Blog: Cooking Tips and Tricks

Cooking Tips and Tricks

Lisa Balestrino, MS, LDN, RDN & Avril Rowerdink, MS, RDN, LDN, CES & Kaitie Yeoman, RD, LDN, CDCES

National Cooking Day was just a couple of weeks ago (9/25) and it inspired us to gather our thoughts about our favorite tips and tricks we use when we’re cooking. Now, we would love to share them with you!

Kicking it off we have one of Lisa’s favorite meals: Baked Eggplant Rollatini, adapted from A Simple Palate (pictured below).

One dish meals (and Italian meals) are a staple in our house! They save time, make for easy clean up and can be used to make larger quantities of food for weekly meal prep. Using a cast iron skillet lets me go from stovetop to oven easily and makes for more even cooking temperatures. This dish is vegetarian but still packs a decent protein punch from ingredients like egg, low fat ricotta cheese, and parmesan cheese. To switch up this dish I do things like add fresh basil, serve with fresh bread and/or a side salad, or cook some lean ground meat to mix with the sauce!

 – Lisa Balestrino, MS, RD, LDN

Next, Avril has provided 5 tips on how to meal prep for breakfast and lunch throughout the week using the same ingredients for different recipes.

Pro Tip #1: Pick recipes that use the same ingredients. In this case, both the turkey meatloaves and the breakfast bake use shredded zucchini and oats.

Pro Tip #2: Invest in a food processor – it’s my second favorite cooking tool, next to my slow cooker. After slicing the zucchinis into thirds, I had enough shredded zucchini in seconds for both recipes.

Pro Tip #3: Roast a large pan (a rack in a sheet pan can help with circulating air and getting a more even roast on any of the more watery veggies!) of vegetables that can be used in a variety of ways throughout the week. The vegetables and seasonings you choose can vary week to week based on what’s in season or on sale. My favorites are in the pictures (can never have enough cumin in my life!). In this case, I used the vegetables as a side to the turkey meatloaves for lunches. They also can be used cold to top a salad or warmed up in a pan with 2 eggs cracked over them and scrambled for breakfast. 

Pro Tip #4: Before pouring olive oil on the veggies, measure it – 1 tsp. per portion is a good rule of thumb. Using tongs, toss the vegetables to coat them in the oil and seasonings. Another option is to put the vegetables, oil, and seasonings in a gallon bag and shake to coat.

Pro Tip #5: If using vegetables that cook at different rates, separate them on the pan. This allowed me to easily take the broccoli out first since it cooks faster. Roast to your desired tenderness. Voila! You have made 2 recipes and a side of vegetables in  less than an hour’s time (plus cooking time). 

– Avril Rowerdink, MS, RDN, LDN, CES

Lastly, Kaitie has shared a recipe she’s adapted from The Mediterranean Dish

It’s time for my favorite time of year SOUP SEASON!! (To be honest, I eat soup year-round, and this recipe’s flavors are very summer-friendly if you’re anything like me.) I had seen a great recipe from @themediterraneandish but my pantry and personal preferences ended up taking me in a different direction. Now I’ve got a recipe to share with y’all that is great for a few reasons: it’s delicious, it’s nutrient-rich, and it’s SO EASY thanks to high quality convenience items like canned and frozen vegetables. If I have a personal “brand,” it’s high impact, tasty, and quick. Let me know what you think – bon appétit! 

– Kaitie Yeoman, RD, LDN, CDCES

Our Dietitians/ Nutritionists are here to help you and our office is open. Most major health insurance companies are also covering telehealth visits, usually at no cost to you. Our office will verify your benefits for you – both for existing patients and new patients. Navigating meals and snacks is an essential part of managing your health. Let us help you figure out how to use this information and support you in your various goals! 

Click here to contact us for more information. 

If you enjoyed and benefited from this information, please like and share it. 


Yours in health and wellness,          

Lisa Balestrino, MS, LDN, RDN & Avril Rowerdink, MS, RDN, LDN, CES & Kaitie Yeoman, RD, LDN, CDCES


Illustrations by Ashley Henley

Call Us Today: 919-990-1130

Get in Touch

Contact Anne Till Nutrition Group for More Information Today

Contact Anne Till Nutrition Group