Health experts make it sound simple: to be healthier, all you need to do is exercise more and eat better. But these two “simple” concepts are huge and complicated. We often lack time, knowledge, motivation, and stamina to exercise regularly. And many people (myself included) find it even more challenging to make three nutritious and delicious meals per day. But if you’ve never cooked for yourself, the way to start is by learning the basics. There was a great article posted on the New York Times a few weeks ago that explains the challenges that many people face when it comes to cooking real, whole and healthy foods. It also offers three basic recipes that will help many people get started on cooking from scratch, no prior knowledge necessary. These meals are delicious and easy to make with simple kitchen equipment (a stove, a pot, and a pan).

Click here to read the article: Three Recipes. The recipes (for stir fry, salad, and rice/lentils) are included on the left-hand side of the article.

There are a host of recipe blogs, websites, and cookbooks that are great for beginner cooks, and those trying to incorporate simple and whole foods into their meals. When I first began cooking, I searched for “quick” or “five minute” recipes. Of course, these recipes ended up taking me longer than five minutes, but it helped me to learn the basics of sauteing and roasting vegetables, and cooking meat and grains. You can also search for recipes with five ingredients or less.

Here are a few of my favorites. Please email me or leave a comment if you have others that you love!

  • The Lifehacker Cookbook has great tips – everything from “how to make the perfect grilled cheese” to “no-knead pizza dough.”
  • Start Cooking is filled with videos on various cooking skills, including simple skills and how to cook entire meals.
  • Epicurious: Quick & Easy gives you simple recipes, as well as entire meal plans.
  • Simply Recipes: Quick has beautiful pictures, and step-by-step directions in each recipe.
  • All Recipes: Their huge library means they have an overwhelming amount of recipes, but it also means you can find a simple version of the recipe you are looking for.