Best Kitchen Tools Under $10

12 Dec

 

With the holidays approaching, here are our top ten favorite kitchen tools under $10. Buy for yourself or for that special cook in your life. All of these items can be found online or in any kitchen store.

1. Magnetic measuring spoons
What differentiates these measuring spoons is that they are magnetic, so they are easier to keep together and not lose. The second thing is that each spoon has two measuring ends (a round and an oval); if you cook a lot you will appreciate this. For example, if you had just measured 1 teaspoon of fresh garlic on one end, you could still measure 1 teaspoon of dried green herbs on the other end without having to wash it in between. I love this!

2. Lemon squeezer
A lemon squeezer is a dream to work with, easily eliminating seeds and pulp from your juice. Just remember to place the cut citrus with the flat/cut side down so the juice comes out the bottom where the holes are (not the other way around, which seems more logical). They also make these citrus squeezers in green for limes, and larger ones in orange for oranges. However, if you just have the lemon squeezer, you can get away with using it for limes and oranges too (if citrus is too big, just quarter it).

3. Scraper
A very thin scraper, often called a “bench” or “pastry” scraper, makes for easy clean-up on your cutting board, whether you are picking up chopped onions to throw into soup, or scraping debris off into the sink or trash can. Some people find that using the side of their chef’s knife works fine for this type of thing, but the larger, even surface of this scraper, plus it’s a safer way to pick up chopped or minced food.  Some are made of hard plastic while others are metal.

4. Garlic peeler
This unpretentious little gizmo is pure magic. You simply place a clove or two of garlic (that still has that annoying papery skin on it) inside the plastic sleeve of the garlic peeler, and give it a good roll or two with the palm of your hand. This slight rolling pressure releases the papery skin from the garlic, and when you shake it out, the two will have been separated. (If it doesn’t separate on the first try, just give it another roll.)

5. Garlic press
Add the peeled garlic cloves to the chamber and press!  Garlic presses are easy to use and easy to clean – what’s not to like?  You might find some garlic peelers are sold in a set with a garlic press.  Bonus!

6. Rice Spatulas
Rice spatulas usually come with rice cookers. I love them! They are flat and wide with great handles. I not only use these with long grain white rice and other cooked rices, but also when I’m mixing big salads (like potato or veggie-grain salads), or folding together ingredients for baked goods.

7. “Y” peeler
I love my “Y” peeler! I love the feel of the Y peelers. I find that the design also makes it very easy to peel thick-skinned foods. Having a good peeler is right up there with having a can opener that is a breeze to use; these kitchen items may seem fairly standard but there is quite a difference in quality. Don’t settle for dull, old or clunky, even for your simple items.

8. Large silicone spatula
If you make veggie, turkey or salmon burgers on occasion using a non-stick skillet, a silicone spatula is just the ticket! It will not melt on the hot pan surface (like regular plastic can). This spatula in particular also has a wide head that is tapered at the end, making it easier to get under cooking pancakes without squishing them.

9. Silicone baking mat
Silicone mats are great for four reasons. They can withstand the high heat of the oven (won’t melt); nothing sticks to them (say if you are roasting vegetables); after baking, you can simply lift them out of the baking dish or off the cookie sheet and slide the food off; and last, they make for easy clean-up of pans. Culinary silicone is a food-grade, so is safe to use in the kitchen. They come in many sizes. Similarly, you can also use parchment paper, a silicone coated baking paper found near the aluminum foil in grocery stores.

10. Basket strainer
Tired of using a slotted spoon? You can use it to quickly lift veggies out of hot water when blanching. The bamboo handle is firmly attached to the basket and long enough so it’s safe to use with hot liquids. The wire basket has larger openings for easy draining.

Do you appreciate simple, inexpensive kitchen tools that make your life easier?

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What Are Your Favorite Salt-Free Seasonings?

10 Dec

Are you trying to cut down on your sodium consumption without compromising on flavor?  These salt-free blends are great for eggs, homemade dressings or sprinkled on your favorite grilled veggies and proteins.  We have 3 favorite blends that come to mind!

Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute is an all-purpose salt-free seasoning.  This blend is light on the wallet but big on the taste!  If there is a Trader Joe’s near you, it’ll be easy to keep one in your pantry and one at work.

