How to Make Hummus – All in Pictures

HummusLike I mentioned in the last post that showed how to cook dried garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), garbanzo beans/chickpeas are nut-like in flavor, versatile, meaning they can be used in all kinds of recipes, and are highly nutritious, especially regarding their protein and fiber content. Read more »

How to Cook Dried Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) – All in Pictures

Cooked Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)If you’re not familiar with garbanzo beans or chickpeas, they are nut-like in flavor, versatile, richly nutritious (especially regarding protein an fiber), and extraordinarily appetite-satisfying. Below is a summary of nutrition facts (164 grams is 1 cup of cooked garbanzo beans), which you can click for a full garbanzo bean nutrition graphic posted by Condé Nast that was derived from USDA information.

USDA Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) Nutrition

NOTE: If you’re not used to eating foods high in fiber, like these beans, you can acclimate your body and minimize uncomfortable bloating by starting with a small amount of beans added to your meal and then steadily increasing that amount. I followed that advice myself, and it worked out great.

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How to Take Microwave Cooked Oatmeal From Simple to Exciting – All in Pictures

Microwave Cooked Oatmeal From Simple to ExcitingHere’s how to vary the flavor of microwave cooked oatmeal using commonly found ingredients. First, though, a couple quick points:

1. Flavors and tastes are exceptionally personal. The ingredients you see below work great together – for me, but my taste is not your taste. For example, you’ll see in the picture below that I use plain nonfat Greek yogurt, which I love for its flavor, thick texture, and high protein content. You, however, might not like Greek yogurt – or any yogurt at all for that matter – and that’s ok. Skip it, replace it with something else – and do the same for any other ingredient you see below to make your simple to exciting oatmeal all yours. Read more »

Spectacularly Tasteful DIY Travel Through Scotland Made Easy

Hike in Scottish hills

Just as this site provides practical tools to empower people to make meals for themselves, Marie Cruickshank’s Scotland Made Easy site and service empowers people with personalized guidance to travel the spectacular sites of Scotland – and more – all on their own. Read more »

Microwave Cooked Oatmeal – Flavor, Nutrition & All in Pictures

Microwave Cooked OatmealLast post showed how to make flavorful, energy-sustaining microwave cooked power cereal to give you a warm, full-powered start to these exceptionally cold days we’ve been experiencing. Considering those temperatures aren’t expected to change much in the foreseeable future, here’s something else to look forward to as you climb out of bed in the morning and hit that cold floor running that’s flavorful, richly nutritious, and easy to make – microwave cooked oatmeal.

Here’s what you’ll need to put together a simple version of microwave cooked oatmeal. Next post, I’ll show how to take what you see here from simple to exciting!

Needed to make Microwave Cooked Oatmeal Read more »

Microwave Cooked Power Cereal – Warm, Flavorful, and All in Pictures

Microwave Power Cereal & Icicles

You bet it’s cold outside, but there is a bright side. It’s mid-February, the days are getting longer, and everyday forward brings us closer to spring.

Still, all we ever have to deal with is the here and now. So, to make that here and now more comfortable, flavorful, easy to deal with…and nutritionally sound, here’s Microwave Power Cereal. Microwave Power Cereal has a lot going for it. First, it tastes great and requires only commonly found ingredients. Secondly, it gives you just what you need for a sustained energy burn by combining complex carbohydrates with protein. And finally, you use the same bowl to mix, cook, and eat the cereal from, which greatly minimizes cleanup. All good stuff! Read more »

How to Take Microwave Cooked Kale From Simple to Exciting – All in Pictures

Microwave Cooked Kale From Simple to ExcitingLast time I showed how to cook kale in the microwave oven, which is a great way to prepare kale both to maximize it’s flavor and not just retain but even boost its terrifically nutritional properties. But eating kale all by itself? Not for me.

So, here’s how to take microwave cooked kale from simple to exciting, which really is an example of just how easy – and flavorful – improvising in the kitchen can be. What I mean specifically regarding this recipe is that all the ingredients you see below or in the full picture book recipe you can download by clicking any picture on this page are just suggestions. Sure, they taste great together – for me. But what about you? You might not like onions or chickpeas (I used to not be a chickpea/garbanzo bean fan at all). Fine. Don’t use them, or substitute them with something else you do like, for example, chopped red – or any color – bell pepper, kidney beans, sun dried tomatoes, cucumber; you get the picture. Read more »

Resetting New Year’s Resolutions & Microwave Cooked Kale In Pictures

Microwave Cooked KaleI laughed the other day when I heard that February 1st is becoming the new start date for New Year’s resolutions. But then after I let the idea sink in, it began to make sense. By February 1st, the winter holidays and their tempting, flavorful excesses are all over. The football playoffs are over – or sometimes just about over. We’re starting to look at least somewhat more optimistically toward the light of spring at the end of the dark tunnel of winter. So, why not make February 1st a much more fitting start date?

Regarding that new start date and the desire among most to eat better, how ‘bout looking at what kale has to offer? Kale has a lot going for it in that it’s flavorful, versatile, easy to prepare, and richly nutritious (you can click the graph below for a link to The World’s Healthiest Foods for more detailed information.)

Kale Nutrition From World's Healthiest Foods Site Read more »

Excellent Illustrated Guide to Cooking Oils and How to Use Them

Just got an email from with the concise, illustrated article printed below about the difference between cooking oils regarding their smoke points (temperature at which they start to smoke), nutrition, source, flavor, and best use – all in alphabetical order. Terrific reference that I’ll be sure to use. Thanks, Fix!

Nut, Seed, and Flower Oils – Which Cooking Oil to Use When

From deep-fried foods to healthy salads, cooking oils play a part in the flavor profile and healthiness of many meals. With such a huge range of nut, seed, and flower oils on the market to choose from, all boasting their own array of nutritional and superfood benefits, it can be hard to know where to start.

Consider the smoke point when selecting an oil to cook with. The temperature at which a type of oil begins to smoke and burn will play a huge factor in the dishes you should use it in. Will you be cooking your food hot and fast? If that’s the case you might want to avoid the delicious and flavorful extra virgin olive oil, which begins to smoke at 320 degrees F, and instead opt for an oil with a higher smoke point, like avocado oil, which smokes at a searing 520 degrees F.

Then there’s your waistline and general health to consider. It’s no secret all oils contain fats, but consulting our list will teach the levels of mono-saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated fats in 15 popular nut, seed, and flower oils, allowing you to choose the oil that’s right for you.

Will you be stir-frying your next meal? Try almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or walnut oil. Feel like a toasty flavor in your next salad dressing? Perhaps sesame oil should be your oil of choice. From flavor profiles to best applications, as well as interesting information on the derivation of each oil from its plant source, see the infographic below for everything you need to know about cooking oils and more.



Microwave Cooked Fresh Hot Chocolate: Quick, Easy, and All in Pictures

Microwave Cooked Fresh Hot ChocolateThere’s nothing much better than the warm rich flavor of a fresh cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. By “fresh”, I’m talking about using only real ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, maybe a light dash of salt, and milk. That’s it: pure, honest, and clean, which means using far fewer and much easier to pronounce ingredients than those found in a container or packet of instant hot chocolate powder that’s intended to be mixed with only hot water. Read more »

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