Learning to Cook and My Go-To Recipes and Cooking Websites

Leigh Wagner_0744_Final.jpg

Cooking can be super intimidating. What does “sauté” mean? Blanch? Deglaze? Is a cube like a dice? What the heck is a pinch of salt? (it’s actually about 1/8 of a teaspoon so fill a 1/4 tsp half way)…

I remember when I was first learning to cook, how nervous I felt (my family is full of great cooks, so expectations run high). I burned, boiled-over, forgot, both under- and overcooked countless recipes, and every time I did, I learned.

When I teach cooking classes, I love to use the analogy of running: You (likely) wouldn't run a marathon by just thinking about it. You'd run a marathon by lacing up your shoes day-in and day-out to train, practice, and prepare yourself to cross the finish line.

It takes time, some discomfort and just plain work. 

Likewise, if you "can't" or "don't know how" or "didn't grow up learning how to" cook, then you probably aren't going to get any better by just thinking (*cough* dreading) it. 

Instead, here are some proactive ways to learn and prepare yourself to cook:

  • Look up how-tos (here’s one from Cook Smarts and one from Nourishing Meals). 

  • Find recipes online or pinterest. I’ll admit pinterest is one of my least favorite platforms because it overwhelms me, but they do have an endless number of recipes!

  • Set aside a day once a week or once a month to practice or try recipes.

  • Invite friends over to try out a couple recipes and send everyone home with meals for the week.

  • Also, whfoods.org have some very simple, basic healthy recipes and info about the health benefits of certain foods.

Here are come of my current go-to websites and blogs for recipes. I like these because I’ve cooked several of their recipes, and they work. Plus, they provide modifications for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc. You can often find what you need. I noted those that are strictly vegetarian recipes for anyone who’s already vegetarian to save you time:

What are some of your favorite, dependable recipes and websites? I’d love to hear them below in the comments!