5 Tools in My "Supermarket Healthy" Kitchen

While healthy home cooking doesn’t require special equipment, Melissa shares five of the most-used tools in her kitchen – all of which help her create easy, tasty and healthy meals.
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Melissa d'Arabian's Green Morning Smoothie

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

I’m thrilled that my new cookbook, Supermarket Healthy, was released this week! In it, I share recipes and strategies for healthy, accessible and affordable cooking. One of my favorite parts of the book is where I share ideas for stocking your pantry, because sometimes half the battle is having the right stuff on hand to make 5 p.m. on a Tuesday night a little less daunting. So, in that spirit, I thought I would share what my favorite kitchen tools are.

I’ll begin by saying that cooking healthy is actually quite easy! While you don’t need special equipment, these five kitchen tools are among the most-used in my Supermarket Healthy kitchen.

1.      Microplane: I use my Microplane daily — to zest citrus for adding to savory and sweet items, as well as getting small quantities of high-flavor ingredients like strong cheeses and garlic.

2.      High-Powered Blender: I use my blender perhaps more than anything else in my kitchen, so it gets prime real estate right in the center of my counter! I make smoothies and quick soups all the time, and I like having a blender that can liquefy just about anything, since I love to add oats, flax and even dried beans to my smoothies. Looking for recipe ideas for using your blender? Try these smoothie and soup recipes:

Green Morning Smoothie (pictured above)

3.      Mason Jar: I love the rustic whimsical feel of a simple Mason jar! I buy them at the craft store when I have a good coupon and keep a few boxes of them handy in my garage. My nieces and nephews actually said to me at Christmas this year: “Auntie, Mason jars are just your thing.” And they are right — I use them to layer salads to go, or make all-in-one picnic meals, and I also use them to store grains I buy in bulk, and even as cups for entertaining! Try my Layered Picnic in a Jar. I even have a whole blueprint for making a Salad in a Jar in Supermarket Healthy.

4.      Slow Cooker: After a long day of work, coming home to the gorgeous aroma of food that’s been simmering all day is such a treat. I feel as though I have my own personal cook (and I do – me!). I love layering veggies and lean proteins into my slow cooker and then heading out the door while my dinner cooks – it couldn’t be easier. Plus, I use my slow cooker to cook up batches of veggies or dried beans overnight. For a simple recipe that can be used a number of ways, try my All-Purpose Pork Shoulder. Or check out my Slow Cooker Blueprint in Supermarket Healthy. And don’t forget, slow cooking isn’t just for winter. In this series of FN Dish blog posts, I share how I use my slow cooker even in warmer months.

5.      Sheet Tray:  My sheet tray is a handy partner in healthy eating, especially when it comes to roasting vegetables. I own two small and two larger sheet pans (called “quarter sheets” and “half sheets” if you are looking for them at the kitchen supply shop). I cover my sheet trays in foil or parchment paper and then load them up with whatever veggies I have on hand (and toss or spray them with a bit of olive oil). Not only are roasted vegetables an easy side dish for busy nights, but having roasted veggies at the ready in my fridge makes healthy eating easy all week.

Calling all Melissa fans! Click here to order your copy of her new cookbook, Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot.

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