Got a food you just don't care for? Our recipes may change your mind.

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

It’s completely okay to be a little picky when it comes to food. You probably scan recipes and know right away you’ll never make them when you see ingredients you dislike, or politely decline when a plate of a certain something is passed your way. Hey, we get it. After all, to borrow a phrase from an Apple Jacks commercial, “We eat what we like.”

But sometimes a recipe will incorporate a disliked (or overlooked) ingredient in such a way that you may start to enjoy—maybe even love—it. Well, we’d like to think Cooking Light specializes in those kinds of recipes. And since the Cooking Light Diet creates meal plans using thousands of those dishes, we knew there were bound to be members who have turned unloved foods into savored ones. So we asked our members—via the Cooking Light Diet Facebook Community— what foods they used to dislike before joining. Here’s what they had to say.

Interested in learning more about the Cooking Light Diet? Join today at or email your questions here:

Learn to Love New Proteins

Before the Cooking Light Diet, Patricia Reidy Lawrence was someone who wouldn’t touch certain foods no matter what. But since joining, she’s expanded her willingness to try new things.

“After so many rave reviews on the Cooking Light Diet Community Facebook page about the Salmon with Hoisin Glaze, I decided to put it on the dinner table last night. So delicious! So easy! This morning my husband asked me to serve that again more often. Salmon is now going to be in a my regular rotation.”

Patricia added, “Cooking Light recipes are so reliably good that I feel safe using them to try new foods, ingredients, or cooking techniques. I encourage everyone not to be afraid to try something new. You may discover a new favorite that you have been missing out on!”

Combine Crazy (Delicious) Ingredients

We’re always trying new things in our test kitchens, so we encourage members to try new things in their home kitchens. Susan Pinney says, “...The Tuna, Avocado, and Pickled Onion Sandwich is a delicious surprise! It seems an odd combination of flavors, but it was good. Even my husband who turns down avocado at every opportunity liked it! Wow. Hooray for me and hooray for Cooking Light Diet!”

Joyce Van Huis also gave a new toast topper a try. She says, “The Avo-Tahini Toast is one of those dishes that I would never put these ingredients together, but the picture always looks so appetizing, I decided to try it. Friends, it was sensational! Just the right amount of flavors and textures. Give it a whirl.”

Enjoy a New Take on Breakfast

Member Trish Farmer Benson said she never would have considered eating her current favorite breakfast, Quinoa with Blueberries and Almonds, pre-Cooking Light Diet. But now? “I love it! I keep portioned bags of precooked quinoa in the freezer for super fast breakfasts. It takes about a minute or so in the microwave straight from the freezer.”

Try a New Vegetable

It’s definitely important to consume veggies when following any healthy eating plan, and trying new foods and recipes can expand the list of vegetables you’re willing — and excited — to eat. Laura Buck says, “This Brussels Sprout with Pecan recipe changed my opinion of the mini cabbage. “

Member Lisa McWhinney tried snow peas for the first time, and now loves them. She says, “The Hoisin Sloppy Joe and Snow Peas with Ginger as the side seemed like a weird combination. But, it was actually delicious. The snow peas, which I have never made before, added this great crunch and I loved the sesame ginger flavors.”

Spice Up Snacks

When it comes to choosing a snack every day, repetition can be comforting. But branching out beyond a bag of chips can result in new favorites. Member Tuesday Lucero says that’s the case with Cinnamon Toast Popcorn. “Popcorn tossed with a cinnamon and sugar mixture is delicious. Why did this never occur to me before?”

Make Homemade Ingredients

Trying new recipes encourages members to make foods from scratch, which can make for some truly delicious home cooked meals. Carrie Bulger says, “I'm an adventurous eater and cook, so there's not much I hadn't tried to cook before starting the Cooking Light Diet. The Zucchini, Cherry Tomato and Fresh Ricotta Pasta was one of the first recipes I made after I joined, and I likely would not have made it because it wouldn't have occurred to me to make my own ricotta. It is amazing.”

Lighten Up Favorites

Even if there aren’t any ingredients you won’t try, we still have some tricks at Cooking Light to help make your favorite foods taste even more delicious—while keeping the calories low. Jillian Forsman-Lalli says, “I made the Ultimate BBQ Chicken tonight. It was really good. The most surprising part was the Creamy Potato Salad. I wasn't sure about the Greek yogurt, but it was wonderful!”