I'm a designer, not a food guru, but working side-by-side with crazy smart chefs and food writers has taught me a thing or two (actually six), like how not to lose a finger while cutting a mango.
Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

1.     How to cut a mango

Have you ever tried to cut a mango without having the correct instructions to do so? Man, oh man. That pit! Who knew? Well, I sure didn’t know. This guide below is a foolproof way to cut around that cumbersome pit and get some perfect cubes to munch on without losing a finger or wasting precious fruit.

Credit: Brown Bird Design

2.     Jackfruit is delicious.

Have you heard of this delightful meat alternative? Jackfruit still confuses me to this day, but that doesn't stop me from preparing and enjoying these tasty tostadas created by our resident vegan, Hayley Sugg.

I honestly thought I was eating pulled pork the first time I tried one of these jackfruit tostadas. In case you are wondering, jackfruit is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia; you can find this tree’s fruit canned at Asian supermarkets.

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

3.     How to spatchcock a chicken (and other various poultry)

This was quite the learning experience for me. I learned this technique while I photographed Senior Editor, Tim Cebula demonstrating so I could commission an illustration (see below). Tim walked me through the steps and explained which parts to photograph so that the illustrator (Brown Bird Design) would have the best reference. I have to say, the step-by-step guide below was most helpful the first time I attempted the technique of spatchcocking. I was able to cook the chicken evenly and more quickly than usual. Take my word for it, this guide is as simple as it gets! Again, I kept all my fingers.

Credit: Brown Bird Design

4.     Everything about eggs

I honestly think that I could be crowned the Queen of Eggs, well at least scrambled and soft boiled eggs, and at least just reigning over my own kitchen. I have Cooking Light’s story Choose Your Own Eggventure to thank for that. This story is so much fun and so informative. If you like eggs, read it, absorb it, and become egg royalty in your own kitchen.

5.     Proper gourd terminology

Emma Crist explains it all here. I have no words. If I could, I would insert a very confused emoji face here.

6.     We should drink chickpea juice.

When they told me to drink a cocktail made from legume juice, I thought they were pranking me. Turns out, I was wrong. This liquid is properly known as aquafaba. If you’re hesitant, don’t be... I did that for us already and survived. I’ve only tried one version of this idea, and it was in this margarita  created by our very own Jamie Vespa, MS, RD. The aquafaba was used to add a light and fluffy whipped topping that was too good to be true. Cocktails that have nutritious plant-based ingredients? Sign me up!

Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel

This collection is just a handful of the useful tips and techniques I’ve learned over the years of working at Cooking Light. This non-foodie is slowly (very slowly) becoming a very informed, almost foodie!