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Wellness Wednesday

3 Must-Haves for Your Kitchen

Heart-shaped cutting board with zucchini spiralizer


Over the past few years, I’ve learned to love cooking even though I’ve had just as many cooking “fails” as I’ve had successes. Last week, I attempted a new baked fish recipe that I’m pretty sure our two dogs wouldn’t even touch … and they eat twigs and leaves. But, for every kitchen flop, there’s an opportunity to learn, tweak and try again. And I’ve learned that a few kitchen staples can make even a cooking novice feel like a pro. I’ve been sucked into clever marketing in the past when it comes to cooking gadgets; who among us doesn’t have a Panini maker or indoor grill collecting dust in the back of our cupboards? But there are three tools that I keep coming back to time and time again.

Cast iron pan – I used to be intimidated by this kind of pan. After all, they’re clunky, they look slightly medieval and they seem hard to clean. But after I bought one on sale and realized how many delicious recipes I could make, I was hooked. I was actually inspired to try a cast iron pan after TOPS News magazine ran a pan roasting feature in the February/March 2018 issue. Since then, I’ve made pan-roasted salmon, steak and a mouth-watering chicken parmesan. And I always feel a little chef-like whenever I take the pan from the top of the oven and place it inside to bake.

Vegetable spiralizer – I originally thought this was a gimmicky gadget, and now I’m “spiralizing” just about any veggie I can. I’ve made zoodles (zucchini noodles), cucumber noodles and sweet potato noodles, just to name a few. Veggie noodles turned out to be the perfect companion to the previously-mentioned chicken parm. Food marketers have caught on to the zoodle craze and have begun offering pre-packaged vegetable noodles, but they tend to be pricey and spoil quickly. A small, handheld spiralizer generally runs about $10 and is worth the investment.

Crockpot – Nothing new or fancy here: just a kitchen classic that can have a healthy dinner waiting for you at home. With a little prep, you can have dinner ready for you and your family without that after-work I-don’t-feel-like-cooking feeling.

Now that you know about the kitchen tools I can’t live without, I want to hear about yours! Share them in the comment section below. Here’s to adventures in the kitchen!

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