By Chef Alli on January 18, 2023

Cooking Tips for a Healthy New Year

Chopping, vegetables, potatoes, nutrition

Enjoy these hacks that add intense flavor to food without amping up fat and calories. 

Caramelize Your Vegetables 

When sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes and carrots are steamed, they taste bland but when exposed to high heat, they release their natural sugars to become tasty, caramelized candy. Set your grill to high or your oven to 425 F, drizzle the veggies in a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with coarse kosher or sea salt and roast until deep golden brown and fork tender. 

Serve it Hot 

Don’t make the mistake of serving beautiful, freshly cooked food on a cold plate. Instead, heat your plates in the oven at 170 F for 10 minutes before plating the meal. This prevents the plate from absorbing the heat from the food and immediately dropping the food’s temperature.

Go Bold or Go Home 

Freshly chopped herbs and chilies, along with flavored vinegars, mustards and citrus juice/zest add a ton of bright and bold flavor without calories. High impact/low calorie flavors also include strong cheeses, miso, soy sauce, Worcestershire, fresh ginger and anchovies. 

Create a Delicious Sauce from Pan Drippings

Add a bit of wine or broth to those beautifully browned leftover bits in your skillet; reduce for a few moments until thickened. You now have a savory pan sauce that’s out of this world. 

Indoor Inversion Cooking 

Think of your broiler as an inverted grill—a source of concentrated cooking from above, just the opposite of a traditional grill. Chicken cutlets, steaks and pork chops take only 10-12 minutes to cook beneath the broiler; just be sure to flip halfway through the cooking process. 

Save the Best for Last 

Finish preparing protein and veggies with a drizzle of your best olive oil and a generous sprinkle of your best flakey sea salt. Adding these last minute means they hit the palate first, allowing you to use less during the cooking process. 

Strain It 

A chinois is a cone-shaped strainer made of very fine woven mesh. Puréed soups strained through a chinois results in a texture so glorious you’ll swear heavy cream was added. 


  • Chef Alli

    Chef Alli is a wife, mom and chef. She's been stirring up a love of farm fresh cooking for more than a decade.  To see more of Alli's recipes, go to