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Haylie Duff's five healthy cooking must-haves

Whitney English is a reporter and host in Los Angeles with over six years of experience working for outlets like E! Entertainment, MSN TV, SheKnows.com, and many more. She has a passion for health and fitness and documents her journey of...

Duff dishes tips from her Real Girl’s Kitchen

Did you know Haylie Duff is a foodie at heart? The actress and food blogger told us how to make over your kitchen and learn to cook easy, healthy meals.
Haylie Duff dishes tips from her Real Girl’s Kitchen

You know her primarily as half of the power-sister acting duo, the Duffs, but just as Hilary has shifted her focus to motherhood and her singing career, Haylie Duff also has another passion: cooking.

She’s documented her love of food on her blog for the past few years and is now ready to unveil her biggest recent accomplishment, The Real Girl’s Kitchen cookbook. Put on a frilly apron and listen up as Haylie teaches us how average gals can become queens of the kitchen!

SheKnows : Who taught you to cook and/or inspired your passion for healthy eating?

Haylie Duff: My mom taught me the most in the kitchen. She always cooked for us when we were growing up, and some of my favorite memories revolve around us being in the kitchen together.

SK: Your healthy lifestyle is very inspirational, but you're human, too! What aspects of your health/fitness routine do you struggle with?

HD: I struggle with making the time during the day to get active. I love to work out, but we are all so busy! So I try to get my workout done first thing in the morning. Then it's done and I don't have any excuses to skip it!

SK: What are the five ingredients every healthy chef should always have on hand?

HD: Sea salt, olive oil, lemon, garlic and a fresh herb, like thyme.

Haylie Duff's five ingredients every healthy chef should always have on hand

SK: What's your best tip for real girls to save money on healthy cooking? Everyone knows Whole Foods can break the bank sometimes.

HD: Agreed! There are lots of ways to stretch your food dollar. First, decide what you will be making that week and think about ways you can use your leftovers the next day. I love leftovers! One of my best breakfast creations came from using some leftover chicken and brussels sprouts to make one killer breakfast frittata. Also, keep your recipes simple. Then you aren't buying a special ingredient for just one dish.

The best tip for not overspending at the grocery store is to go in with a plan, list out your recipes and stick to the list! Also, follow the old saying "Never go to the grocery store hungry."

SK: A lot of women are afraid to experiment in the kitchen. What is your advice for first-time cooks on approaching healthy cooking?

HD: Just jump in, take risks and don't be too hard on yourself if you mess up. I’ve discovered some of my favorite kitchen tricks through trial and error. You will get better and better the more you experiment!

SK: What are three easy ingredients swaps to instantly "healthify" your meals?

The Real Girl's Kitchen
Pick up a copy of Haylie's book here!

HD: Yogurt for mayo. That is one of my favorites. Lemon for salt: This rule does not always apply, but in some cases it can work really nicely. Baking a piece of chicken in panko with a touch of olive oil instead of frying chicken. It satisfies that breaded chicken feel I crave but is much healthier!

SK: What's your go-to healthy dinner when you don't feel like being in the kitchen for hours?

HD: No question, a baked or grilled piece of chicken and some veggies; usually, brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccolini or a kale salad.

SK: What five cooking utensils are must-haves for the real girl's kitchen?

HD: A great chopping knife, a cutting board, a garlic press, a mandolin and a good blender.

SK: What's your favorite recipe in the book?

HD: I love the Legit Chicken. It got its name from years of my friends praising it every time I made it... so good!

SK: What are your guilty pleasure foods?

HD: Oh my. Sea salt and vinegar chips. Yikes!

SK: Who is your favorite person to cook for/with?

HD: Well, I have lots of girlfriends that I love to have fun with in the kitchen, but my boyfriend recently made dinner for me and he turned out to be pretty fun in the kitchen, too!

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We’re guessing it gets pretty steamy up in that kitch!

Be sure to grab Haylie Duff’s Real Girl’s Kitchen cookbook now on amazon.com. As if the recipes weren't impressive enough, the multi-talented Duff shot and styled the whole thing herself.

Also coming soon: The Real Girl’s Kitchen show on Ora TV. Watch the promo featuring Haylie’s sis Hilary:

More healthy eating tips

6 Tips to cook like a chef and look like a model
8 Foods a nutritionist would never eat
Good, better, best: Healthy breakfast recipes

Photo credit: Yoni Goldberg
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