Category: Cooking

The Best Recipes for Cooking with Black Beans

Beans are considered to be a staple food because of the long list of health benefits that they provide while also having a high global abundance that allows them to be affordable. With grocery costs rising seemingly by the day, people are turning to staple foods like black beans to help whip up a quick, easy, and delicious meal.

While black beans might not be your first choice depending on what part of the world you’re in, there are certainly some recipes worth trying out. Here are our picks for the best recipes for cooking with black beans.


When you think about black beans, odds are brownies aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, black beans have been used, often by those watching what they eat, as a tasty and healthy addition to the decadent dessert. In these brownies, black beans are primarily used in place of flour. Making for a more protein-packed and lower-carb snack. 

You’ll want to take one 15 oz can of thoroughly rinsed black beans, 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, ½ cup quick oats, ¼ tsp salt, ⅓ cup honey, 2 tbsp white sugar, ¼ vegetable oil, 2 tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp baking powder, and ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Use the food processor to mix all the ingredients, besides the chocolate chips. Then stir in chocolate chips, throw the mixture into a greased 8×8 pan, and bake at 350 F° for 15-18 minutes. 

Veggie Burgers 

Veggie burgers are a healthy, fresh, and delicious alternative to your typical cookout fare. Black beans pack a meaty protein punch and help to bind all the ingredients together. Take two 14 oz cans of rinsed black beans, 1 tbsp olive oil, chop ½ of a bell pepper, chop ½ of a large yellow onion, 1 tbsp minced garlic, ½ cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup feta cheese crumbles, 2 large eggs, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 2 tbsp ketchup. 

Add in garlic powder, ground cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika to your liking. Sauté the produce, pulse everything, but the beans, in the food processor until combined, then mix in the black beans. Form into patties and gently grill, or bake your homemade black bean burgers. 

Black Bean Dip

You’ve likely had bean dip before but with black beans? Black beans provide a little more magnesium and fiber than other beans. So, why not switch it up and make your bean dip with these decadent beans? The recipe is simple and easy to follow. You’ll want to take two 15 oz cans of rinsed black beans, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground cumin, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, 3 tbsp water, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, 1 medium chopped yellow onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and 2 seeded and chopped jalapeños. 

Sauté the produce, let cool, add mixture, beans, and spices to a food processor, and pulse until you reach desired consistency. Put in an airtight container, cool in the fridge for about 1-2 hours, then enjoy with tortilla chips, veggies, or pita chips. 

Black Bean Chili 

Chili is a staple comfort food that’s typically made using kidney beans, but black beans are the star of this chili recipe. Take 1 tbsp olive oil, one 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, 2 chopped bell peppers, 1 chopped onion, 1 cup corn kernels, 1 seeded and minced jalapeño, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 ½ cups of chicken broth, and last but not least two 15 oz cans of rinsed black beans. Sauté veggies until translucent, combine the rest of the ingredients in a stew pot, let boil, then bring to a simmer until cooked to desired consistency. 

How to Cook Perfectly Fluffy Couscous Every Time

Couscous is a popular and versatile North African dish made from tiny balls of semolina flour or durum wheat. It’s a staple in many households because it’s easy to make, inexpensive, and can be served as a side dish or as a main course. But, making perfect couscous can be tricky. If you don’t cook it properly, it can be clumpy or mushy, ruining the dish. Today we’ll show you how to cook perfectly fluffy couscous every time.

Choosing the Right Couscous

The first step in making perfect couscous is choosing the right type of couscous. There are many types of couscous available in the market, ranging from fine to coarse. Fine couscous is the most popular variety and is readily available in most grocery stores. However, medium or coarse-grain couscous is better for fluffy couscous. Medium couscous has a slightly larger grain than fine couscous, and coarse couscous has the largest grain. Both medium and coarse couscous takes a little longer to cook than fine couscous, but they yield fluffier and more textured couscous.

Preparing the Couscous

Once you’ve chosen the right type of couscous, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. The first step is to measure the ingredients accurately. Measure the couscous and the liquid using a measuring cup or a kitchen scale. The ratio of couscous to water is usually 1:1, but some types of couscous may require more water. Check the package instructions for the recommended ratio.

The next step is to hydrate the couscous properly. The most common mistake people make when cooking couscous is not hydrating it correctly. The couscous needs to absorb the liquid properly to cook evenly and become fluffy. To hydrate the couscous, place it in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir the couscous gently to ensure that all the grains are coated with the water. Cover the bowl with a lid or a kitchen towel and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the water.

