Blog Posts by CookingLight.com

  • How to Avoid Uneven Cooking on the Grill and in the Oven

    Cooking Mistake #23

    Cooking Mistake: Food cooks unevenly on the grill or in the oven: The outside is overdone, the inside rare or raw.

    Meats will cook much more evenly if you allow them to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the cut) to take the chill off.

    A roast that goes into the oven refrigerator-cold will likely yield a piece of meat that is overcooked on the outside and undercooked at the center. As you slice the roast, you'll see a bull's-eye effect: The middle is rare (or even raw) while the outside is well done. This is less of a problem with smaller cuts like chicken breasts―though even those benefit from resting at room temperature for five or 10 minutes before cooking.

    See More of Our Most Common Cooking Mistakes

    Grilled Steak with Fresh Mango Salsa

    Ingredients

    1 teaspoon garam masala
    1 teaspoon brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 (1-pound) flat-iron or flank steak
    1 cup diced peeled

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  • How to Make Potato Salad

    Reinvent this popular staple by replacing saturated fat with heart-healthy options and slashing sodium without losing flavor.

    Americans can definitely agree on one thing: Potatoes are our favorite veggie. Each of us eats about a whopping 130 pounds per year. During the summer months (if not year-round), you can safely bet that loads of potatoes find their way into the ubiquitous potato salad. Honestly, can you have a cookout or picnic without one? Despite regional interpretations, there's really one basic way to make this popular dish. And here, we'll show you how to master the technique and turn out a variety of unique, healthy salads.

    Don't Miss:
    Healthy Potato Recipes
    100-Calorie Toppings for Taters
    Superfast Side-Dish Recipes


    Read More »from How to Make Potato Salad
  • No-Cook Meals

    Our best fast and fresh healthy no-cook entrées for the hottest days in summer.

    Don't Miss:
    Great Summer Salads
    Summer Drinks
    Summer Appetizers

    Read More »from No-Cook Meals
  • Get the Right Boost from Your Juice: Energy Drinks Decoded

    Energy Drinks Decoded

    Energy is something all creatures need and something Americans apparently believe they are in terribly short supply of, as exhibited by the amazing profusion of flavored waters containing antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins, and shots of caffeine. These drinks-and the ingredients within-can be broken down into a few basic categories.

    THE CALORIE QUESTION

    To provide actual bona fide energy, a drink has to contain calories, and that usually means sugar. If you're concerned about calories-and if that's one reason you're on the treadmill at the gym in the first place-read the labels.

    First, check serving size. Some beverages have 2 to 3 servings per bottle or can, so if your drink is not calorie-free, serving size is important. Calories in energy drinks most often come from sugar: 4 calories per gram. A 12-ounce Coke, for reference, has 140 calories.

    Second, ask if these are the right kind of calories. The body perceives calories delivered in liquid form as less

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  • 20-Minute Recipe: Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

    Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

    Chicken with kick, paired with a spicy pineapple dressing, makes this Cooking Light main-dish salad recipe one to add to your repetoire.

    See More: Superfast Salads

    Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

    Ingredients

    1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Cooking spray
    1 1/4 cups (1-inch) cubed fresh pineapple (about 8 ounces), divided
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon minced habanero pepper
    1 large garlic clove
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    3/4 cup julienne-cut peeled jicama
    2/3 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach (about 8 cups)

    See More: 5-Ingredient Salads

    Preparation

    1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness using a meat

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  • Foods that Sound Healthy (but Aren't)

    Salad, bran muffins, fat-free foods―they're good for you, right? Not always. Nutrition expert Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, reveals surprisingly unhealthy foods, plus better-for-you alternatives.

    Herbed Greek Chicken Salad

    Ingredients

    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    Cooking spray
    1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
    5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
    1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
    2 teaspoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
    1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
    8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
    1 cup peeled chopped English cucumber
    1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
    6 pitted kalamata olives, halved
    1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese

    Preparation

    Combine oregano, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking

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  • How to Avoid Dry Turkey Burgers

    Southwest Turkey Burgers

    Cooking Mistake: Dried out turkey burgers that stick to the grill. Next time, add a little heart-healthy fat to help the meat stay moist and juicy.

    A well-made turkey burger is a delicious, lower-fat backyard grill treat, but if you don't compensate for the leanness of the meat, you could be eating turkey-flavored particleboard. Mostly it's a matter of getting the patty off the grill before it dries out (or sticks and falls apart)-a job made trickier by the need to cook poultry to 165°. So, to avoid sawdust syndrome, add a little fat to the meat. Yes, add fat. This might seem counterproductive, but it's not if you use a fat that's heart-healthy.

    See More: 15 Delicious Turkey Burger Recipes

    The fat in question? Olive oil. Stirring in two tablespoons olive oil per pound of ground turkey keeps the burgers moist and juicy and also helps them form a nicely browned crust on the outside that won't stick to the grill.

    Even better: Sauté 1 cup diced onion in 2 tablespoons

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  • 20-Minute Recipe: Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches

    Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches

    The bright, bold flavors in this dish mean you don't need a side with a lot of high impact flavors. Serve over quick-cooking couscous.

    See More Superfast Fruit Recipes

    Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches

    Ingredients

    2 teaspoons olive oil
    4 (4-ounce) center-cut boneless pork loin chops, trimmed
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    2 peaches, each cut into 8 wedges
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
    2 teaspoons honey
    2 teaspoons butter

    Preparation

    1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chops evenly with salt and pepper. Add chops to pan; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chops from pan, and keep warm. Add shallots, thyme, and peaches to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced

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  • Strawberries, Peaches, and Basil with Orange Vinaigrette

    Dan Barber, the chef of the acclaimed locavore restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York, created the first dessert vinaigrette I had encountered. This is an adaptation of his recipe, which incorporated much more olive oil and melted butter. The warm vinaigrette releases an intoxicating perfume when poured over the fresh fruit. Serve within 20 minutes of preparing for maximum flavor and optimal temperature.

    Strawberries, Peaches, and Basil with Orange Vinaigrette

    Ingredients

    1 cup fresh orange juice
    1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    Dash of salt
    1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
    1 pound fresh strawberries, halved
    1 large ripe peach or nectarine, cut into 16 wedges
    1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves

    See More: 20 Favorite Strawberry Recipes

    Preparation

    1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to

    Read More »from Radically Simple Cooking with Rozanne Gold: Strawberries, Peaches, and Basil with Orange Vinaigrette
  • Fresh Summer Pizza Recipes

    Our recipe for summer entertaining at its best: Invite friends over, scoop up some superfresh ingredients, and throw an easy pizza pie party. Making two different pies for your party means more fun, so select a contrasting pair to keep it interesting. Decide whether you want your pizza saucy, flatbread-like, or creamy; you'll find each type here.

    Summer Grilled Vegetable Pizza

    Ingredients

    1 pound refrigerated fresh pizza dough
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
    1 (4-ounce) zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices
    1 (4-ounce) yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices
    1 small red onion (about 7 ounces), cut into 12 wedges
    2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    Cooking spray
    1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
    1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon's)
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and torn into pieces

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