Good Food Cooking Basics is a plant-based, gluten-free online cooking course designed for all eaters, whether they love burgers or broccoli.
Cooking and learning should be fun and stress-free. No zooms or live schedules to keep up with for this course. We’ve designed it so once the modules go live, you can login and learn when you want. And with GFCS membership, you can feel good knowing that you have access to the materials and tools as long as you want them.
Be sure to read through all sections in this course tour—it provides loads of info and answers to common questions about the course and YumUniversity so you can decide if we’re a good fit for you. Thanks for your interest (and time)—we hope you’ll join us!
This course is for beginner cooks, or cooks starting to cook more plant-based foods.
Your first GFCS course or recipe bundle includes a 12-month trial membership. If this is not your first course or recipe bundle with us, you must have an active membership to access all courses and bundles.
practice recipe videos
38 extra recipes
Storage tips, ingredient
substitutions, recipe variations,
cooking tips, omnivore
suggestions, and zero-food
waste tips with every recipe so
one recipe becomes many
Create + organize personalized
shopping lists + recipe collections
Robust indexes for
recipes + ingredients
Measurement converter to help
you batch cook + make every
recipe work for you
About the Course
Here’s everything you need to know about the Good Food Cooking Basics course from how it works to highlights and FAQs.
- Your first course includes 12 months of membership*
- 32 start-to-finish practice recipe videos
- 38 extra recipes
- 37 learn-at-your-own-pace video lessons
- Storage tips, ingredient substitutions, recipe variations, cooking tips, omnivore suggestions, and zero-food waste tips with every recipe so one recipe becomes many
- Optional extra credit that students can collect/use towards future courses and recipe bundles
- Organize recipes by creating custom collections
- Create + organize personalized shopping lists
- Search the robust ingredient and recipe indexes by type, season, dish type, color, and more
- Easy online shopping links with each module
- Measurement converter to help you batch cook + make every recipe work, every day
- Access the course materials for at least one year from enrollment date (learn at your own pace)
- As a member, you’ll always receive special discounts on our courses + recipe bundles
*If this is not your first GFCS course or recipe bundle, you must have an active membership to access all courses and recipe bundles.
A Note From Our Founder
Confusion about what to eat has been at an all-time high for quite a while now. All of the information has been overwhelming, time-consuming, and challenging to navigate for too long.
When I’m feeling confused or overwhelmed, I can always come back to what I know works: more cooking from scratch.
This is where we can all begin to feel good again. This is one way we can cut through the noise, feel some comfort, and find our power.
Cooking is a basic life skill, and knowing how to open your pantry or fridge and make good food with what you have, is more important than ever.
Good Food Cooking School is an online learning platform designed to teach you to cook like you’ve always wanted to, from the comfort of home.
Our Good Food Cooking Basics course is the foundation cooks need to build cooking skills that will reward you for a lifetime. And it’s just the beginning.
Our membership platform provides loads of tools to make pantry-to-plate meals easier for you: save and organize recipes, reference the robust ingredient index, create shopping lists, learn to batch cook and create zero-food-waste staples, make one recipe many with our recipe variations and ingredient substitutions, and get special treatment for all of the future courses and recipe bundles to come.
Good Food Cooking School is designed so everything you need to learn and find inspiration is in one place you can count on.
Our members gain the option to enroll in new courses for years to come at a member discount. Keep all of your recipes organized how you want them in one “online home” that you can take anywhere. Add more recipes to your index with extra Recipe Bundles. Become a confident cook—we’re here to provide ongoing inspiration and support.
I had a blog for over a decade, have written two cookbooks, started a family of online cooking and baking schools, and have helped thousands of people all over the world cook and bake. All of this from a gal who didn’t eat a veggie of her own free will for the first half of her life.
I know what it’s like to get started and how overwhelming it can feel in the beginning, middle, and even when you think you finally have it all figured out. I know what it takes to make sustainable changes that improve health and quality of life over time. And I’m forever dedicated to sharing what I’ve learned so you can gain control of your health as well, without compromising the flavor in your life to do so!
GFCS is and will always be a judgment-free zone that encourages and inspires. In the Good Food Cooking Basics course, we teach you how to cook more plant-powered meals, not because they’re trendy, but because they’re versatile and delicious. They can be easily batch prepped and they make cooking and eating more fun.
I don’t take it lightly that you chose to spend time reading through this course tour.
I hope you find all the answers to your Qs here, and if not, do reach out. Good Food Cooking Basics is designed to change lives, and I’d love to have you join our beautiful cooking and baking family.
Whether you’re looking for a bright spot in your day, something to do with your kids, ways to get creative with the ingredients you have on hand, or you simply want to improve your cooking skills and recipes, this course is for you!
Let’s get cooking.
Founder, Good Food Cooking School
Good Food Cooking Basics Instructor
What if I eat meat/dairy?
That’s fine with us, but if you want to add more delicious plant-based meals to your menu rotation, this is a perfect course for you. All recipes are meat- and dairy-free but we provide suggestions with almost every recipe for how you can add animal protein and/or substitute ingredients for picky eaters or those times the grocery store doesn’t have a particular ingredient. We start with crowd-pleasing recipes for all eaters and give you all the tools you need so you can create and adapt from there.
What if I’m gluten-free?
This course is completely gluten-free as well, but don’t tell the gluten-full folks, they’ll never know!
Are the recipes vegan?
With the exception of the use of honey in a few recipes, this course qualifies as vegan. If you’re averse to using honey, we provide loads of substitutions and our Ingredient Index will help you make simple swaps.
Do the recipes use nuts?
Yes, but we provide substitutions when possible, and all modules have 2–4 extra recipes you can prepare instead.
What if I’m busy?
We’re busy people developing the kind of course we’d want—we provide loads support to make the most of your time like batch cooking tips with each recipe. There’s no more than 2 hours of learning with each module and we have features to help organize and shop more efficiently. As long as your membership is active, you can access all of your materials.
If something comes up, can I still join the course without falling behind?
We’re here to take the pressure off of cooking, so YES. As long as your membership is active, you can learn when it works for you. We recommend a “break week” to catch up, chill, or do some extra credit at the halfway point of your learning.
Will there be homework or quizzes?
There are assignments and lesson recaps with each module. Completing them tracks your progress through the course, and it’s the only way that you officially complete the course and receive a completion certificate. Ultimately though, you can do as much or as little as you want with the material. You get out of it what you put into it.
Will I be an expert cook if I watch all of the course videos?
Cooking is a practice, much like yoga or piano. The more time and effort you put into it, the more mastery you’ll gain. This is a course for beginners. It gets you started with cooking basics, providing you with the tools and know-how you need to take off and progress on your own. The more time you put into practice, the more of an expert you’ll become.
Good Food Cooking School is designed to offer continuing cooking education courses for a life full of possibilities. Students can add recipes, new courses, recipe bundles, and resources to their membership, building a customized library of cooking support and inspiration all in one place. The Good Food Cooking Basics course is just the beginning!
Are the recipes grain-free?
No, but we provide substitutions when possible, all modules have extra recipes you can prepare, and one module in particular has multiple lessons to teach you how to make grain-free swaps when cooking a variety of meals.
How many hours of video learning are there in this course?
More than 8 hours of video learning is available with this course (not including Extra-Recipe videos ). All videos are no more than 25 minutes long. The average Lesson video length is 11 minutes long and the average Practice Recipe video is 7 minutes long.
Can I use My iPad/Tablet?
Yes! The entire course is designed to be user friendly working on any device you’re using. Learn the way that’s most convenient for you, when it’s convenient for you.
Can I download the videos?
Sorry, our system doesn’t allow for the downloading of videos. Rest assured however that you can login and access your account and the course as much as you need to while your account is active.
Can I give the course as a gift?
How sweet of you, yes! You can add a gift certificate when you enroll, or you can enroll on someone’s behalf at checkout.
What currency is the course price?
$USD—your financial institution(s) will handle conversions.
Does this course come with a certificate of completion?
It does! If you complete the requirements in the course, a certificate of completion will be issued.
What is your refund policy?
Good Food Cooking Basics is for committed students, passionate learners, and people really excited to get cooking.
Due to the entirely electronic nature of the course materials and the course platform, there are no refunds.
If you aren’t sure whether Good Food Cooking Basics is a good fit for you, read this entire Course Tour thoroughly—every word—and if you still have questions, email us. If you still aren’t certain that you’re ready to get cooking with us, please don’t enroll unless you’re ready.
This is a robust and rewarding course that provides a membership to a useful platform that students can build upon for years to come. It can change the way you cook for life. We’re proud of it and excited about what it can do for people who want to add more delicious variety to their daily lives. We want you to feel this way too!
Meet The Instructors
Founder, Good Food Cooking School
Main Good Food Cooking Basics Instructor
Heather is your main instructor for Good Food Cooking Basics and she’s dedicated is to sharing the creative possibilities for good food without the dogma. She’s a former veggie-phobe turned veggie-lover who found her way to eating better due to health challenges.
She has a Plant-Based Certification from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, but is a big believer that everyone comes to the table with varied habits, beliefs, traditions, dietary needs, and that these layers change and evolve over a lifetime—we should support, not judge.
She’s not interested in telling you how to eat. She’s interested in connecting with health-minded folks, sharing know how, and providing inspiration for anyone who wants to be accountable for their health and not compromise the “flavor” in their life to do so.
Heather is the author of YumUniverse and YumUniverse Pantry to Plate, and she’s the founder of Good Food Cooking School. Her work has been featured in O, Oprah Magazine, Oprah.com, NPR “It’s Your Health,” HGTV, Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, GFF Magazine, and The Kitchn, among others. Heather has also spoken at Taste Talks and Wanderlust.
Selected Good Food Cooking Basics modules also feature
the following Master Good-Food Cooks:
Wellness advocate, One Part Podcast host, and creator of the One Part Plant movement, Jessica has a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and works to raise awareness for endometriosis and women’s health issues. Jessica is also the author of the One Part Plant Cookbook and Know Your Endo: An Empowering Guide to Health and Hope with Endometriosis.
Phoebe is a food and health writer, gluten-free chef, award-winning blogger, wellness personality, culinary instructor, recipe developer, SIBO Made Simple podcast host, Hashimoto’s advocate, and speaker. She was born and raised in New York City, where she continues to live and eat. Phoebe is also the author of The Wellness Project, In The Small Kitchen, and the SIBO Made Simple Cookbook.
After graduating from Harvard in 2009, Serena followed her passion for food to Le Cordon Bleu Paris, receiving her cuisine diploma in 2011. Since then, she has put her culinary skills to work as a private chef, food writer, recipe developer, and blogger. Serena is the author of The Dude Diet and The Dude Diet Dinnertime and also co-hosts the podcast Spiraling.
An author of two healthy cookbooks: Healthier Together and Glow Pops, longtime writer, editor, and healthy recipe developer, Liz formerly served as the food director of leading wellness website mindbodygreen. She is also the host of the Healthier Together podcast.
What & How You'll Learn
First, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll learn that cooking
can be easy and stress-free with the right skills and tools.
All modules will release at once and we highly recommend that you work through them in numerical order one week at a time, with one break week at week 6. Every new module builds on the former—but by no means is it a challenge you can’t master!
The Good Food Cooking Basics course begins by teaching you how to prep your mindset, how to change a few habits, how to prep your kitchen for effortless cooking, and all about the tools you need (and what you don’t).
Then, step-by-step, you’ll learn about whole-food ingredients, how to shop for them like a pro, how to store your purchases properly for longest shelf life, and what else you can do to maximize your purchases.
After you set that foundation, cooking practice begins with basic knife skills and safety. Then, you’ll dive into everything you’ve wanted to know about herbs and spices: how to store them, shop for them, combine them. You’ll also learn about the tastes and flavors that compose a balanced dish and how to confidently create your own combinations.
Next, you’ll move on to cooking techniques! Master basic cooking skills that’ll change how you cook for life. Learn how to prepare ingredients with various techniques for countless tasty outcomes. Practice some of these basic techniques with weekly recipes, and use our tips (plus your new know-how) to make substitutions and create recipe-free meals.
Please consider a break week six, from there on out it’s non-stop Good Food Cooking.
Learn to make comforting staples, breakfast and brunch, snacks and toppings, soups, stews, salads, mains, and desserts and treats the way you’ve always wanted to.
After your course experience, you’ll realize that plant-based meals are delicious, versatile, and make cooking fun. And if you’re someone who says “I can’t cook” you’ll definitely learn that you can.
How the Course Works
Multiple video lessons, practice recipes, resources, extra recipes, and learning articles are released at once. We recommend that you go through the 11 total modules over the course of 12 total weeks, with one module-free break week at week 6.
Module 1: week one
Module 2: week two
Module 3: week three
Module 4: week four
Module 5: week five
Break Week: no modules
Module 6: week seven
Module 7: week eight
Module 8: week nine
Module 9: week ten
Module 10: week eleven
Module 11: week twelve
Of course, you can scatter the learning out how and as long as you need to. Each module is loaded with step-by-step training and videos, practice recipe options, extra recipes, and resources. Challenge yourself, but keep the overwhelm away—cooking should be fun. Always remember that.
You can watch your lessons and learn from a computer, iPad, and/or smartphone.
Each video lesson is no more than 25 minutes long so you can learn without overwhelm, the way that’s best for you, and for your schedule.
Multimedia formats: Everyone learns differently, so in addition to video lessons, you’ll have access to downloadable MP3s, printable recipes, and transcripts. Videos are not downloadable.
All-in-one downloadable files: If you prefer offline learning, you can download and/or print selected components of each module.
This learning is designed to be put into practice one bite at a time—no binging on the info. Take it all one module per week (or longer). Let what you’re learning settle in. Practice it, feel confident, then move on.
Everything has been designed to maximize your cooking success without overwhelm. Use the Recipe Index and Ingredient Index to organize your favorites and help you shop like a pro as you go.
Batch cook and adjust measurements with the Measurement Converter. Use the Shopping List feature to organize and save custom shopping lists that you can reference from your phone at the store.
We know life happens. Travel, family needs, illness, late nights at work—we’ve all been there. If you have to hit the pause button on the course, it will be there for you when you can come back to it. Keep your membership active and you can revisit, reference, and re-learn as often as you like.
In certain modules, students have the option to complete extra credit Pantry-to-Plate Challenges. Upon successful completion of each challenge, students collect credits they can use towards future courses and recipe bundles.
If you need support during the course:
When logged in, visit the Need Help section or any troubleshooting sections within each module.
Email us Monday–Thursday 10am–5pm EST. We’ll do our very best to get back to you within 48 hours.
What Students Say
What Students are Cooking
From braises to fritters to poached treats, our students are confidently cooking up delicious creations of all kinds and you can too.
We’re so proud of our good-food cooks, and while we could rave and rave about their success, we’ll just let photos of their creations do the talking here…
It Starts with You
We created Good Food Cooking School to support home cooks and bakers who simply want to bring more good food into their lives. We work hard to bring robust programs to all eaters at an affordable price because good food and basic, life-changing cooking and baking skills shouldn’t be out of reach. Good Food Cooking School should be an inspiring place for all to learn and grow for the long-term.
Everyone is welcome here and we believe that a rising tide can lift all boats. We’re enthusiastic and committed to using this platform to support people inside and outside of our member community. Your success can be success for others too.
We take a portion of every enrollment to support the efforts of the heroes that grow our food, and if you join us, you’ll be helping too. Your learning will not only help those in your immediate circle, but it will create a ripple effect that goes beyond you.
Every Good Food Cooking Basics enrollment supports F.A.R.M.S. and Farmer’s Footprint’s efforts to better our world for future generations.
If timing isn’t right for you to join Gluten-Free Bread Basics this time around, that’s a-ok, but we encourage you to check out Farmer’s Footprint and F.A.R.M.S to learn more about the powerful work they’re doing—maybe make a donation on your own if you have the means.
Every month, 30,000 acres of Black landownership is lost primarily due to non-payment of property tax, eminent domain, unprofitable business models, discrimination, generational out-migration, and lack of estate planning.
Reversing small-farm land loss to ensure generational wealth and reducing hunger in rural low-income communities.
The ultimate purpose of retaining the land is to pass it down to the next generation as a family legacy. Land is wealth and land is history. Affordable legal services are lacking in rural under-served farming communities and small farmers are becoming scarce.
F.A.R.M.S. has partnered with attorneys from across the country to save small farms from foreclosure due to reverse mortgage, provided estate planning services, civil rights litigation, and more. Protecting farmland from predatory abuse is an essential part of F.A.R.M.S.’ programming and they are actively working with Hispanic and Native American Farmers with farming and legal needs as well. F.A.R.M.S. also leads efforts beyond the U.S. to support farming, food-bank, and financial assistance needs in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, and India.
The F.A.R.M.S. to Food Bank program is an integral part of the organization as well—so important now as people are one illness or one job loss away from food insecurity. F.A.R.M.S. purchases fresh produce from their farm clients across the country which are then donated to food banks, pantries, homeless, child and eldercare centers. Since 2014, they’ve purchased over 325,000 lbs. of fresh produce across the U.S.
A century of monocrop farming and reliance on pesticides has damaged our nation’s once-fertile soils and the health of every American. The rapid increase in pesticide use over the past few decades has coincided with this explosion of chronic disease.
A profound change in the demographics of chronic disease is underway in the United States. Independent research from private laboratories and universities around the world, are implicating glyphosate—the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.
Farmer’s Footprint is a coalition of farmers, educators, doctors, scientists, and business leaders aiming to expose the human and environmental impacts of chemical farming and offer a path forward through regenerative agricultural practices.
Regenerative agriculture focuses on rebuilding organic matter and living biodiversity in soil, which produces increasingly nutrient-dense food year after year—while rapidly sequestering excess atmospheric carbon underground to reverse climate change.
It brings proven results for farmers to have a profitable business and livelihood. Conventional inputs become unnecessary, increased organic matter in the soil brings insect biodiversity which helps manage pest pressure and the end market for organic crops increases the overall value of their crop making product value the priority over the conventional method of purely valuing yield.
At a time when there are more farmer suicides and bankruptcies than ever, bringing back economic success and life on the farm has never been more important.
The Investment + Important Dates
Enrollment includes the 11-module digital course, plus a 12-months trial membership if this is your first product with us. All first GFCS products include a 12-month trial membership. If this is not your first GFCS product, you must maintain an active membership to access all courses (login to your Account to check/change status). Your enrollment also includes access to the Recipe Index, Ingredient Index, and other tools and know how listed in this tour.
After your 12-month trial, if you wish to continue your membership and access to course materials, you don’t have to do anything. You will automatically be charged $7/mo to extend your access to the course platform and materials.
If you don’t want to build upon/customize your resources, you can cancel any time.
Price: $249 USD
Benefits of continued membership:
This platform is designed to grow with you. We have countless course offerings and recipe bundles that you can add to your library of learning, recipes, support, and tools. It’s all of your good food cooking and baking needs in one place.
As an active member, you’ll also always be provided a discount for future-course enrollment and recipe bundles. You won’t have to pay an additional monthly fees for new courses that you add to your library—one membership fee no matter how many products you add to your membership.
After you enroll in new courses or add new recipe bundles, that material will be added to your existing library and you can continue to customize your cooking and baking experience from there.
You’ll have more recipes and ingredients in your indexes, more video learning at your fingertips, more support—it can only get better and better.
Tools You Need
These are the kitchen appliances and tools you need to fully participate in this course.
Assorted wooden spoons
Rimmed baking sheets
Colander or a large sieve with feet
Large pot with lid
Large, high-walled skillet or pan with lid
Measuring cups & spoons
Nesting mixing bowls
Stackable storage containers
We provide easy shopping links within each module for tools you may want to purchase online.
Ingredients You Need
We designed this course to use common ingredients found at most grocery stores. No specialty meat replacements or trendy ingredients called for in Good Food Cooking Basics. Good food cooking shouldn’t be out of reach.
Remember, we also built the Ingredient Index for you. You’ll also find loads of substitutions with every recipe, so when you can’t find a basic ingredient called for, you can make simple adjustments to a recipe with a quick reference. Use these tools when shopping as well.
If an ingredient is called for in a course recipe, it will be listed in the Ingredient Index with tips for shopping, storing, substituting, and cooking with that ingredient.
Within the recipe itself you’ll find loads of tips for batch cooking that recipe and what ingredient substitutions we recommend. We’ve set everything up for cooking success!
Note: when certain ingredients are out of season/unavailable, no worries, we’ll have substitution suggestions ready for you. You’ll find them with every recipe, so one recipe can become many!
37 video lessons organized into 11 modules that release all at once
Module 1: Getting Started
Prep your mindset, build new habits, prep your kitchen, and make sure you have the right tools.
3 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
Module 2: Shopping & Storage
Learn about whole foods, how to shop for them, store them, and make them last as long as possible.
2 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
Module 3: Prep & Cooking I
Gain an understanding about basic knife skills, care, and safety.
3 Practice Recipes, 2 Extra Recipes
Module 4: Prep & Cooking II
Build flavor with confidence as you learn all about herbs, spices, the main tastes, and aromatics.
2 Practice Recipes, 1 Extra Recipes
Module 5: Prep & Cooking III
Learn the basic moist-heat and dry-heat cooking techniques that will change your cooking for life.
3 Practice Recipes, 3 Extra Recipes
Module 6: Comforting Staples
Learn how to change-up your favorite comfort-food dishes and practice new recipe favorites.
3 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
Module 7: Breakfast & Brunch
Cook up sweet and savory creative breakfast classics—use our suggestions to customize and make them your own.
3 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
Module 8: Snacks & Toppings
Create reliable, delicious snacks and toppings and use our suggestions to customize and make them your own.
3 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
Module 9: Soups, Stews & Salads
Learn to make and customize soups, stews, and salads so hearty and delicious, they move from side dish to center stage.
3 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
Module 10: Mains
Learn to prepare crave-worthy main dishes and use our suggestions to customize and make them your own.
3 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
Module 11: Desserts
Learn to make and customize desserts and treats so good that everyone will be asking for seconds.
3 Practice Recipes, 4 Extra Recipes
12-month trial membership access is included if this is your first course—you can cancel anytime.
37 learn-at-your-own-pace video lessons
32 start-to-finish practice recipe videos + 38 extra recipes
Optional extra credit in 9 modules: use for discounts on future courses + recipe bundles
Easy online shopping links with each module
Create your own recipe collections
Search the robust ingredient and recipe indexes by type, season, holiday, dish type, color, and more
As a student, you’ll always receive discounts on future courses + recipe bundles