You + Food: What you're cooking, how you're eating

At Every Day with Rachael Ray, we think about our readers a lot, and we're always angling to get invited into their kitchens. So with our annual reader poll in our February issue, we asked 'em to let us in! Take a look at the results-and let us know what you think, too.

Everyone seems to be putting a personal spin on recipes:

15% add veggies.
OUR IDEA Defrost a box of frozen cauliflower and add to takeout Indian or Chinese food to stretch it out into two (healthier) meals.
Try: Winter Vegetable Curry in a Hurry »

22% swap in lower-cal ingredients.
OUR IDEA Use high-flavor, low-fat feta in place of other cheeses.
Try: Lazy Baked Greek Chicken »

29% get creative with spices.
OUR IDEA Try adding tangy mustard powder to your next batch of mac 'n' cheese.
Try: Baked Macaroni and Gouda »

34% substitute with on-hand ingredients.
OUR IDEA If you're making cookies and are out of walnuts, sub in granola.
Try: Carrot Cake Cookies »


88% cook up a white-meat dinner once a week or more.
Only 30% make seafood weekly.
50% make vegetarian dinners rarely (less than once a month).

24% almost never get their five daily servings of fruits and veggies.

OUR IDEA Hey, eating less meat is good for the environment-not to mention one's waistline. But fruits and veggies: This is important, people! We rely on bags of washed spinach, which we throw into soup and tomato sauce, or sauté and pile onto grilled cheese. When frozen berries and cherries are on sale, we stock up, defrost in the fridge, and add to cereal or yogurt.
Try: Over 100 of Rachael's hearty vegetarian 30-Minute Meals »


What's the best way to treat leftovers?
67% save them for dinner the next day.
22% freeze them for later use.
7% freeze and forget 'em.
4% toss them.

OUR IDEA Try our Top 20 freezable recipes »

How much is a restaurant meal worth?
24% would spend $100 tops on dinner for two.
24% say $80 is their max.
23% don't worry about the cost, saying that great food is worth any amount of money.
20% cap it off at $60.
9% won't spend more than $40.

OUR IDEA Splurging is fun, but borrowing restaurant tricks to "eat out" at home is sometimes even more memorable.
Try: 6 tips to eating out at home »


40% are looking to lose 20 or more pounds in 2011.
31% want to drop 10 to 15 pounds.
16% are happy with their weight.

Dessert is the high-cal restaurant item most splurged on (31%), but wine and cocktails (29%), red meat (21%) and the bread basket (19%) aren't far behind.

42% admit to overeating on vacation.

OUR IDEA In 2011, we'll be incorporating more whole grains, lean proteins and vegetables into our delicious-as-ever recipes.
Try: Nearly 500 good-for-you recipes, right now »


62% percent dread scrubbing pots and pans-the most unpopular chore by far, beating out unloading the dishwasher, cleaning counters and making coffee.

OUR IDEA Um...we hate cleaning up too!

By the staff of Every Day with Rachael Ray