If a goal of yours is to eat healthier, eating at home is the way to do it.  Most restaurant food is of unknown origin (to you, anyway) and probably has many unsavory, not to mention unhealthy qualities (GMOs, MSG, hydrogenated oils, added and unnecessary sugars, etc.).

Cooking healthy food at home is really the only way to ensure you’re getting the best quality food.

Some myths about cooking at home are that it has to be

  • expensive
  • time-consuming
  • difficult
  • taste bad

Quite the contrary!  Once you learn some go-to recipes and have the right tools for the job, you’ll be doing fine in no time.

I’m going to assume you already have a kitchen equipped with a stovetop, oven, and a refrigerator.  If not, those should be a priority!  Or at least a nice campfire cooking kit and cooler.

First, you need a set of nice knives.  This is a must.  I’ve bought cheap knives in the past, and similar to buying cheap shoes, you may as well save up your money to get the good ones.  You know what they say, “Buy cheap – buy twice (or 3 or 4 times…).”  

Cheap knives dull fast, and trying to cut a tomato with a dull knife is not only frustrating but dangerous as well.  I use Cutco knives because they are a great quality, plus they have a lifetime guarantee.  They’ll even sharpen your knives for life for free!  Yes, they’re a little pricey, but just like a nice pair of shoes, well worth the extra effort.

Next, you need a couple of nice pots and pans.  I like the idea of using natural metals like stainless steel and cast iron pans.  The only types that I would avidly avoid are Teflon-coated pans and aluminum pans.  You don’t want to eat flecks of man-made chemicals every time you cook.

You’ll want a nice large skillet; a large covered pot and a small covered pot.  Pans that can transfer from the stovetop to the oven, like this cast iron one, are a nice convenience.   

The third most essential thing you need for eating healthy at home is a large cutting board.  I have a couple of wooden ones and oil them once a month so they stay smooth and don’t mold.

Other convenient kitchen gadgets that make cooking at home more fun may include:

  • Wooden spoons for stirring sauces and soups
  • Vegetable peeler, or even better, a food processor for shredding things
  • Turning spatula
  • Slow cooker
  • Glass food storage containers 
  • Mixing bowls of varying sizes
  • Blender for pureeing soups and making smoothies (and the occasional frozen marg.)

That’s about all I use on a regular basis.  What do you think?   Am I missing anything?  What kitchen gadgets do you consider your “essentials?”