Cooking the Couscous

After the couscous is hydrated, it’s time to cook it. There are several ways to cook couscous, including a stovetop, rice cooker, or oven.

To cook couscous on the stovetop, place the hydrated couscous in a pot and add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir the couscous gently to separate the grains. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and let the couscous simmer for 10-15 minutes. Cover the pot with a lid and remove it from heat. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the couscous is fully cooked and fluffy.

To cook couscous in a rice cooker, transfer the hydrated couscous to the rice cooker and add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the water according to the recommended ratio and start the rice cooker. Once the couscous is fully cooked, fluff it with a fork.

To cook couscous in the oven, preheat the oven to 375°F. Transfer the hydrated couscous to an oven-safe dish and add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the water over the couscous and stir gently. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and place it in the oven. Let it bake for 20-25 minutes until the couscous is fully cooked and fluffy.

Fluffing and Seasoning the Couscous

Once the couscous is fully cooked, it’s time to fluff and season it. Fluffing the couscous is essential to ensure that it’s light and airy. Use a fork to fluff the couscous gently, separating the grains and making them fluffy.

Next, you can add seasoning to the couscous to enhance its flavor. Couscous is a versatile dish that can be seasoned with a wide range of ingredients, including herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruits. Some popular seasoning options include cumin, coriander, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil. Mix the seasoning into the couscous using a fork, making sure that all the grains are coated evenly.

Serving the Couscous

Once the couscous is seasoned, it’s ready to serve. Couscous can be served as a side dish or as a main course. It’s a great accompaniment to grilled meat, roasted vegetables, or sautéed greens. You can also serve it as a salad by adding chopped vegetables and fruits.

To serve the couscous, transfer it to a serving bowl or platter. Use a fork to fluff it one last time before serving. You can also garnish the couscous with chopped herbs or nuts for added texture and flavor.

The Best Recipes for Cooking with Zucchini

Zucchini is a popular summer squash that is known for its versatility in the kitchen. This nutrient-packed vegetable can be cooked in many different ways, making it a go-to ingredient for health-conscious cooks and food lovers alike. Today we will explore the best recipes for cooking with zucchini and discover the benefits of incorporating this delicious vegetable into your diet.

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Before we delve into the best recipes for cooking with zucchini, it’s important to understand the health benefits of this vegetable. Zucchini is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent addition to any weight loss diet. It is also a good source of vitamin C, which supports immune function and collagen production, and vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes and skin.

In addition to these vitamins, zucchini contains antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation in the body. These antioxidants include carotenoids, which give zucchini its bright yellow color, and flavonoids, which are responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects.

Cooking Methods for Zucchini

Zucchini can be cooked in many different ways, each of which brings out a unique flavor and texture. Here are some of the most popular cooking methods for zucchini:

Grilling: Grilled zucchini is a delicious addition to any BBQ. Simply brush the zucchini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling for 3-5 minutes on each side.

Sautéing: Sautéed zucchini is a quick and easy side dish that can be prepared in just a few minutes. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add sliced zucchini, garlic, and herbs. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the zucchini is tender and lightly browned.

Roasting: Roasted zucchini is a great way to bring out its natural sweetness. Toss sliced zucchini with olive oil and seasonings before roasting in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400°F.

Baking: Baked zucchini is a tasty and healthy alternative to traditional fried zucchini. Coat sliced zucchini with egg and breadcrumbs before baking in the oven at 425°F for 20-25 minutes.

Top 5 Recipes for Cooking with Zucchini

Now that you know how to cook zucchini, it’s time to try out some delicious recipes. Here are the top 5 recipes for cooking with zucchini:

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini fritters are a crispy and flavorful appetizer that is sure to please. To make them, mix shredded zucchini with flour, egg, and seasonings before frying in hot oil until golden brown. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or tzatziki for a refreshing and tangy dip.

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Zucchini noodles, also known as “zoodles,” are a low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. To make them, use a spiralizer to create long, thin strands of zucchini before sautéing in a pan with garlic and olive oil. Toss the zoodles with homemade pesto and cherry tomatoes for a simple and satisfying meal.

