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Tools of the Trade

You don’t need tons of utensils and master-chef kitchen appliances that usually end up as cupboard fillers to create wholesome and delicious meals quickly and simply.

A cute spoon rest or a matching set of magnetic measuring spoons might be a look-at-me fashion statement but the key to a functional kitchen is to use basic utensils and equipment regularly and effectively, cutting down on time spent in preparation and minimising the dreaded sky-high washing up pile.

Using the right tools will dramatically improve your kitchen skills, make the cooking experience a more pleasurable one, will cut down on injuries and “Has anyone seen my peeler, I can’t find anything in this drawer” moments.

The safest cookware to use is cast iron, earthenware, glass, enamelware and glass ceramic.

Supercharged TIP When it comes to knives splurging on good ones is worth the extra money if you can afford it and they’ll last a good many years if you look after them and pair them with a good quality chopping board. Fundamentally as any well-seasoned home cook will agree, there are only two knives essential in the kitchen, a master chef’s knife and a paring knife.

Here’s a bunch of my kitchen must-haves as well as optional items I use on a regular basis. Once you get familiar with the recipes and start creating your own, you may want to invest in some of the optional items.

  • Baking Trays- one medium and one large 
  • Blender- for shakes, milks, soups and refined sauces 
  • Casserole Dish-great for slow cooking and oven baking 
  • Dehydrator- optional, food can also be dehydrated in a low temperature oven 50 degrees celsius 
  • Food Processor-makes life so much easier from shredded salads to desserts 
  • Frying Pan-one heavy based frying pan and one omelette pan 
  • Colander- for draining vegetables and washing buckwheat and quinoa 
  • Chopping Board- good quality and sturdy 
  • Citrus Juicer- great for no fuss juice in an instant 
  • Garlic Press- crushing garlic releases allicin, an antibacterial and antifungal enzyme 
  • Grater-a microplane grater, originally designed as a woodworking tool, is easy to handle for creating shredded vegetables for patties or zesting citrus fruits 
  • Knives-one 8” chef’s knife and one 4” paring knife 
  • Mandolin- This is optional but great for slicing vegetables and paper thin daikon rolls 
  • Measuring Cup- glass with spout for pouring and transferring liquids Measuring 
  • Spoon-in a variety of sizes for quantifying ingredients 
  • Mortar and Pestle or Spice Grinder- perfect for grinding fresh spices, nuts and seeds 
  • Muffin Tin- 12 cup or deep 6 cup for baking or savoury baked eggs and mini frittatas 
  • Pepper Grinder- ground pepper is radiated and a potential irritant use whole peppercorns instead and grind for freshly cracked pepper 
  • Roasting Pan-with rack for slow cooking 
  • Cake Pan- one round 9” for baking and one square 9” x 13” and one loaf tin 
  • Saucepans-one small, medium and large with lids 
  • Sieve-a fine mesh strainer is great for nut milks and sauces 
  • Slotted Spoon- essential for poaching or serving 
  • Slow Cooker- I bought mine from a cook’s warehouse for $30 and use it weekly 
  • Slice- stainless steel works better than plastic Soup Ladle- this will come in really handy for scooping out casseroles and soups Spatula- heat resistant rubber for folding and scraping out excess ingredients 
  • Steamer-a good way to preserve vitamins and minerals in food 
  • Tongs-make life in the kitchen easier and much less hazardous 
  • Vegetable Peeler-a swivel headed one is best and less wastage too 
  • Vegetable Spiraliser- a handy tool to use for angel hair vegetable pasta and ribbon salads 
  • Whisk-essential for fluffy omlettes, mock cream, meringues and sauces 
  • Wooden Spoon- I like the paddle spoon with a flat edge for covering more territory

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Comments (6)

  • ann-maree davies

    |

    Hi Lee I need your honest opinion I could buy a food processor and a cake mixer ( I do have a blender) or a thermomix instead?
    Thoughts?

    Reply

    • lee

      |

      I am really happy with my thermomix and use it daily for so many things. It does depend on your budget though. I waited two year to get mine and they had an interest free 12 month offer which i jumped on.

      Reply

  • Melanie

    |

    Hi Lee,
    Im thinking about purchasing a dehydrator, but am concerned about the space they require. Also do you have a preference for brands to look out for?
    Thankyou!

    Reply

    • lee

      |

      Hi Melanie, I have the excalibur one which is great and medium sized but if you are looking for something small one of the smaller round ones work well, it depends how often you are going to use it. They are quite cheap to start with then you can always trade up to a excalibur. That’s what I did.

      Reply

  • Kat

    |

    Hi Lee, I’m just tossing up between getting a thermomix or a super blender like the Vitamix – can you offer any guidance? They are both very pricey and I use my current blender daily but it’s not so good for grinding things like cashews for raw cheesecakes etc.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • lee

      |

      They are both good if you are going to cook and warm food and make soups etc the thermo is good. I use mine daily so it is really useful.

      Reply

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