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April 13, 2020

Great Cooking Resources  

By Heidi Herald

Like many people, you may be trying to create meals from what you have at home in order to reduce exposure risks or because you are watching your budget. Preparing delicious and satisfying meals with ingredients you have on hand at home isn’t as difficult as you may think. I’ve compiled a list of resources that can provide you with recipes based on ingredients you already have, help you find substitutions for ingredients you’re missing, and provide you with information on food safety as well as the best way to store foods. Then I offer a list of great digital cookbooks that range from budget-conscious recipes to diet-specific ones.  

Useful Cooking Websites 

Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could enter the ingredients you have and have someone else provide you with a recipe? That day is here! Enter your ingredients, and SuperCook will provide you with delicious recipes that are pulled from many popular cooking websites. (SuperCook also has an app to make it even easier.)  

Have you ever had a craving for a specific dinner or dessert recipe, but when you went to check your pantry you were missing an ingredient? The Cook’s Thesaurus is here for you so you don’t have to disappoint your taste buds. Simply type in the ingredient you are missing and The Cook’s Thesaurus will provide you with a list of other items you can use as substitutes. 

Maybe you’re finally ready to make something with that ingredient that’s just been sitting in the fridge or pantry. Is it even still good? Before you use it and potentially expose yourself to a food-borne illness, check out StillTasty. StillTasty will tell you how long your food and beverages will stay safe and healthy, and how to store them correctly. Just enter an item, and the website will provide the results. 

Tired of cooking vegetables the same way every time? Explore Grillio’s Guide to Different Methods to Prepare Vegetables. From steaming to grilling to pickling, eating vegetables doesn’t have to be boring. (This website suggestion was provided by library patron Brooke Mack).

Digital Cookbooks 

The above websites make it easy to use what you have on hand, but you might prefer scrolling through a good cookbook for inspiration. Luckily, you will find a multitude of cookbook options on Libby (Overdrive) and Hoopla Digital. There are so many different types of cookbooks that you’ll be able to find one specific to your tastes and diet.  

For those of you wanting a budgetfriendly cookbook, you can find 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget: Simple Tips and Tasty Recipes to Help You Cut Out Processed Food without Breaking the Bank by Lisa Leake on Libby (Overdrive). On Hoopla Digital you can find The Frugal Foodie Cookbook by Lynette R. Shirk to help you cook affordably.   

Hoopla Digital has a cookbook for many of the popular eating lifestyles like DASH, Keto, Paleo, and the Mediterranean diet as well as cookbooks for diabetic and sugar-free cooking. Find some of my picks below:  

For those of you not following a specific eating lifestyle, maybe you’d like to try Susan Crowther’s The No Recipe Cookbook: A Beginner’s Guide to the Art of Cooking or The Everyday Instant Pot Cookbook by Bryan Woolley 

I hope these suggestions add some variety to your meals. Please stay safe and healthy!