Since cooking delicious plant-based meals at our amazing women’s retreat at Ootsa Lake a few weeks ago, I have had tons of questions about my favourite kitchen gadgets and cookbooks. We all need a few hacks to make getting into the kitchen a little easier (and a little more fun!). With two busy little girls, it is definitely tough for me to make cooking from scratch a priority. And while we occasionally splurge on this, I try to cook delicious homemade food regularly because I just feel better when I do. So, here are my favourite gadgets and cookbooks that keep me inspired. Hope they inspire you too!
- Instant Pot: This is an easy 1st pick. I read all about these and for months, I wondered whether it would actually change my life. I finally bought it ins 2016 and it was amazing. I couldn’t believe I waited so long to make a $100 decision. My favourite thing to use it for: cooking dry beans and making soup…and making rice… and making meatballs in marinara sauce! Yikes, there are so many things it can do! I don’t have time to stand in front of the stove for hours these days, making sure my pot of beans doesn’t boil over. The Instant Pot just handles it. In about 25 minutes! AMAZING! It also has a super handy saute function so you can saute your onions, carrots, and celery, then just add the rest of your soup ingredients! Actually so amazing.
- Little Vitamix: I debated buying this pricey piece of machinery for a long time. I finally did a few years ago and it is a staple in my kitchen. I bought the smaller, “personal” version because I loved the size of my old “magic bullet” (cringe!), especially for making salad dressings, and didn’t want a lot of counter clutter. I wondered if I would be disappointed that I didn’t buy the big one. I’m not. I love that this is compact, fits on my counter, and that the bottom unscrews like a normal blender. I make EVERYTHING in this: smoothies where the greens are actually well-blended and don’t stick in your teeth, almond milk, cashew cream, hummus, soups, etc.
- You need these baking cups to make your own peanut butter cups. Enough said.
- The Joy of Cooking: This is a timeless cookbook, and while it is definitely not a health cookbook, it is a delicious cookbook full of easily swappable ingredients. For example, there is a whole host of amazing, simple salad dressings, all with 10 ingredients or less (PS: it is definitely time to stop buying salad dressings in a bottle. They don’t actually taste that good!).
- Dinner: Changing the Game: Again, not a health food book, but full of super delicious recipes that you can easily make healthier by using good fats (avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee) in place of traditional vegetable oils. Melissa Clark knows good food. I have never made anything I didn’t like from this book.
- Green Kitchen Smoothies: Healthy and Colorful Smoothies for Every Day. I seriously make the WORST smoothies in the world, unless I have a recipe. This book is a lifesaver for me, featuring smoothies (with simple ingredients) that easily double as breakfast and dessert (especially for a picky toddler!).
- At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well: This book features less well-known ingredients, prepared in a super healthy way. Amy does an amazing job walking you through which grains are great for what, how to properly prepare them, and how to make them taste great. My favourite muffin recipe in the world is in this book! She also includes an incredible assortment of dips, sauces, and soups, and those make this book a winner.
- Wanna cook delicious food without a recipe? You need the right elements of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. This book was a game changer for me.
- Oh She Glows Every Day: I am not vegan, but this cookbook definitely helps me incorporate more plants into my meals, which keeps my digestion moving along at a reasonable pace. Angela hooked me into making my own hummus and finally trying cashew cream, which is actually so creamy and wonderful.
- Sweets In The Raw: Naturally Healthy Desserts: When it comes to the best tasting, good for you treats that won’t send your blood sugar out of control, this is the only book you need to own. I have owned this book for 2 years and still pull it out weekly to whip up healthy (mostly chocolate) treats.
I could go on and on with this post…I just love this stuff. But I will stop now. The main goal: get inspired to cook in your kitchen! Hope you found something inspiring here!