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!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Asparagus with Ginger Vinaigrette

To top off our dinner last Saturday night, we added a side of Asparagus with Ginger Vinaigrette.  This is a first-make for us and it has potential.  

I followed the recipe exactly, and I cooked the asparagus in my bamboo steamer.  However, they recipe tells you to cut the asparagus diagonally and it made all different lengths and thicknesses. In the end, we ended up with a range of how cooked the asparagus was. Next time, I would cut the asparagus straight on so that at least the lengths are similar.  

Otherwise it was delicious and I think we agree we would make it again. 

As of today's post 11 people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5.

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

Cooking Light, June 2002

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
  • 2  teaspoons  sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2  teaspoons  vegetable oil
  • 1  teaspoon  minced shallots
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sea salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  honey
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 5  cups  (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus (about 2 pounds), steamed and chilled


Combine first 10 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Combine vinegar mixture and asparagus; toss well.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 72 (28% from fat)
Fat: 2.2g (sag 0.4g, mono 0.4g, poly 1.2g)
Protein: 4.2g
Carbohydrate: 2.8g
Fiber: 3.9g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 3.4 mg
Sodium: 252mg
Calcium: 40mg

Heaven and I love pigs (aka Sour cream, cheddar and green onion drop biscuits and Peppercorn-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Soy-Caramel Sauce)

Welcome to my heaven, it's called sour cream, cheddar and green onion drop biscuits.  This is my all time favorite biscuit recipe (I may be biased though because I have not made any other CL biscuit recipes).  If you have all of the ingredients, this comes together so quickly.  Be careful about stirring the batter though--too much and you will have dried out biscuits.  The buttermilk really makes these moist and delicious.

I don't make any changes to this recipe because it's perfect.  However, since I have dark baking sheets, I cook these 25 degrees lower (@425).  Since our family has only 2 people-food members (cats don't eat biscuits), I make these and freeze the rest for later. Thaw them out as you need them. They're not quite as moist this way but they are still amazingly delicious.  We served them this week with Peppercorn-crusted pork tenderloin with soy-caramel sauce for my fiance's parents.  Let me tell you the future father-in-law kept asking for more!

As of today's post 15 reviewers gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5. I don't know who those silly people are that didn't give this a 5 but they should be punished! :)

As far as the pork tenderloin for our day after graduation dinner (congrats Schmoopie!), this is one of our favorite pork tenderloin recipes. We don't alter the recipe at all unless we only make 1 one-pound tenderloin instead of two.  It's another 5-star-er, for 22 people.

I hope you enjoy these in your home as much as we do in ours!

Sour Cream, cheddar and green onion drop biscuits

Recipe by Krista Ackerbloom Montgomery & Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light, MARCH 2005

Yield: 1 dozen (serving size: 1 biscuit)


  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  tablespoon  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 3  tablespoons  chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped green onions
  • 1  cup  fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free sour cream
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and onions; toss well. Add buttermilk and sour cream; stir just until moist.
Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove biscuits from pan; cool on wire racks.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 146 (29% from fat)
Fat: 4.7g (sat 2.9g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 5.2g
Carbohydrate: 20.1g
Fiber: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 14mg
Iron: 1mg
Sodium: 406mg
Calcium: 134mg

Peppercorn-crusted pork tenderloin with soy-caramel sauce

Recipe by Billy Strynkowski, Cooking Light, December 2005

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 slices pork and 2 tablespoons sauce)


·                                 Cooking spray
·                                 1/4  cup  minced white onion
·                                 1  teaspoon  grated peeled fresh ginger
·                                 2  garlic cloves, minced
·                                 1  cup  water
·                                 1/2  cup  sugar
·                                 1/4  cup  low-sodium soy sauce
·                                 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
·                                 1 1/2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
·                                 2  tablespoons  butter
·                                 2  (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
·                                 1  tablespoon  black peppercorns, crushed
·                                 1 1/2  teaspoons  chopped fresh thyme
·                                 1/4  teaspoon  salt


Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add water and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat; carefully stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and mustard. Add butter, stirring with a whisk. Set aside; keep warm.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Rub tenderloins evenly with crushed peppercorns, thyme, and salt. Heat a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add tenderloins, browning on all sides (about 5 minutes). Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink); let stand 10 minutes. Cut each tenderloin into 12 slices; serve with sauce.


Nutritional Information

Calories: 227 (28% from fat)

Fat: 7g (sat 2.8g,mono 3g,poly 0.6g)

Protein: 24.5g

Carbohydrate: 15.3g

Fiber: 0.4g

Cholesterol: 81mg

Iron: 1.7mg

Sodium: 441mg

Calcium: 16mg

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Candied-Walnut, Pear and Leafy Green Salad

Ok so I've had this for lunch two weeks in a row, can you say delicious?  I'm normally not a walnut person but these candied walnuts provide such a sweet crunch that's to die for.  The balsamic really complements the pears and walnuts really well.

