The following list of FREE resources was put together with friends and colleagues who include other jointly trained chef-MDs, nutrition scientists, and other health professionals. We are all passionate about helping others to make delicious, healthy food that is approachable and affordable. Here is a sampling of free, online, cooking resources that we use ourselves and/or often recommend to patients, friends, family, and others looking to prepare more delicious, healthy food at home.
Most of the options given below are very budget-friendly; many include foods from around the world and from a variety of different cultural food traditions. All are available in English, some are available in Spanish, and at least one is available in Mandarin.
Sites are loosely organized into categories, but many fit into more than one category. I recommend reading through all the descriptions to find out what might be interesting to you!
The list below will be updated regularly with other resources: https://ChefInMedicine.com/healthy-cooking-online-resources
https://eatfresh.org/ “My favorite aspect of this resource is that they have recipes available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.” It was created for those who qualify for SNAP, CalFresh, or other food programs, but are useful for anyone trying to improve their health.
“Leah’s Pantry is an amazing organization in San Francisco that does nutrition education and outreach with a trauma informed lens.” Recipes are budget-friendly. Cookbooks to download for FREE can be found at: https://www.leahspantry.org/product-category/cookbooks/downloadable/
- A Fresh Twist on Traditional Recipes
- Around the World at the Farmers’ Market: Recipes from San Diego’s African and Middle Eastern Community Cooks
- Healthy, Easy Recipes Inspired by Asia and the Pacific Islands
- Young, Indigenous, and Healthy: Recipes Inspired by Today’s Native Youth
“Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap cookbook is available online for free. A number of the recipes are quite versatile, and they are all budget-friendly.” https://books.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf
It is also available in Spanish Bueno y Barato: https://www.leannebrown.com/bueno-y-barato/
“Cooking Matters shares a lot of their recipes and it’s easy to sort a variety of ways including ‘Diabetes Friendly’ or ‘30-minute Meals’, for example.” All recipes are budget-friendly. https://cookingmatters.org/recipes
“For families with young kids, I often refer them to Nomster Chef (https://www.nomsterchef.com/ ). The founder has a background in educational TV, so the visuals are pretty fun, and she has tried to make the recipes healthy.”
https://recipes.doctoryum.org/ “Dr. Yum is a great website for kids and families with beautiful pictures of all the recipes. It also has a great search feature to find specific meal ideas. It also has a very kid friendly feature called meal-o-matic that lets you create your own recipe with the ingredients you have on hand and based on your taste preferences. Great way to get kids (and adults!) involved and interested in eating more fruits and veggies and trying new foods!”
Ottolenghi has a column in the Guardian and they have compiled a lot of his recipes. These recipes range from simple to quite involved but are all delicious. Focused on Mediterranean regional cuisine. https://www.theguardian.com/food/series/yotam-ottolenghi-recipes
Chinese Cooking Demystified https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC54SLBnD5k5U3Q6N__UjbAw “I read about this first in a New Yorker article and then someone who works at Bon Appetit highlighted the resource again. Their videos talk about techniques, food science/chemistry, and some history as well. I have really enjoyed learning more about Chinese cooking techniques and hacks through this resource.”
“For Indian Food, I really like Madhur Jaffrey. Her World Vegetarian cookbook has been a favorite of mine since high school. She has recipes available all over the Internet, but the BBC actually has a nice collection of them.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/madhur_jaffrey
https://www.veganricha.com/ “Richa Hingle creates recipes using mostly whole foods. While she includes recipes from the U.S. and around the world, her Indian recipes are excellent, simplified versions of traditional Indian dishes made approachable for any cook.” Recommended by more than one contributor!
Vegetarian, Vegan, or “Plant-curious”
“My mom got me this blogger’s cookbook a long time ago and it’s been a go to ever since.” He has recipes from many cuisines and cultures: https://www.herbivoracious.com/ “Highly recommend his pozole, Sicilian pan roasted cauliflower, and Spanish lentils with mushrooms to name a few.”
https://cookieandkate.com/ “A lot of great vegetarian recipes featuring whole foods.”
https://www.thefullhelping.com/ “The Full Helping’s recipes are focused on both pleasure and wellness, along with occasional musings on nutrition, self-care, and mindful living. Terrifically balanced and beautiful recipes and content.”
https://dreenaburton.com/ “Whole food vegan recipes that are family-friendly.”
https://simple-veganista.com/ “Easy-to-follow, budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten, oil, and refined sugar-free.”
https://ohsheglows.com/ Delicious plant-based recipes that are family and allergy-friendly.
https://www.rainbowplantlife.com/ Delicious vegan recipes; she also has a vegan instant pot cookbook
https://www.veggiesdontbite.com/ “Family-friendly recipes; not too complicated; very tasty!”
https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/total-health/food-for-health “Great blog Kaiser Permanente publishes with tasty and healthy recipes and food articles written by Kaiser physicians and staff. It includes other types of health articles as well. It is updated weekly and has a great search feature to find all past published recipes. Free to all, not just those at Kaiser.” Contributors Drs. Steinberg, Shiue, and Collins have posted recipes here.
https://fitmencook.com/ “A lot of similar techniques covered in the other resources. Targeted toward men but useful for all.”
https://www.wellplated.com/ “Super tasty recipes that are tested ahead of time, mostly healthy, use common ingredients, are simple and generally quick to prepare.”
