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10 Healthy Cooking Tips

Everyone has the power to make choices to improve their health and healthy eating doesn’t have to mean giving up delicious and satisfying food. With these cooking tips you and your family can enjoy the wonderful flavors of delicious food that’s healthy too. 

Everyone has the power to make choices to improve their health and healthy eating doesn't have to mean giving up delicious and satisfying food. With these cooking tips you and your family can enjoy the wonderful flavors of delicious food that's healthy too. Click through to download the free cooking tips sheet. Pin it now and read it later. @jillconyers

Healthy cooking doesn’t have to be bland and boring and cooking, in general, doesn’t have to be laborious and time consuming. That said. There’s no denying that when you eat a healthy [mostly] whole foods diet, you spend more time preparing meals than you would going through a drive through or heating up a frozen dinner.

The good news is a little extra time in the kitchen is a great investment in your health. And there are always time saving tips.

My first thought is to recommend cloning my husband. He’s the most efficient and intuitive cook I know. He can estimate serving sizes, meal prep like a boss and estimate amounts of ingredients without measuring cups and spoons with an uncanny accuracy.

But, since there is only one of him, I have 10 tips that will help make your cooking experience more enjoyable and efficient.

10 Tips for An Enjoyable and Efficient Cooking Experience

  1. Read a recipe from beginning to end before you start preparing. Avoid getting to the middle of a recipe just to realize you’re out of green onions. And if you do realize you’re out of an ingredient, save ourself a trip and substitute ingredients with whatever you have on hand.
  2. When planning meals, recreate new versions of dishes you love. Try your favorite pasta with a different sauce or your favorite stir fry with different veggies. Make your favorite pasta sauce and try it over rice or vegetables.
  3. To minimize waste, prepare meals with the foods that will spoil the most quickly first. Plan recipes with the most fresh produce to serve earlier in the week.
  4. Use herbs and seasonings from your favorite cuisines in your own recipe creations. If you love Mexican spices (I’m a big fan of cilantro and cumin) use them in a variety of dishes.
  5. The rule for substituting dried herbs for fresh is 1:3. For example 2 teaspoons of dried herb versus 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) of a fresh herb.
  6. Instead of salt, add a boost of flavor to your recipes with herbs, spices and salt-free blends. With the great flavors you won’t miss less salt.
  7. Create seasonal recipes. Preparing recipes with what’s in season not only tastes amazing, it’s cheaper and has the best nutritional content.
  8. Keep it simple. It’s often the simple things in life that are best. Great tasting recipes don’t have to be complicated.
  9. Batch cooking for the week. Foods like rice, quinoa, salad dressings and pasta can be made at the beginning of the week for multiple quick and easy meals throughout the week.
  10. Get in the habit of weekly menu planning and meal prep.

Related Content: Beginner’s Guide To Menu Planning and Meal Prep

EAT WELL. LIVE WELL. BE WELL.

Download the tip sheet below and keep it in the kitchen as a reference and a reminder.

Everyone has the power to make choices to improve their health and healthy eating doesn't have to mean giving up delicious and satisfying food. With these cooking tips you and your family can enjoy the wonderful flavors of delicious food that's healthy too. Click through to download the free cooking tips sheet. Pin it now and read it later. @jillconyers

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Interested in more cooking and healthy eating tips?

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Do you like to cook? What are your favorite cooking tips? Does  your significant other cook?

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105 Comments

  1. Your best tip is definitely menu planning. I do so much better when I do remember to meal plan. Hopefully I will remember that next week when I am scrambling for “what’s for dinner”.

  2. Great tips! Can’t wait to incorporate them into my recipes!

  3. I’m a big cilantro fan too! I love growing it fresh and cutting some off for recipes.

  4. Thanks for sharing all of these tips. These will be very helpful for everyone.

  5. The better I prep and plan meals ahead of time, the healthier I eat. It’s so much easier to know ahead of time I have all the ingredients on hand and ready to go.

  6. Elizabeth O. says:

    Those are all very good tips on how to eat and cook healthier dishes. It’s good to prepare alternatives for meals that you love but are a little on the unhealthy side. It will make you enjoy healthy eating more!

  7. Dana Vento says:

    Such a brilliant tips! Cooking is one of.my favorite as my habit. Im realy glad that i’ve learned new things.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing. I like the idea of easy printing and I like placing quick guides inside my kitchen cabinets for easy reference, when cooking.

  9. These are all great tips for cooking. I love to cook most of the time and these will help make it easier

  10. This is so helpful! My husband is a much better cook. He can really do wonders with flavours but I do ok. These are helpful tips!

  11. Number six, in particular, is something I really need to implement. I use far too much salt! Thanks for all the tips.

  12. I love cooking and I find these tips helpful. The only dish I cook on batches are curry or stew. I don’t like putting too much salt in my cooking too. I agree with you that healthy cooking doesn’t have to be complicated.

  13. I’m not much of a cook. I don’t enjoy the prepping, the waiting, and the clean up. So needless to say I’m not very good at it. But I do try to eat healthy and I often make my own meals because my family doesn’t like to eat the same food as me. These are great tips!

  14. Those are great tips. I am always looking for ways to make our meals healthier for my family.

  15. These are such great tips! I seldom use salt when cooking but I do love my herbs and spices! I’m a big believer in batch cooking and prep ahead!

  16. I love finding new healthy recipes to makes for my family. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful cooking tips 🙂

  17. I wholeheartedly agree with your very first point, always read the entire recipe first
    I cannot count the number of times I failed to do that and had myself to blame!
    Hehe

  18. Batch cooking is a great idea. I did it over the weekend when I had some time as I knew we were having a big week and weekend ahead. Yummy bolognese and chicken and veg soup is waiting for us in our freezer when we get home!

  19. Thanks for these tips. Cooking doesn’t have to be a burden but something you should enjoy. Good post.

  20. Great tips! I didn’t know the one about dried herbs vs. fresh. I actually mostly use dried bc it’s easier for me…I’ll have to remember this!

    1. Hi Patty. The herbs is one of those things I had to google repeatedly until I created a cheat sheet. Thanks!

  21. This is great. I never knew the rule of substituting- thanks for that.

  22. Great tips! I need to get more creative in the kitchen. 🙂

  23. Yes to reading a recipe all the way through!!!! Yes!!! I have learned my lesson 🙂
    I love to cook and bake. Cooking you can definitely get away with more ad lib than baking.
    I love these tips Jill!! Love the part about not wasting food. I really don’t like to waste anything.
    Yay for your husband being a good cook! 🙂
    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

    1. Thanks Natalie! Is it strange that i love the feeling of using the last of the produce before the end of the week. It makes me happy. It’s the little things right 🙂 Go ahead and say it. That’s weird haha

  24. Really excellent tips here, Jill. I’m embarrassed to admit that I waste more food than I’d like because it goes bad. Such a great point about using the foods that go bad first. I’ll definitely focus more on implementing that more in the future!

  25. Great tips! I love the idea of batch cooking. I don’t routinely do it, but when I do it’s such a time saver. There are only two of us to cook for, and my favorite thing to do is make a slightly larger casserole or crockpot meal so we intentionally have leftovers.

  26. Great tips, with fall here I prepping meals for the slow cooker, throwing it in and it’s ready to go.

    1. Hi Jen. The slow cooker is one of the best kitchen inventions ever. Mine is out and on the counter for for at least the next 4 months.

  27. Love all of these tips and I love that you said good recipes don’t have to be complicated! I know I tend to overthink things and over complicate things. I’m always reminding myself to KEEP IT SIMPLE! I also try to cook with less salt too!

    1. Hi Melanie. I’ve learned that if it’s complicated, not matter what “it” is, I won’t stick with it or as in the case of recipes, I probably won’t make it more than once. I’m loving uncomplicating things right now. Is that even a word?

      Have a fantastic weekend!

