Friday, July 25, 2014

Kitchen Gadgets for Healthy Meals

With the Whole 30 behind me, I'm still trying to whip up relatively healthy meals, and great kitchen gadgets make all the difference. Here are some that I consider essentials for any kitchen:
  1. Box Grater: If you read my post earlier this week on Cauliflower Crust Pizza, then you'll know that this handy tool does so much more than grate cheese!
  2. Microplane: I use the microplane for the small stuff: adding fresh nutmeg and spices to dishes, sprinkling fresh parmesan cheese onto my food, and zesting citrus fruits.
  3. Spiral Slicer: This is a genius product, allowing you to create julienned vegetables quickly and easily. Zucchini noodles are my new go-to pasta substitute. 
  4. Steamer: Broccoli is one of my favorite foods, and I like it lightly steamed, so I always have a steamer handy. But broccoli isn't the only veggie that tastes great steamed!
  5. Great Chef's Knife: A titanium blade or high-carbon stainless steel will hold it's edge best, which is important. When you're slicing and dicing fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs, you need a sharp blade. 
  6. Kitchen Shears: You might laugh at this one, but kitchen shears will be your best friend in the kitchen. Use them to help de-bone a chicken, cut up fresh basil, slice up pieces of dough before you bake it... the possibilities are endless!
  7. Mini Loaf Pans: This suggestions is mostly for portion control. When I bake a cake, brownies, or a batch of bread, I'm tempted to eat it all at once! Mini loaf pans are great because you can wrap up a few of the fresh loaves, freeze them, and eat them later. Plus, mini loaves of bread or mini-cakes are great gifts for new neighbors, friends, etc. 
  8. Nonstick Skillet: We have all-clad stainless steel pots and pans, and although I LOVE them, I strongly encourage everyone to have one non-stick skillet. It's perfect for eggs in the morning, heating up those zucchini noodles I mentioned earlier, etc. Plus, clean up is a breeze!
  9. Colander: Cooking fresh fruits and vegetables means lots of washing! A colander obviously let's the water drain out, but it's great for other things too. Use it to store veggies in the fridge to allow air to circulate around them, or find a fine-mesh colander that can be used to sift out the unsavory bits of fresh chicken stock. 
  10. Immersion blender: In my small apartment, I don't have a ton of room for a big blender, so this small version is perfect. It helps me to puree soups and sauces to perfection, and I have a version that comes with a food processor attachment too. Bonus!
I hope you cook up something great this weekend! Happy Friday!

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