About Fundamentals of Healthy Cooking - January 2022
Learn and master Basic healthy cooking techniques, gain kitchen confidence, and regain your health!
This course covers basic healthy cooking techniques and best practices for the home cook with a combination of video, audio, and written content.
- 12 Basic Healthy Cooking Technique Modules
- 12 Best Practice Modules
- Each Module contains video, audio, and written content including downloadable PDFs
- Over 50 Simple, Delicious, Nutritious real-food recipes that can be adapted to fit most dietary preferences
- Accessible via online membership portal
- Access to the materials and updates for a minimum of 1 year
Welcome to the Fundamentals of Healthy Cooking Course!
This lesson provides suggestions for getting the most out of this course.
The content for this course will be released over a 12-week period beginning on Monday, January 10, 2022 and continuing through March 28, 2022.
The first "skill" that the home cook needs to master has nothing to do with cooking. It involves a shift in mindset.
Mise en place is a French Culinary Term meaning "put in place", and is an important part of being successful in the kitchen.
This lesson outlines the steps to mise en place a recipe or meal and provides a check list to get you started.
The backbone of any great cook is the ability to properly use a chef’s knife. Prep is the most time-consuming part of any recipe, so becoming proficient in this area will make cooking faster, easier, and more enjoyable. In this course, you will first learn the basics of knife selection, care, honing, and sharpening. You will then learn and practice how to mince, slice, and dice various vegetables and herbs.
Before we can start to learn how to properly cut, we need to know what type of knife to purchase. There are many different types of knives to choose from, but you really only need 2-3. This video will explain the different types, and show what you should have in your own kitchen
You know you need a chef's knife, but what brand? How much should you spend? What should I look for? This video will answer all those questions and more!!
Properly storing and caring for your knives will extend their life and keep them in tip-top shape. This video shows you how.
Next to your chef's knife, the most important tool you have is your cutting board! Many people use too small of a board which hinders their ability to properly and efficiently cut. This video will show you what to look for in a cutting board.
Knife skills begin with knowing how to properly hold a knife. In this video, you will learn the proper way to hold and use your chef knife. You will also learn proper cutting motion and what 3 habits you need to break and why.
Keeping your knife sharp is crucial. Although we think we must constantly "sharpen" our knives, we really need to focus on "honing" or cleaning the edge using a honing steel on a regular basis. Yes, knives need periodic sharpening, but for most home cooks this should be done only 1-2 times per year. This video will give you all the details!
P. S. If you do need your knife sharpened, we can help! We offer professional sharpening services. Contact us for details.
Chopping an onion is the first skill I teach in my knife skills class. Once you can master this, the rest will come easier, and SO MANY dishes START with chopped onions (or shallots!). Time to get chopping!!!
The first step to slicing an onion is determining which direction to cut. Cutting an onion into "rings" will result in a stringy, chewy result where cutting in slices from top to tip gives a crisper, better result. Get all the details and learn the technique in this video lesson.
Chopped or minced garlic is an ingredient is so many recipes. Many people automatically reach for the garlic press, but your Chef knife and cutting board will give you a better result. This video will show you step by step how to chop and mince fresh garlic. Enjoy!
Although chopped or minced garlic is used most of the time, there are applications where we want a smoother product like garlic bread, salad dressings or guacamole. By adding coarse salt and working the garlic with the side of a chef knife, we can create garlic paste which is smoother and milder than minced.
After onions and garlic, the carrot is the next vegetable we learn to cut. Not only is it widely used, but it also demonstrates several principles and techniques for basic cutting.
With its long shape, celery poses a unique challenge. It is nearly impossible to "cut forward", so we must use the "cutting to the side" technique. It is also helpful to keep the top leaves on the stalk to hold everything together. Learn how in this video lesson.
This lessons illustrated the "roll" method of cutting a bell pepper. It may seem a little awkward at first, but with some practice, you will see it is very efficient and produces less waste!
In this lesson, you will learn to cut an apple with the "advantage chef" role in mind. Not only will you get more uniform cuts, but you will keep waste at a minimum.
Fresh herbs can brighten any dish and should be used liberally! Using a sharp knife and proper technique makes a HUGE difference in flavor. This video demonstrates how to chop herbs with small leaves and long stalks such as parsley, cilantro, and dill.
Chiffonade is a slicing technique in which leafy green vegetables such as spinach, sorrel, or Swiss chard, or a flat-leaved herb like basil or mint, are cut into long, thin strips. This is accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll.
Cabbage can look intimidating with its large size and round shape making home cooks think they need to buy it pre-shredded or use a food processor. However, by cutting it into manageable size wedges and positioning the "higher" side properly, it can be cut with ease!
