Nutrition

Cooking Tips

May 18, 2022

One of the biggest challenges that people face when starting their health journey is that they don’t know how to cook their meals in a way that tastes good. People often get bored of their meals because they are stuck in a rut of making them the same way day in and day out. Or they simply don’t have the time to prepare various healthy foods.

Our coaches and registered dietitians have come up with a list of their favorite cooking methods to make your meal prep easy, healthy, tasty and efficient.

Let's start with different methods of cooking:

Baking is the most traditional method, it's beneficial as there is very little preparation and attendance during cooking, and it keeps foods moist. Pro Tip: utilize both oven racks and cook chicken on one tray and sweet potatoes and green beans on the other. Set a timer, walk away and get other things done while it’s baking.

Air frying provides a crisp texture without using additional oils or fats. There is no preheating involved, just set it and forget it! You can make low-fat versions of french fries, yam fries, or homemade chicken strips. The air fryer is also a fast and easy option for chicken breasts or baby potatoes, which only take 12-15 minutes.

PanFry is a great way to reheat food rather than the microwave; however, it requires a little more attention. Most items can be cooked this way, and you can use methods such as caramelization, steaming, sauteing, searing and stir fry to get a different texture and taste. 

Steaming and boiling: This option is more suitable for vegetables and certain starches such as sweet potatoes or green beans. It provides the softest texture versus other methods. It usually takes a little longer than other options and requires more attention. It should be noted that over-boiling can reduce certain nutrients.

BBQ: A popular method in the spring and summer months. This is a great way to add a smokey flavor and a crispy texture. It’s not reserved just for meat; try wrapping your vegetables and potatoes in foil or grilling sliced pineapple right on the rack. You can typically prepare a lot of food at once, making it an excellent option for bulk cooking or entertaining. 

Instant Pot: This is your one-stop-shop for cooking. You can pressure cook, steam, slow cook, saute and much more. It's an excellent option for making soups, stews, chilis, rice, and hard-boiled eggs. It requires little attention and takes up very little space. 

Here are five easy, healthy, tasty ways to cook chicken breast for dinner.

  1. Baking: Marinate the chicken in spices, low-calorie BBQ or teriyaki sauce, and bake on a large cooking sheet with baby potatoes and broccoli or asparagus tossed in a little olive oil. 
  2. Air Fryer: Dip chicken breast strips in egg whites, then coat with corn flakes and spices to create your chicken fingers. Air fry these with potatoes cut into strips for homemade french fries and chicken fingers. Serve with a garden salad.
  3. Pan-Fry: Dice up onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Saute them in a little bit of sesame oil, add chopped chicken and brown in the pan; once cooked, mix in some rice or rice noodles and drizzle with a low-calorie stir fry sauce.
  4. Barbeque: Marinate your chicken breast in a low-calorie sauce—wrap seasoned baby potatoes and asparagus in aluminum foil. Use the bottom rack for chicken and the top shelf for your foils. Serve with grilled pineapple.
  5. Instant-Pot: Make chicken soup in the instant pot. Saute the chicken and then add rice, vegetables and broth. Select the pressure-cook, set the timer, walk away, and return to a hearty and comforting meal.

We used chicken, but these methods also apply to various foods such as steak, fish, pork tenderloin, and vegetarian products such as tofu, beyond meat or meat substitute products. 

There are many different methods to make your meal prep easy, healthy, tasty and efficient. Do what works best for you and your taste buds! Mix up your cooking methods weekly, so you do not get bored of the same meal and don’t be afraid to combine different cooking methods.

Book a call with our Wellness Coordinator to learn more