The kitchen is my happy place. Even if it’s not your favorite place, I can promise you that these kitchen tools will make your time in the kitchen much more enjoyable!

  1. OXO Salad Spinner
    If I could sing you a song about how much I love my OXO Salad Spinner, I would. If healthy choices aren’t readily available to me, I don’t make the best decisions to fuel my body. I love having prepped salad fixings on hand at all times for lunch & dinner. I chop up my lettuce, wash it in the inner strainer basket (it’s like a colander), then spin the heck out of my greens. I also use the salad spinner as a storage container – my greens stay fresher longer in there.
  2. Crockpot
    In the Fall & Winter, I use the Crockpot to make a large batch of stew, chili or soup once a week so we have healthy meals throughout the week. When the weather is warmer I slow cook teriyaki chicken, fruit and soups. I know some people are opposed to leftovers, but I think of them as planned-overs. For example, I start with making a batch of sloppy joes, the next day I add beans & corn – we have southwestern chili.
  3. Ceramic Coated Cast Iron Dutch Oven
    I use my cast iron Dutch oven at least twice a week, usually more. I picked mine up at Sam’s Club on a whim – but they’re available online. It’s the best stockpot. It holds the heat & I never have to worry about the contents sticking. About twice a month we’ll buy a roasted chicken from Whole Foods & after Kimo has removed all the meat from the bones, I’ll make chicken broth with the bones & veggie scraps I’ve collected. This pot is so versatile: I’ve made a delicious barley mushroom risotto, stir-fry, soups, stews, bread and more. I can’t live without it.
  4. OXO GreenSaver
    I bought these the minute I discovered them on Amazon. I had such success with the salad spinner, I guessed I couldn’t go wrong. I was right. The biggest different between the salad spinner & the GreenSaver (aside from the obvious) is the activated carbon filter that traps and absorbs ethylene gas and the ability to control how much humidity can enter the container. Normally when I buy zucchini, I have to use them within 4 days or they start to get slimey. I’m going on week 2 and my zucchinis are as fresh as when I brought them home. Mushrooms do well in the GreenSaver, too! 
  5. Cast Iron Frying Pan
    I use my cast iron frying pan for EVERYTHING. Grilled cheese? Check! Cauliflower rice? Check! Refried beans? Check! Cornbread? Check! I love Le Creuset & Staub as much as the next girl, but you don’t need to spend $200+ for a good pan. I have a Martha Stewart one that I love & a Lodge. They’re wonderful hard-working pans.

What’s on your list of kitchen essentials?

XO, Lauren