Blog Posts by CookingLight.com

  • Healthiest fast-food breakfasts

    Next time you're in a hurry, fuel up with these quick yet healthy fast food breakfast options. You'll be pleasantly surprised. -By Karen Ansel, RD

    Photo courtesy of Jamba JuicePhoto courtesy of Jamba JuiceBreakfast On-the-Go
    Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it's also the one we have the least time for. But before you go without-or grab an oversized bagel or donut-check out the latest fast food offerings. Many are actually good for you and slimming too.

    Read More: 5 Tips To Keep Fueled All Day

    Starbucks: Protein Plate
    When it comes to breakfast on the run, it can be hard to find one with plenty of protein that's not also oozing with saturated fat. Enter Starbucks' Protein Plate, an energizing combo of fruit, peanut butter, a hard cooked egg, and a mini bagel. Together these deliver the perfect balance of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats to help you power through your morning. One serving provides 370 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 17 grams each of protein and fat, and 5 grams of saturated fat. Pair it with a cup

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  • Jazz up chicken with simple sauces

    Take the ho-hum out of a basic chicken breast with these versatile sauces. All are made with 6 or fewer ingredients.

    White Wine Sauce
    This classic sauce deserves a place in your repertoire. It takes everyday dishes up a notch with a touch of elegance and lots of flavor, yet very little effort. Pair it with a sautéed chicken breast, a tilapia filet, or a pork loin. It's also good on pasta.

    Pantry Checklist:

    • Onion
    • Chicken broth (fat-free, less-sodium)
    • Dry white wine
    • White wine vinegar
    • Butter
    • Fresh chives

      View Recipe: White Wine Sauce

      Parsley Pesto
      No-cook! A nice twist on traditional basil pesto, this version uses flat-leaf parsley for a fresh, herbal flavor. Great on pastas, bruschetta, pizzas, and sandwiches, this pesto is just as versatile as the classic.

      Pantry Checklist:

      • Flat-leaf parsley
      • Toasted pine nuts
      • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
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  • Beat the blues with 12 healthy snacks

    Improve mood, boost energy, and satisfy cravings with these healthy snacks recommended by our registered dietitians.

    Chocolate Hazelnut Bark
    Science says snacking is good for you. The 5,000-subject-strong National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people who ate snacks in addition to three meals a day had higher levels of nutrients in their diets.

    Smart homemade snack: Dark chocolate with nuts (139 calories)
    Benefits: Chocolate contains polyphenols and flavonoids, two types of antioxidants shown to help prevent damage caused by cholesterol in arteries.

    Rx: Chocolate?

    View Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

    Warm Cranberry-Walnut Brie
    Don't deny yourself. When Belgian researchers told 68 women to either enjoy or refuse their favorite snack, the refusers ate more of the forbidden snack once they were given the green light a day later. Sensible snacking helps you avoid bingeing.

    Read More: Hip Dips and Spreads

    Read More: Snacking Strategies

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  • Best (and worst) picks at a Chinese restaurant

    We'll show you the healthiest choices (and splurge-only dishes) to help you order wisely at Chinese restaurants.

    China's cuisine is as vast as the country itself, ranging from sublime vegetarian dishes to earthy meals using hair-raising animal parts. Here, though, many Chinese restaurants offer a mix of regional and Chinese-American-tasty food but nutritionally all over the map. We analyzed six Chinese entrées from real U.S. restaurants to help point you to healthier choices. Nutrition numbers are estimates: Results vary widely according to portion size. If sodium is a concern, ask the kitchen not to use added salt, and watch your intake the rest of the day. Your fortune: Healthy choices are in your near future.

    Read More: How To Cook Chinese at Home

    Cooking Class: Stir-Frying

    Smart Chinese Food Strategies Sodium is a major concern in Chinese-American cuisine-one tablespoon of soy sauce has about 1,000 milligrams. Reach for the low-sodium (about 500 mg) bottle, if

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  • 6 nutrition surprises

    Cooking Light's nutrition experts share news and views from the American Dietetic Association's national conference. By Kathy Kitchens Downie, MS, RD

    Kim CrossKim Cross1. Chips can make a decent snack. When you're tired of popcorn as your go-to whole grain snack, Frito Lay's Scoops are a good alternative: They fit the crunchy, salty snack bill, plus their first ingredient is whole corn. Not bad for a chip.

    Read More: Healthy Office Snacks

    2. Nutrition labels may be off. Way off. A food package's Nutrition Facts panel can lawfully be printed so the sodium value can vary by 20 percent. For example, if a package says one serving contains 480 milligrams of sodium, then your intake could be between 384 to 576 milligrams per serving!

    3. Forget good-to-bad ratios when it comes to fats. The polyunsaturated fat linked to healthy heart beats and lowered blood pressure3, omega-3 fatty acids are still the "in" nutrient. Ratios between omega-3s and omega 6s are "out," meaning many nutritional scientists

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  • Healthy frying—really!

