*We get a lot of cookbooks in at The Food ChannelÂ® but this one got our attention when it was plopped on the editor’s desk â€“ mostly because all four pounds of it made a louder-than-usual â€˜plopâ€™! Imagine the irony, then, when we opened the box and found the title was â€˜Cooking Light Complete Cookbook.â€™
Complete, yes. Light, well, not in weight or depth of content. It is, however, the book you need if you are ready to exchange calories for flavor.
We turned it over to our chief nutritionist, Cari Price, for review. Here’s what she had to say:*
The name fits it, Complete Cookbook: A Fresh New Way To Cook.
I love the fact that they take the mystery out of preparing less common fresh fruits & vegetables like pomegranates, fava beans, figs, etc. The â€˜in seasonâ€™ section for shopping at farmer’s markets or produce section includes how to select, store, prepare, cook and (my favorite) the health benefits of seasonal produce. Also, the pictures included, I imagine, would be very helpful to beginning cooks; it’s like a fresh produce encyclopedia with recipes and seasonal menus!
The â€˜healthy cookingâ€™ section includes safe cooking temperatures, tips on choosing tools & equipment, information on which nutrients in food matter the most, healthy cooking techniques, and food storage do’s and don’ts. The â€˜entertainingâ€™ section of the book features menus for special events or quick & easy weekday meals, a count down calendar to help keep hosts/hostesses organized as well as tips on decor, lighting, wine and bar set up.
Throughout the book there are helpful â€˜how toâ€™ boxes which feature step-by-step pictured demonstrations on cooking technique, such as roasting red peppers or beating egg whites. There are also â€˜test kitchen tipsâ€™ that give quick instructions on things like toasting nuts or selecting a white chocolate for a particular recipe. Both are helpful, interesting and easy to understand.
The very special thing about this cookbook is that they list out nutritional information for each recipe â€“ plus, most of the recipes are photographed. There are very few cookbooks in my personal collection with nutritional information and I tend to search them out. Also, it’s a big disappointment to me when there is not a photograph of recipes – I like to eat with my eyes first!
I’ve been a Cooking Light subscriber for close to 10 years and actually keep every issue marked with my favorite recipes. I will definitely be adding this book to my cookbook collection! It’s a great resource including charts for everything from low-fat substitutions to proper refrigeration & freezer storage guidelines. Most importantly, the recipes are fresh, healthy, and on-trend.
Cooking Light Complete Cookbook: A Fresh New Way to Cook (Cooking Light) comes in a five-ring binder with an assortment of colorful tabs â€“ healthy cooking, entertaining, and in season are there, in addition to the more usual categories. It features more than 1,200 recipes, with more than 600 photos.
It also has a few added perks, such as a binder that wipes clean, an interactive DVD, and information about using seasonal produce.
Did you catch that part about the interactive DVD? It’s a version of the Cooking Light Dinner Tonight Cookbook, featuring 40 videos of easy cooking techniques and 100 additional recipes.
Conclusion: This cookbook is one that is destined to be dog-eared from use.
For sample recipes, see:
Grilled Mahi Mahi with Peach and Pink Grapefruit Relish