This blog is meant to help people get started on the WFPB (whole food plant based) lifestyle, as described in the Forks Over Knives documentary and recommended by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.
In earlier posts, I talked about the idea of making lists of the foods acceptable to your family in the categories of the WFPB plan (grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits), cooking simply and having easy-to-prepare foods on-hand so that you can always default to a healthy meal. In this post I’d like to introduce some of the tools that I rely on. You will see, in the pictures, that usefulness is way more important to me than pure appearance. I have an affinity for the “good old days”, i.e., when my Grandma was young, and rustic and natural are my colors. As I’ve said before, I’m writing all of this in the interest of sharing what I have done, but also to encourage you to try some of your own wild and crazy ideas.
Only basic, frequently used tools are close at hand, minimizing clutter. (kitchen cabinet)
I buy bar towels from Costco, pack of 50 for $20, throw in laundry, re-use; they are napkins at the table, kitchen towels for draining dishes, and drying towels; saves $$$ in rolls of paper towels, which I don’t buy. I do get a case of brown paper towels for yucky clean-up, and a case lasts more than a year, from SkywaySupply.com. A case of 16 packs of natural multifold paper hand towels, made from 100% recycled fiber, and made in the USA; that’s 4,000 towels for $28.95. I leave them in a cute basket in a little used area of the kitchen counter.
From left: Blender for smoothies and date paste, basket with white plastic Mason jar caps (which will finish drying by evaporation after an hour’s draining on the towels), basket with brown paper towels, air popcorn popper (okay, that’s 90% a decoration), greenbag dryer, and cute basket for wooden clothespins.
I use two of these wire shelves from Lowe’s, as dish dryers. I’m weird in that I don’t like to have an electric dishwasher. These wire racks allow customized placement of glasses, cups, and dishes, making it very flexible as well as interestingly challenging to accommodate the variety of dishes in each session of clean-up. Note the two glass lids blocking most items from obscuring the light switch.
Our great-grandson having fun in the spot where the electric dishwasher used to be.
The only thing I make regularly in this 14 cup food processor is hummus. I can make 6 cups of hummus from 3 cans of chickpeas aka garbanzo beans in one fell swoop. We use hummus as a dip for Mary’s Gone Crackers, oil-free homemade pita chips, and as a pita spread for veggie pockets. Recipe is 3 cans of beans, juice of a lemon, 2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and one small garlic clove. Put it all in there and spin!
Keeping Produce Fresh
Debbie Meyer Greenbags in a kitchen drawer, sorted by size.
Debbie Meyer GreenBags – They deserve a post all by themselves. (add interpost link) I splurged on this plastic bag dryer from Amazon.com. I used a water bottle or a quart jar before I got the one pictured. I just checked the link and it says “no longer available”—guess I got the last one 😦 But you get the idea. Update #2—no, it’s available again!
Wide Mouth Glass Ball Mason Jars
I find uses for pint size (drinking glasses), one-cup size, and quart size (batch cooked brown rice and cooked greens, as well as chopped raw onion and leftovers)
White Plastic One-Piece Lids for Ball Mason Jars
These sturdy white plastic lids are so much more convenient for washing and storing (I have mine in a basket on the kitchen counter) when you don’t need the metal cap seal for canning.
Stainless Steel Funnel
Norpro makes a stainless steel funnel with a 5 3/4″ inlet, 2 1/4″ outlet diameters. This will work for regular and large mouth Mason jars, great for filling the jars with batch cooked food and leftovers.
Rice Cooking Apparatus
Screen strainer, funnel, quart Mason jar for batch-cooking rice: the screen sits in the colander for stability, the rice is caught in the screen.
Big colander, stand-alone screen strainer; hot just-cooked rice would be in the screen strainer, the screen in the colander for stability, and the colander in the kitchen sink. Cooked rice would be washed in the faucet stream a la Granny, then drained briefly, before spooning (not packed) into quart jars.
Somewhat Unusual Kitchen Tools
Wooden clothespins like Grandma’s, good for loosely closing Debbie Meyer greenbags.
Leftover from medical practice, used to hold curved surgical needles, but available online—hemostats! Multiple uses for when your fingernails just won’t work. I did get new ones for home use!!!
I’ll bet you can think of some crossover tools from your other (non-domestic) life!