Today at Naked Apartments: The Fight Against Kitchen Illiteracy
Cross posted from the Naked Apartments blog today, adapted from one of my earlier Cake & Carrots posts:
July 23rd, 2009 by Amanda Goldfarb
It’s almost impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you don’t cook. Believe me, I’ve tried. Unfortunately for most of us, as take-out obsessed New Yorkers, are kitchen illiterate. We store wine glasses in our stoves! (If we even have a stove). A major perk is to have a dishwasher. Some of have never even had that luxury in our small apartments.
So, we’re faced with a dilemma. We know we need to cook in order to maintain and improve our health (since we control the ingredients we use). Even more, we need to rekindle our romance with food. And remember that the taste of a home-made meal is so much more nourishing and nurturing than anything that comes in a take-out box. Let’s start a revolution, New York, and take back our kitchens!
To help you, here are a few very basic, inexpensive gizmos that I love and use around the kitchen. Even better, they don’t take up a lot of storage space!
*Blender: Smoothies galore! Mix any fruit combination and you’ve got breakfast or a snack. Try putting in some spinach or kale, too, for a sneaky way to add your veggies. I promise you won’t taste it!
*Scale: How on earth do you figure out what an ounce of nuts and dried fruit looks like? Or 3 ounces of tofu, meat, or fish. I had no clue, so I bought a scale and started weighing my food. Now I know exactly what portions are supposed to look like. Now I just have to work on eating one portion instead of three!
*Graters: Box grater: I use this to grate apple for my meusli in the morning, or zucchini for turkey meatloaf. Microplane grater: everything from hunks of cheese to chocolate, nutmeg, zest.
*Cuisinart Food Prep: I have a large and small, but we use the smaller one more often as it’s portable and easier to clean. I’m a pretty lazy chef.
*Silicone: LOVE this stuff! I have a spoon, measuring cups, colander, tongs, pot holders. I love how the measuring cups can be stored flat. And a major plus is that silicone is so easy to clean.
*Misto: (insert like www.misto.com) After years and years of spending money on crap PAM spray (complete with chemicals and propellant) I discovered the Misto. I fill it with organic cold pressed EVOO and use it instead of Pam spray. And I can use it on veggies and salad. Way healthier.
*Crock Pot: I know this gadget takes up a lot of counter space, but it’s a life saver! Perfect for the time-pressed (which we all are) and you can make some fabulous meals. Few things are more satisfying than getting home after work and having dinner warm and waiting for you. I suggest buying a healthy slow-cooker cookbook, since most typical recipes are heavy on fatty cuts of meat, cheese, and sauces.
*Steam Basket: You might not use one, but I’m sure you’ve seen it. The simplest, greatest tool ever to make veggies. Be careful not to overcrowd the basket and make sure the water level does not rise above the perforated bottom of the steamer. You don’t want to steam until your veggies are a bland mush…1-2 minutes for leafy greens, 3 minutes or so for heartier veggies like carrots and broccoli– Remember that they’ll continue to cook a little after you take them out.
So, now you have no excuses… Get into the kitchen and get cooking!