Leeks are often overlooked by the home cook. Part of the reason may be that they contain lots of sand that can be hard to remove or not knowing which parts you should be using. This lesson provides a simple tip to make sure ALL the dirt is removed and clears up what parts you should use when. When the mystery and uncertainty is resolved, leeks become a favorite with many of my students! I hope you will embrace them more, too!
This lesson shows you how to cut and prepare a spaghetti squash
There is no better way to elevate your cooking, reduce kitchen waste, and save money than to make your own chicken and vegetable stock!
Stove-Top Dry Heat Cooking (Saute, Stir-fry, Sear, Pan-Fry)
Cooking methods are divided into two categories: dry heat cooking and moist heat cooking. Dry heat cooking is further divided into groups based on heat source. In this lesson, we will explore the methods that use fat applied to a metal surface (pan).
PREMIUM Course Searing Protein
The technique is most used when prepareing large, thin pieces of meat, chicken, fish, or other protein. This lesson contains videos explaining this process.
Saute comes from the French word meaning to jump, and it is one, if not the most, useful technique in cooking. It can be used on its own as with sauteed mushrooms or in combination with other techniques like sauteeing the aromatics for soup or sauteeing onions to pair with a seared protein. It is a simple technique, but does require mastery and respect for heat!
Many popular dishes are a combinatino of the sear and saute techniques. In this lesson, you will find a few of my favorites.
Caramelized onions are another classic dish that relies on a proper saute. PLUS, they are so versatile and can perk up so many dishes!
Heated Air Dry Heat Cooking (Baking, Roasting)
The terms roasting and baking are often used interchangeably in the kitchen, but are they really that similar? This lesson breaks down the similarities and differences of these two dry heat cooking methods that use heated air as the cooking medium.
Roasting is a favorite cooking method for home cooks. It is simple, results in minimum clean-up, and creates flavorful results.
PREMIUM Course Baking Basics
Baking is used for foods that lack structure and do not require caramelization or deep browning. It is a technique well suited for items such as casseroles, patties, or other combination dishes.
Braising uses a combination of dry and moist heat cooking to produce a tender, flavor result. Although pot roast is the most classic braised dish, almost any protein or vegetable can be braised.
Moist Heat Cooking (Poaching/Simmering/Boiling/Steaming)
This lessons provides an overview of the many moist heat cooking methods.
PREMIUM Course Blanching 101
This lesson explains how to properly blanch food and why it is important.
This lesson is a replay of a demonstration class that I conducted on the classic French technique of Cooking En Papillote.
In this lesson you will learn how a slow cooker works, what foods are best to use, and some tips to get flavorful results everytime.
A slow cooker is convenient, but if not used correctly there is the potential for food-safety hazards. This lesson covers basic food safety when using a slow cooker.
This lesson contains simple, delicious slow cooker recipes along with tips for maximizing flavor and nutritional value.
Pressure Cooking (Instant-Pot)
This lesson provides an overview of using an Instant Pot (pressure cooking) including a step-by-step guide and hits for converting your favorite recipes.
This lesson contains recommended cookbooks and equipment along with helpful resource links for using your Instant Pot.
This lesson will step you through how to make your own Yogurt in the Instant Pot.
Using the Instant Pot makes it easy to prepare your own homemade stock and broth!
This lesson contains recipes and videos using the Instant Pot.
Emulsification & Thickening
Even the best home cook has times when their gravy isn't thick enough or their alfredo sauce is too thin to cling to the pasta. This lesson covers simple ways to thicken any sauce or dish.
This lesson discusses how to balance the 5 main flavors: salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami.
Most people think flavor comes from the herbs, spices, and other ingredients that are added toward the end of cooking. The truth is the foundation of flavor is often in the humble, unassuming ingredients that are used first.
PREMIUM Course Flavor Boosters
This lessons lists a few simple tips to turn bland and boring into delicious and delightful!
One of the easiest ways to flavor a dish is to use fresh herbs and/or spices. This lesson provides two flavor charts to get you started.
Congratulations! You have made it to the last lesson of the course! Time to take off those training wheels!
This lesson contains examples of cooking without recipes.
This video illustrates how to make your own nut or seed milk.
This lesson shows you how to make your own oat milk.
This video steps you through how to make cauliflower rice.
The Well-Stocked Healthy Pantry
This lesson discusses the benefits of having a well-stocked pantry both in terms of cooking and health.
This lesson covers the importance of building and maintaining a healthy pantry along with general tips to help you along the way.
