Last post we started exploring how healthy habits are not just about your body. Being organized and ahead of schedule in the kitchen is essential to making a diet update work. Eating and living healthy should be enjoyable, and with a little preparation plus the “TurnTash Method”, you should be able to eliminate the many things that make it feel like an obstacle.
Below I go over the essentials for your kitchen that will make preparing Hormone Boost-friendly foods more streamlined. I also like to recommend that as you put your delicious meals together you try to keep your working area as clean and organized as you can. Staying mindful during this process will not only give you (or a loved one) less clean up afterwards, but you will also feel more connection with what you are eating and be respectful of the effort you put in to prepare it. Plus, less clutter always equals less stress!
The Kitchen Tools You Must Have
- Invest in a set of sharp chef knives. As surprising as it sounds, sharp knives are safer than dull ones since they are less likely to slip during use. And trust me: ready access to these essential tools will serve up simple satisfaction with every chop and slice. Already have a set but they’re dull? Check out this Gordan Ramsay video on how to sharpen your knives at home. It’s easy!
- Get an immersion blender. This handy gadget will make puréed dips, cauliflower mash and soups a breeze—and it will save you dishes too since your blending action can happen in the same pots used for cooking. (Below I tell you which one I like best.)
- Choose the right food processor (it can do wonders!) Food processors are great time-savers when it comes to chopping garlic or veggies. I personally use and recommend the Braun Multiquick System Handblender: it’s a food processor, hand mixer and immersion blender all in one.
- Add a bench scraper to your utensil drawer. While it sounds like a tool you would need in a carpenter’s kit, it’s considered by many foodies and cooks to be a kitchen essential. It is simply a rectangular piece of metal with a handle across the full width of one edge. It just might be the kitchen tool you never knew you needed—at least until you discover how useful it is. Use your scraper to transfer chopped ingredients from a cutting board with one steady swipe, crush garlic before peeling without the risk of cutting yourself, easily divide baking ingredients into halves, or slice cookie dough or veggies before cooking. You can also use it for lifting scraps into your green garbage bowl (the bowl near your preparation area where you hold scraps until disposal, saving you time by avoiding frequent trips to the garbage). These can be found at any kitchen supply store, Amazon.ca, and sometimes Winners.
- Savor the benefits of a slow cooker. Beyond the recipes in The Hormone Boost, there are a ton of healthy one-pot variations that make a busy family’s dinner easily table-ready with little preparation time required. Ingredients can be prepped in the pot of the slow cooker and stored overnight in the fridge. In the morning, simply place the pot in the unit’s base and turn it on. Most slow cookers take approximately eight hours to cook (when set on Low), which means a dish set out in the morning will be ready just in time for dinner. Working late? Some cookers have automatic timers that shut them off at the right time.
- Become reacquainted with a retro kitchen staple—the Mason jar. These traditional glass bottles are perfect for storing soups and sauces and for making the on-the-go salad recipes included in my book.
- Rely on stainless steel and glass bowls. These are fundamental in any kitchen. I have them in many sizes (mini ones for holding spices and large ones for prep work). They last a lifetime! It’s an added bonus if you can find a set with lids, as they allow for easy fridge storage of dishes like salads or for marinating meats. They don’t have to be expensive, but if the set comes with plastic lids, make sure they are BPA-free.
- Search for a spiralizer. Want to cut your carb intake or free yourself from the belly bloat of heavy pasta dishes? A spiralizer is your secret weapon for making virtually carb-free zucchini pasta and offers creative ways to increase your veggie intake (think cucumber, carrots and beets) in salads. Amazon.ca has several variations – from the simple to the more advanced. Different blades give you different “noodles” and keep you excited about carb-free indulgences.
- Pick up a meat thermometer. A good meat thermometer ensures that roast chicken, beef and other meats are cooked through.
- Consider devoting one cupboard or drawer solely to the storage of your dry spices. Small glass jars are a perfect way to go—they’re easy to label and arrange, and readily available at your local dollar store. Once you have your storage options in place, many spices can then be purchased in bulk. No space inside a drawer or cupboard? An organized spice rack can be a nice aesthetic addition to your kitchen’s décor – check out these ideas on Pinterest.
If you haven’t checked it out, part one of this series is the best place to get started with boosting your kitchen. And in part three, we will look at what staples are necessary for a kitchen prepared for healthy living.