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini lasagna is a healthy and delicious twist on the classic Italian dish. Instead of using traditional lasagna noodles, use thin slices of zucchini to create layers of meat sauce, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes for a comforting and satisfying meal.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed zucchini boats are a fun and creative way to enjoy this versatile vegetable. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds to create a hollow center. Fill the zucchini boats with your favorite stuffing, such as ground beef, rice, or quinoa, and bake in the oven until the zucchini is tender and the filling is cooked through.

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is a delicious and healthy way to use up any excess zucchini in your kitchen. To make it, combine shredded zucchini with flour, sugar, eggs, and spices before baking in the oven for 50-60 minutes at 350°F. Serve warm with a smear of butter or cream cheese for a satisfying breakfast or snack.

How to Make Homemade Hummus: Tips and Recipes for Flavorful Dips

Hummus is a delicious and healthy dip that has become a popular snack and appetizer around the world. It’s creamy, savory, and versatile, making it a great addition to sandwiches, salads, and vegetable platters. While hummus is readily available in grocery stores and restaurants, it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. Today we’ll show you how to make homemade hummus, provide tips for achieving the perfect texture, and share some delicious recipes for variations on classic hummus.

Basic Ingredients and Equipment Needed to Make Hummus

The basic ingredients for hummus are chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the main ingredient in hummus and provide a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds, adds a rich and nutty flavor to the dip. Lemon juice provides a tart and acidic taste, while garlic and salt add depth and complexity to the flavor profile. Finally, olive oil is used to achieve a smooth and creamy texture.

To make hummus, you’ll need a food processor or blender, a colander or strainer, and a few measuring cups and spoons. You’ll also need a can opener if using canned chickpeas.

How to Make Classic Hummus

  • Rinse and drain one can of chickpeas. Reserve some of the liquid for later.
  • Add the chickpeas, 1/4 cup of tahini, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1-2 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a food processor or blender.
  • Begin blending the ingredients and slowly add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1-2 tablespoons of reserved chickpea liquid until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Taste the hummus and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, lemon juice, or garlic to taste.
  • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with fresh herbs, paprika, or chopped nuts.

Tips for Achieving a Smooth and Creamy Texture

The key to achieving a smooth and creamy texture is to blend the ingredients for a long enough time. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor or blender a few times to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed. If the hummus is too thick, you can add more olive oil or reserved chickpea liquid until it reaches your desired consistency.

Variations on Classic Hummus

While classic hummus is delicious on its own, there are many ways to customize the flavor and make it your own. Here are a few variations to try:

Roasted Garlic Hummus: Roasting the garlic before blending it into the hummus adds a sweet and smoky flavor. Simply wrap a head of garlic in foil and roast in the oven at 400°F for 30-40 minutes. Then, blend the roasted garlic with the other ingredients.

Red Pepper Hummus: Add a roasted red pepper to the basic hummus recipe for a sweet and tangy flavor. You can roast the pepper yourself or use jarred roasted red peppers.

Avocado Hummus: Add a ripe avocado to the basic hummus recipe for a rich and creamy texture. This variation is also a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet.

Hummus as a Healthy Snack or Meal Addition

Hummus is not only delicious, but it’s also a healthy snack or meal addition. Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and nutrients like iron and folate. Tahini is also a good source of healthy fats and protein. Hummus can be served with fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers for a low-calorie snack. It’s also a great spread for sandwiches or a dip for pita bread. For a more substantial meal, you can serve hummus alongside roasted vegetables, grilled chicken, or falafel.

Pairing Hummus with Other Foods

Hummus pairs well with a variety of other foods. Here are a few ideas:

  • Serve hummus with pita bread or crackers for an easy snack or appetizer.
  • Spread hummus on a sandwich or wrap for added flavor and protein.
  • Use hummus as a dip for fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and celery.
  • Top a salad with a dollop of hummus for added creaminess and flavor.
  • Serve hummus alongside grilled chicken or fish for a healthy and satisfying meal.

The Best Recipes for Cooking with Quinoa

Quinoa has been gaining popularity in recent years as a superfood that is packed with nutrients and can be used in a variety of dishes. This ancient grain, originally from the Andes region of South America, is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies need to function properly. Additionally, quinoa is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a great ingredient for those looking to improve their diet.

If you are looking to incorporate more quinoa into your meals, you are in luck! Today, we will be sharing the best recipes for cooking with quinoa. From breakfast to dessert, these recipes are delicious and easy to make, making it easy to incorporate quinoa into your daily routine.