This lessons provides suggestions and lists for what to have in your healthy pantry.
Your choice of cooking oils and fats has a big influence on your overall health, and unfortunately most of us are using the wrong types. The document and videos below provide an overview of what basic cooking fats you should be using and why.
This lesson provides tips and steps to do a pantry clean-out!
Recipes are a HUGE part of cooking, but they can also be the cause of frustration and overwhelm. This module will help you understand how recipes are structured, teach you to read between the lines, and know the unwritten assumptions. Once you learn to read the language of recipes, your cooking expertise and knowledge will grow by leaps and bounds!
Recipes can be helpful when it comes to cooking times, ingredients, and seasoning quantities. But following one can—surprisingly—also lead to mistakes. Here are the top issues you might encounter in the kitchen when using a recipe, and how to avoid them.
This lesson includes an overview of suggested tools for healthy cooking.
Cast Iron cookware is a great addition to your your healthy cooking toolbox, but it is intimidating to some. This lesson covers how to select, care, and clean your cast iron cookware. We will be exploring using it in our cooking throughout the technique modules of the course.
Knowing what the terms used in recipes mean can take a lot of the stress and worry out of cooking. This section provides a glosary of popular cooking terms.
Healthy eating starts with what you put in your shopping cart. The more you can control what you bring into your house to start with, the better your overall health and well being. This lessons gives you some tips to help you make better shopping decisions.
One of the biggest questions abuot food labeling revolves around the term organic and if it is worth the extra cost. This lesson explains what organic means and if it matters.
This lesson explains what to look for when buying eggs.
PREMIUM Course Imperfect Foods
Imperfect Foods is a company that rescues and repurposed food items that would normally go to waste. It is a great way to quality products at a good price AND help reduce waste at the same time!
For those of you in the NW Indiana area, here is are some of my favorite local sources for quality foods. Buying local is always a good choice.
Understanding Food Labeling
Food labels are SO confusing! Choosing more real, whole foods which do not have labels is the first step, but there are times when we need and want to buy a packaged food. This lesson offers tips on what to look for on food labels.
Health Wasing and Health Halos are two tactics used by food manufacturers to make their products appear to be healthier than they are. This lesson will show you what to look out for!
This lesson contains a replay of a workshop from 2021 on getting the most out of your freezer and its contents.
PREMIUM Course Freezing 101
This lesson contains information and tips for properly freezing foods not just for the sake of taste, but also for safety.
This lesson contains tips and tricks for storaging and prepping fresh produce.
This lesson provides ideas and techniques to get the most out of your fresh herbs.
This lesson shows you how to wash and store your green for maximum freshness and storage time.
This lesson provides an overview of the meal planning process.
This lesson provides an overview of the most popular meal planning methods and strategies.
This lesson covers why reducing kitchen waste is important.
This lesson provides simple, practical tips to help reduce food waste in your own kitchen.
When it comes to reducing food waste we automatically think about the food itself. However, packaging is a HUGE source of landfill waste!
PREMIUM Course Quick Tips
This lesson contains a few quick tips to help you reduce waste in the kitchen.
This section contains recipes for some of the most wasted food items.
This lesson explains the four steps to ensure food safety at home.
This lessons gives you a few tips for food safety.
This lessons lists the most common Food Safety Mistakes and how to avoid them.
This lesson explains what food expirations dates actually mean.
Minestrone Soup is a simple vegetable-based soup that is easily adapted to your personal tastes and dietary preferences. It is a great introduction to basic knife cuts and soup making.
Egg drop soup is a take-out favorite and is super simple to make at home with just a few ingredients!!
This chili is LOADED with nutrient dense vegetables and powerful spices. It is so good you will forget how good it is for you!
Pasta e Fagioli Soup is a classic Italian vegetable soup with beans and pasta.
Learning how to make roast chicken is a basic skill every cook should learn. It is a simple process, but does take practice and repetition to get it "just right". An added benefit of roasting a whole chicken is have the carcass to make bone broth!!
This recipe is a GREAT meal prep addition. Just bake a sweet potato when you have the oven on for something else (like the roast chicken!). Then later in the week, you can simply mash the potato and add the turkey and spices for a super easy, quick weeknight dinner!
This cornbread is a great companion to soup or chili, and contains real ingredients unlike the typical box mix! Use your cast iron skillet for best results!
About the Teacher
Cheryl Dornberg is the founder, CEO, and operator of Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience based in Highland, IN. She is a Culinary Nutrition Expert and believes that a healthy lifestyle begins in the kitchen, and every meal that you prepare yourself from fresh, whole ingredients is a step towards a vibrant, energy-filled life.