The basics of a healthy kitchen

Often when people decide to start their journey to health, they get overwhelmed at the array of equipment and foods people use and are available. In the process they either go broke buying every gadget from spiralizers, to dehydrators, goji berries and organic cocao or simply give up because it is all too much.

So.. I have compiled a list of basic things you need in a healthy kitchen from equipment to food. I only bought my first dehydrator and spiralizer 25 years of changing my diet.
There are nice to haves – but seriously there is very little needed to get healthy and you should spend less money getting healthy – NOT more!

Start with the www.100daystohealth.co.za its free and you get over 100 easy and affordable recipes, inspirational tips and explanations.

Healthy Kitchen basic equipment used and recommended by Mary-Ann

  • Wooden chopping board – wood contains natural resins that maintain a healthy bacterial balance
  • 1 x paring knife – serrated – essential for slicing tomatoes, cleaning pineapples and other tough jobs
  • 1 paring knife – smooth blade – great for small quick tasks
  • 1 x chef knife – for the big jobs and chopping everything including herbs, slicing, dicing
  • High speed blender – for smoothies, sauces, dressings, hummus, dips, nut & seed milks
  • Water filter – best way to make sure you have clean water as natural as possible
  • Essential ingredients for a Healthy Kitchen used by Mary-Ann

    Here are some of the essential ingredients we use that make it fun and easy to make delicious and affordable food while getting healthy.

  • Raw nuts and seeds – best source of minerals, plant protein and ideal to use for nut milk, cream & cheese
  • Cashew, sunflower and almonds – ditto above and the most affordable is sunflower seeds
  • Mary-Ann’s Veg stock – for soups, casseroles, sauces, rice, add to chickpeas and other legumes when cooking for great flavor, in fact any savoury dish has to have our veg stock – its an absolutely essential ingredient for cooking. Add to boiling water and blend for an instant soup
  • Sea Salt fine (optional flakes and or coarse for grinding) Flakes are great for salads and sliced tomato and cucumber
  • Red lentils – makes any soup or casserole creamy without oil – quick to cook
  • Brown lentils – add to meat dishes to reduce animal protein without removing it Make our cottage pie and chili non carne
  • Mary-Ann’s Herb salt

    All Italian dishes, such as pasta, polenta, or recipes calling for oregano, marjoram or mixed herbs. Made from the following, salt, parsley, chives, marjoram, basil, oregano, dill, thyme, savory, tarragon, spinach powder.

    Mary-Ann’s Garlic and herb salt

    As> for above or any recipes that include garlic or onion. Made from the following, salt, parsley, time, savory, basil, oregano, marjoram, sage, paprika, turmeric, white pepper, cumin
    Mary-Ann’s Seasoning salt
    Use on all recipes containing cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, spinach or any savory recipe needing nutmeg. Made from the following – sea salt, nutmeg, paprika, black pepper, coriander.

    Cumin – used in hummus, curries, chilli pesto and many savoury dishes
    Paprika – great in many savoury dishes
    Mustard seeds- essential in mayonnaise, salad dressings, marinaded mushrooms and veg dishes
    Cinnamon – for baked banana, apples, on fresh fruit topped with smoothies and in curries
    Gluten free baking mixes – essential for those with digestive, skin, blood sugar or hormonal and weight issues
    Raw honey/fructose – 2 natural sweeteners that don’t upset blood sugar
    Dates – for sweetening, eating and treats
    Raisins – to much on and great in fruit salads, snacks for exercise anytime!
    Coconut – flakes or desiccated – to make your own coconut milk for ice cream, savoury and sweet dishes
    Gluten free pasta – for people with digestive, skin and weight or hormonal issues.
    Chickpeas – can or to cook for hummus, to grill with cumin & garlic and herb salt, add to salads,
    Beans – white, black, red to make homemade baked beans, Mexican dishes like Nachos, minestrone and many other soups and casseroles and salads
    Corn chips – for dips and nachos
    Muesli – sugar free and wheat free or gluten free for quick easy breakfast
    Short grained Brown and or red rice – most nutritious and delicious
    Polenta – to use for porridge, to make chips, gluten free gnocchi, waffles, pizza etc!
    Tomato puree – Italian brand is best

    These are the Essential Recipes that will help you make it fun and easy for your family and yourself to get healthy. Food needs to be delicious, easy to make and very nutritious and it also needs to be affordable these recipes are all of that and the www.100daystohealth.co.za program will give you a whole lot more!

    Essential Basic Sauces
    Cashew Mayo
    1 cup cashews
    1 tsp. mustard powder
    1tsp. Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt
    ½ to 1 cup water
    ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
    Juice of 1-2 lemons

    Blend all ingredients adding the olive oil slowly through the lid. Can be stored in the fridge for 3-7 days or freezer until needed.

    Sunflower mayo
    ½ cup sunflower seeds
    Juice of 1 medium lemon
    1 tsp mustard seed or powder
    1tsp Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt
    ¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    ½ -1 cup water

    Blend all the ingredients together and add more water if it’s too thick.
    Can keep up to a week in the fridge during winter, in summer 2 to 3 days.

    Hummus
    1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    Juice from 1 small lemon
    1 tsp. Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt
    1 flat tsp. Ground cumin
    A little water to thin

    Blend ingredients well adding 50-100ml tahini last. Use Hummus any time as a dressing. For variation add 1-2 chilies or 1 tsp. Marmite of vegetable yeast extract

    Chili pesto
    3-5 medium chilies
    1 red pepper seeds removed
    1 big handful fresh cilantro (coriander)
    1tsp Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt
    1 tsp Ground cumin
    ¼ – ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Blend well and store in fridge until needed.

