I’m planning to have a new video for you tomorrow, and will soon be unveiling a new, somewhat sister-project to Save the Kales, so please stay tuned! There is so much to be excited about, and I want you to be around for every part of it!
Today I’m bringing you some of my Top 5 Kitchen Tools! These are items that I would suggest to everybody. When you have the right cooking tools, cooking is much easier and a lot more fun. I could elaborate and talk about more – and perhaps I will in the future – but if you are starting from scratch and were to ask “What should I get for my kicthen?”, I’d hand you this list.
Really Good Knife – This is at the top of the list for a reason! Nearly all cooking will involve cutting of some sort (especially if you’re using fresh whole-foods, hint-hint), and a good knife can make or break you. Literally. The wrong knife, or a knife that’s dull will make your food sloppy, making cooking a struggle, and can actually harm you as it takes a lot more force to use and thus, a bloody slip-up. The goal is is cooking, not stabbing! “Good Knives” do cost a little more, but are very much worth it as you will have it for a long time and again, it’s so essential. I urge you to invest in one if possible. You should get a good, fairly big chef’s knife that feels comfortable in your hands. Many stores will allow you to hold them so you can see what feels best for you!
Big Cutting Board – Going hand-in-hand with a good knife, a good cutting board will make using your knife all the easier, and can also help prevent accidents. I recommend a cutting board that is fairly large. This will allow you to cut several veggies at once and leave the foods on the board while you cut more – otherwise you’re dumping your cut foods into small bowls to make room on the small board, and making a lot of extra dirty dishes. Booo. Stay away from glass cutting boards. They sometimes look really pretty, but are too weird to do serious cutting with your fancy new chef’s knife. Bamboo boards are great because they are sustainable and easy to clean.
Vegetable Steamer (Flying Saucer Steamer: That’s just what I call it…) – If you made it through my very first cooking videos and heard me explain this thing, you have the patience of a saint and thanks for your time. Ha! But what I said in that video is that this crazy little contraption is an invaluable tool for someone cooking a lot of veggies, and it just happens to be very inexpensive! How does a spaceship steam veggies, you ask? You fill a large saucepan with a little water, put the steamer inside, toss your veggies in it, put a lid on the whole thing and turn the stove on high. The water in the pan evaporates and steams the veggies. So easy! This is great if you make a lot of greens, like uh, kale.
Magic Bullet Blender – You’ve seen the wacky infomercials that look like a bunch of swingers had a party and all woke up hungover and hungry. But seriously, this little gadget is one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given, and one of the most-used kitchen tools I have. I use it to blend soups, make the vegan cheese sauce, salad dressings and marinades, and it can also pulverize garlic, ginger, whole spices, and coffee beans! I’m not a big advocate of buying a million kitchen appliances, but this one is WONDERFUL and if you can’t afford to buy one but you like to cook, put this at the very top of your next gift wish-list. (TIP: They do sell them at Bed Bath & Beyond, and you can find 20% off coupons for that place in practically every weekly newspaper.) Please, please get one of these. You can thank me later.
(PS – Remember this wacky lady? Totally the best part of that infomercial. I appreciate the trashy cigarette hanging out of her mouth as she talks in disbelief at the bullet’s amazing blender powers. I actually like her glasses though.)
Microplane Zester – I finally broke down and got one of these bad boys when I was making orange-chocolate mousse and wanted zest as a garnish. WELL. I wish I bought one so much sooner! If you struggle with chopping garlic, listen to me – THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Peel a garlic clove and use this to mince it, and it’s the fastest, cleanest, most perfectly minced garlic ever. Buy this just for garlic alone. It also works wonders with fresh ginger, and of course zesting citrus fruits. Make sure the zester you buy is “microplane”.