YouTube Makes Cooking Delicious Food Easy for Those With Diet Restrictions

If you are looking for a halal dessert try making this ras malai from Shamsa's Kitchen. You can find her recipe on her Youtube channel.
Photo from Shamsa's Kitchen

If you worry your cooking skills aren’t as good as they could be, don’t. I mean, unless you do stuff like this.

With a little practice, most people can whip up a basic dish of food. But throw in a dietary consideration or two, and it’s easy to toss in the spatula and give up.

Don’t get flummoxed.

Here are the best YouTube cooking channels, playlists and videos with easy and delicious diabetic-friendly, halal, kosher, vegan and vegetarian recipes — plus dozens of cooking hacks you won’t want to miss.

Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Diabetics typically have to give up sweets, bread, rice and many other foods to keep their blood sugar under control. These videos prove there are lots of ways to jazz up a menu, even if it doesn’t include a fancy risottos or sugary dessert.

1. Yummy Inspirations: 7 Low Carb Breakfast Without Eggs Ideas

Low-carbohydrate breakfasts typically revolve around eggs, but that can get boring quickly. These eggless breakfasts, which include strawberry cheesecake mousse and breakfast tacos, will make you scramble for the kitchen — whether you need to avoid eggs or not.

2. Diabetic Survival Kit: Secrets to Great Vegetables

Forget everything you know about piles of overcooked, mushy beans or peas. The key to tasty vegetables is all in the preparation. Follow along as home cook Tova uses asparagus to demonstrate how to properly blanch and saute vegetables.

3. Hilah Cooking: Cooking for Diabetics

Low-carb cooking doesn’t have to mean a low-interest menu. These videos teach viewers how to make stuffed jalapenos, chicken satay with peanut sauce and 15 other flavor-bomb dishes.

Halal Recipes

Halal cooks adhere to specific Islamic dietary guidelines. Abstaining from ingredients like pork and alcohol means there’s more room on a plate for the delicious food demonstrated in these videos.

1. Halal Chef: Chicken Wings 3 Ways

This chef doesn’t shy away from bold flavors and big spices. In less than five minutes, you’ll learn how to make three types of halal chicken wings —  spicy grilled, crispy fried and Korean-style — that will leave you coming back for more.  

2. Chef Yusuf: Ramadan 2012

Chef Yusuf begins his series of over 20 cooking videos with a collection of tips on how to save money and reduce waste while shopping and cooking for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. He even includes a formula so viewers can calculate exactly how many ounces of protein, vegetables and starch per person. Come for the math, stay for the instructional cooking videos.

3. Shamsa: Sweet Treats

If it’s halal desserts you’re after, home cook Shamsa has over 15 recipes to choose from. Make four-ingredient bounty bars or dairy-free strawberry ice cream when you’re in a hurry, or the gulab jamun when you’ve got time to make something a little more indulgent.

Gluten-Free Recipes

There’s gluten in many common foods like cake, cookies, pasta and bread. These flavor-packed recipes keep your taste buds entertained and your food gluten-free.

1. Mind Over Munch: 44 Gluten-Free Recipes

There’s so much to love about this series of gluten-free recipe videos. It has a lot of options for people with a combination of dietary considerations like gluten- and alcohol-free or gluten-free and low-carb. If you’re throwing a theme party, you’ll definitely want to check out Mind Over Munch for Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and Star Wars recipe ideas.

2. America’s Test Kitchen: Learn to Cook: Gluten-Free Baking on America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School

Gluten-free cooking isn’t especially complicated, but it can be tricky until you get the hang of it. America’s Test Kitchen helps home cooks tackle one of the most challenging aspects of gluten-free cooking: baking.

3. Bhavna’s Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes from Bhavna’s Kitchen

With over 150 videos, Bhavna demonstrates the diversity of gluten-free dining. She cooks traditional Indian dishes, along with Chinese, Italian, Mexican, American and fusion cuisines. Bhavna also includes recipes for basics like stir-fried mushrooms and jarred salads, so there’s something in this collection for everyone.   

Kosher Recipes

Kosher cooks prepare food in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. These videos are filled with a spectrum of kosher recipes to serve on holidays or just an average Tuesday.

1. Joy of Kosher: Hanukkah Joy

This 11-video series includes Hanukkah recipes for chicken and latke dishes along with a variety of options for donuts. There’s even a bonus video on how to decorate your holiday table. Don’t miss the hands-on lesson at Israel’s Biscotti Bakery on how to make deep-fried Hanukkah delicacy sufganiyot.

