Healthy Cooking Methods Dictionary

This is a list of cooking methods I use in my healthy family recipes.

Bake: To cook food in an oven with dry heat.

Barbecue: To cook foods on a rack or a spit over coals. Works well with tofu and vegetables, too.

Baste: To moisten food for added flavor and to prevent drying out.

Batter: An uncooked concoction usually made up of flour, a liquid, and other ingredients.

Beat: To stir quickly to make a mixture smooth, using a whisk, spoon, or mixer.

Blanch: To cook briefly in boiling water to seal in flavor and color. This method is usually used for vegetables or fruit to ease skin removal and to prepare them for freezing.

Blend: To thoroughly combine ingredients, either by hand with a whisk or spoon, or with a mixer or a blender.

Boil: To cook in bubbling water that has reached 212 degrees F.

Bone: To remove bones from poultry, meat, or fish.

Bouquet garni: A tied bundle of herbs that is added to flavor soups, stews, and sauces but removed before serving.

Braise: To cook first by browning, then gently simmering in a small amount of liquid over low heat in a covered pan until tender. This method works for meats, fish and tofu.

Bread: To coat the main ingredient with crumbs or cornmeal before cooking.

Broil: To cook on a rack or under or over direct heat in an oven. I  make excellent broiled salmon!

Brown: To cook over high heat, usually on top of the stove. This method works for vegetables and tofu, as well as meats and fish.

Core: To remove the seeds or tough woody centers from fruits and vegetables.

Cream: To beat ingredients until smooth and fluffy.

Cube: To cut food into small (about 1/2- inch) cubes.

Dice: To cut food into very small (1/8-to 1/4-inch) cubes.

Dollop: A spoonful of soft food such as sour cream, guacamole or mashed potatoes.

Dot: To scatter oil in bits over food.

Dress: To coat  salad with a dressing. Also, to clean fish, poultry, or game for cooking.

Drizzle: To pour liquid over food in a fine stream.

Dust: To coat lightly with a powdery ingredient. I like to dust my raw truffles!

Fold: To combine light ingredients with a heavier mixture, using a gentle over-and-under motion, usually with a rubber spatula.

Glaze: To coat foods with glossy mixtures.

Grate: To rub foods against a serrated surface to produce shredded or fine bits. I love grated carrots in salads.

Grease: To rub the interior surface of a cooking dish or pan with oil to prevent food from sticking to it.

Grill: To cook food on a rack under or over direct heat, as on a barbecue or in a broiler. This works wonders with bell peppers.

Grind: To reduce food to tiny particles using a food processor.

Julienne: To cut into long, thin strips.

Knead: To blend dough together with hands or in a mixer.

Macerate: To soak fruit in a flavored liquid.

Marinate: To soak in a flavored liquid. I always marinate tofu and tempeh before cooking, to give it some flavor.

Mince: To cut into tiny pieces.

Parboil: To partially cook by boiling; it is usually done to prepare food for final cooking by another method.

Poach: To cook gently over very low heat in barely simmering liquid just to cover. I love poached eggs.

Purée: To mash or grind food until completely smooth, usually in a food processor, blender, sieve, or food mill.

Reduce: To thicken a liquid and concentrate its flavor by boiling.

Roast: To cook food uncovered with dry heat in an oven. This method is mainly used for meat, i however love roasted vegetables with some rosemary and olive oil.

Sauté or panfry: To cook food in a small amount of fat over relatively high heat.

Scald: To heat liquid almost to a boil until bubbles begin to form around the edge.

Sear: To brown the surface of meat or tofu by quick-cooking over high heat.

Shred: To cut food into narrow strips with a knife or a grater.

Simmer: To cook in liquid just below the boiling point. This way bubbles form, but do not burst on the surface of the liquid.

Skim: To remove surface foam or fat from a liquid.

Steam: To cook food on a rack or in a steamer set over boiling or simmering water in a covered pan.

Steep: To soak in a liquid just under the boiling point to extract the essence—e.g., tea.

Stew: To cook covered over low heat in a liquid. Pretty much any combo of vegetables and beans works as a stew, given the right spices.

Stir-fry: To quickly cook small pieces of food over high heat, stirring constantly.

Whip: To beat food with a whisk or mixer to incorporate air and produce volume.

Whisk: To beat ingredients with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.