No matter how much time you spend at the gym and practicing self-care rituals, your wellness goes out the window if you fuel your body with bad food. But too many of us (New Yorkers, especially) pack our schedules so full that there’s little time left to shop for healthy food—let alone cook it in our shoebox-size kitchens. Alas, it’s delivery for dinner… again.
Are you bound for a life of less-than-nutritious takeout treats for every meal? Not necessarily—a cooking class can arm you with the techniques and inspiration to get back in the kitchen (size be damned!). Looking to learn how to whip up nutritious, flavorful food on the fly? Here are the best healthy cooking classes in New York City.
Vegan Cooking Classes at the Natural Gourmet Institute
Whether it’s to reduce your impact on the environment, eat more vitamins and nutrients or cut your risk of heart disease, there are lots of excellent reasons to switch to a plant-based diet. The Natural Gourmet Institute will show you how easy it is to cook delicious meat-free meals in its vegan cooking classes. You won’t find weird fake meats here—rather, experienced chefs offer engaging demonstrations on cooking all your favorite foods (think: sushi, burgers, chili and even cookies) using just fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. Then, you’re put onto teams and released into the commercial kitchen to cook a gourmet multi-course meal you won’t soon forget.
La Boîte Spice Blending Series
Ever wonder why home-cooked food doesn’t taste quite as flavorful as restaurant dishes? It might have to do with your seasonings. Learn how to blend spices like chef at the La Boîte spice emporium. During two-hour workshops, spice master Lior Lev Sercarz immerses participants in the vibrant, aromatic world of spices, revealing the secrets of creating balanced blends that will add a punch of flavor (with almost no additional calories) to your next healthy meal. You’ll learn where to find high-quality spices, taste test obscure spices (sumac, anyone?) and create a customized blend out of spices you toast and grind yourself, all under the guidance of the man who wrote the bible on seasonings, “The Spice Companion.”
Recreational Cooking Classes at the Institute of Culinary Education
While not all of the Institute of Culinary Education’s 1,500 annual cooking classes are healthy (the Salt & Fat class is “unapologetically rich”), it balances out the more indulgent ones with a plenty of other offerings that will fill your plate with nutrients. The Gluten-Free Pizza class, for example, will teach you how to make your favorite Italian doughs without gluten, while “Yep… It’s Vegan!” focuses on making veggie-forward dishes that you won’t even realize are meatless. The curriculum at this renowned cooking school also includes workshops on vegetarian mezze dishes, cooking for fitness and the three-part techniques of healthful cooking. Think you can’t cook? The Institute of Culinary Education will give you the tools you need to tackle your takeout habit—and create delicious, healthy meals right at home.
These are some of the best vegan cooking classes in NYC.