The main reason I have found success with The Cooking Light Diet is the food. So far, the food has been delicious, filling, pretty to look at, and easy to prepare. I have discovered a renewed energy in the kitchen when it comes to cooking for my family, and I would never have guessed being on a diet would make cooking fun again. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of my family’s favorite recipes.
First, the meal that started it all: Linguine with Garlicky Kale and White Beans. Our very first diet dinner has turned into one of our favorites. I was surprised that my kids (ages 10 and 14) ate it, but they loved it. The garlic is the star here, and besides that, the recipe has very few ingredients and is easy to prepare.
Another dinner that was a hit was Seared Steaks with Red Wine-Cherry Sauce. I could not believe I made this dish; it looked so fancy! It was Sunday dinner for us, and we lapped it up. Again, very few ingredients, and who knew I could make a restaurant-y sauce? Who knew I could sear? This home cook felt quite accomplished afterwards.
Our favorite Sunday brunch dish was Banana-Almond Butter French Toast Sandwiches. I could not believe this meal was “diet food.” It was fun to cook and came out looking deceivingly decadent. The kids loved it, too! It was satisfying and a definite do-over.
My best Meatless Monday meal is the Balsamic Bow Tie Pasta Salad. The kids asked, “Why are you putting grapes in pasta salad?” I said, “Be open-minded,” although I had my doubts as well. But lo and behold, it was fantastic! They had seconds and took it for lunch the next day. The white balsamic vinegar was new to me, and I must say I discovered the Perfect Bite was a forkful of pasta, tomato, grape, and feta. Yum!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the little foods that keep me going from meal to meal: the snacks! I have gotten to where I crave these healthy snacks instead of junk and keep them on hand when I am out and about. Here are a few favorites:
The cool thing on this diet is that on the website, you can click on the picture to make it a “favorite.” Then, whenever you want to pull that recipe up, you just look at your favorites. Also, all of your meals are saved under the “My Meals” tab, so if you want to look back at what you’ve cooked, the recipes are there. There is a calendar button on the recipes where you can schedule a previous meal for the current week. The diet will help you stay organized, as well as healthy and full.
As I look ahead to one more month on this diet, I am looking forward to cooking our favorite dishes and finding some new ones. I hope to lose 9 more pounds and reach my 20-pound weight-loss goal*, but I am honestly happy with how I feel right now. I’m learning how to cook better, how to eat well, and how to eat right at the same time. That concept for me is the secret to diet success.