A major key to my success is having the right equipment to cook with – it makes cooking so much more enjoyable, and if you enjoy the experience of cooking for yourself, you are more likely to do it! So here goes – the 8 things that I use constantly, that save me time and energy, and make eating Paleo ‘realistic’ for me:
1) My Ninja.
I asked for this guy (and by guy I mean a simplified blender/food processor that comes with a picture of the karate kid on the box) for Christmas 2 years ago. I can do anything with it. Turn almonds into flour, cauliflower into cheesy potatoes, broccoli into hummus. It slices, its dices, it can double as a margarita machine. Easy to clean, not too many pieces. It never leaves my counter.
2) Multiple Wooden Cutting Boards (3 different sizes)
You can research why I believe it’s safer to use wood rather than plastic (maybe that’s a post I’ll have to do sometime), but suffice to say I use my cutting boards pretty much every time I’m in the kitchen and it is practical to have more than one – so you don’t cross contaminate your food. Veggie on one, meats on the other! Food safety, it’s no joke people!
3) A big, enameled, cast iron pot with a lid.
You may have seen my yellow guy in some of my pictures. They are not cheap, but along with my Macbook Pro, I would count it among the top 5 purchases I’ve ever made. Use it on the stove top. Put it in the oven. Roast a chicken, make enough soup for a week, steam a whole head of cauliflower – no job is too big or too small. And nothing sticks to it.
4) An immersion (or hand) blender.
A cheap one ($20) will do. It cleans easily and reduces the number of dishes you do. Makes it possible to create homemade mayonnaise. Puree soup without risk of burning yourself while transferring steaming hot, delicious creation to the blender. Killer salsa, scrambled eggs for 2 or 20 people – the power is in the palm of your hand.
5) A set of knives, of various sizes.
If you’re serious about cooking, you’re probably thinking, well duh. But trust me, there are people out there who don’t get that not all knives are created equal. Certain knives are designed for certain tasks – spend an afternoon watching the food network and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
6) A vegetable peeler.
What your knives can’t do – a vegetable peeler can.
7) A large, stainless steel sauté pan.
What your enameled cast iron pot can’t do, this guy can. Like cook your scrambled eggs and bacon.
8) Mason Jars
Not just for grandma’s canning – they are what I use to store most of my food – in the fridge, in the freezer, in the cupboard. I have 2 sizes (large and small) but they both use the same size lid. This simplifies my food storage immensly. You can also drink out of them, and they are easily replaceable if broken. Throw away your plastic containers – you’ll be GLAD when you do 🙂