  28. Great tips! I’m not very skilled in the kitchen, so these are great pointers for me. I’m trying to make more, healthy meals for my family, so this is really helpful. Thank you!

  29. I pretty much only make recipes that have like 5 ingredients or less. If I see an ingredient list with like 10 different spices, I’m out! LOL. I also agree meal planning and food prep is a HUGE lifesaver.

    1. Good morning Jill. I’ve learned that if it’s complicated, not matter what “it” is, I won’t stick with it or as in the case of recipes, I probably won’t make it more than once. I’m loving uncomplicating things right now. Is that even a word?

      Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. You and me both Michele. And, I’m a use every dish in the kitchen kind of cook. haha

  30. Another one: make a whole chicken at the beginning of the week. What meat doesn’t get eaten off of it for dinner can be used in other meals throughout the week.

    1. Hi Cori. I don’t eat meat but I still do this for my family. It’s so convenient for many different types of easy meals.

  31. Yes to #1! So many times I didn’t fully read the recipe or check my pantry …. being half way though and finding out I’ve out of flour!

    1. Hi Carmy. #1 seems to be stumping everyone haha! Have an awesome weekend 🙂

    1. I’m guessing you’re an efficient cook Kara. #1 seems to be stumping everyone haha! Have an awesome weekend.

  32. Hi, I’m trying to get more into the cooking aspect of fitness. Most bodybuilding diets are so boring, so thank you for sharing.
    And your overall website if awesome btw!

    1. Thank you for kind words. I’m so curious about bodybuilding “diets”. Specifically, vegetarian/vegan bodybuilding diets.

    1. Hi Artney. That’s what farmer’s markets are for. Eating seasonal 🙂 #1 seems to be stumping everyone haha! Have an awesome weekend.

    1. Me too Elle. Time in the kitchen creating recipes relaxes me. Have an awesome weekend!

    1. Hi Sue and thanks. #1 seems to be stumping everyone haha! Have an awesome weekend 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda. I was just thinking about how much we have cut down on foods we have to throw out. Is it weird that I love that feeling of using all of our fresh produce and not having to throw any out because it went bad? A little geeky I guess 🙂

  33. A lot of the things that make cooking more of a chore than joy for me is the lack of planning and the lack of having a staple of various foods. With a little planning I don’t have to stop by the store 4 nights a week to prepare supper. These are great tips, ones I need to use!

    1. Happy to help Tricia! I can’t remember the last time I thought of cooking as a chore. I have menu planning and a staple stocked pantry to thank for that.

      Have an awesome weekend!

  34. Such great tips! It’s really easy to overcomplicate cooking & especially healthy cooking, but following these totally makes it more manageable

    1. Hi Rebecca. I have learned that if I make it complicated I won’t stick with it or, as with recipes, I probably won’t make it more than once. I’m loving uncomplicating things 🙂

      Have an awesome weekend!

      BTW, loved the fat information in one of your recent posts.

  35. Great tips! I’m totally guilty of the not reading ahead in the recipe thing. I usually have the ingredients – I may just not have them prepared at the right time or cooking will take longer than I planned for or things like that.

    1. Cooking always takes longer than I planned. I’m super slow at 2 things. Cooking and blogging.

      Have an awesome weekend!

  36. Great tips. With only two of us, I always make bigger batches, then either freeze the leftovers, or just have them a few days later. I wish I was better at Neal planning. I tend to wing it a lot, and plan dinner about two hours ahead of time.

    1. Winging it stresses me out and takes too much thought during the week. Ok. Maybe not stress but I can’t imagine starting a week without a menu plan. I often wonder (not judge) how people grocery shop without a list. Is it weird that I wonder about that haha.

      Have a great weekend Debbie!

  37. Use smaller amounts of salt while cooking, allowing your family to add more to their own plate if desired.

    1. Now that I think about it we don’t ever add salt to a plate. It may be in the recipe but we’ve never had salt shakers out. Have an awesome weekend Cassi.

