Saturday, January 9, 2016

Kitchen Essentials for the New Cook

Have you decided to cook more at home in the New Year? Before you start collecting recipes, it's a good idea to evaluate your kitchen. Having the proper equipment to prep, cook, and store food is essential for success. I like keeping cooking simple and enjoyable, so you don't need fancy equipment or hundreds of gadgets to create a delicious meal. So, I've come up with a list of kitchen tools that I feel are necessary for any cook.

Chef's Knife: This is the knife you will reach for time and time again. It's essential for all types of cutting, chopping, mincing, dicing and more. It can be used for meats, poultry, vegetables, fruits and more.

Chopping Board: Using a cutting board provides a sturdy surface to cut and dice your food. Without it (and a knife) almost no prep can be done! I recommend getting two boards- one for meat, poultry, and fish, and another for fruits and vegetables. This reduces the risk of cross contamination.

Non-stick Pans: It's important to have one large non-stick pan for sautéing, stir-frying, and pan-searing meats, poultry, and fish. A small non-stick pan is great for eggs and single servings of protein. If you want to start with one, go with the larger one. 

Pots: Aim to have at least two pots- a small and a large. A small pot is needed for things like oatmeal and sauces, and a large one is needed for cooking things like pasta, vegetables, and soups.

Spatulas and a Wooden Spoon: Needed for stirring, mixing, folding, spooning, and serving.

Large Casserole Dish: If you plan on baking and roasting, a casserole dish is great for baked pastas and for baking meat and fish. 

Measuring cups and spoons: Needed for recipes- especially if you plan on baking!

Feel like splurging on a few extra items? Here are some great additions:

George Foreman Grill: A quick, healthy, and easy way to make juicy burgers, grilled chicken or fish, panini's, vegetables...almost anything!

Food Processor: A small food processor is great for chopping vegetables for recipes, turning cauliflower florets into cauliflower "rice", making oatmeal into oat flour for baking, or even making your own nut butter. I use my Ninja for making all of my pancakes!

Crock Pot: What's easier than having your food cook itself? Check out my Crock Pot recipes in my recipe section :)