I did make two lazy changes, which was to use Wegman's white balsamic dressing instead of making the dressing in the recipe, and to use a pre-mixed salad bag instead of mixing it at home(who has time for that).  Since I'm from NY, I love everything Wegman's and I had it in my fridge so I figured why make things more difficult for myself.  If you can find it, this dressing is excellent! 

We also had this on the side for dinner on Saturday with the in-laws (other recipes to come). I will be doing as the author suggests and make extra batches of the nuts around the holidays to give out!  I didn't try the wine paring with this but I'll have to next time.

As of today's post, 7 people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5!

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

Recipe by Cooking Light, November 2009
The sweet, crunchy nuts are great on their own--make a double batch, and give some as a gift.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)


  • 1/3  cup  sugar
  • 2/3  cup  chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
  • 3  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon  capers, chopped
  • 4  cups  torn green leaf lettuce
  • 4  cups  chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4  cups  chopped radicchio
  • 1  ripe red Anjou pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper


1. Place sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 1 minute). Continue cooking 1 minute or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat; carefully stir in nuts to coat evenly. Spread nuts on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; separate nuts quickly. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside until cool; break into small pieces.
2. Combine vinegar and mustard, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in capers.
3. Combine lettuces and radicchio; top with pear and candied walnuts. Drizzle dressing evenly over salad; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.
Wine note: I favor a crisp white with almost any green salad, and Candied Walnut, Pear, and Leafy Green Salad is no exception. 2007 Pinon Vouvray Cuvée Tradition ($16) has a gorgeous nose of honey and lemon peel that resonates perfectly with the candied nuts and pears. --Gary Vaynerchuck

Nutritional Information

Calories: 171
Fat: 11.6g (sat 1.3g,mono 4.6g,poly 5.2g)
Protein: 2.7g
Carbohydrate: 16.3g
Fiber: 2.6g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 1mg
Sodium: 177mg
Calcium: 37mg

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

The in-laws (I think it's probably safe to call them that at this point since neither of us are planning to back out of the wedding) are in town this week for my fiance's graduation from business school (woot!).  It has been a long three years with him working full time and we are all so proud of him!  So during their stay, I decided to make this delicious Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread for us to have at breakfast.  We're planning to go to Leesburg to show them the wedding venue, do some wine tasting, and probably have lunch at the rehersal dinner site, so breakfast needed to be light and easy since we will be eating a lot.  

I've made this before and it is so moist and delicious I can't even tell you!  I made it one weekend and brought the leftovers into work so they wouldn't be around the house. The leftovers were gobbled up by noon with everyone raving for the recipe.

The only change I made was to use vanilla low-fat yogurt. I stumbled on this the first time when Wegman's didn't have plain yogurt so I subbed vanilla. I've read other reviews who recommend this change as well.

As of today's post 98 (YES NINETY EIGHT PEOPLE) rated this a 5 out of 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So in other words you need to stop looking at the computer, go out and get the ingredients, now!

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

Recipe by Cooking Light, September 2003

Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices (serving size: 1 slice)


  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/2  cup  egg substitute
  • 1/3  cup  plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2  cup  semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg substitute, and yogurt; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 183 (23% from fat)
Fat: 4.7g (sat 2.8g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 3.1g
Carbohydrate: 33.4g
Fiber: 1.3g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Iron: 1.1mg
Sodium: 180mg
Calcium: 18mg

Honey-Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

Looking for a quick Asian meal? Here it is!!  The combination of soy sauce, garlic, hoisin sauce and honey in the marinade make this a great sweet/salty combo.  Hoisin sauce is an Asian cooking sauce, with a plum-based flavor. You can find it in the Asian aisle of your supermarket. It also lasts a while so you don't have to worry about buying a random ingredient. I think we've had ours for 2 years and used it only to make this recipe several times.  Also they want you to use 'clover' or 'sage' honey but we always just use regular honey.

Instead of using tenderloin, this time we made this with thinly sliced chops, only because we had chops in the freezer and tenderloin can be expensive.  We served it with steamed broccoli and Trader Joe's Pork Gyoza potstickers.  We've made this before using the tenderloin and it's equally as tasty. If you use chops, be sure to adjust your cooking times accordingly, no one wants extra tough pork.  Instead of 2 cloves of garlic minced, we used 2 tsp of the minced garlic in a jar.

As of today's post, 28 people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Marcia Whyte SmartCooking Light, OCTOBER 2005

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and about 2 teaspoons honey mixture)


  • 2  tablespoons  sliced green onions
  • 2  tablespoons  hoisin sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  sage honey
  • 1  tablespoon  hot water
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour 1/4 cup honey mixture into a large zip-top plastic bag; reserve remaining honey mixture. Add pork to bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle pork with salt. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 2 minutes, browning on all sides. Brush 1 tablespoon reserved honey mixture over pork; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place skillet in oven. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink) or until desired degree of doneness.
Place pork on a platter; let stand 5 minutes. Cut pork across the grain into thin slices. Drizzle with the remaining honey mixture.

Nutritional Information

195 (20% from fat)
4.3g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.6g)