45.4g
Fiber: 7.7g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Iron: 0.7mg
Sodium: 960mg
Calcium: 232mg
Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, Oxmoor House, APRIL 2009

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Skillet Chicken Souvlaki

Tonight's meal pays homage to the wonderful land of Greece, where we will be spending our honeymoon in September!  This is another quick weeknight meal and it only uses 1 skillet.  We've made this one before and know it's delicious! 

The recipe calls for you to add salt and pepper to the chicken before you cook it in the skillet. We use World Market's Mediterranean blend which gives the chicken a bit more flavor. Cooking Light also adds a side salad at the bottom of the recipe which makes it a complete meal. As you can see from the picture, Giant did not have green peppers available, so I used orange (didn't seem to make a difference).  I also cook the onions and peppers longer to make sure they are nice and soft.

As of today's post, myrecipes.com shows an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars for 15 reviewers.  I hope you enjoy this in your home as much as we do in ours!

Recipe by Jackie Mills, Cooking Light, AUGUST 2009

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup chicken mixture, 1/4 cup sauce, 1 pita, and about 1/4 cup tomatoes)


  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
  • 1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2  cups  vertically sliced onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced green bell pepper (about 1)
  • 2  teaspoons  bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/2  cup  grated English cucumber
  • 1/4  cup  2% Greek-style yogurt (such as Fage)
  • 1/4  cup  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
  • 1  teaspoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 4  (6-inch) whole-wheat soft pitas, cut in half
  • 2  plum tomatoes, thinly sliced


1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until done. Remove from pan.
2. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add chicken, garlic, and oregano; cook 30 seconds.
3. Combine cucumber and next 6 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt). Serve chicken mixture with yogurt sauce, warmed pita, and tomato slices.
Salad: Combine 5 cups torn romaine lettuce, 1/3 cup sliced red onion, and 3 sliced pepperoncini peppers. Combine 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss with salad. Top with 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese and 3 tablespoons halved kalamata olives.

Nutritional Information

Fat: 7.4g (sat 2.3g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.8g)
Protein: 35.1g
Carbohydrate: 39g
Fiber: 4.7g
Iron: 3.1mg
Sodium: 589mg
Calcium: 105mg

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Panko-Crusted Pork Chops with Creamy Herb Dressing

Since the hockey playoffs started (GO BUFFALO!), we needed to have meals that we could prepare quickly.  This is one of our favorites, Panko-Crusted Pork Chops with Creamy Herb Dressing.  If you've never used Panko (Asian breadcrumbs) before, I highly recommend it.  How is it different from regular breadcrumbs you ask?  Panko has a lighter, flakier texture but provides the same type of browned-crust as regular breadcrumbs.  

This recipe has a three-dip method: flour mix, egg wash and breadcrumbs which makes it so easy to create the crust.  The dressing calls for common ingredients, most of which we have in house on a regular basis.  If you have larger chops, I would recommend butterflying them or pounding them out with a meat tenderizer so that they are 1/2 inch thick or less, otherwise the pork requires a longer time in the oven and that's just frustrating when you're hungry.  One other great thing about this recipe is the amount of servings - just 2.  If you have a small family like us (2 people and 2 cats) this amount is enough for one or two nights (we buy prepackaged pork chops which usually come in 1 lb or more and double the sauce).  Doubling (or tripling) this recipe is easy if your family is larger.  As you can see, we had Texas Toast on the side, which is not healthy but we believe the mantra: "everything in moderation"  (1 piece is 150 calories, so with the pork the total calories are still reasonable).

As of today's post, the average rating was a 4 out of 5 based on 11 reviews.

I hope you enjoy this in your home too!

Recipe by David Bonom, Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2008

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and about 2 tablespoons dressing)


  • Pork:
  • 2  teaspoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1  teaspoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1  large egg white
  • 1/3  cup  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2  (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1  teaspoon  canola oil
  • Cooking spray

  • Dressing:
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped green onions
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2  tablespoons  fat-free sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  fat-free milk
  • 1  tablespoon  reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1  teaspoon  cider vinegar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder


1. To prepare pork, preheat oven to 450°.
2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish. Combine soy sauce and egg white in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place panko in a shallow dish.
3. Dredge pork in flour mixture; dip in egg mixture. Dredge in panko. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 1 minute on each side. Place pork on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes or until done.
4. To prepare dressing, combine onions and the remaining ingredients. Serve dressing with pork.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 268 (32% from fat)
Fat: 9.5g (sat 2.2g,mono 4g,poly 1.8g)
Protein: 30g
Carbohydrate: 13.6g
Fiber: 0.7g
Iron: 1.3mg
Sodium: 608mg
Calcium: 72mg

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicken-Apple Crunch Salad

I find that every week I always struggle with what to have for lunch. Even though sometimes I cave and get those microwaveable healthy meals, I worry about the fact that I am microwaving highly processed foods in plastic. I'd much rather make something ahead of time that I know is healthy and provides lots of nutrients. Hence my struggle.

Today's post gives me that opportunity to make something ahead of time and get the right nutrients. Enter Chicken-Apple Crunch Salad. This is as straightforward as any chicken/tuna/egg salad recipe but the addition of raisins, apples and cinnamon take it to the next level. You can use rotisserie chicken as a shortcut, but I just cooked some chicken I found on sale while baking dinner one night.

At only 207 calories for a 1 cup serving, you can wrap it up, put it on bread or eat it alone and indulge later! As of today's post, Myrecipes.com had 22 reviews with an average rating of 5 stars! So I know I'm not the only one out there who enjoys this recipe. I hope you'll enjoy it too!

Cooking Light

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup diced Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Add mayonnaise mixture to chicken mixture, tossing well to coat.

Nutritional Information

207 (19% from fat)
4.4g (sat 1.2g,mono 1.2g,poly 1.4g)