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Healthy Cooking Hacks

Dec 9, 2015

If you're new to healthy eating and have always thought that you have to run a five-star restaurant in order to make even the healthiest of foods taste good, then you're not alone. Making the lifestyle change that includes healthy eating habits can be quite overwhelming, particularly if you don't cook often or don't have the time to spend in the kitchen for much longer than you must.

We've put together a list of simple ingredients, techniques and must-have gadgets that can help you become the five-star chef of your kitchen.

  1. Use this formula: Protein + Veggie + Healthy Fat Using a good frying pan and some high-heat cooking oil like coconut oil, you can throw together a healthy meal in less than 10 minutes. Cut your protein (steak, chicken, pork) into strips and all of your veggies into similar sized pieces, and you're good to go!
  2. Get a good knife Don't fall for the knife block with 2345 different shaped and sized knives. You don't need to waste the money or the counter space. Invest in a high-quality chef's knife. After you get your groceries home, go ahead and pre-slice or chop them and package them for later use.
  3. Shop frozen I don't mean Hungry Man or Lean Cuisine. Stock up on frozen vegetables, especially when they go on sale. They are a good addition to any meal when you're in a pinch. They are picked at their peak freshness then frozen, so they maintain all of their nutrition--unlike canned.
  4. Makeover your dressing Store-bought vinaigrettes are often made with suspicious oils (i.e. canola, corn or soy)--even if the label claims otherwise. Just check the ingredient list! To avoid this altogether, make a big batch of your own dressing, with your own healthy olive or avocado oil and store it in the fridge. Use a 3 to 1 ratio with your oil and vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Get blendy One thing I've done after long days at work lately is add some already-cooked veggies to a saucepan along with some boxed or homemade chicken stock, let it heat through to a boil and then blend it until smooth with my immersion blender. Hands down, one of the best kitchen gadgets ever!
  6. Chicken dinner When you're in a complete pinch, pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work. Pull it off the bone and either throw it on some fresh greens or check out tip #1. You can also prep lunch for the next day by using it to make chicken salad.
  7. Get uncomfortable Step out of your ordinary box and explore the culinary world. Buy a new cookbook or check out a new recipe blog. Keeping things interesting in the kitchen will help you stay in check with healthy eating.
  8. Don't dis the rind We often forget, or don't even know, how much flavor the zest of citrus rind can be. You can easily boost flavor without adding any unnecessary calories, sugar, or salt. Use a microplane to get the best result.
  9. Mist mist mist Healthy oils like quality olive oil and avocado oil can be expensive. The goal of healthy eating does not involve breaking the bank. Purchase an oil mister or even a cheap-o water spritzer bottle and add your oil to that. You'll get the flavor without the waste.
  10. Double down When food prepping, make enough of each dish to last for two or more meals. That way you can plan and prepare once and eat multiple times!

Implementing just a few of these things can make preparing healthy food much easier and less time consuming. The easier and less timely, the more like it will be that you'll be able to stick to your new healthy habits in and out of the kitchen!

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