Basic Cooking Instructions for Quinoa

Before we dive into the recipes, let’s go over some basic cooking instructions for quinoa. First, rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any dirt or debris. Then, add the quinoa and water (or broth) to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Cook the quinoa for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Finally, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before fluffing the quinoa with a fork.

Now that you know how to cook quinoa, let’s dive into the recipes!

Breakfast Recipes with Quinoa

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl – This recipe is a great way to start your day with a nutritious and filling breakfast. Simply combine cooked quinoa with your favorite breakfast toppings such as fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

Quinoa Pancakes – These fluffy pancakes are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional pancakes. Combine cooked quinoa with flour, eggs, milk, and a pinch of cinnamon to create a batter. Cook the pancakes on a griddle and serve with fresh fruit and a dollop of yogurt.

Quinoa Porridge – This warm and comforting porridge is perfect for chilly mornings. Combine cooked quinoa with milk, cinnamon, and a sweetener of your choice (such as honey or maple syrup) and cook until thick and creamy. Top with your favorite toppings such as fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds.

Lunch Recipes with Quinoa

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables – This salad is perfect for a light and healthy lunch. Simply roast your favorite vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, and carrots) and combine them with cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, and a simple vinaigrette.

Quinoa and Black Bean Burrito Bowl – This recipe is a delicious and filling vegetarian option. Combine cooked quinoa with black beans, corn, avocado, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese for a flavorful and satisfying lunch.

Quinoa Soup – This comforting soup is perfect for a cold day. Simply combine cooked quinoa with your favorite vegetables, broth, and spices to create a flavorful and nutritious soup.

Dinner Recipes with Quinoa

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers – These stuffed bell peppers are a tasty and healthy dinner option. Simply combine cooked quinoa with ground turkey (or beef), diced vegetables, and spices. Stuff the mixture into bell peppers and bake until tender.

Quinoa Fried Rice – This recipe is a healthy and flavorful alternative to traditional fried rice. Combine cooked quinoa with diced vegetables, eggs, soy sauce, and spices for a delicious and filling meal.

Quinoa and Vegetable Stir-Fry – This stir-fry is a quick and easy dinner option that is packed with flavor. Simply sauté your favorite vegetables (such as bell peppers, carrots, and snap peas) with cooked quinoa, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Serve over brown rice or enjoy on its own.

Dessert Recipes with Quinoa

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies – These cookies are a tasty and healthy treat. Combine cooked quinoa with flour, sugar, eggs, and chocolate chips to create cookie dough. Bake until golden brown and enjoy!

Quinoa Pudding – This creamy and sweet dessert is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. Combine cooked quinoa with milk, a sweetener of your choice, and vanilla extract. Cook until thick and creamy and serve with fresh fruit or nuts.

Quinoa Fruit Crumble – This crumble is a healthy and delicious dessert that is perfect for using up any leftover fruit. Combine cooked quinoa with chopped fruit, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a crumble topping made from oats, nuts, and butter. Bake until golden brown and enjoy!

How to Cook Perfectly Steamed Vegetables Every Time

Steaming is a simple and healthy way to cook vegetables that helps to retain their nutritional value, texture, and flavor. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and delicious way to prepare vegetables, steaming is a great option. However, it can be challenging to get the perfect texture and flavor every time. Today we will guide you through the process of cooking perfectly steamed vegetables every time.

Selecting Vegetables for Steaming

Choosing the right vegetables is the first step to perfectly steamed vegetables. Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and green beans are great for steaming. When selecting vegetables, look for fresh, firm, and brightly colored ones. Wash the vegetables thoroughly and cut them into bite-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. It’s also important to note that different vegetables have different cooking times, so it’s essential to select vegetables that have similar cooking times to avoid overcooking or undercooking.

Methods of Steaming Vegetables

There are several methods for steaming vegetables, including using a steamer basket, steaming in a pot with a lid, and microwave steaming. A steamer basket is a great tool for steaming vegetables because it keeps the vegetables above the water, allowing for even cooking. To use a steamer basket, fill a pot with an inch of water, place the steamer basket on top, add the vegetables, and cover the pot. Steam for the recommended time, and your perfectly steamed vegetables are ready to serve.

Another method of steaming vegetables is to use a pot with a lid. Fill a pot with a few inches of water, add the vegetables to a colander or steaming basket, and place it inside the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and steam for the recommended time. If you’re using a pot with a lid, it’s essential to monitor the water level to avoid burning the pot.

