4 Essential Pieces of Kitchen Equipment

Hey there! To be honest, today I was going to post an omelette recipe, but it turns out we have no eggs. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to post about some kitchen equipment that I use really often and that I think are SUPER important.

You don’t need a ton of fancy equipment to be a good cook, but there are a few things you can buy that make a great investment. These kitchen tools are all really versatile and take care of both very simple and more complex tasks that you might have to do. I use at least one of these things every day, and more often than not I’ll use two or three. Most of them are a big part of the recipes I make.

When buying these items, it’s also important to make sure that they’re good quality. I’ve bought some dollar store can openers and garlic mincers in my time, and you can definitely tell the difference in how they preform compared to higher quality ones. While it might be a bit more expensive to get better tools, it’s DEFINITELY worth it in the long run.

So yeah! Hopefully this list is helpful to you as you build your artillery of kitchen tools:) The omelette can wait, let’s get into the post!

A Good Set of Knives

This might seem like a given, but having a good set of both plain-edged and serrated knives is ESSENTIAL in making pretty much everything! Having good quality knives, and keeping them sharp, makes everything easier. Bigger knives are great for cutting things like squash, sweet potatoes, and meats; serrated knives work well for tomatoes and bread; and the smaller knives in between cut everything else. I would say that these are your MOST important pieces of kitchen equipment.

Garlic Mincer

I love garlic, so having a good quality garlic mincer is important to me! This little gadget also saves a lot of time, because you don’t have to mince the garlic by hand. I’ve bought some cheap ones before and they didn’t work well at all, so be sure to buy a metal one!

Veggie Peeler

Veggie peelers might me the most underrated piece of equipment in your kitchen. They not only peel veggies, but they can make beautiful veggie ribbons like in my Thai Ribbon Salad. I peel sweet potato so often that this one is a necessity for me!

Blender/Food Processor

This is definitely one piece of equipment that you don’t want to cheap out on! Cheaper blenders or food processors just can’t do the things that good quality ones can. For blending tough or hard foods, you need an awesome machine! I have a Vitamix, and I use it for everything from smoothie bowls to soups and sauces to nut butters. It’s so versatile and useful in the kitchen!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you Wednesday!

Yours Truly,

Olivia

Thai Ribbon Salad

Hey there! Today I have a quick and easy recipe for you guys that you can just throw together and top with whichever protein you’d like! This Thai Ribbon Salad looks super fancy, but all you need is a veggie peeler and some veggies and you can whip it up in a snap!

In this salad I used zucchini, which is one of my favourite summer vegetables, along with cucumber, carrots, and bell peppers. Top it all of with some spinach, crispy quinoa, sunflower seeds and a protein of your choice (salmon goes amazing in this salad), and you’ve got a perfect summer salad!

Did I not mention the dressing yet? Because it’s AWESOME. I used the peanut dressing from my Asian Kale and Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing. I had to put the dressing in the name because THAT’S HOW GOOD IT IS. I’ll link to the recipe in the ingredients down below. In the meantime, lets get to the salad!

Thai Ribbon Salad

Serves: 2

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp quinoa (optional)
  • 1 batch of Peanut Dressing
  • Protein of your choice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using a veggie peeler or mandolin, slice the zucchini, cucumber, and carrots into thin strips. Start by dragging the peeler down the outside of one side of the veggies so that you don’t get a piece of all skin in your salad. Then continue to drag the peeler down lengthwise to create thin pieces. Once you’ve reached the middle of the vegetable, you can turn it around and repeat on the other side. It might be hard to get all the way through the middle of the veggies, so you can save that part for a lil snack later;)
  2. Toss the veg with the peppers, spinach, sunflower seeds, quinoa, and dressing. Top with a protein of your choice (or leave as is) and enjoy!

Hope you like this simple summer salad!

Yours Truly,

Olivia

Marinated Mushrooms with Tomatoes

Mushrooms are the best man! They’re so meaty and full of deliciousness. Which also means that they stand up great to AWESOME MARINADES like this one! Honestly, I feel like marinating a mushroom is the only way to eat it after eating these mushrooms. Say that ten times fast. Seriously though, this marinade is full of herbs and garlic and all of the good stuff that you want in your mouth.

After a good hour or so of marinating, everything goes into the pan with some tomatoes to get cooked down and delicious. At this point you can try to resist the urge to eat them all right there and eat them in a wrap, on some avocado toast, or as a little side salad. All of these options are amazing! If you’re not a mushroom fan, I definitely think that this recipe will convert you. Give it a try!

Marinated Mushrooms with Tomatoes

Serves: 2

Total Time: 90 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk of green onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the parsley, garlic, green onion, vinegar, oil and salt and pepper. Dump the marinade into a ziploc bag with the mushrooms, seal it, and give it a good toss to make sure the mushrooms are coated. Place the bag and the fridge and leave to marinate for about an hour.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat, and add in the marinated mushrooms and the diced tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms and tomatoes are soft and most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
  3. Serve as a side, in a wrap, or on some avo toast!

