Must-Have Cooking Equipment for Healthy Cooks
Mother Rimmy’s List of Basic Cooking Equipment
Cooking low calorie meals requires a few basic pieces of equipment, but I promise that getting started won’t cost you a small fortune.
I gathered pots, pans and a sundry of supplies when I found them on sale. And if you’re a fan of discount stores, garage sales and thrift shops, you can pick up items for pennies.
The following is my list of go-to cooking gear. There’s nothing fancy here, but they all do an admirable job of creating family pleasing meals.
- Sharp knives are a must. Dull knives are dangerous and cheap knives don’t last.
- A small collection knives doesn’t have to break the bank if you don’t buy the whole set. A chef’s knife can accomplish most any chopping and slicing job along with a paring knife for smaller tasks. A bread knife is a must – you don’t want smashed bread and rolls, it’s not an appetizing presentation for guests. I also keep a pair of kitchen shears available. They come in handy and do a fantastic job of chopping fresh herbs.
- A few large cutting boards. I prefer bamboo for chopping vegetables, and plastic boards with wells around the outside for meats. Meat boards always get a run through the dishwasher for the sake of sanitation.
- This is my collection of pots and pans. It includes a small, medium and large saucepan with a steamer basket. I have a Dutch oven given to me by my grandmother and a non-stick stockpot I recently purchased for less than $30 at a local discount store. I have one deep skillet, a small and medium non-stick fry pan, and a seasoned cast iron skillet that is fast becoming my pan of choice.
- I can’t live without my Magic Bullet. Not only does it do a fantastic job of making smoothies, but vinaigrettes are done in a snap and I can store them right in the container. I’ll often make pancake batters with it too, not to mention breadcrumbs. Costco sells these very reasonably and they come with a larger blender jar as well. My immersion blender is a must for pureeing soups. I’ve exploded hot soup all over the kitchen one too many times trying to puree them in the blender. This is a safer option for me and requires far less cleanup.
- A reamer to get the most juice from your citrus fruits, and a microplane for zesting fruits or grating garlic and ginger is a must.
- Grab plastic spatulas (you don’t want to use metal on your non-stick pans), and stirring spoons from your local dollar store. I prefer my wooden spoons. They simply feel good in my hands as I’m cooking.
- Don’t forget a few slotted spoons for scooping and draining, tongs for grabbing things, and a meat mallet. Tenderizing meats sometimes takes brute force.
- Every cook needs a slow cooker. No explanation needed here. If you can’t afford one, ask the family the next time your birthday rolls around. I’ve had mine for 20 years and I still use it to this day.
- Meat thermometers are a must to make sure you’re cooking meats to a safe temperature. The last thing you want to do is make your family ill by feeding them uncooked meat. I like my oven thermometer because it has a chef’s setting. This setting is a bit lower than the standard cooking times, allowing for carry-over cooking. This keeps meats from becoming too dry and over-cooked.
- Last on the list is a small hand mixer for those jobs you don’t want to stir by hand, measuring cups, measuring spoons and bowls. My mixer was under $20 and does a fine job. I don’t do a lot of fancy baking (too many calories and I have no self-control), and while I have a collection of small, medium and large bowls, this bowl with the pour spout gets the most use.
So off you go to get started on your low calorie cooking adventures. Look me up at Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Light Done Right to check out my collection healthy recipes, or if you have an iPad or iPhone, you can find my cookbook for free at the App Store. I’m also available via Skype through Wizpert, or simply drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll look forward to hearing from you, and happy, healthy cooking!