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Our Favorite Food Access Chefs

Here at CFC, we help our community access food. Besides sourcing and distributing food, this also includes an educational component that empowers people to cook and eat a variety of food. Each cook on this list helps folks access food in different ways. They are great resources for anyone looking to bring more creativity and efficiency into their cooking!

This YouTube series, Budget Eats, shows you how to stretch whole foods like fresh produce, beans, nuts, and grains into multiple, low-cost meals. This resource is phenomenal for learning cooking techniques and familiarizing yourself with ingredients that you may not yet be familiar with. June has videos that incorporate lessons on how to cook radishes, make animal stock from scratch, and bake your own bread! Budget Eats is particularly useful for people on a budget who have a little bit more time to devote to meal preparation. Check out her most popular video where she makes eight dinners for $25!

2. Rebecca of Dollar Tree Dinners on YouTube & TikTok

Rebecca is a pro when it comes to transforming canned, frozen, and prepared foods into something hearty, nutritious, and filling. As the name suggests, most of her videos solely feature ingredients that can be found at the Dollar Tree. However, if you regularly receive food from a pantry, or shop the sales at your local grocery store, her creative recipes can be wildly inspiring when it comes to stretching shelf-stable foods. Rebecca prioritizes creating recipes for individuals and families who do not have a lot of time to devote to cooking, so many of her recipes include the option to make food ahead of time, store in the freezer, and thaw as needed. She also creates recipes that only rely on a single cooking method (like the microwave or a multicooker) to make them more accessible. Some of her most popular, low-budget recipes include “Cowboy Casserole” and make-ahead “McGriddle” Stuffed Muffins.

The Minimalist Baker, from Dana Shultz, prioritizes simplicity and nutrition. Every recipe available on her website falls into at least one of three categories: ten ingredients or less, one-bowl, or 30-minute prep time. Many of Dana’s recipes also cater to vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets. One of our favorite things about this website is its comprehensive filtering system that allows you to search by diet, ingredient, cook-time, and more. This is particularly useful if you receive or purchase an ingredient that you have never cooked before and need a simple, cost-effective recipe to use it. This Creamy Italian White Bean Skillet Meal brings familiar flavors into play with wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients in a simple, 25-minute meal!

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