Enjoy these amazing mushrooms!

Yours Truly,

MyDayIsBooked;))

Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Seed Cookies

So, we have a lot of pumpkin seeds. Like A LOT. We got the 1.2 kilogram bag from Costco. I wanted to make some pumpkin seed butter out of them, because I don’t really like to eat them by themselves. But halfway through the blending process, my vitamix quit on me! This happens sometimes because it’s pretty old, and seeds are a pretty intense thing to blend. So I was like, now what? What can you make out of half-blended pumpkin seeds? It turns out that you can make something pretty fricking amazing.

I added some maple syrup to the seeds, pressed em into cookies, and TRIPLE DIPPED them in chocolate. That’s right. TRIPLE. DIPPED. These cookies are legit amazing. They’re so rich and nutty and sweet and just awesome! You only need four ingredients to whip them up, and if you have a really old blender no prob! It only needs to work for about two minutes.

My go-to chocolate dipping sauce is maple syrup, cocoa powder, and coconut oil. Super simple and so good. All you have to do is melt the ingredients together and you’re good. This sauce could also be used for pretty much anything else, like oatmeal, strawberries, other fruits, nice cream; the list goes on and on. On these cookies, it lends another hit of richness that is definitely welcome. If you’re not feeling the chocolate though, you can always omit and just eat the cookies by themselves. HA! That was a joke! DEFINITELY include the chocolate. I don’t know why you clicked on this post if you don’t like chocolate.

That’s my spiel for the day! I really hope you give these cookies a try because they will change your life. For the better.

Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Seed Cookies

Serves: Makes 10-12 cookies

Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups shelled and roasted pumpkin seeds (I used salted)
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • I’m not kidding that’s it

Directions:

  1. In a STRONG blender or food processor, blend the seeds until they start releasing oil but aren’t too loose. You want the mixture to be something you could form a ball with.
  2. Transfer the blended seeds into a bowl and stir in 2 tbsp of the maple syrup.
  3. Scoop the pumpkin seed mixture by heaping tablespoons and form into balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or pan, and press down to make cookies about a centimetre thick.
  4. Place the cookies in the freezer for at least half an hour. You want them to be pretty frozen so that they’re easy to dip.
  5. Make the chocolate sauce right after you pop the cookies in the freezer. Melt together the cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup in a small pot over low heat. Remove from the burner and let stand until the cookies are ready.
  6. After thirty minutes has passed, take out the cookies and dip them one by one halfway into the chocolate mixture, placing them back on the baking sheet. By the time you’ve reached the last cookie, the chocolate on the first cookies should be hardened because of the cold. Dip all of the cookies halfway again, and then once more to ensure optimal coverage.
  7. Place the cookies back in the freezer for another 10 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy these little bites of deliciousness!

Yours Truly,

Olivia

Stove Top Baked Beans

Hey guys! The weather is finally getting nicer and nicer, and I’m really starting to miss those summer barbecues! While we’re all stuck at home, you can still have a taste of summer time. These Stove-Top Baked Beans bring together caramelized onions, garlic, vinegar, and spices to make the perfect side dish.

I feel like all of my recipes are super versatile right now, because it can be hard to get super specific ingredients. You can use pretty much whatever canned beans you’d like in this recipe. I used black beans and red kidney beans to keep it interesting. Beans are so good man! They’re definitely underrated but are a great source of protein. In this dish, they’re great as a side with another protein, or just with some pita or bread. The recipe below makes a pretty big batch, which you can always halve if you don’t want to make too much. Or double it and freeze some for later- I haven’t tried that yet but I’m sure it would be great for when you’re in a pinch and are craving some beans. And lets be honest, that was me all the time before quarantine started. Now I’m still carving beans but I have more than enough time to make em.

I also caramelized the onions more than usual in these beans, to give them extra flavour. You want them nice and soft and brown. Maple syrup gives this recipe some sweetness, and red wine vinegar cuts through the sugar. The result are some seriously good beans! And since I made them on the stove they take less time to make as well. How can you go wrong? Here’s the recipe.

Stove Top Baked Beans

Serves: 8 as a side (I have a lot of bean eating to do)

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium sized yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp shawarma spice (or use smoked paprika)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I used black and red kidney)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the shawarma spice or paprika and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and caramelized. Add water or more oil if the pot starts drying out.
  2. Put the beans, tomatoes, vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, and cayenne pepper in the pot and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat to low.
  3. Cover the beans and let them cook for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the heat, season liberally with salt and pepper, and enjoy;)

Hope these beans transport you to an awesome summer BBQ!

Yours Truly,

Olivia;))))