2. Avi’s Kosher Kitchen: Avi’s Passover Recipes

Luscious lamb chops, slow-roasted rib roast and Jamaican turkey are all on chef Avi Levy’s holiday feast menu. Be sure to check out his video on special liqueurs and instructions on how to make a “L’Chiam Cosmopolitan” to wow your guests with some posh adult beverages.

3.  Kosherdotcom: Shortcuts by Mishpacha Family Table    

You know this is a promising series when the first video is called “Oreos Are Just Better Fried.” Mixing a dash of humor with a whole lot of great information, Kosherdotcom offers kosher cooking instructions, tips, hacks and recipes for new and seasoned chefs alike.

Vegan Recipes

Vegan cooking is healthy, fresh and easily adaptable to any type of cuisine. Check out these videos for ideas on everything from pasta to stir-fry.

1. Cheap Lazy Vegan: Easy Vegan Recipes for Lazy People

You can whip together these three vegan recipes from Canadian food blogger Rose in 15 minutes or less, and they don’t require any complicated ingredients or appliances. When Rose says these recipes are perfect for lazy people, she means it.

2. Anarchist Kitchen: 9 Vegan Pasta Recipes

Although the cook isn’t a strict vegan, he sure understands how to make yummy vegan fare. These recipes make single portions but are easily doubled or tripled if you’re cooking for a group. Since they’re all pasta-based, they’re also easy on your wallet.    

3. Veganlovlie: 3 Easy Delicious Recipes Using Peanut Butter  

Each of these vegan recipes would be delicious on their own, but you can make them together for a meal that really shines. The appetizer dip, one-pot soup and creamy mousse are perfect for lunch or a light dinner. If you’re avoiding peanut butter, be sure to check out the suggested alternatives in the video’s description.

Vegetarian Recipes

Vegetarians enjoy a wide array of plants, seeds, nuts and fruits that form the basis of tasty meals that can be as elaborate or easy as you like. Some of the recipes in these videos use only fresh ingredients, and others show you how to whip a dish together using meat or dairy substitutes.  

1. Jamie Oliver: 17 Vegetarian Recipes  

As a celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver knows a thing or two about flavorful recipes. From chili and Italian eggplant stew to egg frittatas and vegetable curry, there’s something on this list to please every palate. Since Oliver is passionate about healthy cooking, you can be sure his recipes are as good for you as they are delicious.

2. Bachelor on a Budget: Vegetarian Recipes for Beginners

Marlon Doll’s list of 47 vegetarian recipes include basic snacks with just two ingredients and fare with longer lists of steps and spices or the occasional meat substitute. Doll is an informative and entertaining home cook who twirls a pepper grinder like nobody’s business.

3. Heghineh Cooking Show: 87 Vegetarian Meals

When you’re ready to move on to advanced vegetarian cooking, home cook Heghineh has you covered. She teaches you how to make Armenian dishes like vegetarian dolma (stuffed grape leaves), olive tapenade, fattoush salad and a ton of other yummy Mediterranean cuisine.

Cooking Hacks

Every cook has their favorite kitchen trick to make meal prep more quick, efficient or fun. These videos contain so many clever cooking hacks you’re sure to find at least one you never thought of.

1. Clicknetwork: Cooking Hacks — Hack It: Episode 6

Host Rebecca Tan walks you through a batch of cooking hacks covering everything from peeling garlic and getting its smell off your hands to chopping onions without crying all over your cutting board. I really love Rebecca’s genius technique for easily getting skin off potatoes, but you may want to take a pass on defrosting meat with a pan of hot water. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a better idea.

2. How To Make Sushi: 35 Amazing Cooking Hacks.

Sushi chef Davy Devaux walks viewers through a batch of clever cooking tips, including how to peel kiwi, make rainbow spaghetti and get a little juice out of a lemon without sacrificing the entire piece of fruit. There’s also a particularly weird (but fun!) trick involving a pepper mill and a power drill.

3. 5-Minute Crafts: 20 Cooking Hacks That Are Actually Genius

This cool video compilation tackles ideas like quick-cooking omelettes in a bag, constructing a DIY lemon juice sprayer, a super smart way to separate pomegranate juice from seeds and how to preserve the ends cut of a cucumber or zucchini.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s so hungry right now she’s about to eat her laptop.