Since starting the Metabolism Plan (read my story here) I find myself in the kitchen much more then I have in ages. Since I actually love to cook, I just don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making meals. I have found 7 kitchen must haves to simple cooking. With these gadgets and appliances you will learn to love to cook healthy meals for you and your family too!!!!
Today, I want to share a few tools that I highly recommend to anyone who is looking to eat healthier. These are essentials I found for my kitchen to follow plans like Whole 30, Paleo, and the Metabolism Plan or really any healthy eating plan you are following. Each of these items make my life simple and reduce my time in the kitchen.
Kitchen Must Haves to Simply Cooking
1. I highly recommend a few cookbooks are in your kitchen. I think that if you find a cookbook that keeps recipes simple and easy you are golden. Cookbooks take out the time of “guessing” what to make for dinner. I simply pull out my favorite book with tabs to my favorite recipes. Then I can quickly pull a menu and shopping list together.
My tips on picking out cookbooks:
- Look at the recipes before you buy the book (or look at the authors website for ideas of their recipes). Do you like most of the main courses? I mean if it the book has all these exotic things or say tons of foods you won’t eat… don’t get the book.
- Review the ingredient list. If the list of what is in it is LONG that often means prepping will take awhile. If it has tons of spices, know that it might be a little costly until you build your spice rack up. Again, I do not want to spend hours in the kitchen prepping a meal. I also skim recipes to see how long they take to make. Often I find so many require to be started the night before or take hours to cook. These recipes might be ok once in awhile, but on a busy night I just want a simple quick meal.
- Few of my favorite simple and healthy go to cookbooks in my kitchen. I am sure I have more, but these are my GO TO BOOKS.:
* Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. I find all her cookbooks, including the 21 Day Sugar Detox ones to be really yummy. The portions are smaller (like for 2-4 people not an army). AND>>> Super easy to make without tons of ingredients or that takes hours to make. Plus, Diane tends to consider other health issues and makes her recipes easy to modify for FODMAPS.
* Whole 30 by Dallas Hartwig. I love real food. Just like the paleo books above. Meat, veggies make the base of these meals. Limited to no sugars, glutens.
* The Plan Cookbook by Lyn-Genet Recitas. Basically if you followed my past few blog posts on the Metabolism Plan, you know I am addicted to how this is working for me! The cookbook has recipes that are easy to make. I love that she remind you to “keep it simple”. Meaning, we don’t need fancy spices or sauces or to spend hours meal planning/cooking. Real foods. If you follow the Metabolism Plan, this is a great cookbook to easily add in/test more foods. 🙂
2. A good blender is worth its weight in gold in saving you time/money. I have a Vitamix that does so much more then make my smoothie. I have made everything from soups to cauliflower rice in it. This thing is a beast with a very good warranty.
It hasn’t overheated when I throw in tons of ingredients/ice and I love it for that! They are pricy, but worth every penny once you start cooking healthy at home. Plus cauliflower rice is so easy to make in the blender and really doesn’t take that long at all to make. I am sure a head of cauliflower is much cheaper then buying the pre-cupped cali rice. I have made my own nut butters which I know exactly what goes into it and what doesn’t (sugar). This can save me $$ often but also the headaches of trying to find brands without say sugar. (Check out a Vitamix here. Mine is red and I love the pop of color in my kitchen. What color would you pick?)
I also have a small Nutri Ninja Pro Blender. Again, this little sucker has power, but is much smaller then the Vitamix and can make things like dressings or smoothies quickly and with easier clean up. You blend directly in the cup and that cup can go into the dishwasher. Only problem with having this as my only blender … when I want to make soups, it would take forever to blend up a batch. So for making small is qualities this is a great blender, but if I had to choose between my Vitamix or the Ninja, the Vitamix wins hands down! I use that baby so much in my daily cooking life I think it is a staple in my kitchen. (Check out the Nutri Ninja Pro Blender here.)
