I started receiving copies of Cooking Light magazine one day when one appeared in my in-box on my desk at work with a note that said, “Do you want this? If not, I’ll recycle.” It was unmistakeably my friend Debbie’s handwriting. I was thrilled. I always like to try new recipes, and I thought I’d make a point of making at least one recipe.
With the first issue, March 2010, I couldn’t help noticing that five of the recipes included bacon as one of the ingredients:
Spicy Shrimp and Grits, page 24, (510 calories, 15.9 grams of fat, 206 miligrams of cholestoral, and 972 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: 1 cup);
Chickpeas with Broccoli Rabe and Bacon, page 95, (263 calories, 10.3 grams of fat, 20 miligrams of cholestoral, and 743 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: It doesn’t say; it just says recipe yields 4 servings.);
Bacon, Ranch, and Chicken Mac and Cheese, page 126, (497 calories, 17 grams of fat, 74 miligrams of cholestoral, and 767 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: about 2 cups);
Irish Bacon and Cabbage with Mustard Sauce, page 148, (305 calories, 13 grams of fat, 76 miligrams of cholestoral, and 909 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: It doesn’t say; it just says recipe yields 8 servings); and
Bacon and Butternut Pasta, page 166, (385 calories, 14.1 grams of fat, 31 miligrams of cholestoral, and 701 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: 1 cup);
Is it me? Or am I the only one who thinks that cooking light means leaving out the bacon? Now the recipes didn’t call for a LOT of bacon, but still, when you think of cooking light, do you think of adding a few pieces of bacon to your pasta or broccoli and chickpea salad? No. So okay, I skipped those recipes, even though I’m one of those people who will leave out ingredients and add in others to suit my taste.
I ran into Debbie later and thanked her for the magazine. She said she never actually made any of the recipes in the magazine. She ordered it when her son or daughter was trying to raise money for some school thing. She said when it came in the mail, she thought, “What the … Did I order this??” We agreed that maybe she should cancel the subscription and maybe switch to a different magazine.
I decided to try the carrot soup recipe. No bacon needed. I followed the recipe exactly, which I don’t usually do, and it turned out more like carrot mush. Maybe it would make a good carrot mush side dish?
The May 2010 issue arrived in my in-box shortly after. I got excited about the pizza on the cover. When I mentioned the recipe to my husband, he asked if I would check at the grocery store if there were any bags of already made dough that didn’t have holes poked in them. Yes, the request was, “Look for a bag of dough that doesn’t have any holes poked in it.” He’d been wanting to try the dough, but the bags always had holes, like kids walked by and poked holes in the bags. Holes, like I used to poke in the plastic covers on the chairs at my Dad’s parents’ house when I was little. Either that or some pizza competitor strategically employs network of dough bag pokers. Or the yeast makes the dough expand so much that it explodes.
On the day that I went to the grocery store, no holes in the bags. Hooray! So I didn’t end up trying the Cooking Light pizza recipe from issue number 2. But sure enough, there were more bacon recipes.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach, page 174, (323 calories, 6.5 milligrams of fat, 106 milligrams of cholestoral, and 885 milligrams of sodium-serving size: It doesn’t say; it just says recipe yields 4 servings.);
Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach, page 190, (405 calories, 19.1 grams of fat, 38 milligrams of cholestoral, and 555 milligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: It doesn’t say; it just says recipe yields 5 cups); and
Spring Vegetable Carbonara, page 212, (425 calories, 14.4 grams of fat, 183 milligrams of cholestoral, and 614 milligrams of sodium-serving size: 1 ¾ cups).
When the next issue covertly arrived in my in-box on my desk, the June 2010 issue, I wasn’t discouraged at all, but I was anxious to see if there were bacon recipes. Yup!
Bourbon Baked Beans, page 220, (199 calories, 3.1 grams of fat, 4 miligrams of cholestoral, and 307 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: half a cup);
Linguine with Spicy Shrimp, page 226, (436 calories, 12.2 grams of fat, 199 miligrams of cholestoral, and 694 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: 1 ¼ cup); and
BLT Bread Salad, page 227, (315 calories, 14.4 grams of fat, 26 miligrams of cholestoral, and 788 miligrams of sodium per serving-serving size: about 2 cups).
Okay, we’ll give ’em the BLT. But does every issue have at least one recipe that calls for bacon?? Is Cooking Light in cahoots with bacon? With the pork industry?
More issues came today. Debbie, cancel already, will you? One was August 2010. Yet another recipe that calls for bacon:
Summer Squash and Corn Chowder with Tomato Bruschetta, page 80, (285 calories, 9.4 grams of fat, 20 miligrams of cholesterol, and 605 milligrams of sodium per serving). Serving size: It doesn’t say; it just says recipe yields 4 servings.
And my favorite, page 245, June 2010: “Obsessed with Bacon: What can I sub for bacon for meaty, smoky flavor?”
Is it me, or does no one else think that cooking light means low fat, low cholesterol, low calorie, and low sodium??? What do you think is cooking light?
I just don’t get it!