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updated: 5/24/2011 12:38 PM

Web of online healthy cooking sites

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Boy do I love the Internet. Long after I've recycled my favorite magazines, the content lives on online, giving me 24/7 access to information that can help me eat well and stay on my weight-management plan with the click of a mouse.

True, a website can't actually put a meal on the table, but buried in the layers of pop-ups for special cookies promising to peel off the pounds and flashing ads for skinny jeans lies some terrific information.

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I've done my fair share of reading and web surfing over the years and I keep coming back to two magazines and their companion websites for solid nutrition information and healthy, tasty and user-friendly recipes: EatingWell and Cooking Light.

Eating Well first came on the scene in 1990 and in 2002 morphed into EatingWell (one word) and eatingwell.com. A recent issue featured a piece on how celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and others approach healthy potluck suppers with tasty recipes such as Ming Tsai's Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad. That same issue also showcased summer fruit desserts with odd names but tasty results like Cherry Raspberry Buckle (it's like a soft moist cake) and Apricot Grunt (similar to a cobbler).

At this writing, EW's website features pieces on seven tricks to cut calories without noticing and one showcasing 20-minute meals that will help you slim down. Both the magazine and website provide full nutrition information on all the recipes.

On the Cooking Light side I admit a bit of a bias: it was the first magazine I subscribed to in 1990 when I set out to drop 100-plus pounds and I was featured in the January/February 2001 issue. Recipes in the early '90s were basic and simplistic and over the years have evolved with reader palates into sophisticated fare staying true to its "light" mission. And, the CL test kitchens are second to none (I've been there).

The May issue featured a bevy of good stuff like healthy morning meals (part of its 12 Healthy Habits series), Mark Bittman's recipes for heating things up with fresh chiles, lightening up cream pies and a guide to choosing sustainiable fish and shellfish. All recipes have complete nutritional information.

The website, cookinglight.com, features almost everything you'll find in the newsstand issue, plus a searchable recipe database.

If you want content that's less food-focused and more health- and style-driven, you'll find it at Health magazine, health.com, and Women's Health magazine, womenshealthmag.com. Great information and tasty recipes, too.

Try this recipe: Here's a sample of a 30-minute dinner I found at EatingWell.com. If only there was an e-commerce link that could deliver this to my door.

• Don Mauer welcomes questions, comments and recipe makeover requests. Write him at don@theleanwizard.com.

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