5 Kitchen Skills Every Health-Loving Cook Should Learn

poached chicken

Even if you have no aspirations of becoming your generation’s Julia Child, knowing your way around the kitchen can make cooking easier, faster and more enjoyable. Learning a few key skills can mean the difference between a healthy home-cooked meal and yet another night of not-so-healthy take out. Libby Mills, RDN, a nutrition coach and chef, shares five techniques to try. With a little practice, you might be mistaken for Julia Child in the kitchen after all (just minus some of the butter).

Season a cast-iron skillet: A cast-iron skillet is the perfect tool for searing meats, fish and vegetables. But first, you have to know how to care for it. Heat up the skillet, add some canola oil and rub it all over the internal surface. Then put it in the oven at about 200 degrees for 15 minutes. After it cools, wipe out any excess oil. “The oil will get into the pores of the cast iron and create a nonstick surface,” Mills says. After each use, clean, but don’t scour it — and every so often re-season it with another coat of oil.

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