Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kitchen Essentials

I recently completed our Sexy in Six program with a couple of outstanding women who asked really great questions throughout our six weeks together. One of the things they suggested would be helpful is a list of the top items I keep on hand in my kitchen. Follows is my kitchen essential list:

  • Garlic and Onion--this is the foundation for just about everything I prepare, and both keep really well, which makes it easy to have on hand all the time.
  • Seasonal Produce--there are ALWAYS greens in my fridge--usually some sort of lettuce and a cooking green of some sort, too. I like to browse fresh farmer's markets for additional items or enjoy the bounty from a friend's garden. In the grocery store it is often the case that fresh, in season produce is less expensive and more plentiful.
  • Carrots--somehow this is a staple for us throughout the year. Great for eating raw, steamed up, juiced, or thrown into whatever I'm making. AND they are a sweet vegetable, which helps keep sugar cravings under control.
  • Pantry Staples--we like beans at our house, so I generally have a can or two on the shelf in addition to dried beans (very inexpensive and much tastier than the canned variety). A great source of protein and fiber these little beauties are often combined with a whole grain (usually quinoa or brown rice) for a simple meal. I also like to keep a few cans of tuna and salmon in the pantry to make a cold salad or croquettes and add in some good omega fats. Speaking of fats, I use extra virgin olive oil for no-heat prep (salad dressing, hummus, pesto, etc.) and Wildtree grapeseed oil for cooking (order some by contacting me here.). I keep butter on hand, too, for baking.
  • Freezer Fair--edamame is top of the list for our freezer, because they make a great snack eaten alone, are a nice twist on the traditional hummus recipe, and can be added to stir fry easily for a great protein source. The freezer also houses any leftovers, which then get pulled out and combined into a one pot dish that somehow always turns out tasty, even though the variety of flavors is vast.
*Whenever possible, I choose local, fresh, and organic.
  • Salad Spinner--used I actually have 2. Greatest tool for greens every invented.
  • Knife and Cutting Board--Until I purchased a high quality knife, I had no idea that a knife that fits in my hand would make food prep so much easier. Now, I take it on vacation with me. Seriously.
  • Knife sharpener--essential for keeping my knife in tip-top shape and preventing slips and possible injury.

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