When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you will find that you spend a lot more (enjoyable) time in the kitchen. My husband, certified chef, Stefan McKenzie and I put our heads together and created this list of “must-haves” you could consider investing in to make meal prep faster and easier!
1. Chef’s knife + paring knife: a good set of knives is the most essential tool you can have in the kitchen! It’s a good idea to invest in the best you can afford, and keep them regularly sharpened to making chopping, dicing, and mincing fuss-free.
2. Cutting boards: having a few cutting boards are a critical investment from a food safety perspective because it will help you avoid cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods. Sustainable wood materials like bamboo or BPA-free plastic varieties are great.
3. Vegetable peeler and box grater: no explanation needed here!
4. Good skillet + pots: there is no doubt that these items will get one of the best workouts in your kitchen. Like a good set of knives, invest in the best you can afford and they will reward you with years of good service.
5. Baking sheets and oven-safe baking dishes: stainless steel baking sheets are great for roasting meats, making veggie burgers, granolas, and baked goods. We keep separate baking sheets for meat and baked goods just in case any meat juices leak onto the pan and are difficult to remove. We try to avoid non-stick varieties and just use parchment paper to line them.
6.Measuring spoons + cups: these are essential if you want to replicate a recipe just as written. Once you get into the swing of things, you will find they aren’t as necessary to duplicate your favourite recipes, but keep in mind that baking is a science – exact measurements are key to the good results!
7. Colander: for rinsing fruits and vegetables, draining pastas, beans and legumes. A metal colander can even double as a steamer over the appropriate sized pot.
8. Mixing bowls: we keep a variety of sizes on hand so that we always have the right one for the job. If in doubt, always choose a mixing bowl larger than you think you will need to avoid your recipe overtaking your equipment!
9. Wooden spoon + silicon spatula + metal spatula + whisk: these are self-explanatory, right?
10. A good blender: We chose to put a blender on the list rather than a food processor because generally a good quality blender can do the same jobs as a food processor. A blender is helpful for making smoothies, crushing ice, pureeing soups and dips, grinding nuts and seeds into nut butters or flours, and whipping liquids.