When it’s time to cook a meal in this apartment, tasty often overrides healthy, so I’m always looking for new recipes that combine both. I’m not an avid reader of Cooking Light magazine, but having read an issue or two, I was interested in checking out the publication’s new universal iDevice app Cooking Light Recipes: Quick and Healthy Menu Maker on my iPad.
Cooking Light offers more than 300 healthy recipes accompanied by stunning photography that makes you wonder “Why is that food not on my table right now?” To view the recipes in the app, users should swipe up and down to switch between categories, such as chicken or vegetarian entrees. Swiping side to side will flip through the available dishes. Tap “See Recipe” to see what ingredients you’ll need and directions or save the recipe to your favorites for easy reference.
The app’s best feature is its nutritional calculator. At the bottom of the screen, users will see their created menu, made up of an entree, two side dishes and a dessert, and the corresponding calories, sodium and saturated fat. If the circles are green your meal is within the limit (the app explains all of the details through the arrow in the NI box); if a circle turns red, your meal is high in that area. To get back in a healthy range, you can eliminate a side dish or the dessert, or choose a new one that might fit better — the NI will change as you swipe through the dishes, making it easy to mix and match your own meal. The suggested menu will fill in the blanks for you, or give you a new option.
I have to admit I’m excited to get in the kitchen with Cooking Light, but what I’m not excited about are the included advertisements in the app. Cooking Light is breaking a cardinal app rule by charging a hefty $4 for its product, but leaving in pop-ups on the instruction pages and full-page ads as you swipe through the recipes. Poor form! If Cooking Light Recipes: Quick and Healthy Menu Maker was ad free, I’d give it five stars, even though its recipes are light in number. Despite the app’s healthy helpfulness, with the ads in place, the app is nothing you can’t live without until they’ve been removed, or, at the least, the price is lowered.