YOUR BEST BUDDIES IN THE KITCHEN

 

Living Lekker all about real food, but real food can take time - time to prep, and time to cook.

These go-to gadgets are your best friends in kitchen as they can save you loads of time in both departments.  Trust us - you'll be creating delicious restaurant-level meals, but without spending all day in the kitchen!

Sharp Knives and Soft Cutting Boards

 

Nothing is as annoying and dangerous as a dull knife.  A sharp knife makes chopping and dicing fast and efficient and believe it or not, safer.  A dull blade will not pierce the skin of your food - try slicing tomatoes with a dull knife and the blade is likely to slip off and cut YOU instead of the tomato. 

 

Keep your knives sharp by only using a soft cutting board (no granite, no glass) and always hand wash your knives, as electric dish soap is abrasive (it's supposed to be) and can dull the blade.

Garlic Press

 

Garlic is one of the most widely used ingredients in recipes from all over the world.  While you can buy minced garlic in a jar, you will always be adding that 'pickled' aftertaste to you dishes...not to mention, there's just nothing like fresh garlic.  A good garlic press makes mince meat out of mincing (pun intended).  Sub-standard garlic presses are just no fun - hard to clean, don't really get all of the garlic, hard to push, etc.  The best brands I've found are Pampered Chef and Joseph.  The Pampered Chef garlic press works brilliantly on fresh ginger as well...which says a lot!

Wonderbag

 

This little slow cooker is your ultimate simmer device, enabling you to cook unplugged without fear of burning or overcooking.  It works by simply kick-starting the cooking process on the stove with a brief simmer, then sealing your entire covered pot into the Wonderbag, where it's clever heat-retention properties continue to cook your food.  Read More.

Food Processor

 

My mom gave me my first food processor when I was about 27.  We had been at a fantastic Italian restaurant and I had proper, authentic pesto for the first time.  I was hooked.  But you definitely need a motor-driven blade to make good pesto. 

 

While pesto was my motivation, the food processor unlocked so many other possibilities: home-made almond butter (so easy); Bolognese from scratch (ever try finely dicing 1 kg/2.2 lbs. of fresh tomatoes by hand)?  Freshly grated cheese in 30 seconds.   Perfectly blended herby dips and spreads and exotic curry pastes in minutes.  There's no going back now...

Hand/Staff Mixer

 

Pureed soups are such a mainstay in our house as a both a winter warmer, and a great way to fill you up without the fat or bad calories.

 

While you can indeed transfer your soup to your food processor (I did this for many years), it's much more efficient to puree it straight in the pot.  A staff mixer is also great for thickening gravy and eliminating accidental flour clumps!

Citrus Press(es)

 

I have both a lemon and a lime press.  These little things are brilliant, and get used every day. 

 

Brilliant because you simply cut your citrus in half, place it flesh-side down in the press and squeeze over a glass or bowl.  All the juice comes out, all the pulp and seeds stay in the press, and your hands stay sticky-free.

 

Used every day because I start each morning with a glass of lemon water – it’s a great way to wake up your senses and your digestive system.  Used many nights as many of my recipes call for fresh lemon or lime juice.  Lime juice features heavily in Asian-inspired recipes.  Oh, and I even use the citrus press to juice the mandarin oranges for my Mandarin Orange Salmon.  These presses just make it fast, easy, and minimal fuss. 

 

No reason to buy pre-squeezed lemon or lime juice in little plastic squeeze bottles that look like lemons or limes any more.

Get on with the real thing!

Chickpea and Quinoa Tabbouleh