    Basil Pesto
    1 cup cashew pieces
    2 large handfuls – about 200-250 grams – fresh basil
    ½ – 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2 tsp. Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt

    Blend well and serve or store in fridge for 1 week or freezer for months – great to freeze in ice cubes.
    Essential dishes
    Quick Tomato sauce/soup
    8-12 cups of tomato pieces or sliced or diced tomatoes
    Blend on high until completely smooth.
    Place in a large pot and add:
    2 tsp. Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt
    2 tbsp. Fructose

    Bring to the boil and simmer gently for at least 40 minutes until the tomatoes darken. Remove and add olive oil to taste – serve
    Use as a sauce on pasta, or thin by adding water and serve as a soup or cool and serve as tomato sauce.

    Homemade Baked beans
    1 packet of white beans
    500ml tomato paste – sugar and preservative free – or use above
    1 Tbsp. Mary-Ann’s Vegetable stock
    1 Tbsp. Fructose or Honey
    1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil
    1 Tbsp. Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt

    Soak beans overnight, rinse with clean water, bring to the boil and discard the water, cover and boil again – adding Mary-Ann’s Vegetable stock 15 minutes before beans are tender. Add all the other ingredients when beans are tender, bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add a little more fructose or honey if you prefer sweeter beans. Add more water and basil pesto for a delicious baked bean soup
    Best Lentil soup ever
    500g Red lentils
    4-6 tsp. Mary-Ann’s vegetable stock
    4 cups diced or sliced baby marrows (courgettes/zucchini)
    2 cups sliced or diced carrots
    6-8 cups water or more if you prefer thinner soup

    Rinse the lentils until most of the foam has gone
    Add to a large pot and cover with the water
    Add the vegetable stock
    Bring to the boil and simmer gently until lentils are soft (about 15-20 minutes)
    Add the carrots and marrows
    Simmer until soft, turn off and rest and serve
    Optional: add Chili pesto
    Feeds 6-8 adults

    Nachos
    1-3 leeks, chopped and dry stir fried
    4 cups tomato puree
    1-2 Tsp. Mary-Ann’s vegetable stock powder
    Simmer gently – until well cooked
    Add 4 cups cooked (fresh, frozen or canned) red beans
    Simmer and cook through and place in an oven dish that is not more than half full
    Pour over 1-2 cups sunflower or cashew mayo
    Place MaryAnn’s organic corn chips all over the top, standing upright and place in an oven for 15-20 minutes at 180̊ C.
    Remove when mayo has set. Serve with extra chips

    Californian Black Bean chili
    500g black beans or 2-4 cans of black beans
    1 dessert spoon of Mary-Ann’s Veg stock powder
    1 red onion or 2-4 leeks or 4-6 spring onions
    1 finely chopped red pepper and 1 finely chopped chili
    500ml Tomato puree or crushed tomato
    Chopped coriander (cilantro)

    If dried beans, cover with water, soak overnight and pour off – rinse and cover with water again. Place on stove – bring to the boil and simmer gently until done – don’t add salt until the beans are soft as salt prevents the beans getting soft. Add 1 dessert spoon of Mary-Ann’s Veg stock powder once they are just done and simmer another 10 minutes. Leave the lid off if needed to make sure water is reduced to minimum.
    Dry stir fry 1 red onion or 2-4 leeks or 4-6 spring onions (finely chopped). Add 1 finely chopped red pepper and 1 finely chopped chili (be careful of the fumes they can make you cough!)
    Simmer until well cooked and stir all the time to stop it catching, then add
    500ml Tomato puree or crushed tomato simmer for 15-30 minutes.
    Then add the cooked beans, simmer 5 minutes or longer and serve in a bowl with chopped coriander (cilantro). Make cashew sour cream and chopped spring onion and this can be served with rice.

    Cashew ‘sour cream’
    1 cup raw cashews
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 tsp. Mary-Ann’s Garlic & Herb salt
    Optional – 1 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Optional – 1 tsp Mustard powder
    Blend well until rich and creamy

    Polenta Pizza
    Slices of cooked and cooled polenta (made by following cooking instructions)
    Spread on an oiled board or table until ½ cm thick, cool and slice into large squares. Suitable for 1 serving each.
    Top with:
    Tomato and/or basil pesto or homemade Tomato sauce
    Fresh tomato slices, olives, asparagus, mushrooms, capers, artichokes, red peppers or any other vegetables you like.
    Organic mozzarella cheese (if you wish) or pour cashew cream for a dairy free option and bake in a very hot oven (over 200°C). When hot, lightly browned and juicy, remove and serve.

    Other options – cube and bake as croutons, make waffles

    Focaccia
    2 cups Pizza flour
    3 cups of water
    1 tsp fine organic sea salt
    1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

    Blend well until thick and smooth, spread on a well-greased baking sheet. Top with Mary-Ann’s Veg stock or Herb salt and other toppings (olives, mushrooms or tomato).
    Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive oil
    Preheat oven and bake at 260°C for 20 to 30 minutes until lightly browned.

    Baked banana with raisins, honey and cinnamon
    6 ripe bananas – sliced
    Place in baking dish and drizzle with honey and cinnamon. Bake at 180°C for 20 to 30 minutes until golden and serve with cashew or coconut cream.
    Baked apples with dates, pecans and cinnamon & honey
    6 apples cored Stuff each with dates, raisins, honey and cinnamon mix and serve as for bananas. Bake as above.
    Smoothie:
    ¼ cup raw almonds and/or sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds
    150ml Fresh apple or orange juice (or 100% pure juices)
    1 cup (250ml) in total of any of the following, fresh or frozen:
    Pineapple
    Strawberries (or any berries)
    Mango
    1-2 tsp. Propeas
    Add a little water or ice if too thick.
    Sip slowly; take about a ½ hour to drink this

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