Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kitchen Staples

Back in November when I did the PCOS Diva Jumpstart program, not only did it help jumpstart my health into a place where I felt in control, but it also helped to jumpstart a long time goal of mine.  Cook more.  My main excuse is usually my schedule, I'm so busy during the week that if I don't plan ahead, I rarely get any cooking done once the work week is in full force.

Once of the things I loved about the Jumpstart program was it has made me be a better meal planner.  And since I've started planning out meals I've been eating a lot more home cooking, which I really enjoy.  I'm not a hard core meal planner.  Usually I'll pick out about 3 to 4 main entrees to prepare each week which will leave us with enough leftovers to fill in for the other days, as well as most lunches too.  I always make sure to stock my fridge and pantry with breakfast and lunch staples so I never have that "there is nothing to eat" feeling.

I have purchased a few meal plans from the PCOS Diva website, which I think are awesome.  But one of my other favorite go to's for recipes is The Detoxinista.  What I love about both of these websites is that they meet my nutritional needs, and they focus on eating natural whole foods, avoiding processed foods.  They are all mostly free of gluten, refined sugars, and most dairy, all things which I try to avoid.  Yet my husband on the other hand can eat all of those things, but has enjoyed all the recipes I've made from these places, which helps because then I can get a hand in the kitchen!

As I've started to cook more and more I've found a handful of staple items that I have been grateful that I have in my kitchen, and they are used on repeat.  Sometimes it can be hard with all the fascinating gadgets out there to know which ones you're really going to use, and which ones are just going to take up valuable cabinet space.  And if you remember from my Kitchen tour my cabinet space is quite valuable, because I don't have much of it!

My citrus squeezer and garlic press are used pretty much every recipe.  It makes being able to flavor things with fresh lemon or lime juice so incredibly easy, and knowing that you squeezed it fresh is so much better then pouring it out of a bottle.  Garlic is another great way to add flavor to a meal and with the garlic press it makes prepare those pesky little cloves that much easier and faster, a quick squeeze and your garlic is minced ready to throw in.

Measuring Spoons seem obvious, but what I've learned with them is that having multiple sets on hand is necessary.  When you're cooking all these great whole foods you are using tons of seasoning and spices, hence the need for lots of measuring spoons.  One set is pretty much always dirty.

Since I've been cooking so much lately I've found that keeping a bottle of olive oil with a pourer in it next to the stove is super convenient.  Nearly every recipe starts with a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the pan.  If your close to a Trader Joe's I scooped up my bottle with the pourer already attached to it there and I love it.
Rounding out my go to kitchen items are my small colander and my measuring glass.  Since many of the recipes I cook call for beans of some sort I am always using my small colander, and the size of this one is perfect.  It doesn't take up a ton of space, but gets the job done and I can easily rinse multiple cans of beans in it at time.  And my measuring glass, I love this one because it has every measurement you could ever need on it, no guessing necessary!

What items are on repeat in your kitchen?


  1. I just recently bought my first garlic press, loving it!

  2. I definitely need to get a garlic press - I hate all of that chopping! One of my favorite gadgets is my apple peeler - I thought it was a totally silly purchase but I love it! It makes peeling apples (and potatoes) a dream, so it's a win in my book!

  3. A garlic press definitely needs to be added to my arsenal of kitchen gadgets - is there one that you recommend? I've been using my citrus squeezer like crazy lately, too - it's so nice to be able to use fresh ingredients for some of these recipes!

  4. Never thought of it for peeling potatoes, that's a great idea!

  5. The oxo one that I linked to is the same one that I have and it's great. It's super heavy duty and has help up for the couple years I've had it showing no signs of wear or tear.

  6. I love that strainer! Such a cute color!!

  7. Love the strainer! I have a garlic press too from Pampered Chef that I use regularly, I put garlic in everything, it's so tasty and so good for you!

  8. Thanks, I picked mine up at HomeGoods, they always have such cute finds!

  9. It's so good, and makes everything more flavorful!