By Maria Flynn
Have you ever walked into a grocery store and felt confused…completely unaware of where to start or what you’ll need for dinner (much less for the week or more)? That was me about 10 years ago. I’d give up before I even started and relied on the pizza order I could have delivered in 30 minutes or less…or grab my hubby and head to the nearest restaurant if I was in a pinch for dinner. This lifestyle led me to poor health…(really poor)…until I finally learned that cooking can be and IS fun!
In fact, it’s creative…
And best of all… it’s easy…when you have the right tools and food essentials in your kitchen. Here’s a list of the top 10 must haves for a healthy organic kitchen:
- High quality and SHARP knife. I have two favorites that I use – a paring knife and a Butcher knife. I highly recommend professional grade kitchen knives. I’d also include a knife sharpener, too. I find that making and creating dishes is easier when you can handle the foods with ease.
- Fresh organic garlic bulbs. Not the stuff in a jar!! You’ll want to have fresh garlic on hand. Roasted, minced, crushed, sliced and diced…garlic is good in just about everything and adds loads of flavor to just about every dip and meal you create.
- Organic Onions. Like garlic…fresh onions are excellent roasted, minced sliced and diced and add flavor to any meal or salad.
- Organic canned beans. I like to keep black beans and garbanzo beans on hand. These both are simple to add to any main dish, salad or for a dip.
- Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese. It’s delicious to add to salads and meals. It replaced the need to add too much salt by adding the flavor. It’s a hard, dry cheese…with a great taste. Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese comes from grass fed cows, the flavor is a house favorite and you can buy a brick of it…making it easy to slice for a snack or shred for a meal.
- Fresh dark organic greens (kale, spinach and/or spring mix). Greens, greens, greens must be in your daily diet. Kale and Spinach can be added to any fruit smoothie and aside from turning your drink green…the flavor will always be the fruit you choose. Spinach and Kale can also be sautéed for a delicious side dish.
- Good quality organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. With more greens…you’ll want to make your own dressing and good quality ingredients is key to flavor and good for your health. Why buy organic greens only to drown it in toxic, preservative-filled dressing? It doesn’t make sense. Daily greens and vegetable (if not plain) is best dressed with homemade dressing.
- Lemons. A natural detoxifier, lemons are excellent in your water, for dressings or for your homemade marinades for chicken or fish or grass fed lamb.
- Organic Bell Peppers (every color). Eat fresh, over salad, as a snack, or sauté with onions for a side dish. Red Bell Peppers are loaded with Vitamin A, which is excellent for your skin, your immune system and your vision.
- Organic Quinoa. Replace the carb loaded white rice with quinoa. Quinoa is versatile and makes an excellent breakfast or as a side dish for dinner. Cook it with organic chicken stock for added flavor for your meals. Add quinoa to soups, or make a tabbouleh salad.
- Organic Frozen fruit. Specifically, frozen berries, bananas and peaches. A quick healthy meal or snack…frozen berries make an excellent smoothie (add a small amount of banana or peaches as a natural sweetener).
This list could have easily been 20 or more items. But…most important, notice the big omission from this list…NO sugars and NO preservatives. Keep your lifestyle as clean as possible and your body will respond with more energy, a boosted immune system, and great skin!
Until next time… CHEERS to your health.