Bringing minimalism into our kitchen space has made healthy eating so much easier.
Instant Pot : For several weeks, I questioned whether or not this appliance deserved a space in our kitchen. Mostly because it's huge and we only use it to cook a few dishes. But those few dishes make it worth keeping. My favorite meal in the world right now is Chana Saag. We also use it took cook beans from scratch. It's incredibly easy. For black beans, we just soak a pound overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain, then add to the Instant Pot. Cover the beans fully with water and add an onion (quartered), 5 garlic cloves (cut in half or pressed), a bay leaf and a big piece of kombu. Cook on high pressure for 17 minutes and then allow for a natural pressure release. Easy! And the best part is that I don't have to monitor the beans. I know they'll be perfect every time.
Toaster Oven : For health reasons, we do not own a microwave. "Foods which haven’t been processed or cooked and are naturally occurring contain life energy which is transmitted from the sun. Microwaving food, in effect, potentially destroys and depletes the life energy, rendering the food completely dead and lifeless. In addition, the food’s nutritional value is lost and it becomes nearly useless in terms of providing any real health benefit." I resonate strongly with the concept of food having life energy (like everything else) and if I'm going to eat something, I want it to be full of that energy. There are far too many concerning studies out there and no definitive research saying that microwaves are safe. So, a toaster oven it is! And it works just as well, if not better, because nothing turns out soggy.
Waffle Maker : We make vegan, gluten-free waffles several times a week. It started as a Sunday tradition, but we quickly realized just how much we love waffles. There is one huge negative for us, though, and it is that waffle makers are "non-stick". (Not healthy!)
- Pyrex Glass Storage Containers (No plastic in our kitchen!)
- A lemon squeezer. I put lemon on nearly everything!
- This $40 garlic press that will make you never want to use another garlic press again. It was all I wanted for Christmas last year.
- Vegetable peeler
- Can opener
- Silverware: We only keep 4 of each. 4 spoons, 4 big forks, 4 little forks. There are only two adults and a toddler eating food in our family right now, so we hand wash everything. Washing silverware is quick and easy, so there's no reason to clutter our drawers. We have extras put aside in case we ever have guests.
- Plates and Bowls: Same as above. 4 of each. The rest stay packed away. We might bring them out if we have guests or when the kids start eating more food.
- Un-paper Towels: We don't use paper towels. They're expensive, usually bleached and just so incredibly wasteful. Instead, we bought 20 of these IKEA towels (at only a buck each!) and we wash them every few days.
- We use homemade dish soap, made with Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. All it is about a 1:4 ratio of Sal Suds to distilled water. You can add a tablespoon of vinegar or some essential oils if you'd like, but we just keep it simple.