“Minimalist Baker celebrates simple cooking by sharing recipes that require 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or 30 minute or less to prepare. This website includes many plant-based recipes but is not an entirely vegetarian site. It allows you to sort by recipes that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened (i.e., no added processed sugars). It’s also filled with beautiful food pictures.” Recommended by more than one contributor!
https://cuisinicity.com/ “This website filled with plant-forward recipes created by a French-born-and-raised, foodie neuroscientist who created the website after marrying a nutrition scientist and raising 5 kids. Her super-approachable style is infectious. Many of the recipes are simple, filled with plant foods (though not all vegetarian), and French or Mediterranean, but there is a smattering of creative dishes from around the world included as well.”
https://www.bonappetit.com/healthyish/recipes “Interesting, simple, plant forward recipes with many cultural influences.”
https://melissahemsley.com/ “Interesting, simple, plant forward recipes with many cultural influences, but from London. It different twist from recipes we see in the U.S. and also had focus on reducing food waste.”
https://www.forkintheroad.co/recipe-index/ “Nice site with good food photos from a local dietitian. Focuses on sustainability; food is largely, but not entirely, plant-based.”
www.rebeccakatz.com “Rebecca teaches people how to connect the dots between food, big flavors, and vibrant health! She works closely with physicians, nurses, and wellness professionals to include the powerful tools of flavor and nutrition in their medical arsenal.” The site has quite a few free recipes and videos.
https://pinchofyum.com/ “Lindsay shares fresh, flavorful, (mostly) healthy recipes. She is a retired 4th grade teacher, wife and mom. Her recipes are always easy and enjoyed by all.” For healthy options, use the recipe filters since the site includes less healthy options as well.
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/recipes-2/home-cooking/ “I often suggest the Harvard Nutrition Source. I think they do a great job of synthesizing nutrition information for the public. They have good recipes, though they’re not presented like the typical foodie website with gorgeous food photography.” Recommended by more than 1 contributor! Link given above is for the recipes, but make sure to check out the main page for trustworthy nutrition information.
Contributors’ free websites with cooking and health resources:
- Dr. Hauser’s website offering free delicious, healthy recipes and other health information/classes.
- Dr. Shiue’s website offering free recipes inspired by Dr. Shiue’s travels around the world along with other delicious, healthy recipes.
- Dr. Shiue’s Facebook page—similar to the website, above, but with even more great recipes and nutrition articles.
- Dr. Nordgren’s website offering free recipes and other cooking resources for home cooks and busy families who want to put nourishing and delicious food on the table.
- Dr. Adam’s YouTube channel featuring the following related video playlists:
- Dr. Shah’s website filled with information, resources, and recipes for families who want to shift to plant-based diets or who are plant-curious.
- Dr. Rosner’s website is a great resource for everything health and wellness. Her mission is to inspire and empower us all to be healthier. Look under “Past Events” to find links for recipes, videos, and health information from each event.
List of Contributors
- Michelle Hauser, MD, MS, MPA, FACLM, Chef
- Internist, Bariatrician, Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner, Epidemiologist, Chef, Culinary Medicine Curriculum Author
- Stanford University School of Medicine, Veterans Affairs, County of San Mateo Health Care System
- Emma Steinberg, MD, FAAP, Chef
- Pediatrician, Chef
- UCSF, Kaiser Permanente, County of Alameda
- Reshma Shah, MD
- Pediatrician, Author
- Stanford, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
- Linda Shiue, MD, Chef
- Internist, Chef, Cookbook Author
- UCSF, Kaiser Permanente
- Maya Adam, MD
- Leads digital health education initiatives around the globe, Massive Open Online Course Creator, Cookbook Author
- Stanford University
- Christopher Gardner, PhD, FAHA
- Professor, Nutrition Scientist, Author
- Stanford University School of Medicine
- Jeanne Rosner, MD
- Pediatric Anesthesiologist (Stanford), Nutrition Educator and Philanthropist
- Founder of SOUL (seasonal, organic, unprocessed, local) Food Salon
- Allison Collins, MD, ABLM
- Pediatrician, Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner
- Kaiser Permanente
- Julia Nordgren, MD, Chef
- Pediatric Lipidologist, Chef, Cookbook Author
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation