03 Prep & Cooking I

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What you’ll learn

Cook up some confidence with helpful kitchen guidelines, an understanding of cooking lingo, knife skills, and important safety tips.

The objectives for this module:

  • Understand a few simple guidelines that boost confidence and make cooking fun
  • Master basic cooking lingo and get familiar with the associated techniques
  • Learn to pick your perfect Chef’s knife, serrated knife, and paring knife, and how to maintain and use them safely
  • Gain a comprehensive knowledge of basic day-to-day knife cuts


Required: watch and complete the recap for each lesson

1: Guidelines

As you dive deeper into good food cooking over the next few weeks, here are some simple guideposts and tips to keep in mind.


01:50 Read the Recipe, Then Cook

02:20 Start with the Ingredient

02:34 Salt to Taste

04:39 Plan B

06:35 Lesson Action

2: Cooking Lingo

Becoming fluent in basic kitchen-speak will help you understand recipe instructions so you can confidently get to work.


01:38 Blanch

02:50 Chiffonade

04:09 Dice

05:48 Mince

06:27 Pinch

08:25 Sauté

10:51 Lesson Action

3: Knife Safety

A knife is the most-used tool in the kitchen. With proper use and R.E.S.P.E.C.T., you can keep it from becoming a hazard, too. Here are some important guidelines for safe, happy cutting for all the foods in your good food future.

4: Intro to Knives

An introduction to knives so you can select and use the one that’s perfect for you.


01:11 Selecting the Best Knife

03:44 General Care

04:30 Anatomy of a Knife

04:47 Sharpening & Steels

09:52 Lesson Action

5: Knife Skills I

It’s time to start chopping, dicing, and mincing—here are some tips for knife skills mastery.


01:38 Gripping the Knife

03:24 The Claw

05:00 Basic Cuts

07:45 Chopping

10:30 Dicing

12:35 Mincing

14:00 Slicing

14:57 Lesson Action

6: Knife Skills II

All the tips for preparing a variety of fruits and veggies—from celery to tomatoes.


00:48 Cutting an Onion

03:28 Chiffonade

03:58 Julienne

04:59 Bias Cut

05:28 Cutting Stalk Vegetables

07:37 De-stringing Snap Peas, Snow Peas, Green Beans

08:04 Pitting dates

08:16 Scraping a Vanilla Bean

08:48 Supreming Citrus

09:57 Cutting Dark Leafy Greens

10:37 Slicing, Dicing, Seeding Peppers

12:03 Peeling Fruits & Veggies

14:09 Prepping Winter Squash

16:41 Coring

19:15 Tomatoes

21:21 Lesson Action

Practice Recipes

Recommended: prepare a minimum of 1 recipe

Now that you’ve mastered basic cooking lingo and are starting to become familiar with associated cooking techniques (we’ll dive deeper for many soon), let’s practice your knife skills with recipes that range from light and bright, to rich and comforting.

We’ll use thyme in all recipes so you can start to see how it can add brightness and earthy notes to a variety of dishes. We’ll learn a lot more about fresh herbs in the following module, so stay focused on practicing your knife skills, but do try these recipes more than once using dill, parsley, or any other herbs after you learn more about them.

Easy Vegetable Stock

This recipe is a terrific base for meals of all kinds and you can make it by simply collecting and freezing your veggie scraps as you cook. It’s a zero-food-waste and batch cooking recipe you can rely on to season rice and grains, add flavorful liquid to soups, and to steam and sauté all sorts of dishes.


Phoebe Lapine’s Crispy Rice Salad

This recipe (aka “Nam Khao”) by author, podcast host, and Master Cook Phoebe Lapine, is “take out” at home. It’s a great recipe for practicing knife skills since the recipe video is loaded with helpful good food cooking tips and techniques that can be applied to all sorts of dishes.


Radicchio & Citrus Salad

We believe that everyone should feel comfortable supreming citrus fruits—it may seem fancy schmancy, but it’s not. It just makes the wedges easier to enjoy. This salad helps you practice that technique and also helps you get a jumpstart on next week’s learning, by demonstrating how the simplest of foods can combine their tastes (salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami) for bold, full flavor.



Helpful and inspiring books, articles, recipes, shopping links, and more for good food cooking.

“Pantry to Plate” Challenge [Extra Credit]

  • Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, jpeg, Max. file size: 50 MB.

Take the Pantry to Plate Challenge, upload your experience, and earn credits to use towards future courses and goodies from Good Food Cooking School.

Knowing how to open your pantry or fridge and make what you have into something special is a must-have skill these days. We’re showing you how it’s done with this course and if you want more practice, more tools, and more reward for your efforts, grab a copy of the book that inspired Good Food Cooking School: Pantry to Plate.



The Goal: build more confidence with knife skills, new techniques, and flavor combinations!

You’re already showing incredible courage with your knife skills, why not ride the wave and also learn how easy it is to make Fermented Veggies like kraut and kimchi?! You can do it. Top Phoebe’s Crispy Rice Salad with a little kimchi. Add a little fermented veg to Easy Veggie Stock for extra tasty umami, and try some in a taco with the Lemon-Pepper Cauliflower Nuggets.

Grab your cooking journal and compare the flavors of Fermented Veggies with the flavors from Quick Pickles (from the Extra Recipes). Which is more sour? Do you detect a deeper flavor in either? What about texture? Which has more zing?

Fermented Veggies are a great way to make the most of ingredients that are starting to perish—they’re the ultimate zero-food-waste recipe!

The Challenge: Turn to page 154 in your copy of Pantry to Plate and use the Fermented Veggies Recipe Template to practice mincing, dicing, slicing, and other cuts like julienne and chiffonade. You choose the veggies and flavor combinations—have fun creating a variety of veggie cuts for your Fermented Veggies.

Required to complete The Challenge: Share one photo and your experience with the Challenge in the fields above. 

Optional, but encouraged: Share in the private classmates group and show us your creations on Instagram (tag @YumUniverse and #pantrytoplate).

Earn 3 Credits = $3
Complete the Challenge and once approved by our team, you’ll earn 3 credits (= $3) to use towards a future course enrollment or product offered by GFCS. The more Challenges you complete the more credits you earn.

Extra Learning & Cheat Sheets

Some of these links take you directly to affiliate partner sites. You’re welcome to skip these links to research and buy products wherever, or however you like. 

Extra Recipes

If you like, continue to practice your knife skills, and acquaint yourself with new tastes and textures. Build confidence improvising while cooking and know that both of these extra recipes are good for batch cooking!


Shopping: Appliances & Tools

Extra Books & Courses

Some of these links take you directly to affiliate partner sites. You’re welcome to skip these links to research and buy products wherever, or however you like. 

The Wellness Project

For those battling autoimmune disease or thyroid conditions—or just seeking healthy life balance—Master Good Food Cook, Phoebe Lapine, shares her year-long investigation of what truly made her well.

The Wellness Project Course: 4 Weeks to Wellness w/Phoebe Lapine

This online course developed by author, podcast host, and Master Good Food Cook, Phoebe Lapine, is for those who are struggling with health issues (hormonal, thyroid, and digestive imbalances) or those who simply want to do a wellness reboot.

In the Small Kitchen

100 recipe from a year of cooking in the “real world” with Phoebe Lapine and Cara Eisenpress, with a foreword from Ina Garten. Cook anywhere, anytime, with anything, on any budget.

The YumUniverse Cookbook

150 veg-powered, gluten-free recipes for all eaters—written by your Good Food Cooking Basics Instructor and author Heather Crosby. (plant-based, gluten-free)

YumUniverse Pantry to Plate

100 recipes + 30 recipe templates to help you create incredible meals from what you have on hand—as seen in O Magazine and on Oprah.com. Written by your Good Food Cooking Basics Instructor and author Heather Crosby. (plant-based, gluten-free) 

Gluten-Free Baking Academy

Learn to make gluten-free baked goods like sourdough, quick breads, flatbreads, sandwich loaves, and cookies with wholesome, minimally processed ingredients.