Microwave steaming is a quick and convenient way to steam vegetables. To microwave steam vegetables, place the vegetables in a microwave-safe dish with a lid, add a tablespoon of water, and microwave on high for a few minutes. Stir halfway through the cooking process and continue microwaving until the vegetables are tender.

Cooking Times for Steamed Vegetables

The cooking time for steamed vegetables varies depending on the type of vegetable and its size. Generally, most vegetables take between 5-10 minutes to steam. However, denser vegetables such as carrots and broccoli may take longer. To ensure even cooking, cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and test for doneness by inserting a knife or fork. If the vegetables are tender and easily pierced, they’re done.

Seasoning and Flavoring Steamed Vegetables

Steamed vegetables are delicious on their own, but seasoning and flavoring them can make them even more flavorful. Adding herbs and spices such as garlic, oregano, and thyme can give your steamed vegetables a flavorful kick. Butter and oils such as olive oil, sesame oil, or butter can add richness and depth of flavor to your vegetables. Combining different flavors such as lemon juice and black pepper can elevate the taste of your steamed vegetables to a new level.

Serving Steamed Vegetables

Plating your steamed vegetables can make a big difference in the presentation of your dish. Arrange the vegetables on a platter, garnish with herbs, and serve. Steamed vegetables pair well with many different foods such as grilled chicken, fish, or tofu. You can also add steamed vegetables to stir-fries, salads, or soups. If you have leftover steamed vegetables, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

The Best Recipes for Cooking with Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a versatile and nutrient-dense ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them a popular choice for health-conscious individuals. Today, we will explore the best recipes for cooking with sweet potatoes, along with their different varieties.

Types of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors and textures, each with its own unique flavor profile. The two most common types of sweet potatoes are the orange-fleshed and white-fleshed varieties. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes have a higher level of beta-carotene, which gives them their characteristic color and provides additional health benefits. White-fleshed sweet potatoes have a milder flavor and firmer texture, making them a good choice for savory dishes.

Other varieties of sweet potatoes include Japanese sweet potatoes, which have a purple skin and a slightly sweet flavor, and Garnet sweet potatoes, which have a reddish-purple skin and a creamy texture. When choosing sweet potatoes, look for ones that are firm, smooth, and free from blemishes.

Cooking Methods for Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be cooked in a variety of ways, depending on your personal preference and the dish you are making. Here are some popular cooking methods for sweet potatoes:

Boiling: Boiling sweet potatoes is a quick and easy way to cook them. Simply peel and chop the sweet potatoes, then add them to a pot of boiling water. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Drain the water and mash the sweet potatoes with butter and seasonings for a delicious side dish.

Baking: Baking sweet potatoes brings out their natural sweetness and creates a soft, creamy texture. To bake sweet potatoes, preheat your oven to 400°F. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Serve as a side dish or as a base for toppings like cheese and bacon.

Frying: Sweet potato fries are a delicious and healthier alternative to regular french fries. To make sweet potato fries, peel and slice the sweet potatoes into thin strips. Heat oil in a pan and fry the sweet potato strips until golden brown. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Roasting: Roasting sweet potatoes is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness and create a crispy texture. To roast sweet potatoes, preheat your oven to 425°F. Cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes and toss them with olive oil and seasonings. Spread the sweet potatoes out on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and tender.

Grilling: Grilled sweet potatoes are a delicious and healthy addition to any summer BBQ. To grill sweet potatoes, slice them into ¼ inch rounds and brush with olive oil. Grill for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until they are tender and slightly charred.

Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet potatoes can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet and savory to breakfast and dessert. Here are some delicious sweet potato recipes to try:

Sweet Potato Casserole: This classic Thanksgiving side dish is a favorite for a reason. Boiled sweet potatoes are mashed with butter and spices, then topped with a crunchy pecan and brown sugar streusel topping. Bake in the oven until golden brown and serve as a sweet and savory side dish.

Sweet Potato Soup: This creamy and comforting soup is perfect for chilly fall days. Sweet potatoes are roasted with garlic and onion, then blended with vegetable broth and cream. Top with croutons or crispy bacon for added texture.

