Being successful at eating right starts with having a well-stocked kitchen. This includes food in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, as well as a good supply of tools and gadgets to make cooking easier. This list will get you started with all of the tools you’ll need to cook healthy and tasty food.
- Knives: You should invest in good quality knives and have at least a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated (bread) knife. I like using a Sankotu knife. You should sharpen your knives regularly – more knife accidents occur with dull knives than sharp knives. About once a year you should get them professionally sharpened.
- Pots and pans: I like nonstick pans. Almost any brand will do, depending on your budget. Heavier pans will last longer. Be sure to only use wooden or silicon utensils when cooking with these pans – metal will scratch the surface.
- Silicon utensils and bakeware: silicon is popular right now because it’s pretty heat-resistant and nonstick. Look for spatulas, rolling pins, muffin tins, baking pans, steamer inserts, spoons, flexible bowls. Plus, there’s some really fun colors to choose from.
- Microplane: great for grating garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon/lime/orange zest.
- Mandolin: For those super thin slices of veggies. I love it for cucumber to make Japanese sunomono salad – thinly slices cucumbers marinated in seasoned rice vinegar and rehydrated wakame (seaweed). SO yummy!
- Steamer: The easiest and cheapest is a steamer insert for a pot. Also, consider the stacking bamboo steamers, a steamer for the microwave, or a steamer/rice cooker. Multi-purpose tools are a great investment – one tool for many purposes saves you room in your cabinets and money in your wallet.
- Grill pan: We all love the grill marks on a piece of fish, but what if you don’t own a grill or it’s too cold outside to use the BBQ? Grill pans give you the grilled taste, look, and texture, all from the comfort of your stove. Some pans are round and some are rectangular. I’ve even seen one that’s a flat griddle on one side (great for pancakes) and the other side has the ridges for grilling.
This list is by no means complete, but it’s a great starting point. Check back often as I will update it with new finds. Happy cooking!