If you've been cooking for a few (or more than a few) years, you likely already have most of the following items. Even if you own these, I just wanted to do a quick post about them just in case you haven't used some of them in a while.
I have a small-ish metal strainer and it is a wonderful tool for making my own chicken and vegetable stocks. This may seem like an intimidating or time-consuming task, but it is neither. Making stock (either kind) is simple and pretty painless. The strainer is used for the last part of the process and it would be difficult to complete without it. This allows for reduced waste in the kitchen (using bones or what I call "juice guts" from our daily juicing). This will save you money and can encourage making soups and other marvelous stock-based meals.
Your grandmother likely had one exactly like this. This is a great kitchen tool, especially if you don't have room for another appliance or don't want an electric steamer. This helps make veggies quickly while other dinner plans are in the works. If you don't have a steamer basket and don't want one, but like the idea of beginning to steam foods for meals, check this NoshOnIt article out; it shows you two ways to steam in a pot without a steamer basket. Either way, you don't have to steam vegetables for very long for them to be a tasty addition to your dinner.
If you like modern kitchen items and you're not into the metal, I've seen colorful silicone baskets, too.
A SHARP KNIFE
This one might sound ridiculously obvious, but my experience has been suffering prep time after prep time with a subpar knife. But, hooray! All you need is one to make things better! I had a whole block of knives and didn't love any of them. They all had separate designated purposes, but none of them worked ideally. We recently got rid of most of our other knives and purchased one 5" Santoku knife. We don't cut much meat, but for vegetables (even sweet potatoes) and fruit it is perfect. You might consider a larger size, but judging from the reviews on the link below, other owners seem just as pleased with their own (5") Santoku knives.
The next one is my favorite kitchen utensil; it was a gift from a friend. This is something I would have never purchased for myself, but it really does make healthy cooking easier. Thanks, Catherine!
These are just wonderful! Not only do herbs add variety to your cooking, but they also have potential healing properties. Win-Win-Yum! For me, having fresh herbs on hand used to mean one thing: chopping. So. Much. Chopping. I would avoid using fresh herbs entirely. Obviously, chopping is a great way to get delicious herbs into your cooking (and an ever welcome opportunity for mindfulness), but these scissors really help ease the burden and make it fun. We even use them to quickly add spinach to rice or add on as a pizza topping.
If you can't justify spending the money on them for yourself (I totally understand, although I really would buy these for myself now after having fallen in love with them--and though I'm cheap, you can find them for about $10), then think about giving them as a gift--what a perfect wedding gift.
Although I don't have all the answers for a perfectly healthy kitchen, I am trying to spread the word about whatever has helped me feel more confident as a cook, more comfortable as a healthy meal preparer, and healthier overall, from all of it coming together.
I wish you days and days of happy cooking!
This could potentially have a sister post of "Helpful Small Appliances for a Healthy Kitchen." So, please let me know if you found it helpful.
Labels: Go Ahead--Try It!, Mindful Eating