Sweet Potato Pie: This Southern classic is a delicious alternative to pumpkin pie. Boiled sweet potatoes are mashed with brown sugar and spices, then baked in a buttery crust until golden brown. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes: These creamy and flavorful mashed sweet potatoes are a perfect side dish for any meal. Boiled sweet potatoes are mashed with butter, cream, and spices, then topped with chives or crispy bacon.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos: These vegetarian tacos are packed with flavor and nutrition. Roasted sweet potatoes are mixed with black beans, onions, and spices, then topped with avocado and salsa. Serve in warm tortillas for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Tips for Cooking with Sweet Potatoes

To get the most out of your sweet potatoes, follow these tips:

  • Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. They can last for several weeks when stored properly.
  • Before cooking, wash sweet potatoes under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. You can also scrub them with a vegetable brush.
  • To make sweet potatoes cook faster, pierce them with a fork or knife before boiling or baking.
  • When making sweet potato fries, toss them in cornstarch before frying to make them extra crispy.
  • To reduce the sweetness of sweet potatoes in savory dishes, add acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar.

How to Cook Perfectly Roasted Chicken Every Time

Roasted chicken is a classic dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, a perfectly roasted chicken is sure to impress your guests. However, achieving that perfect golden-brown skin and juicy, flavorful meat can be challenging. Today we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to cook perfectly roasted chicken every time.

Choosing the Right Chicken

The first step in cooking a perfectly roasted chicken is choosing the right chicken. When buying a chicken, look for one that is plump, with firm flesh and smooth, unblemished skin. If possible, opt for a free-range or organic chicken, which will have better flavor and texture than conventionally raised birds.

Preparing the Chicken

Before roasting the chicken, you’ll need to clean and prepare it. Start by removing the giblets and any excess fat from the cavity of the bird. Then, rinse the chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. If you want to truss the chicken, tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the body. This will help the chicken cook more evenly and give it a nicer presentation.

Seasoning the Chicken

One of the keys to a perfectly roasted chicken is proper seasoning. There are countless seasoning options for roasted chicken, from simple salt and pepper to complex spice blends. Whatever seasoning you choose, make sure to rub it generously all over the chicken, including under the skin and inside the cavity. You can also add aromatics like garlic, herbs, or lemon to the cavity of the chicken to infuse it with additional flavor.

Roasting the Chicken

Once the chicken is cleaned, trussed, and seasoned, it’s time to roast it. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and place the chicken in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C). To ensure even cooking, baste the chicken with pan juices every 20 minutes or so.

Achieving Crispy Skin

One of the most sought-after elements of a perfectly roasted chicken is crispy skin. To achieve crispy skin, start by patting the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning it. This will remove any excess moisture that can prevent the skin from crisping up. You can also try brushing the chicken with melted butter or oil before roasting it, which will help the skin brown and crisp.

Resting and Serving the Chicken

Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful. To carve the chicken, use a sharp knife to cut through the joints between the legs and thighs, and then between the breasts and wings. Serve the chicken with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad.


Even with the best of intentions, sometimes roasted chicken doesn’t turn out as planned. Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them:

  • Overcooked chicken: To avoid overcooking the chicken, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Remove the chicken from the oven as soon as it reaches 165°F (75°C) and let it rest before carving.
  • Undercooked chicken: If the chicken is undercooked, return it to the oven and check the temperature every 5-10 minutes until it’s fully cooked.
  • Unevenly cooked chicken: To ensure even cooking, truss the chicken and baste it regularly. You can also try using a roasting rack to elevate the chicken and allow air to circulate

The Best Recipes for Cooking with Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient used in various cuisines around the world. From earthy and meaty to delicate and sweet, the flavors and textures of mushrooms are unique and delicious. Not only are mushrooms a great addition to any dish, but they also offer numerous health benefits, making them an ideal ingredient for anyone looking to add more nutrition to their diet. Today we will explore the best recipes for cooking with mushrooms, including vegetarian and vegan options, along with tips on how to properly prepare and store them.

Types of Mushrooms and Their Uses in Cooking

There are many different types of mushrooms, each with its unique flavor and texture. Some of the most common types of mushrooms used in cooking include button, cremini, portobello, shiitake, oyster, and enoki. Button mushrooms are the most widely used type of mushroom and have a mild, earthy flavor. 

Cremini mushrooms are similar to button mushrooms but have a slightly richer flavor. Portobello mushrooms are larger and have a meaty texture, making them a great substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes. Shiitake mushrooms have a smoky and meaty flavor, and oyster mushrooms have a delicate and sweet taste. Enoki mushrooms are small and have a slightly crunchy texture, making them a great addition to salads.

