As a single person living alone, I look for any and all ways to simplify my life, giving me more time to do what I enjoy. I have searched and found some products that I believe will help simplify your life, save you time or give you more space if you have a small kitchen (and not cost you too much money either!). Please note that if you start shopping with Amazon through my links, you do not pay more but I receive a small commission.
5 Useful Kitchen Gadgets that make food preparation a breeze (under $20)
Kitchen Active Spiral Slicer
This spiral slicer was named best new product by the Gourmet Retailer Magazine. It is molded using high quality ABS and BPA-free plastic for a lightweight feel and is fitted with top-quality stainless steel Japanese blades. It fits in your hand, is easy to store and you can wash it in your dishwasher.
Everyone is trying to minimize carb-intake these days and I absolutely love pasta. With this slicer, I can make ‘pasta’ using vegetables, like carrots or zucchini. Buy it here for $9.97
Here is my recipe for a CREAMY AVOCADO SAUCE to eat with zuchini pasta:
– 2 large avocados, peeled and pit removed
– ¾ cup fresh basil
– ½ teaspoon sea salt
– ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
– 3 minced garlic cloves
– 2 T extra virgin olive oil
– 1 T lemon juice
METHOD: Simply place all the ingredients in a food Processor and blend for a few minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Stainless Steel Garlic Press
You can use this X-Chef Garlic Press to crush garlic or ginger. Your hand fits comfortably around the thick handles. The handles are also the perfect distance apart to maximize leverage when the garlic is in the basket. All you have to do is gently squeeze the handles together to produce perfectly minced garlic. It is made from solid stainless steel and so it lasts a lifetime. It is also dishwasher safe.
This gadget makes a perfect gift for a kitchen tea – not too expensive and very useful. I find it indispensable as many dishes require minced garlic. Buy it here for $9.99.
I don’t know how I ever managed without herb scissors. I add fresh herbs to most of my dishes as I have a small fresh herb garden right outside my kitchen door. These stainless steel herb scissors have five blades. Two snips with these scissors equals 10 knife chops. It’s easy to use and the handles provide a comfortable, soft grip. It is sold with a cover and one quick swipe with the cleaning comb end of the cover pushes any clinging herbs right off. It can be safely washed in the dishwasher. Buy it here for $14.95.
One-Step Corn Kerneler
I love this gadget that allows you to get all those kernels off the cob in one easy step without spraying them all over your kitchen. You place it on the narrow end of the corn and push it down to the bottom. It holds about 2 ears of corn and you simply pour them out of the spout when you’re finished. The stainless steel adjusts to the width of the cob. Buy it here for $7.60.
My YUMMY CORN BREAD is one of the reasons I love the Corn Kerneler so much. When I serve this bread, people always ask for the recipe.
¾ cup chopped onions
1t dried herbs
2½ cups cake flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 T chopped parsley
3 cups corn kernels, cut off the cob (uncooked)
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
¾ cup plain yogurt
Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Saute the onion in butter and add herbs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together parsley, corn kernels, carrot, onion and cheese. Beat eggs lightly with a fork and add yoghurt. Sift the flour over the vegetable mixture and bind to a dough with egg mixture. Tip into a well-greased and lined 28cm loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Another item that prevents mess. It allows you to fill cupcake pans and keep your fingers clean at the same time. The curved front dispenses the batter into the pan and the silicone plunger scrapes the scoop clean. The thing I like best about it as that the scoop measures the same amount every time so cupcakes or muffins bake evenly. Dishwasher safe. Buy it here for $9.00.
5 Space and Time Saving Kitchen Products (under $50)
Modern Dish Dryer
I like the sleek, modern design of this dish dryer made out of high density plastic. It is space-saving, too, in a smaller kitchen and can even stand upright when it’s not in use. This is an all-in-one drying rack, drain board and cutlery holder. It snaps apart for easy cleaning. Buy it here for $19.99.
Crock Pot – Oval slow-cooker
A crock pot is one of the most useful items to have in your kitchen if you live on your own. You can make enough food in one go to last you for a number of meals and then freeze them until you need them. Stews are absolutely delicious when prepared in a crock pot and it is also perfect for making soups in winter. You can also bake cakes, and some people even make porridge in it – something warm to eat when you wake up on a winter morning.
Buy it here for $49.
MY FAVORITE LAMB AND BEAN STEW
This is a great low cost meal with the flavor from the meat and the bulk from the beans. This particular recipe serves 6 and as I live on my own I freeze portions so I always have a hearty meal in the freezer when I don’t feel like cooking.
500 g small white beans (haricot) soaked overnight
4 large leeks (chopped)
1 x 410g whole peeled tomatoes
2 large onions (chopped)
6 stalks celery (chopped)
700g meat on the bone (you can use beek, lamb, pork or veal in this stew)
¾ cup sunflower oil
2 beef stock cubes
1 x 70g can tomato paste
salt and pepper
2 cups boiling water
METHOD: Add all the ingredients to your crock pot and and you will find that because they cook for a long time at a low temperature, the meat is incredibly tender, the beans are fully cooked, and the sauce has thickened beautifully.
Dessert Maker and Salad Slicer Shooter
You can keep this NutriChef 2-in-1 sitting on your counter. When you need to use it, all you have to do is add the right attachment and you’re ready. It’s perfect for making healthy snacks or turning frozen fruit into a healthy sorbet. You can instantly slice, chop, grate and shred ingredients for salads. The slicer attachment is perfect for making zuchini chips for a healthy snack. Use the thin slice cone to cut them, brush them with olive oil and then shred some parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top. Bake until crispy. Buy it here for $43.99
Over the Sink Strainer
Not only is this sieve strong, and elegant in appearance but it saves space because the one colander does it all. Use it for precise sifting of dry ingredients like flour, powdered spices, and more. Drain liquids, and strain even the smallest of grains and rices due to the extra-close, extra-small holes. It is made of stainless steel which does not warp or melt after exposure to hot foods or liquids. The large stainless steel handles let you safely carry the bowl and rest the strainer across the kitchen sink, allowing hands-free operation. Smaller strainers and bowls will fit into the bowl for stackable storage under counters or in the pantry. Buy it here for $27.95.
Kitchen 2-Tier Corner Shelf
In a small kitchen you have to make use of every bit of space. This shelf is made of stainless steel and it is easily assembled without using any tools (a great plus in my eyes!). I like it because it fits perfectly into a corner, helping to utilize space that is often wasted. This shelf is not suited to holding very heavy items but it is perfect for lighter items. For example, make it into a little tea or coffee station or use it for storing spices you use on a regular basis. Buy it here for $18.98.
Well, that’s my list plus a couple of my favorite recipes. I hope you found it useful and don’t hesitate to leave your comments.