Penzey’s Spices also offers many salt-free seasonings and blends.  2 of our Penzey’s favorites?  Mural of Flavor and 33rd & Galena.  Penzey’s offers a wide variety ranging from Adobo Seasoning, Chinese Five Spice, Garam Masala, Bangkok Blend and many more that will allow you to add loads of flavor without increasing your daily sodium intake.

Take advantage of their free shipping offers with minimum qualifying purchase or visit a store near you. Link to shop at Penzey’s Spices:  https://www.penzeys.com/shop/spices/

Image result for penzeys spices interior

 

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Brownies

8 Dec

National Brownie Day = National Yum Day!  This recipe for Brownies is as easy as it gets!

Image result for brownies

Brownies

Servings:
0.5 Protein
1 Supplement
1 Snack

Ingredients:
1 Chocolate Pudding Shake Supplement
1 Egg
1 Brownie Bar, melted with 4 oz. water

Preparation:
Blend all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

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Strawberry Valentine Mousse

30 Nov

National Mousse Day is here!  Try our silky smooth and creamy 🍓 Strawberry Valentine Mousse!

Image result for strawberry heart

Strawberry Valentine Mousse

Servings:
1 Protein
1 Supplement
Suitable for Fast Track patients

Ingredients:
1 serving Cottage Cheese
1 Strawberry Pudding Shake Supplement
2 oz. Water

Preparation:
Blend all ingredients in blender. Enjoy!

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Prevent Aches and Pains While You’re Plugged In

26 Nov

Image result for sitting at a desk

Prevent Aches and Pains While You’re Plugged In 🖥🖱⌨📱💻

The next time you’re using a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, pay close attention to what you do. Too much typing, tapping and swiping can lead to damaged joints, muscles or tendons. And, bending your head downward to see the screen is a common source of neck and shoulder discomfort.
A few simple changes can reduce the ailments that come with a constantly lifestyle.

Straighten Your Slump
To reduce stiff or sore tech neck when sitting down, follow these tips:

1. Situate your computer or tablet on a table or desk where you don’t have to look down
2. Position the screen so you need to bend your head only slightly forward
3. Relax your shoulders and pull your elbows close to your body
4. Make sure your forearms, wrists and hands are parallel to the floor

Relieve the Pain of Repetitive Movement
Try these suggestions to avoid “smartphone thumb” – pain when bending your thumb or wrist and a dull ache at the base of your thumb.

  • Hold your device in one hand and type with the other index finger
  • Use the word-prediction feature in apps and web browsers
  • Use voice-to-text apps
  • Make a call instead
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Double Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters

24 Nov

Our Double Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Image result for pomegranate and chocolate

Double Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters

Servings:
1 Fruit
1 Nutritional Supplement Bar
Freedom and FastTrack Approved

Ingredients:
1 Double Chocolate Nutritional Supplement Bar
2-3 oz Water
1 serving Pomegranate Arils

Preparation:
Use 2-3 ounces of water to melt the Double Chocolate Bar in a small glass dish. Microwave for one minute, stir the bar and water until the texture becomes creamy. Add a little more water if needed. Mix the melted chocolate bar with your serving of Pomegranate Arils. Drop spoon fulls of the mixture, until gone, onto a tray with wax paper and let the chocolate covered pomegranate clusters chill in the refrigerator for a half hour. Then enjoy this sweet dessert!

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Cauliflower Stuffing

21 Nov

Think you can only eat stuffing at Thanksgiving?  Try this twist on traditional stuffingCauliflower Stuffing makes a tasty side dish any time!

Image result for cauliflower

Cauliflower Stuffing

Servings:
3 Vegetables
1 Nutrient
Suitable for Fast Track patients

Ingredients:
¼ medium onion, chopped
¼ cup carrots, peeled and chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped or thinly sliced
1 ½ cup cauliflower, chopped
¼ cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage)
1 packet MWLC Chicken Bouillon
Unflavored cooking spray

Preparation:
Spray unflavored cooking spray in a large skillet. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes. Add cauliflower, mushrooms and season with pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Make the MWLC Chicken bouillon per directions on the package and pour the broth over the vegetable mixture and cook until tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.

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