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  • The Best Recipes of 2020, According to Cooking Light Diet Members

    Posted January 7th, 2021 by

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    *This post highlights user-selected best recipes of 2020, and was very obviously written prior to 1/6/21.

    It is with much fanfare and glorious relief that we enter into a new year, leaving the dumpster fire that was 2020 to smolder. And with all new beginnings, 2021 brings with it hopes for not just a better year, but a better life.

    Y’all know what I’m talking about; January of each year always comes with a healthy dose of resolutions, gym memberships, changed eating habits, and lots and lots of hope. We’ve all been there. The challenge isn’t in the resolution-making, though. That’s easy enough. The challenge is in the following through. How can you make positive, impactful life changes you actually stick with?

    Here at Cooking Light Diet, we don’t have all the answers. It’d be disingenuous to claim otherwise. But one thing we do know how to do is create delicious, healthy meal plans for everyday cooks. And since how and what you eat is a huge part of people’s yearly resolutions, we find again and again that folks turn to us each January to help them live healthier. It’s not disingenuous to say that. On the contrary, there are lots and lots of Cooking Light Diet members who would back that claim.

    So, with the thought of new or prospective members in mind, we wanted to share what recipes our members loved in 2020. And that got a lot easier thanks to Sue Given. Sue posted in our Facebook Community late last year, asking members for their favorite recipes that could be prepared in 30 minutes or less. We’ve compiled some of the responses below. If you’re wanting to change the way you eat in 2021, this list—and the Cooking Light Diet—are here to help.

    Behold, our best recipes of 2020! Thank you for helping, Sue, and thank YOU for reading. We hope you’ll subscribe to the Cooking Light Diet if you haven’t already. Let us give you one less thing to worry about in 2021.

    Pat’s Favorite Recipes

    We’ll start with meals from Cooking Light Diet superuser Patricia Reidy Lawrence. Pat lost 30 pounds with the service and has kept it off for over three years while enjoying favorites like Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    On cold winter days in Maryland, Pat warms up with a soothing bowl of Quick Loaded Potato Soup.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Jennifer Causey

    As someone who’s also into genealogy, Pat and her husband really embraced the latter’s Hungarian roots. And for Pat, that’s another reason to love the Cooking Light Diet because she’s made lots of Pierogies with Bacon, Sautéed Onion, and Sour Cream.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    And then there’s the pièce de résistance: mouthwatering Greek-Style Chicken Breasts. We can’t wait to eat at Pat’s place!

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Stephen DeVries

    Erin’s Favorite Meal

    Cooking Light Diet member Erin Rives Kerr shared an indulgent superfast meal as one she loves. On your next special occasion, take her advice and make this 30-Minute Filet Bourguignonne with Mashed Potatoes.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Iain Bagwell

    Eunice’s Favorite Recipe

    We’ll continue this journey of “wait, there’s no way that’s diet food, right?” with a selection from Eunice Bernardi Speckenheuer. Her go-to is this Pork Ragù with Polenta, which she exclaims is both “easy and so tasty.” As someone who’s made this recipe myself, I concur, Eunice!

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Jennifer Causey

    Jenny’s Favorite Meals

    Jenny Washausen Panzer’s selected a 30-minute favorite from each meal category—breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Take her advice and schedule a Sausage, Feta, and Kale Frittata for breakfast, and then have a filling Grilled Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Sandwich for lunch. And for dinner she went with the Pork Stir-Fry with Snow Peas. We like your style, Jenny!

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Colin Clark

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Jennifer Causey

    Lauren’s Favorites

    Dr. Lauren Appell Aronson weighed in with her picks for best 30-minute recipes. Like Pat Lawrence, Lauren has an affinity for the Pierogies with Bacon, Sautéed Onion, and Sour Cream. She also appreciates a sheet pan dinner, selecting Salmon with Green Beans and Smashed Potatoes as another fast favorite.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Caitlin Bensel

    And Tuesday nights must be pretty tasty at the Aronson household because Lauren really loves the Beef Tostadas with Quick-Pickled Onions (we’re trying to make Tostada Tuesday a thing—help us out). Yum!

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Jennifer Causey

    Liz’s Favorite Skillet

    Looking for an easy and delicious weeknight meal? Liz Striegl can’t speak highly enough of this Sausage, Shrimp, & Quinoa Skillet. You should definitely trust Liz on this—she and her husband, Nate, know a thing or two about Cooking Light Diet success.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Jennifer Causey

    Patti’s Pick

    As for Cooking Light Diet member Patti Paulson Wolcott, she’s partial to Pork Chops with Herbed Goat Cheese Butter and Green Beans, which she calls “one of my favorites and so easy!”

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Greg Dupree

    Victoria’s Favorite

    Victoria Bryant’s favorites will have you covered at every mealtime. First, she mentioned Ham and Sweet Potato Hash, which you could eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Caitlin Bensel

    And then there’s the Roasted Vegetable Plate with Herbed Dressing, a vegetarian delight filling enough to please even the hungriest human.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Caitlin Bensel

    Finally, Victoria rounded out her favorites with Quick Mongolian Beef Stir-Fry, a superfast, ready-in-20-minutes masterpiece. We love your choices, Victoria!

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Caitlin Bensel

    Sue’s Go-To Recipes

    And at last we’ve come full-circle to Sue Given, the originator of this Community challenge. Sue has successfully fed her family of six for years thanks to the Cooking Light Diet, so picking favorites is no small task. But she and the rest of the Given clan are extremely partial to Linguine with Easy Meat Sauce

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Johnny Autry

    Chicken & Rice Soup with Lemon and Ginger

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Randy Mayor

    …along with a perennial Cooking Light Diet favorite, Sheet Pan Beef and Black Bean Nachos.

    Cooking Light Diet's best recipes of 2020

    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    All excellent choices, Sue.

    If you find any of the above recipes appealing, you’re in luck! Subscribe to the Cooking Light Diet today at the link below and start scheduling them into your weekly meal plans. Give yourself one less thing to worry about in 2021. Cheers!

    *Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose 1/2 lb. per week.