Top Recipes for Cooking with Mushrooms

Creamy Mushroom Risotto: This classic Italian dish is made with arborio rice, white wine, and a variety of mushrooms, including cremini, shiitake, and portobello. The addition of Parmesan cheese and heavy cream creates a rich and creamy texture.

Garlic Butter Mushroom Stuffed Chicken: This recipe is a delicious way to incorporate mushrooms into a protein-packed meal. Chicken breasts are stuffed with a mixture of sautéed mushrooms, garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese, creating a flavorful and juicy dish.

Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells: This vegetarian dish is a twist on traditional stuffed shells. Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with a mixture of sautéed mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese, then baked in a tomato sauce.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tart: This savory tart is made with a buttery puff pastry crust, topped with a mixture of sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, and fresh thyme. This dish is perfect as an appetizer or a light lunch.

Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup: This hearty soup is made with a variety of mushrooms, wild rice, and vegetables, creating a warm and comforting meal. The addition of herbs and spices, such as thyme and bay leaves, adds depth of flavor.

Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes Featuring Mushrooms

Mushroom and Tofu Stir-Fry: This vegan stir-fry is packed with protein and flavor. Tofu and mushrooms are stir-fried with a variety of vegetables, such as bell peppers and onions, and a sauce made with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

Portobello Mushroom Burger: This vegetarian burger is made with a large portobello mushroom cap, grilled to perfection, and topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. This burger is a great alternative to traditional beef burgers.

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff: This plant-based version of the classic Russian dish is made with a creamy mushroom sauce and served over noodles. This dish is rich in umami flavor and perfect for a cozy night in.

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Pasta: This vegan pasta dish is made with a creamy mushroom sauce and spinach, creating a delicious and healthy meal. The addition of nutritional yeast gives the dish a cheesy flavor, perfect for those following a plant-based diet.

Mushroom and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie: This vegan version of the classic dish is made with a filling of lentils, mushrooms, and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes. This dish is packed with protein, fiber, and flavor.

Tips for Cooking with Mushrooms

When cooking with mushrooms, it is important to properly clean and prepare them. Mushrooms should be wiped clean with a damp cloth or paper towel, rather than washed with water, which can make them slimy. Before cooking, the stem should be removed from the cap, as the stem can be tough and woody. 

When cooking mushrooms, it is best to use a non-stick pan, as mushrooms release water when cooked and can easily stick to the pan. It is also important not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the mushrooms to steam rather than brown. Mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in the refrigerator, as plastic bags can cause them to become slimy.

Learn To Cook Without Compromising On Taste And Nutrition

Cooking is an essential life skill that can save you money, improve your health, and bring joy to your life. But many people shy away from cooking because they think it’s time-consuming or difficult. Others are intimidated by the idea of cooking healthy meals that taste good.

The truth is, cooking can be easy and enjoyable if you approach it with the right mindset. With a few simple strategies, you can learn to cook without compromising on taste and nutrition.

Start With Simple Recipes

If you’re new to cooking, start with simple recipes that require only a few ingredients and basic techniques. Look for recipes that use fresh, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Some easy recipes to try include roasted vegetables, stir-fries, salads, omelets, and grilled chicken or fish. These dishes are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.

Use Flavorful Ingredients

Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland or boring. In fact, some of the most flavorful foods are also the healthiest. Instead of relying on salt or sugar for flavor, experiment with herbs, spices, vinegar, and citrus juices.

For example, try adding fresh basil or cilantro to your salads or pasta dishes. Use garlic and ginger in your stir-fries or marinades. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to your roasted vegetables.

Plan Ahead

One of the biggest barriers to cooking is lack of time. But with a little planning ahead, you can make healthy meals in no time.

Take some time at the beginning of each week to plan out your meals for the week ahead. Make a grocery list based on those meals so you have everything you need on hand. You can even prep some ingredients ahead of time like chopping vegetables or marinating meats.

Get Creative

Cooking should be fun and creative! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients or try new recipes.

If you’re not sure where to start, look up recipe ideas online or browse through cookbooks at your local library. You might discover some new favorite dishes that are both healthy and delicious!


Learning to cook doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. With these simple strategies in mind, anyone can learn how to prepare healthy meals that taste great. By starting with simple recipes using whole foods and experimenting with flavorful ingredients like herbs and spices, you’ll soon discover that cooking is both easy and enjoyable. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!