Useful Kitchen Equipment

No-waste cooking doesn't require any specialized tools or fancy kitchen equipment. That being said, using up all your food may mean more cooking, and there are a few items that just make your life easier if you cook a lot. If you have the following, you can make anything on this site:

Basics: a good knife and cutting board, a skillet and a large pot, plus cooking spoons and spatulas. 

Extra useful for saving food:

  • Rimmed baking sheets, also known as sheet pans - we use these nearly every day to roast veggies, which is a great way to extend the life of a vegetable 
  • Cutting Tools - a good sharp knife will get you far, but it can be nice to have really thin slices or matchsticks for pickling or just general prepping. We love our Benriner mandoline, or consider a box grater, or even a spiralizer. 
  • Lots of clear containers for storing leftovers, fridge pickles, cooked grains, pre-made dressings, and more. Glass looks nice and is better for the environment, but costs a bit more and is a bit more breakable. Deli containers are used more often in professional food service (we have boxes and boxes in our restaurant) since they're super cheap and less breakable. 
  • Reusable storage bags are great for Smoothie and Stock Bags, and just generally good for minimizing plastic bag usage
  • Permanent markers and blue tape are awesome for labeling all those clear containers and reusable bags

Helpful Pantry Items

With the following items in stock, there is always something to eat in the house. Most of these foods will keep for a long time in the cupboard or the freezer. These ingredients are the bases for Hero Recipes that can use up just about any vegetable and many meats as well. More recipes coming soon!

  • Eggs: make a Fridge Cleanout Frittata or Greens, Eggs and Bacon
  • Puff Pastry: great for a Savory Tart topped with any veggies you have
  • Pie Crust: for sweet pies and savory galettes
  • Pizza Dough: you can put just about anything on a pizza! 
  • Curry Paste and Coconut Milk: learn the Thai-Style Curry basics and you can use up any vegetable or meat 
  • Dried Pasta: if you have pasta in the house, you can make a delicious dinner. Enough said.
  • Rice: fried rice can be so much more than frozen peas and diced carrots. Time to get creative!
  • Whole grains will also help bulk up stews, salads, and make a delicious Grain Bowl.

I consider a neutral oil like canola or grapeseed, extra-virgin olive oil, and kosher salt to be essentials. Other useful items to have around: dried or canned beans, chickpeas and tomatoes are always good to have in stock for making stews, soups, or hearty salads. Lemons are great for brightness (don't forget to zest!) and aromatics like onions and garlic are pantry staples. Lastly, I always try to have flavor and texture boosters like anchovies, capers, olives, pickles and breadcrumbs in the house. 

If you want all this info in a handy one-page sheet, download our Getting Started guide now!