Cookbook review: 'Cooking Light Comfort Food'
Rich comfort food favorites are given 'makeovers' into healthy and delicious dishes.
There’s nothing worse than opening a cookbook without any pictures. Fortunately, one of my favorite things about the Cooking Light Comfort Food cookbook is its scrumptious photos (which are most definitely drool-worthy). From huevos rancheros to peach ice cream, your eyes will be begging you to cook each recipe.Skip to next paragraph
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As my husband I flipped through Cooking Light’s newest Comfort Food book, we couldn’t help but bookmark almost every page. Each recipe just looked and sounded that good! Perhaps you could call my husband and I Cooking Light experts – we subscribe to the magazine, turn to their website or cookbooks for weeknight meals, and constantly recommend their recipes to friends.
While their annual cookbooks are great resources for keeping the yearly recipes on hand, they only feature a handful of photos and are organized by monthly issues. The comfort food cookbook, on the other hand, is a brilliant idea – some of my favorite foods – mac ‘n’ cheese, pot pie, cinnamon buns, and meatloaf – are "lightened" so you don’t have to feel guilty for indulging in these classic dishes.
I had already made some of the recipes featured in the cookbook over the years as a Cooking Light fan, but I decided to try a few new ones including cinnamon buns. The soft, warm cinnamon buns topped with ooey- gooey white icing may have been a lot of effort, but the taste made up for it – and the fewer-calories count is a bonus. For health-conscious readers, the cookbook includes complete nutrition information with each recipe. It also features different variations on classics including pumpkin cinnamon rolls and barbecue meatloaf.
On another night, I made cheesy chicken enchiladas. One fun thing I enjoyed throughout the book were the little nutrition tidbits that accompany most recipes explaining why their version is lighter than the regular recipes. For example, the cheesy chicken enchiladas were featured as a recipe makeover, where a reader had submitted a family recipe that was originally 773 calories and 53.4 grams of fat per serving. Cooking Light revamped this family favorite using half the amount of reduced fat cheese, plain yogurt instead of sour cream, less butter, and a reduced-fat, reduced-sodium can of cream of chicken soup. The result: 454 calories per serving and 20.3 grams of fat. These rich and creamy enchiladas were the perfect dish to make on a Sunday evening (and even better as leftovers the next day). Who says eating healthy can’t also be tasty?
Amy Nagel is a Monitor contributor.
Cooking Light Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Source: Cooking Light Comfort Food (Oxmoor House, March 2010)
2-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1-2/3 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup (such as Healthy Request), undiluted
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.