3. A vegetable spiralizer. I have slowly replaced pasta in my house with zucchini (squash, sweet potato) pasta. A spiralizer lets you spin out “noodles” in no time. Again, quick and easy and probably more cost effective then compared to the pre-cut ones you can buy in the store. The one I have (shown to the right) comes with various blades to cut different types of noodles. Trust me, this can be so fun your kids might want to make the ‘noodles’ for you (with supervision of course so they don’t play with the blades.) (Check out the vegetable spiralizer I use here.)
4. An Onion Chopper. I am constantly chopping onions or zucchini for dishes or soups. Seriously, this is one of those “gadgets” you look at and shake your head. But, I put my onion (quartered or so) on the grate blade plate, push down with the top and BOOM! My whole onion is chopped in a few minutes. It’s also much safer on my eyes. I cry much less when I chop an onion quickly. If my recipe calls to add garlic, boom I chop that right into my onions. I have done this with apples for my apple chicken burger recipe. It’s truly a time saver when you need a a lot of veggies chopped. Oh, and throw in the dishwasher makes it easy clean up!!! (Check out the veggie chopper I use here.)
5. A kitchen scale. I have to admit, I often “guesstimated” the portion size of stuff like cheese or chips or even my main course meats. Now leave my little kitchen scale easily accessible on my counter. I can weight out an ounce of cheese or a 6 oz portion of meat. No more guessing means that my portion sizes are realistic and TRUE. Saving me calories and helping my bathroom scale move in a positive downward direction. (Check out the small kitchen scale I use here. Yes there are tons of more expensive scales on the market. I have this little thing and it is perfect and has lasted me years.)
6. Lemon squeezer. Since I start my day off everyday with a glass of lemon water. I quickly can squeeze fresh lemon each morning. But, learning too that a 1/2 a lemon juice, a little extra virgin olive oil and some spice (dill is my favorite), makes a simple easy and healthy salad dressing. I love my little lemon squeezer tool. It fits in my drawer because… my counter space is filling up quickly. Plus, dishwasher safe. 😉 (Check out the simple lemon squeezer I am talking about here.)
7. An Instant Pot.
OMG, I never realized how much I needed one of these in my life until I finally said I had to try it. I have made ribs from start to finish in under an hour. I needed chicken stock for my soup and made it in about an hour compared to all day in a crock pot. Plus, the leftover chicken from the stock was perfect for adding to salads, sandwiches or tacos later in the week. This thing is amazing. You throw everything in a pot, set it and forget it. It doesn’t cook all day like a crock pot so everything is full of flavor and not mushy. You need a quick meal with easy clean up… you gotta check out the Instant Pot! I am discovering more and more healthy/quick meals I can make in it. Then all you have is one pot and a few knives to throw into the dishwater (and our plates) and the kitchen is cleaned up. I call easy clean up a WIN! Here are a few recipes I started to save, maybe you might enjoy one of them too. (I love my 8 quart Instant Pot, check out what I use here.)
Summary… These are a few Kitchen Gadgets and Appliances Worth Investing In to keep it simple in the kitchen.
So there you have it. You have my off the normal path kitchen appliances/gadgets that I use at least 1x a week (or much more) and it definitely saves me time (and money) and keeps me on track to cooking healthy. Plus, that chopper or spiralizer kinda makes being in the kitchen fun, hard to explain until you just try it. All I know, is the results I am seeing in reducing my belly fat is worth it! You don’t need to buy them all at once, and hey… Christmas is coming. Put it on your wish list. Cooking healthy foods for the family will be something they might invest in for you.
If you have a favorite kitchen appliance/gadget… leave me a comment and share. The more time I spend in the kitchen, the more ways I am looking for easy tools to save time and $ and keep me on track to eating healthy!
Now, go enjoy a favorite meal! You’ll start loving the kitchen when the foods you cook become yours!
My goal is to share easy tips you can implement now to get you to where you want to be. Go out and Create YOUR Amazing Life,
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