How to Cook 18 of the Most Basic Foods

How to Cook 18 of the Most Basic Foods

When people say, “90% of results start in the kitchen,” they don’t mean the kitchen at your favorite fast food restaurant. Cooking at home is actually one of the most effective tools when it comes to losing weight and seeing great results!

But if your kitchen feels like a foreign land to you (other than Mt. Microwave), you might be struggling to find a place to start. Don’t worry — you’re not alone.

No matter what your experience is, we’ll help you learn your way around a recipe or two. From beginner tips to basic cooking skills, here are the essential resources that you need to start crafting your own culinary creations!

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How to Get Started

Essential cooking tools

What’s a craftsman without their tools? Get familiar with these 11 kitchen essentials that’ll help you whip up something delicious.

Stock up your kitchen.

How to clean fruits and veggies

These tips aren’t just for germaphobes — you’ll want to keep these food-washing best practices in mind to avoid any chance of getting sick due to foodborne illnesses.

Learn more here.

Guide to knife cuts

One of the most important parts of preparing ingredients is knifework. Learn how to handle a knife properly and safely, and you’ll be slicing and dicing your way through basic cuts in no time.

Master the blade.


How to Cook Proteins

Chicken breast

This lean protein source is a staple in most healthy meal plans because of its high protein-to-calories ratio. It’s also extremely versatile! Make it tender, juicy, and flavorful with this simple guide.

Cook the best chicken breast.


Prefer a quick seafood meal that’s light in calories and high in protein? Learn how to cook the juiciest shrimp five different ways!

Channel your inner Bubba.


Even a small slab of salmon can have big benefits. Not only is this fish packed with protein, it also provides omega-3s and vitamin D.

Poach it, sear it, broil it, Bop It.


If you’re not a meat-eater, or if you want an easy way to add more protein and fiber to your meals, tofu should be your best friend. Enjoy its many textures and flavor profiles with these tips.

Get five tofu tips and seven recipes.


Although red meat should be consumed moderately, we deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while. When you want to indulge or celebrate with a nice cut of meat, here’s how to make the best-tasting steak.

Beef up your skills.


How to Cook Grains and Legumes


Just throw some rice and water in a pot and let it boil, right? No! Here’s exactly how much water to put in your rice, and how to cook it in a pot, microwave, and pressure/rice cooker.

Cook it the rice way.


Once you learn how to pronounce this ancient grain (keen·waa), it’s time to learn how to cook it! Luckily, it’s pretty similar to cooking rice, making it an easy swap when you’re looking for some variety. Fun facts: it’s rich in lysine and a great source of fiber.

Get keen on quinoa.


Lentils are a quick and easy source of fiber and protein. If you like to cook with color, there are several different shades of lentils, each with their own textures and flavor profiles.

Start loving lentils.


Beans are very versatile and nutrient-dense — you can throw them in salads, main dishes, muffins, and even in smoothies to boost the protein content. Here’s the full bean breakdown!

Let’s use legumes.


How to Cook Vegetables

Brussels sprouts

Don’t like Brussels sprouts? You’ve probably been cooking them wrong! Learn the best ways to cook this veggie and how it can amp up your meals.

Go all out for Brussels sprouts.


Cooking broccoli is one of the simplest ways to add more greens to your plate. You can enjoy it steamed, boiled, baked, or roasted, so you’re bound to find at least one variation you like!

Broccol-neat ways to cook broccoli.


They might not look like the most edible vegetable, but artichokes are actually fairly easy to prepare. They’re also high in protein compared to other vegetables, rich in antioxidants, and contain some fiber, too.

Okie dokie artichokie.


If you avoid kale because of its bitterness, there are a few easy ways to make enjoyable. Just by taking some time to prepare and cook it properly, you can mask its taste and enjoy it in salads, as a side, or on its own!

Make this superfood super-good.


More than the pretty purple color it provides to a dish, eggplant also provides fiber and potassium. Learn how to spot the best ones in the market and how to cook them to perfection.

Learn more here.


Your kitchen might not always be stocked up on beets, but they’re a serious powerhouse of nutrients! Elevate your soups and salads and boost their nutritional value with this root vegetable.

Feel the beet.

Butternut squash

Embrace fall flavors with this guide on how to chop up and cook butternut squash. They serve as lower-calorie alternatives to potatoes that have a deep, rich flavor.

Learn more here.

Spaghetti squash

You can still have your oodles of noodles without oodles of extra carbs by cooking spaghetti squash. It’s gluten-free, packed with nutrients, and super simple to make!

Arms are heavy, mom’s spaghetti.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet or savory? Get you a root vegetable that can do both! Sweet potatoes can be dressed with brown sugar, honey, and molasses, or you can enjoy them with some sour cream, grilled veggies, and Parmesan.

Get to baking.


Cooking for Weight Loss

Beginner meal prep tips

Although it might seem like a big undertaking, meal prepping helps you save time and stick to a meal plan. We’ve gathered some of the most important things to know for meal prep newbies.

Meal prep like a pro.

How meal prepping can help you lose weight

Cooking at home lets you control the ingredients and portions of your meals. That means less mindless eating and more healthy food choices throughout the week so you can stay on top of your nutrition.

Learn more here.

Diet plan for weight loss

The best diet plan is the one you’ll stick with. But in case you need some inspiration, here are some tips to help get you started!

Find what works for you.

Mediterranean diet

If you do plan to go on any “diet,” make it this one. The Mediterranean diet focuses primarily on whole foods in the form of fish, grains, and vegetables.

Learn more about the Mediterranean diet.