Hilary Meyer's Blog (Page 13)

February 6, 2012 - 12:10pm

Following a recipe is easy for most people, but not always practical. Oftentimes what we have in our fridge is a hodgepodge of ingredients that a single recipe can’t cover. So we wing it. When I develop recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, I rely on a few basic principles to get me through the first test and ensure that (hopefully) what I make is tasty. Below are some tips to keep in mind when you’re cooking without a recipe:

Take an inventory – Before I decide to cook without a recipe, I do an inventory of what I have in my fridge. Maybe it’s a chicken breast that inspired me. Or an almost-wilting bunch of kale that I need to use up. Whatever it is, I choose one ingredient as a focal point, then I move on to see what else I have in my fridge or pantry that I could add to it to make it a meal. I...

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January 31, 2012 - 11:57am

Chances are you have a microwave sitting somewhere in your kitchen. They’ve gotten smaller over the years, but even the most svelte version takes up precious real estate.  It’s time to put that baby to work.

Here are 7 unexpected uses for your microwave:

Related: Does radiation from your microwave cause dangerous compounds in your food? Get the truth here.

1. Cook fish – Cook a steak in the microwave and you’ll end up with shoe leather. Fish, on the other hand, can be cooked perfectly in the microwave. Simply wrap your fish in microwave-safe plastic with a little seasoning (salt and pepper and some lemon, perhaps) and cook for about 2 minutes on high. (The time for doneness will vary depending on the strength of your microwave and...

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January 19, 2012 - 12:19pm

When it comes to cooking a “starch” for your meal, there are few sides easier to make than couscous. It’s simple, versatile and incredibly fast to cook—it’s ready in just 5 minutes! I made a lot of couscous when testing recipes for our story on this super-fast pantry staple in the January/February 2012 issue of EatingWell Magazine. And through all of that cooking I picked up on these 5 mistakes to avoid in the pursuit of perfect couscous.

Recipes to Try: Cauliflower & Couscous Pilaf and More Easy Couscous Recipes
7 Easy Recipes for Quick-Cooking Quinoa

Mistake 1: You don’t choose whole-grain...

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January 11, 2012 - 12:35pm

Since I need to eat at least three times a day, the grocery store is one of those unavoidable parts of life. And like other activities that I tend to do over and over again, when I’m there, I default to autopilot–idly shoving familiar things into my cart while I think about something else. Well, it’s time I wake up. It’s a new year and the desire to slim down and maybe save some money while doing it just might be enough to snap me back into coherence while I’m shopping for food. Below are 5 common pitfalls that can hinder weight loss or cause you to spend more at the grocery store, and I offer ways to avoid them.

1. You don’t plan ahead
It’s easy to fall into the trap of going to the store every day shopping for only what you need in the next 24 hours. I’m guilty of this because...

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January 3, 2012 - 12:18pm

I’m pretty good in the kitchen, but there are a few areas that I feel I could improve upon. It’s the simple things that trip me up the most–maybe because I don’t feel like I really need to follow the recipe (it’s so easy!) or pay that much attention to the specifics.

Like roasting a chicken, for example. I season it a little and throw it in the oven. It always comes out good–but not great. Why? Because I often overlook the little things I could do to make it even better. And I’ll bet there are more people than just me in this boat. Here are 5 things I think we all should learn to cook or master in 2012 and a few tips to set you (and me) on the road to success.

1. Roast Chicken
Sounds easy (and it is), but there are some things you can do to make it great. Like invest in...

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