Food blogger Aggie Goodman spends a serious amount of time in the kitchen, prepping delicious and healthy recipes for her site, Aggie’s Kitchen. Here are her favorite tools of the trade and her secret hack for making roasted vegetables taste amazing.
1. Sharp paring knife
My paring knife gets used several times a day. I’ve been using the one that came in my J.A. Henckels knife set for as long as I can remember. From quickly cutting off the tops of strawberries to slicing a tomato or peeling an orange, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pick up this little knife. It’s small, mighty, and serves me well.
Zesters have become quite popular over the years, and for good reason: They’re so versatile! They can be used to add bursts of citrus flavor to your recipes with little effort. I personally love using my zester to grate Parmesan cheese. It grates it so finely and airy that you don’t need to use as much. Parmesan is also a delicious topping for roasted vegetables.
Zesters are great for garlic and ginger, too. There are several types on the market these days, but I typically use the long and narrow Microplane Zester. I love how it works.
My spiralizer has become a fun addition to my kitchen. It not only helps me cut back on carbs as a replacement for pasta noodles in dishes, but spiralizing has helped me get extra veggies on the plate for my entire family.
Currently, my favorite blade is the wide blade. I love wide zucchini noodles topped with a hearty turkey Bolognese sauce. I’ve used the Paderno Spiralizer since the beginning of time, but I have my eye on the Inspiralizer if I ever decide I need a new one.
4. Lime/lemon squeezer
This is one of my favorite gadgets to use simply because it does its job so well. I use limes and lemons a lot in my cooking, and this tool makes sure I get all the juice out of the fruit. I picked up my IMUSA Lime Squeezer at Target, and I’ve been using it for both limes and lemons.
I’ve seen so many more sizes (like one for oranges!) on other sites like Amazon — I’m tempted to add one to my collection.
5. Slow cooker
My Crock-Pot is a workhorse in my kitchen. I use it several times a week for cooking meats ahead for meal prep, a big batch of veggie-packed soup, or even spaghetti squash. So many healthy and nutritious recipes can be made with a slow cooker that it’s truly essential in every kitchen.
I used my original Crock-Pot that I received as a wedding gift for over 12 years, so when I cracked the insert I decided to upgrade and purchased a new Crock-Pot. It allows the insert to be used on the stove-top for browning meats before slow cooking.
6. Grill basket
Technically, a grill basket is used outside of your kitchen. But in my world, my grill is very much a part of my kitchen — especially during the summer. I love the taste of grilled vegetables, and my grill basket makes it so much easier to cook them without worrying about sticking or falling through the grill grates.
You can do so much with grilled vegetables. They can be a simple side dish, toppings for burgers, or a tasty addition to grain salads. There are so many types of grill baskets to choose from, too.
I use a few different shapes and sizes of grill baskets, like a wok for more of a stir-fry type vegetable medley. A flat one can work well with delicate vegetables like sliced zucchini or even for grilling shrimp and fish.
Aggie Goodman is the writer, photographer, and recipe creator behind the blog Aggie’s Kitchen. On her blog, you’ll find everyday healthy recipes that are simple, straightforward, and filled with fresh ingredients. Aggie lives in the Orlando, Florida area and is an active mom of three who loves to read, get in a good workout, and spend time with her family at Disney.