Kitchen Tools You Need to Start Cooking
I know that frequent fast-food visits and restaurant meals aren't exactly great for my weight-loss goals, but I'm a total spaz in the kitchen. What are some basic kitchen tools and techniques that'll make it easy for me to cook healthy meals at home?
Good for you... Way to get in front of it! Whipping up your own meals is a great way to save calories and cash. But without the right tools and know-how, you'll never actually do it. So before you get started, here are nine kitchen essentials you need, plus tons of recipe ideas!
Microwave-Safe MugsMugs aren't just for coffee anymore! If you're looking to make portion-controlled eats in minutes, microwave-safe mugs are fantastic. From breakfast (egg mugs for the win) to dessert (how good does a personal PB cake sound?), there's so much you can make in a mug! These are ideal for anyone strapped for time. Seriously: The egg mugs are life-changing...
Veggie SpiralizerPretty much everyone loves pasta, but a single cup has around 200 carby calories. With a veggie spiralizer, you can turn vegetables like zucchini into low-calorie noodles! Perfect for z'paghetti (get it?), veggie-noodle soup, and more. Don't be intimidated; spiralizers are super easy to use! I like the kinds by Veggetti, this one by OXO, and the Inspiralizer. Order online, or pick one up at a place like Bed Bath & Beyond. Then start churning out HG recipes like these!
Slow CookerSlow cookers are the best! The phrase "set it and forget it" will become part of your everyday vocabulary once you get your hands on one. You can literally just dump a bunch of healthy ingredients into it, and hours later you've got a flavorful meal. Try it with any combo of lean protein, veggies, and light sauce. Chicken breast, bell pepper slices, and marinara? Heck, yes! Here are over 100 HG recipes you can make in a slow cooker.
Mason JarsThese grab-n-go glass jars are a healthy eating must-have! I love making salads in mason jars because they're totally portable and can be made well in advance. Adding the dressing first prevents soggy lettuce! You can also use mason jars for make-ahead breakfasts, like overnight oats and yogurt parfaits. Get a bunch of 'em in a variety of sizes.
Measuring Spoons & CupsThese measuring tools are pretty much mandatory, both for recipes and everyday cooking. Aside from measuring out ingredients, use them to keep your serving sizes in check. You could eat A LOT of peanut butter if you just go sticking any ol' spoon into the jar. But if you use a tablespoon to dole it out, you'll know what you're in for.
Basic SkilletFrom morning egg scrambles to evening stir-frys, a standard skillet is a serious multitasker! It's also perfect for pancakes and French toast. This BBQ Stir-Fry is one of my favorite skillet meals ever. And like best buds, you can't separate the skillet from nonstick spray. The spray will keep you from adding hundreds of calories' worth of oil. I love the non-aerosol line by Pompeian.
Muffin PanSure, muffin pans are great for sweet baked goodies, but the fun doesn't stop there. Use a muffin pan to make perfectly portioned savory stuff like my meatloaf cupcakes and tiny taco salads! Muffin pans are also excellent for mini egg bakes... Such a smart make-ahead breakfast or mid-day snack! Just like your skillet, you'll want to pair this with nonstick spray.
Aluminum FoilImagine a meal that cooks quickly and requires hardly any cleanup. You just envisioned a Hungry Girl foil pack! Throw some veggies and a lean protein on top of a piece of heavy-duty foil (spritzed with nonstick spray), and drizzle with sauce. Top with another foil piece, tightly seal, and bake on a baking sheet. Dinner is on its way! Check out all the things you can make in a foil pack...
Chew on this:
It's January 4th, a.k.a. National Spaghetti Day. Grab that spiralizer, and whip up some Z'paghetti Primavera!
Help your pals fill their kitchen with healthy-eating essentials... Click "Send to a Friend" now!
Send it in! She answers new Qs each week (but cannot respond to emails personally).
We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.
*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.
SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.