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Healthy Techniques to Try

January offers up a great opportunity for giving your kitchen routine a revamp. I’m working on eating plenty of salads, drinking lots of water and topping my morning oatmeal with fresh fruit, but I also pay close attention to cooking practices for an extra fresh start.

These four simple techniques will help you cut back on sodium and fat, reduce consumption of meat, bump your intake of veggies and stay cozy in the chilly winter months. Bonus!

Here’s how to tackle your new kitchen strategy:

 Indian Red Lentil Soup  Slow Cooker Veggie and Chicken Pot Pie

Add Veggies Like Whoa

Just keep adding veggies! This is the best trick in the book – take your favorite recipe and pile on the produce. Additional vegetables can easily be added during the cooking process, but top each serving dish with a shredded raw produce for an extra dose, like in our Indian Red Lentil Soup. We also love the creamy, nutrient-packed sweetness that sweet potato purée provides in lieu of butter and sugar in our pot pie biscuits.


Veggie-Packed Meatloaf with Quinoa Beef and Quinoa Meatballs

Swap Meat for Whole Grains

Small whole grains like quinoa, millet and bulgur work wonders as a ground meat replacement in cold-weather-friendly meatball and meatloaf recipes. Go half-and-half to achieve the best texture. We also have plenty of deliciously satisfying veggie burger recipes, too.


Warm Kale and Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Smoky Collard Greens

Steam Frying

You don’t need to cook with oil or butter to achieve beautifully browned, flavor-packed results. Our steam frying method starts with a dry pan and adds a splash of water or broth to prevent sticking. Use the method to start sauces and soups and even caramelize onions! Check out this video for the step-by-step method.


Tangerine-Roasted Tuna with Green Olives Roasted Mahi Mahi, Collards and Pears

The Sheet Pan Technique

Piling your entire dinner on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet makes cleanup unbelievably easy and means you can cook without using oil. Cooking individual portions in a paper pouch serves the same purpose and gently steams the food for a silky smooth texture.

What healthy cooking techniques do you call on most? Please share your tips and suggestions in the comments section below.

Hungry for more? Check out our Healthy Eating hub for tips on choosing healthy foods, healthy cooking techniques and much more!

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heather says …

Hi Molly, I am a 1st time visitor to wholefoodsmarket.com & your blog & I was searching for inspiration for exactly this. All of these tips are really easy to try so I'm totally inspired to work in all of them. When you're self teaching sometimes it can seem overwhelming trying to do things you've never done so thank you for this, seems a perfect way to makeover my food! Thank you!

Catherine says …

These are pretty good techniques and I can apply them to my diet! I'm doing the sugar cleanse/detox right now and its actually going pretty well...I eat a lot of veggies and meat and in turn I eat less sugar. I got most of my info from detoxfromsugar.c om

Handful says …

We have been eating cleaner for several years now. Almost no processed foods and lots of veggies that we grow and preserve ourselves. Even though we raise some of our meat I am TRYING to incorporate more meatless meals into our diet. I just don't dare call them vegetarian.

LaDawn says …

When I'm cooking favorite veggies that take some time in the oven, like sweet potatoes or beets, I always do a big batch. They keep well in a recycled yogurt container. That way I can toss a bit in my morning smoothie, chop a few to decorate my salad or slide a couple slices into whatever soup or stir fry I'm making for lunch. It increases color and variety while upping my vitamins and fiber. Win-win!