  38. Great tips Jill!! Meal planning makes the entire week so much more effortless. And I find that I actually look forward to coming home for dinner, instead of worrying about “what’s for dinner” when I’m short on time! My tip would be – don’t be afraid to play with your food!! It’s so fun when you allow yourself to experiment!

    1. Good morning Sam. I can’t imagine starting a week without meal planning. Who doesn’t want more effortless in the week?

    1. I tried the complicated recipe route and have decided it’s just not me. I’m all about creating simple and few ingredient recipes. Thanks Lacey!

  39. Great tips! I love using zoodles in place of noodles for a healthier version on my favorite pasta dishes!

    1. That was one of my favorite finds of 2014 or maybe it was 2013. Zoodles and spaghetti squash! Thanks Toni. Have an awesome weekend.

    1. I will substitute like crazy if I can find a way to make a recipe that everyone in my family will like. I know many people would disagree but cooking is [can be] fun! Have an awesome weekend Kate. xoxo

  40. Fantastic tips.. I’m bad at reading the whole recipe beforehand, haha. Sometimes I get halfway through and realize oops! Or, the other night I finished making the spaghetti squash only to realize I didn’t in fact have spaghetti sauce 😉 We made it work! PS I love Cumin too!

    1. Good morning Heather. #1 seems to be stumping everyone. Who knew?!?! Have an awesome weekend. xoxo

  41. Put me on the waiting list for your husband clone please! Mine can barely boil water. Seriously I do love to cook so it’s all good. Happy weekend Jill!

    1. How about if I lend my husband to you to teach your husband how to cook 🙂 Have a great weekend Marcia. XOXO

  42. Fantastic tips! I love it when a recipe comes together perfectly. For uplanned recipes, Im always substituting ingredients in recipes, I feel like there is rarely a new recipe that I dont have to substitute or omit something.

    1. It usually takes time and a few tweaks when creating recipes but when it comes together perfectly it’s time to celebrate. Can you tell I love this stuff haha!

      Have an awesome weekend Autumn. xoxo

    1. You’re right Julie but once you find a routine that works for you it’s awesome, efficient and nutritious. Have an amazing weekend friend!

  43. Great tips Jill! I love cooing with the hubby on the weekends! Our dishes really for more interesting when we started trying different herbs and spices. WE have a favorite shop in St. Augustine and we stock up on all the different spices when we go 🙂 Happy Friday!

    1. Good morning Mary Beth. I would love to go to an herb shop. Especially if it means I can buy by the ounce. Very cool that you cook with your husband on the weekends. Have a fabulous weekend xoxo

  44. Its most definitely important to read through the entire recipe before you get cooking. Though most of the time, you can usually find a substitute for something that you might not have at home.

    1. Hi Kathryn, #1 seems to be stumping everyone haha! Have an awesome weekend 🙂

  45. I had never known the dry to free herb ratio. You always provide such great tips & tricks!!

  46. I like the one about replacing salt with spices. Meal prepping has certainly been my savior. I shutter to think what I might eat if I didn’t have healthy meals and snacks available throughout the week.

    1. Good morning Megan. I can’t imagine starting a week without a menu and meal prep Sunday. I’ve almost eliminated added salt to my recipes with spices and I’m loving the variety of spices to sub for salt.

      Have a fantastic weekend! xoxo

  47. whaaaaaat? Read a recipe from start to finish before starting. . . 🙂 I don’t follow recipes very often, but when I do this one often gets me . . . . hahahaha

    1. I agree Susie! There’s so much out there about healthy fats but rarely is it included that too much fat is, well, too much. Or is it assumed that people know.

  48. After discovering that my cholesterol was high again, I lowered down the salt a little bit by adding more herbs.
    It makes food taste even better! 🙂
    Thanks for the great tips, Jill and for joining the roundup.

    1. Sorry about the cholesterol but it sounds like you’re on the right track to lowering it. It takes a little time but you can eliminate food cravings. Happy to be included in your round up. Thanks.

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