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Must-Haves for the Healthy Cook

Posted by on May. 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 29 Replies

Healthy cooking is easy, delicious and lends itself to fast and simple methods. What it's not, always, is particularly interesting. It helps to have a "toolbox"...ingredients and utensils that will liven up the fifth steamed-vegetable side of the week or turn virtuous boneless, skinless chicken breasts into something to crave.

Here's what's in mine:

Soy chorizo: This loose Mexican sausage is so delicious and flavorful it brings a great hit of spice and smoke to anything it touches; unfortunately, the pork versions are very fatty. I add a small piece of the soy stuff to scrambled eggs, cooked beans, sauteed greens or chicken breasts.

Spice blend: Sure, you can and should blend your own, but if you are less than confident in your ability to do that or just don't want 15 half-used jars of spices cluttering your kitchen, blends are the way to go. Bypass the salt-laden seasoning packets in favor of salt-free blends, and experiment to see what you like. You can make the same chicken-and-veg dinner taste like Moroccan, Indian, Thai or Mexican, just to name a few.

Lemons and limes: These bright, fresh citrus fruits give a lift to meats and vegetables; try sauteeing some spinach with garlic and squeezing lemon over it, or tossing chicken with lime and cilantro.  They also make a great salad dressing or topping for steamed veggies.

Canned beans and tomatoes: These can make a quick weeknight vegetarian chili with peppers, onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder; you can also use a food processor to whiz beans, garlic and herbs into a yummy dip or canned tomatoes into a fresh-tasting tomato sauce.

Stinky cheeses: Okay, not stinky, but the more strongly-flavored the cheese the less you can use of it; think Parmesan, feta, and goat cheese. A little sprinkle adds mouth feel and a little savory nuttiness that can elevate a simple dish from boring to satisfying. Try it over roasted vegetables.

What's in your kitchen toolbox?

Image ©IStockPhoto/gabyjalbert



by on May. 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
michiganmom116
by on May. 31, 2013 at 6:13 AM
1 mom liked this

I won't touch anything soy unless it's naturally fermented soy sauce, and we don't eat beans/lentils in this house.

I stick with herbs/spices/sea salt, healthy fats like coconut or avocado oils, and a large variety of veggies.

Peachy34500
by Gold Member on May. 31, 2013 at 6:51 AM
Herbs, spices .. I always have on hand
batjmom
by Sarah on May. 31, 2013 at 7:58 AM
1 mom liked this
Fresh herbs and spices, good olive oil, fresh citrus for marinades and salad dressings
batjmom
by Sarah on May. 31, 2013 at 7:58 AM
1 mom liked this
Oh and lots of fresh garlic .... I love garlic
emilyrosenj
by Margaret on May. 31, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I experiment with different cheeses like manchego and the kerrygold dubliner.  I do keep a full spice rack and I'm not afraid to try new things!

25beengoodtome
by Bronze Member on May. 31, 2013 at 1:09 PM
1 mom liked this

The usual, slotted spoon, wooden spatulas and spoons, 2 03 3 soup ladels/ gravy spoons. 3 of my favorite knives. Paring, carving, and serated.

~

DissieDothe
by Bronze Member on May. 31, 2013 at 3:08 PM

 


Quoting 25beengoodtome:

The usual, slotted spoon, wooden spatulas and spoons, 2 03 3 soup ladels/ gravy spoons. 3 of my favorite knives. Paring, carving, and serated.


 Totally what I think would be in the toolbox to prepare healthy foods.

ChancesMommy07
by on May. 31, 2013 at 3:21 PM
1 mom liked this

Herbs and spices are about it. And I have a ton of home canned veggies at all times.

terri76
by Gold Member on May. 31, 2013 at 10:16 PM

All my tools lol..like my spoons and kitchen knives..plus fresh garlic and herbs..coconut oil,,peanut oil...fresh fruits and veggies!!

jessicasmom1
by Laina on Jun. 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Spices , Herbs,  oil, untensils 

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