Cooking is one of my favorite things (when I have time) and when I started seriously cooking I realized I didn’t have the right combination of tools to save my time and sanity. People are often asking for my recommendations on foodie items I use, love and can’t live without.
Whether you are looking at enhancing your own cooking skills, resolving for a healthier 2019, trying out the Whole 30, or looking for a unique holiday gift, I’ve got you covered. Click on any of the links or pictures included in the article and you can shop right from home, in your PJS- WIN WIN!
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A Few of My Favorite Things
Instant Pot– I know, I know it looks intimidating and bulky and you are thinking “Am I really going to use this?” The answer is YES! The Instant Pot is my secret weapon in the kitchen. I use it at least 2-3 times per week. If you are guilty of forgetting to defrost your chicken, hate doing lots of dishes, need EASY dinner ideas and love one pan meals then the IP is your solution! The Instant Pot is easy to get the hang of and I love that your entire meal cooks in one place. For recipe ideas check out my Pinterest Instant Pot Board for some of my favorites.
Meal Prep Containers-This one seems weird? Meal prep is a huge mom hack for me. I don’t have time to sit down for lunch let alone make a healthy lunch during the week. I do most of my meal prep in less than an hour on Sundays and have lunch set for my daughter and I throughout the week. I especially love these containers because they have three separate compartments so your food doesn’t soak together. These also make GREAT Tupperware.
Spiralizer– Thinking of going low carb or trying the Whole 30? I love making spiralized vegetables in place of the pasta for a carb light meal. The spiralizer allows you to use almost any veggies and even some fruits, to transform them into differently shaped noodles. The possibilities are endless: sweet potato fries, spiralized vegetables for soups, butternut squash noodles, veggies for stir fry.
Magic Bullet Blender– The Magic Bullet packs a ton of power and I often will bring this with while traveling. It’s great for making smoothies, salad dressings, and in place of pulling out a bulky food processor. Furthermore its perfect for pureeing your own baby food to save money.
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Small Kitchen Appliances
Citrus Reamer– If you don’t have a citrus reamer, add one of these your list and thank me later. More and more recipes I use call for fresh lemon or lime and this little gadget is great for pulling out every last drop. Also great for cocktails!
Cheese Grater– One of the things I started doing in 2018 to save money was buy a large block of cheese and grate it myself. Many times its “healthier” as the blocks of cheese don’t contain additives. A good cheese grater makes things much easier. I love this one from OXO because of the small catcher at the bottom so you can easily measure how much cheese you are using.
Grape Slicer– Is this a gift for you or your kid? Not sure, but I call it a win/win! If your kiddos love grapes, you will love this handy little gadget. The grape slicer allows you to pop a grape in and it magically cuts it into small slices, to help prevent choking.
Peeler– If you don’t have a good peeler you are doing it wrong! I thought all peelers were the same until I bought this OXO peeler and its made things much easier and faster. I love this so much I own TWO.
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Skinnytaste– At this point I am HOOKED on the Skinnytaste Brand. I have EVERY single cookbook of hers. They are packed with flavor, easy to follow and HEALTHY! Her latest cookbook is all about using the Instant Pot, Slow Cooker and Air Fryer.
Affordable Paleo Cooking- This year I experimented heavily with the Whole 30 and Paleo cooking after I was diagnosed with a few food allergies. This cookbook offers easy to follow recipes with simple and sophisticated flavor for CHEAP!
Thug Kitchen– Last year I followed a vegan lifestyle for several months and this cookbook had AMAZING options. It’s HILARIOUS and also has really tasty meatless options the whole family will love. If you are considering dabbling in the vegan world or just want to partake in meatless Mondays, make sure to add this cookbook to your list.
IP Weight Loss– I have been following this mama for a long time over on Instagram and she lost over 100 lbs using her Instant Pot and cooking healthier meals. Its a great, easy to follow cookbook and one I would recommend to anyone who is just getting started using their Instant Pot.
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Mango Strips– You’re probably thinking, ummm what? These mango strips ARE my FAVORITE foodie find in 2018. Only one ingredient… Mangos! These have become my daughter’s and I’s favorite snack. I have been able to find them at Meijer and specialty stores but they sell cheapest on Amazon.
Cauliflower Crackers– When I started eating gluten free, it’s was hard to find snacks but these crackers are FULL of flavor. Easy to understand ingredients and great for when you need a little crunch. I find buying them in bulk on Amazon much cheaper than purchasing them in the store individually.
Nutpods– If you know me, you know I love coffee. This is MY GOTO creamer. I actually bring cartons along with me everywhere I go. They are dairy free AND sugar free. The French Vanilla Nutpods gives your coffee the perfect amount of sweetness and creaminess. These are Whole 30 and Paleo compliant.
Larabars– Easy to understand ingredients and delicious flavor, I eat Larabars in place of breakfast or for an afternoon snack. My daughter LOVES her “strawberry bars” and I love that they are healthy for her. They are Paleo and Whole 30 complaint. I have these added to my Amazon subscribe and save.
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2019 Kitchen Wish List
Sous vide machine: I have heard so many good things about the sous vide machine and hope to try some delicious new recipes in 2019. If you have a favorite let me know.
Saffron: It’s delicious and I have several recipes that call for it! How has this not made it in my spice cabinet?
More cookbooks: Because you can never have enough! Do you have a favorite?
Oil Infuser: I can’t wait to infuse my favorite oils with fresh garlic and herbs. Garlic infused oil is an easy way to enhance any dish.
Cast Iron Skillet(s): I’ve been reading so much about the negative affects of teflon surfaces lately and want to switch out all my pots and pans and will start with some cast iron skillets
Santoku Knife: These are my favorite kind of knives but need to add some more to my arsenal. If you haven’t tried a Santoku knife before make sure to add them to your holiday list- it makes chopping, slicing and dicing so much easier.
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What items save your time and sanity in the kitchen? Is there a favorite you can’t live without?