How to Cook a Wholesome Meal, Even For the Most Inexperienced Chefs

Photos and story by Nicole Germany

It isn’t a secret some of us are guilty of living off pizza, Chipotle or PB&Js. Fortunately for you, these two Pinterest-inspired recipes don’t require a pro in the kitchen, and I guarantee they will impress everyone who thought you couldn’t cook to save your life.

If you’re anything like me, you often contemplate your fourth trip of the week to Taco Bell. But after multiple bean burritos, my body screams for something wholesome and healthy.

This easy-to-make Mediterranean salad is a great way to get your daily dose of veggies and makes a colorful Instagram post for all the foodies out there.

Mediterranean Salad (serves 2 to 3)

Preparation time: 30 to 35 minutes


  • 16 ounces of garbanzo beans
  • 16 ounces of black beans
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup diced white onions
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • 10 ounces of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Small can of sliced black olives


  1. Empty diced tomatoes and green chilies, garbanzo beans, black beans and sliced black olives into a large bowl.
  2. Slice cherry tomatoes into halves.
  3. Dice cucumber and white onions.
  4. Place cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and diced cucumber and onions in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Add extra virgin olive oil to bowl.
  6. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, and thoroughly mix contents.
  7. Enjoy cold or heated.
Photo by Nicole Germany

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and these cheesy stuffed mushrooms make the perfect hors d’oeuvres. This quick appetizer requires few ingredients and short preparation time. Plus, you can add your own ingredients like crab meat, sausage or shrimp to give the recipe your own original twist.

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 3 to 4)

Preparation time: 25 to 30 minutes


  • (2) 8 ounces of whole baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 6.5 ounces of Alouette Garlic and Herb Cheese Spread
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use a wet cloth to rinse off any dirt from mushrooms (if you rinse them, they will get slimy).
  3. Remove the stems from all of the whole mushrooms.
  4. Use a butter knife to fill the middle of the mushrooms with cheese spread.
  5. Place on a pan.
  6. Cook mushrooms for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
  7. Remove pan, and sprinkle mushroom tops with cheddar cheese.
Photo by Nicole Germany
Photo by Nicole Germany

Pair the two recipes together, adding toasted bread and butter, and you’ve got yourself a home-cooked meal!

Photo by Nicole Germany

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