If you like to cook, then you may share my problem — I’m addicted to kitchen toys. I love them! Knives, scales, mandolins, containers, blenders, mixers, Instant Pot – all of them. I don’t use love to have them around, I use them. I don’t like spending money on anything I won’t use just because an ad or infomercial caught my eye.
But before I grew to love kitchen toys, I had to pick up the essentials. You know, the basic kitchen equipment that fit my needs. Here’s a quick peek at some of my kitchen essentials. This is not a list of thinks everyone must have, but my personal collection of go-to tools. If I did not have these, I could not get anything done in the kitchen.
I’m working on my fat/weight loss goals, so the right tools are essential. I picked up Snapware bowls for the things I cook in bulk for the family and the individual portions I make for myself. I’ve noticed that when I pack leftovers as full meals, I tend to stick to the cleaner path. I also use divided containers by Orgalif to refrigerate or freeze perfectly portioned meals.
They help me keep on point on bad pain days. If I don’t have something ready to roll, I give in to the pb&j (well, Sumbutter and jelly or jam) on whole wheat rut.
Containers and a lunch box that holds them at the right temperature all day are important because Hubs (aka FM) takes lunch to work almost every day. We picked up a couple of lunchboxes that came complete with container and a shaker bottle this year and tossed all of the older ones that needed to go. With these, hubs or the kids can take enough food to last most of the day. This gray, black, and red bag from HomEquip came with 2 2-cup containers, 4 1-cup containers, a pill/supplement box, bottle, and ice pack that fit nicely. It’s a little snug when all of the containers are in place, but he doesn’t usually take more than a sandwich, fruit and veggie sides, a utensil, napkins, and a protein or granola bar for emergency snackage. The grey with turquoise bag behind this one is Hubs’ preferred bag because he can fit his water bottle inside with his lunch containers. Both bags work nicely when needed.
You don’t need to buy a lot of containers when you have Mason jars on hand. Pasta sauce jars, pickle jars, and others with tight lids work nicely as storage for dry goods, in the freezer (just don’t fill it to the rim), and fridge for salads or oats. I also use jars for dressings and dips that I whip up. Besides overnight oats with berries, I have some Cashew Cream Cheese from Meal Mentor in jars now.
*By the way, if you have not checked out Meal Mentor yet, you can get a free sample at GetMealPlans.com. Whole food, low fat, high carb goodness. Most of the dishes I’ve made are omni-approved.*
In addition to the containers, I need my cutting boards, cast iron skillet and griddle, 5 qt. stainless steel pot, baking pans, and cookie sheets. I need the, so I have a safe place to chop produce (and there is a separate board for the fam to us for non-veggie stuff). When I get the desire to bake, I pull out the loaf pans, cookie sheets, or square or rectangular pans depending on what mood strikes. I feel the need for a bean loaf and possibly muffins for next week.
My main tools are my knives. I have both steel and Ceramic knives. Until Ozeri sent me this set of three ceramic knives, I had not taken the plunge. I wasn’t convinced I would like them as much as steel. I use them several times a week. I’d use them daily, but I don’t cook or prep on a daily basis. The handles feel good in my hands and the light weight make it easier for me to work longer. Those features alone make my arthritic hands happy. And they look good. I kind of dig the black stainless appliances and these knives remind me of that look.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the peek at my kitchen essentials. I’ll share more about my possibly unhealthy obsession with the InstantPot, air fryer, and J.L Fields’ cookbooks for both another time.