The Makings of a Healthful Kitchen (Part 5)

The theme of my postings over the past[1] few weeks[2] has been getting back to basics with cooking. I’ve been inspired, in part, by the television show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, but also by much of the reading that I do. A few of my favorite magazines include Cooking Light, Cook’s Illustrated, and Real Simple.


Now, I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but like everyone else, I have days when I don’t feel like cooking or don’t (think) I have the time. So, I’m always on the lookout for easy, quick, and healthful recipes that don’t require hours slaving over a stove. And despite one of our reader’s comments[3] that no one in her family appreciated her cooking, I do believe that a home-cooked meal (even a simple one) is more nourishing for the body, soul, and mind, even if it’s just your own!

I enjoy hearing and reading about people who, never having cooked before, buckled down, learned how to cook a few dishes, and became cooking converts. I especially enjoy hearing about how more and more children are taking to the kitchen. How about you? What or who inspires you to cook? And if you’re not a fan of cooking, what might encourage you to start?

Look Sharp!
Over the past[4] three[5] weeks[6], we’ve talked about the pots and pans that you need to prepare a decent meal. Now we’re ready to move on to the next essential, which is knives — and good knives, at that.

Yes, I realize that knives, like pots and pans, can seem quite costly. If you’re going to buy a whole set of quality knives, be prepared to plunk down hundreds of dollars. The good news? Most people don’t need a huge set of knives. In fact, you probably really only need about four knives. But make them count.

Knife Pointers
Point 1. Think of buying knives as an investment. A good knife can seem pretty pricey up front and you may be tempted to go for the cheaper one that’s sold in the grocery store. But having the best knives that you can afford offers the following benefits:

Point 2. Sharpen up your knowledge about the parts of a knife. A quality knife should feel good in your hands. There are four basic parts to a knife:

Point 3. At a minimum, have four knives on hand:

A few more knife “pointers” — and more! — next week

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  3. reader’s comments:
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Amy Campbell: Amy Campbell is the author of Staying Healthy with Diabetes: Nutrition and Meal Planning and a frequent contributor to Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes & You. She has co-authored several books, including the The Joslin Guide to Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association’s 16 Myths of a “Diabetic Diet,” for which she received a Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication and a National Health Information Award in 2000. Amy also developed menus for Fit Not Fat at Forty Plus and co-authored Eat Carbs, Lose Weight with fitness expert Denise Austin. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Simmons College and a master’s degree in nutrition education from Boston University. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, she is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Amy was formerly a Diabetes and Nutrition Educator at Joslin Diabetes Center, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of disease management programs, including clinical guideline and educational material development, and the development, testing, and implementation of disease management applications. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education Content Development and Training at Good Measures. Amy has developed and conducted training sessions for various disease and case management programs and is a frequent presenter at disease management events.

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