I Want to Eat Better

Healthy Cooking Tips for Beginners and Experts Alike

Healthy cooking can be fun when you have a partner to experiment in the kitchen with. (Image: Getty Images/Kate_Sept 2004)

It's not always easy to eat healthier when takeout is just a tempting click away. However, a few handy skills under your belt (and a bit of inspiration) will grant you a one-way ticket to healthy, stress-free cooking.

Just moved out of your parents' house and breaking in your new kitchen? Or perhaps you're ferreting out a way to marinate meats before throwing them on the grill? Maybe you're wondering what you can swap butter for in your healthy baking spree? Whatever it is, our guide has you covered.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about healthy cooking. From beginner tips to more advanced expert-approved tricks that elevate your skills, you'll finally conquer the kitchen and cook healthy and delicious meals every time.

Cooking 101

The kitchen is a vast unknown and you're tired of dining out — we've all been there. Cooking meals at home can help you achieve your health and weight-loss goals, and there's no better time to start learning how to cook than now.

Luckily, preparing food at home isn't that complex — especially when you've got the basics down pat. You'd be shocked how much easier cooking gets once you've mastered poaching and stocked up on the six pantry staples that every home cook should have on hand at all times. Soon enough, not only will you be throwing away your takeout menus, you'll also be inviting your friends and family over to enjoy your creations!

Set yourself up for success in the kitchen with these basic cooking tips every beginner chef needs to know.

Make the Most Out of Your Microwave

Your microwave is a kitchen MVP: It can reheat leftovers and expedite your meal prep. Plus, your microwave can also help you eat a whole lot healthier. Not convinced? The handy yet underrated kitchen appliance makes it easier to exercise portion control and resist the lure of ordering in.

If you've been using your microwave primarily to heat up frozen foods or pop a bag of popcorn, it's time to familiarize yourself with all the other ways you can use the tool. From getting more juice out of your citrus to whipping up single-serving desserts in a jiffy, your microwave can help you make healthy meals that much faster.

Learn how to maximize your cooking potential with chef- and dietitian-approved microwaving tips.

Is It Grilling Season Yet?

Warm weather means it's time to grill, but a steady diet of basic backyard burgers and hot dogs isn't really doing your health any favors.

Ditch the processed stuff and opt for lean meats dressed with homemade marinades that add way more flavor than bottled barbecue sauce ever will. You can even throw fruit on the fire for an alternative dessert that's refreshingly sweet — and much better for your body than s'mores.

Take your grilling to the next level and make BBQ season healthier than ever.

Master Sweet — and Savory — Baking

You've probably already been putting your oven to good use, baking everything from tasty desserts to satiating proteins and veggies. Yes, you and your oven go way back, but you may not realize the trusty appliance can help you infuse food with flavor — without bumping up calories or fat!

Find the very best healthy ingredient swaps for your favorite pastries along with savvy ways to ensure your meats don't dry out. Plus, get ideas that just might make your kids actually eat their vegetables instead of feeding them to Fido under the table.

Slim down desserts and maximize your dinner's flavor with these must-try baking tips.

Think You Know It All?

You know your way around the kitchen and your meals always earn praise from family and friends — but your cooking may not get big points on the health scoreboard. Every home chef has room for improvement, and you can easily employ some advanced tricks to keep your taste buds happy and your body healthy.

Whether you're crafting a snack, a four-course meal or a lavish dessert, these inventive hacks will have you feeling Top Chef-worthy while helping you optimize every dish's nutrition value.

Learn the advanced cooking skills experts swear by.

PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.