You don't need to go to culinary school or invest in top-of-line kitchen tools and equipment to prepare simple, healthy and delicious meals. But with the right equipment organized well, you'll be amazed at the healthy weight-loss supportive cooking you're able to do.
Where to Begin - The Essential Healthy Cooking Kitchen Tools
Most healthy low-fat cooks have determined that a great set of nonstick cookware is key for preparing healthy cuisine. But most complete cookware sets are expensive and include pieces that you probably don't need.It may be better to just buy the pieces in shapes and sizes that you know you will use.
Other necessities for the healthy kitchen include:
A set of really good knives are a cook's best friend. Shop around and test them out to determine the sizes and styles that work best for you. Be sure your set includes at least:
- Paring knife
- Chef's knife
- Serrated knife
- Sharpening steel to keep your knives well honed
Nonstick cookware tools. Metal spatulas and spoons can scratch and ruin nonstick surfaces, so make sure you buy a few basic nonstick tools such as nylon or wooden spoons, a nylon spatula and tongs.
A Salad Spinner. There's nothing worse than a salad made from limp, wet greens. With a salad spinner your greens will dry in a flash – much more efficiently than blotting them with paper towels.
An Oil Mister. There's nothing wrong with readymade nonstick cooking spray, but a mister will let you experiment with a wider variety of oils and is much less expensive over time.
A Baking Stone. Baking on stones are a wonderful way to bake without added oils or fats. I use mine all the time to make the crispiest thin-crust healthy pizza.
A Basting Brush. Brushing your favorite vegetables and proteins with marinades and sauces is a wonderful way to add great flavor with minimal extra calories. Basting brushes are available in many sizes and shapes so choose what works best for you. And for easy clean-up, make sure your brush is dishwasher safe.
A quality vegetable peeler. A modern vegetable peeler will help preparing fruits and vegetables easy and effortless. Once I upgraded from my old dull one, all I could think was, "why did I wait so long?"
A microplane zester/grater. A fine grater is another terrific tool for adding delicious flavors to foods with minimal calories. I use mine to zest lemons and to grate fresh nutmeg, hard Parmesan cheese and dark chocolate so that just a little goes a long way.
Storage containers. Making extra food that can be stored and frozen for days when you are too busy to cook, s a wonderful time saver. It's best to store the leftovers in containers that you can simply defrost and reheat so look for those that are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Herbs and Spices. For maximum freshness, be sure to store them in a cool dry place. In addition to the basics there are lots of wonderful herb and spice rubs and blends that can add real pizzaz to simple grilled chicken and fish.
Marinades, sauces and condiments. A simple piece of fish or chicken breast can go from boring to tasty with the addition of garlic herb or teriyaki marinade. Hot sauce, salsa and flavored mustards are great low calorie toppings that can liven up a wide variety of foods.
Fresh lemons and bottled flavored vinegars. Are another wonderful way to add zesty flavor without calories. Use them to perk up most any dish from vegetables and salads to chicken and fish.
Savvy Storage and Organization
- Store pots, pans and lids as close to the oven and stove as possible.
- Place a container holding nonstick utensils within arm's length from the stove.
- Keep your steamer and salad spinner conveniently close to the sink.
- Make sure that your herbs, spices and that oil mister are easily accessible. I keep mine on a lazy susan close to the stove.
- Keep your knives in an easy-to-reach place. Again, mine are in a butcher's block right near the stove.
- Place your storage containers all together within easy reach.
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*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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