Recently released research indicates that home cooking is a generally a healthier choice than eating out. With this news just out, the USDA has chosen a great time to launch a new website filled with a variety of tools designed to help aspiring cooks.

The USDA’s  What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl is a value-add website. It features an array of interactive, web-based tools designed to promote home cooking and healthy eating. A premium is placed on easy to make, nutritious, and inexpensive meals that can be quickly put together.

The site contains a gallery of cookbooks; users can also create and print their own cookbook of favorite recipes. A highlight section enables SNAP recipients to organize menus that will maximize the benefits of that program. Users can also search recipes by ingredient, or even by equipment available for meal preparation. A section for large quantity recipes  – as high as 56 servings – is also included. Users can search by type of dish (example: side dish, main dish, etc.). Asian, Latin American, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Southern dishes are included on the site; there are also a few hundred recipes for vegetarian dishes. Recipes are also provided in Spanish. Lots of great pictures included.

Coming soon? A tool that will help users build menus and produce shopping lists.

Here’s what the USDA says about its new site:

With the What’s Cooking? tool, you can search by ingredient, cuisine, cost, and even limit your search by available cooking equipment.  For many recipes, you will receive a variety of nutrition information that is very easy to use.  With the advanced search features, you can browse recipes based on the amount of calories, saturated fat and sodium.  If nutrition and great taste is your goal, you can easily identify recipes that align with Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help you “Eat more whole grains” and “Go lean with protein” or “Switch to fat-free or low-fat dairy.”

This is worth a look. To visit the What’s Cooking site, click here.