Becoming a better cook is easy if simple steps are taken. Cooking is a healthy option to better living, with fresh ingredients, tasty meals, and savory flavors all adding to the spice of a solid, home-cooked meal.

How to become a better cook in 7 easy steps:

1.) Proper Cooking Tools

The right tools make the right cook. Have fun choosing proper cooking tools, including pots, pans and dishes. A saucepan is also necessary to making delicious stews, gravy, sauces and more. Having a cutting board is also important for chopping up all the healthy vegetables good meals require. Measuring bowls and cups are also important to have. These should all be organized in the kitchen for easy access.

2.) Organization

Shopping smart is essential in becoming a better cook. Healthy fruits and vegetables, lean meats and savory spices are all requisites for healthy meals. When going shopping in the supermarket, a list of ingredients is helpful in making sure the necessary ingredients are bought and stocked in the kitchen. Organization is a must again.

3.) Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices can make or break a dish. Spices and herbs can make a meal savory without having to add extra butter, oils, salts and fats. Learn how to combine the right spices with different foods. Experiment to determine what best suits what, and have fun learning the best combinations for foods and spices. A dash of this and a pinch of that can turn a bland dish into an aromatic one.

4.) Read The Recipe

Reading the recipe is very important. Knowing how much to put in, or leave out, of a certain ingredient is the basis for a tasty dish that won't be thrown out the minute it is tasted. The right proportions are key in mastering any specific recipe. Use the measuring bowls and cups to parse out the ratios of ingredients, and follow the recipe instructions carefully.

5.) Observe Other Cooks

Observe other cooks at work. Some restaurants have an open area where the chef can be watched. Going to these places may be beneficial in determining how professionals organize themselves, their ingredients and their dishes. These professionals can be sources of inspiration for new dishes, or creative twists to old ones. Ask questions, and learn from the best.

6.) Be Efficient

Efficiency is important in the kitchen. Working too slow can increase the time it takes to cook a meal, perhaps dulling the taste for future attempts. Chopping up vegetables and other ingredients takes a huge chunk of cooking preparation time. Having dull blades slows down efficiency. Make sure knife blades are kept sharp and free of rust. Consider chopping up several vegetables at once, perhaps on the weekend, and freezing them for later use. That way, the next time they are needed for a meal, the preparatory work has already been done.

7.) Be Well-Rounded

Meals need to be well-rounded, just like the cook making them. Having a main dish and a side or two can help bring out the best of a palate. Building up a skill set creating these side dishes will come in handy. Salads of every kind, with exotic flavors or simple ones, can be great side dishes. Bread rolls baked from scratch, with pinches of cinnamon, may serve as a great holiday side dish treat. Cooking different vegetables can also be a great source of inspiration for side dishes, and can be easy to do.