    We were surprised-and delighted-to perfect some frying techniques that fill the bill for healthy eating. By Julianna Grimes

    Upon tasting a perfectly fried food, people often swoon and exclaim, "It's not greasy at all!" as if that were a miracle. And we've said it, too. Yet even with the ungreasy evidence in our hands, we instinctively regard a perfect beer-battered shrimp or French fry as a fat bomb. But here's the happy truth: If you fry in the right oil and follow our guidelines carefully, fried foods can have a place in a healthy diet. Science shows how proper frying minimizes oil absorption while creating that sublime, toasty crust. In our Test Kitchen, six breaded, fried catfish fillets and a basket of hush puppies absorbed only ¼ cup oil! It's all in the technique.

    Read More: 10 Nutrition Myths, Debunked

    Although it's true properly fried foods aren't as bad as once thought, frying should be an occasional treat. A few critical factors to keeping fat and calories in

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  • Refuel with healthy post-workout meals

    Recover from exercising with meals that combine the right balance of protein and carbohydrates. By Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ACT/L
    Randy MayorRandy Mayor

    Refuel and Recover
    What you eat after a workout matters! No matter what time of day you exercise, the key is to follow up with meals that combine protein, which helps your muscles recover, and carbohydrates, which replenish energy stores. For best results, eat within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise, when muscles are most receptive. During this window, an increase in enzyme activity makes the body more efficient at storing glucose for energy and building protein in fatigued muscles.

    Read More: Fitness-Friendly Snacks

    Homemade Sports Recovery Drink
    This combination of banana, milk, and yogurt makes for a fresh and satisfying sports recovery drink. Dairy products like milk and yogurt work double duty, providing both protein and carbohydrates. Bananas are packed with potassium and magnesium―powerful electrolytes for healthy muscle

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  • 5 Refreshing Homemade Sorbets

    Light, sweet, and easy to make, find 15 recipes for homemade sorbets.

    Randy MayorRandy MayorFresh, Creamy Sorbets
    The beauty of sorbet lies in its simplicity: It's basically just frozen water or juice sweetened with fruit, chocolate, liqueur, wine, or even fresh herbs. Unlike sherbet and ice cream, sorbet typically contains no dairy, making many of these recipes a good choice for anyone who is lactose intolerant or vegan. From fruity strawberry sorbet to decadent chocolate sorbet, find the perfect recipe to satisfy your cravings for a frozen treat.

    1. Pineapple Sorbet
    Make the most of fresh pineapple and cool down on a hot summer night with this deliciously smooth and creamy pineapple dessert.

    View Recipe: Pineapple Sorbet


    Read More: Ultimate Summer Desserts

    2. Pink Grapefruit Sorbet
    In this refreshing palate cleansing sorbet, sugar tames the tartness of grapefruit juice. And with just two ingredients, it could not be simpler to prepare. A serving delivers about

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  • Kid-Friendly Recipes (That You'll Love, Too)

    One dish CAN please both picky kids and gourmet grown-ups. These recipes can be tweaked for each. By Monica Bhide

    One Dish, Two Ways
    It's the classic family dinner dilemma: Finding a dish your kids will eat and you can enjoy, too. Don't dumb down your dinner or cook separate meals. Just pick recipes that can adapt easily for both picky eaters and sophisticated palates. Use each of these nutritious recipes as a starting point, then add a playful twist for a kid-friendly meal and an upscale adaptation for a gourmet dinner you'll love.

    See More: How to Stretch Your Food Budget






    1. Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs
    Top-rated by readers, these simple kebabs are sure to please kids. (Who doesn't love a meal-on-a-stick?) If you don't want to fire up the grill, sauté the shrimp and veggies in pan, or try a grill pan.

    For Kids: Sweeten the marinade by adding orange juice. Boost the veggie quotient by adding bell peppers, broccoli, or onions to your skewers.

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  • Healthiest Picks from the Convenience Store

    Make healthy choices when you're traveling by choosing these light snacks from the convenience store. By: Karen Ansel, RD


    This summer, millions of Americans will take to the roads. If you're one of them you may think that means hours with nothing to nosh on but convenience store staples like chips and cookies. Not anymore. While convenience stores still have their fair share of less-than-optimal eats, many now stock a surprising selection of fresh and healthy choices. Next time you stop to refuel, test drive these light snacks.

    1. Whole grain cereal cups
    Why start your day with a donut when you can get wholesome whole grain cereal? You may need to dig through the cereal display to find it, but it's in there. Just be sure to read the label, as some varieties are more healthful than others. Look for brands that supply at least 4 grams of fiber and about 160 calories per cup (Cheerios are a safe bet that are almost always available). Mix with low-fat yogurt and a banana

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