The First Meal I Ever Made & My Fave Seasonings!

By Taralynn McNitt March 6, 2014

When I first started my weight loss journey, I had no idea how to cook. I knew how to royally mess up recipes, how to make messes in the kitchen, and how to boil my mom’s blood every time I left something out on the counter. I grew up making things out of the box. I ate foods like boxed macaroni, boxed potatoes, boxed waffles, boxed donuts, boxed tuna helper, boxed rice, and boxed pizza. And when there was nothing boxed in the house to make, I ate things out of the bag like potato chips, fast food, cookies, cheese, candy, French fries, pizza rolls, and do I even need to continue? You get the point. Super healthy stuff! Now, I don’t eat those too often. Maybe a couple times a month; it’s hard to say no to a pizza roll dangling in your face. I like to eat the center first, just like an Oreo. Anyways…back to the point of this post.

In order to lose the weight, I needed to learn how to cook real food. I didn’t start cooking difficult recipes at first. I started making little things like turkey wraps, omelets, and baked chicken. I burnt tons of eggs, dried out chicken breast after chicken breast, and steamed my vegetables until they looked like soggy noodles. Overtime, I got the hang of it. It’s important not to give up.

One of the first meals I ever learned to cook was baked chicken and roasted vegetables. It’s extremely hard to mess up, and you don’t need many ingredients. If you are new to cooking, I’d recommend starting here.

All you need is skinless, boneless chicken breast, bell pepper, squash, and sweet potatoes. You can use any vegetables in this; however, I don’t recommend using cucumbers. You will also need two tbsp of olive oil and garlic and herb seasoning.

Toss the vegetables in the olive oil and sprinkle seasoning on top. Do the same to the chicken. Lay the chicken and vegetables on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. Check the chicken’s center at 15 minutes. If it’s done, take it out and continue to cook the vegetables. Overcooked chicken is dry and gross. I’ve eaten my fair share of it!

Baked chicken and baked salmon are my favorite proteins. You can dress them up the same way before baking. Some of my favorite ways to flavor the two are:

– Low sodium Teriyaki sauce, garlic & herb, and black pepper.
– Fresh squeezed lime juice, low sodium soy sauce, brown sugar & sesame seeds
– Fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, and olive oil.
– Fresh squeezed orange juice, grated ginger, and low sodium soy sauce.
– Olive oil, garlic & herb seasoning, and black pepper.
– Brown sugar, Pineapple slices & juice, and low sodium soy sauce.
– Organic honey, garlic & herb seasoning, and black pepper.
– Low sodium taco seasoning, black beans, and olive oil.
– Honey Dijon mustard, olive oil, and garlic & herb seasoning.
– Low sodium buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and black pepper.
– And my favorite….Barbecue sauce!

You can find more of my recipes for chicken or salmon here!

What was the first meal you learned how to make? Or the very first meal you royally destroyed?

*This post was originally published on Taralynn’s website, Simply Taralynn. For more from Taralynn visit

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