My Favorite Cooking Gadgets (and Pantry Items!)

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Over the last few years, I’ve had many clients, family members and friends ask me what cooking gadgets I recommend, and how I stock my pantry. I’ve finally compiled all of my favorites into one place and am so excited to share them with you! All of the pantry items below are gluten-free, and many are Paleo and AIP-friendly as well!

Priscilla’s Favorite Things

 

Cookware

 

All Clad 12 inch Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan with Lid – This is my go-to pan, and I use it daily. It is perfect for burgers, meatballs, hashes, and more.

All Clad 8-inch Skillet – This smaller skillet is also used daily in my house. I use it for eggs, heating up leftovers, making sauces, and more.

Le Creuset 5 qt. Dutch Oven – My #1 item for stews, soups, and any large cuts of meat. This is my go to for anything that doesn’t require sautéing.

Cuisinart 7 Qt. Dutch oven – To save some serious dough, opt for Cuisinart’s enamel coated cast iron pot instead of Le Creuset. I have both and will say that while Le Creuset is superior, the Cuisinart does the job pretty well for a fraction of the price.

Wusthof Classic 8-inch Chef Knife – This is my all purpose knife. I highly recommend the “Classic” knife over the “gourmet” line because the classic is a single piece of forged steel, while the gourmet is a stamped blade and basically a blade piece attached to a handle piece. This knife is extremely durable, and lasts the test of time.

Wusthof Classic 6-inch Boning Knife – This is the perfect knife for cutting meat, especially meat off the bone, and filleting fish. Break down whole chickens in a flash, skin fish quickly, and more. Again, I recommend the linked “Classic” knife over the gourmet or other types.

Cutco Peeler – You will ask me, “Why would I spent over $30 on a peeler?” but I promise you that this is the best peeler you will ever own. Sharp blade, easy to grip, and lasts FOREVER (I’ve had mine for over 10 years!)

OXO Salad Spinner – A must in my kitchen. Easily wash and dry any type of greens, which is especially important if you get fresh and slightly sandy greens from the farmers market.

Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen with Blender, Food Processor, Spiralizer & Smoothie Maker

This is my new favorite gadget. It’s a high speed blender, food processor, and spiralizer all in one. For under $300, you have the majority of the appliances you’ll ever need in one compact system. There are a number of pieces, but it saves me a lot of time and space to just have one base for everything. It’s a huge space saver compared to having a separate spiralizer, food processor and blender! As an added bonus, the Ninja spiralizes vegetables into an enclosed container, so you no longer have shreds of vegetables everywhere.

Nutribullet High Speed Blender – If you don’t need all of the equipment above, the Nutribullet would one of my top recommended appliances. With this blender, I whip up salad dressings, frothy dairy-free lattes, homemade coconut and nut milks, grind my own flours, and more.

VitaClay Slow Cooker – I’ve gone back and forth over the years whether or not slow cookers are safe, and more recently, whether or not instant pots are truly non-reactive and safe. The VitaClay is a cross between a slow cooker and an instantpot and supposedly completely inert, with no heavy metals. Soups, stews, and cuts of meat tend to cook faster in it, and you can have an entire stew done in 2 hours, compared to 8 hours in a slow cooker. There’s no waiting time to come up to pressure or release pressure like with the Instant Pot. The VitaClay also has rice, yogurt, and soup settings. We love this so much that we actually take it on vacation with us.

Nesco Food Saver – As someone who buys in bulk and buys seasonally, sometimes I need to package items for the freezer. This is one of the best deals for a food saver, in my opinion. I recently vacuum sealed a large portion of striped bass my husband caught and everything is freshly sealed in the freezer with no freezer burn!

GreenLife Ceramic Non-Stick Cookie Sheet – I currently use Granite Ware ceramic coated pans but can’t seem to find them anymore. These are similar and would be my next best choice. I like the ceramic coated because they are supposed to be inert. I no longer need to use parchment on these pans, and I’m not concerned about aluminum or heavy metals.

Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Brewer/Carafe – This coffee pot is a game changer for me. I love pour over coffee (and do have a favorite pour over – linked below), but it’s time consuming and you have to consume the coffee immediately so it doesn’t get cold. This brewer is essentially an automated pour over. All you have to do is add the filter, ground coffee, and water, and then press the button. The brewer heats the water and brews the coffee perfectly every time! I have the stainless version, but think the glass carafe would be easier to clean.

Osaka Pour Over Coffee Brewer – This is an excellent and simple pour over. It’s easy to clean and makes delicious, clean-tasting coffee. It also makes a great gift for any of your coffee-loving friends!

Ovente Glass Electric Kettle – I love using this to make tea or heat water for my pour over coffee!

Cuisinart 14-inch Stainless Steel Open Skillet – This is a BIG pan. Perfect for big stir-fries, burgers, meatballs, or chicken thighs! My only complaint with this pan is that it takes a long time to heat because it’s so much larger than my stovetop burners. It also doesn’t always heat evenly due to it’s diameter. I still love it and use it often though because this huge pan is under $40!

Danby 7.2 Cubic Foot Chest Freezer – If you’re like me and buy a lot of your meat in bulk, a chest freezer is a necessity. Our chest freezer is currently holding a quarter cow from a local farmer who raises 100% grass-fed beef, many packages of organic chicken thighs, bags of frozen strawberries we picked in the Spring, big bags of organic broccoli and cauliflower rice from Costco, and more. We have a GE chest freezer from a number of years ago, so this Danby is the closest in terms of size and price.

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Travel Mug – I don’t think you understand just How hot this tumbler keeps drinks. It is so incredibly insulated that drinks are still steaming hot MANY hours later. This is a great option if you have long work days or travel a lot. This Zojirushi also has an airtight seal and a lock on it, so it won’t spill even if it falls, lays sideways on your car seat, or moves around in your bag. They come in 12 and 16 oz. sizes!

Le Creuset 27 inch French Press – This is a GREAT little french press. I take it on vacation with me frequently. It’s made of stoneware (not glass like most french presses), so I can carefully pack it in a bag and not worry about it breaking. Also, I know you’re thinking, “Does Priscilla really have a coffee pot, pour over AND a french press?” Yes. The answer is yes #crazycoffeepeople

 

Pantry

 

Date Lady Date Syrup – Perfect sweetener, and gluten-free! *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Date Lady Dates – Delicious gluten-free dates! *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

4th and Heart Pastured Ghee – The creamiest, most delicious ghee you will ever eat! And Amazon has it for the best price I’ve seen (trust me – I’ve been to ALL of the grocery stores) *Paleo-Friendly

Cassava Flour – If you can tolerate cassava flour, it’s one of the closest flours to sub 1:1 for wheat flour. Otto’s is my favorite brand. *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Dandelion Root Tea – I love Traditional Medicinals teas! This dandelion tea is great for your liver and gallbladder. If you brew it really strong, it can be a decent herbal substitute for coffee. *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Ginger Tea – Another favorite from Traditional Medicinals. Ginger tea is great for digestion! *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Vanilla Powder – This is my FAVORITE vanilla product. It’s perfect to add to desserts and drinks. It is alcohol free and just raw, ground vanilla beans. The flavor is more mild than a vanilla extract, but provides a great smoky vanilla flavor that I’m sure you will love! *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-reintro

Blue Diamond Almond Flour – This is the best almond flour I’ve used thus far. It’s perfect for Against All Grain’s chocolate chip cookies, breading chicken and fish, and more. *Paleo-Friendly

Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour – I love this flour. It’s gluten-free and so easy to use and substitute in recipes that call for wheat! I linked to pack of these flours that work out to around $3.50/lb which is a great price for gluten-free flour!

Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten-Free Flour – My second favorite gluten-free flour. I like that this flour is organic!

Let’s Do Organic Creamed Coconut – This is my secret weapon. Gone are the days of feeling frustrated when you don’t get thick coconut cream at the top of your can of coconut milk. Say goodbye to opening up cans of coconut milk and finding them watery. I warm up this coconut cream, blend it with water, and then strain it. You can add as much or as little water as you’d like, depending on the recipe. The blending keeps the coconut milk uniform, even when refrigerated. *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Organic Arrowroot Flour *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Big Tree Farms Organic Coconut Sugar *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Organic Ceylon Cinnamon – Yes, I know it’s an entire pound, but this is a great quality cinnamon for the price! *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Organic Turmeric Root Powder – Also a one pound bag, but great quality and price! I use turmeric in soups, Indian recipes, coffee, and more. *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Dr Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – My favorite coconut oil, especially because it comes in glass jars. *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

EPIC Maple Bacon Pork Rinds – I have to hide these from my husband on the regular. They are GOOD. *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

AIP SNACK BAG – Buy all of the best paleo and AIP friendly snacks for your friends (or yourself!) with one click. Includes 1 Jackson’s Honest – Sweet Potato Chip, 1 Artisan Tropic – Cassava Strip, 1 Pork Clouds – AIP Rosemary Pork Clouds, 1 Epic – AIP Maple Bacon Pork Cracklings, 1 Epic – AIP Epic Bar, 1 Wild Zora – AIP Meat and Veggie Bar, and 1 New Primal – AIP Chicken Rosemary Date Jerky *Paleo-Friendly, AIP-Friendly

Seared Salmon with Dill Walnut Pesto, Garlic Roasted Broccoli and Asparagus

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When I come home from a long day, the last thing I want to do is spend a few (more) hours in the kitchen. It’s super satisfying to have a meal come together from start to finish in twenty minutes. This salmon dish is one of my go-to meals when I need something on the table fast.

This dish can be adapted to many different ways of eating. It already fits the bill if you’re following a Paleo, low carb, or gluten-free diet. AIP friends: omit the black pepper and walnut or substitute with any type of nut or seed that you’ve re-introduced (pumpkin seeds or almonds would be nice!) Low histamine friends: omit the lemon juice and use any nut or seed that you can (or you can omit it). Low FODMAP friends: omit the garlic and use a bit of lemon juice instead. Enjoy!

Seared Salmon with Dill Walnut Pesto and Garlic Roasted Broccoli & Asparagus

Ingredients:

Salmon:

  • 1-6 oz. portion Wild Caught Salmon
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Ghee

Roasted Vegetables:

  • 1 small bunch Broccolini (~1/2 lb.)
  • 8 stalks Asparagus
  • 1 small clove Garlic, minced or grated on microplane
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

Dill Walnut Pesto:

  • 1/4 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • Squeeze of Lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic, grated on microplane
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss vegetables in garlic, salt and olive oil. Roast asparagus for 7-10 minutes. Roast broccolini for 12-15 minutes.

Dry salmon portion well and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil or ghee over medium high heat in a small stainless (or other type of oven-safe) skillet. Once hot, place salmon skin side down in the pan. Sear on the skin side for about 1 minute. Carefully flip the salmon over with a spatula and let the other side cook for 1 minute. Transfer the pan to the oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Allow salmon to bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until center is just cooked through. Allow the salmon to cool slightly before using a spatula to remove it from the pan.

To prepare the pesto, finely chop the dill, parsley, and walnuts. Mix in the garlic, salt, and olive oil. Arrange the salmon over the broccolini and asparagus, and top with pesto.

Paleo Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

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Any day that I can eat doughnuts is a good day. Growing up, doughnuts were the quintessential holiday breakfast item; my great aunt would float through my front door on Thanksgiving morning with a dozen doughnuts from Dunkin and my uncle would bring a carafe of coffee. While I sometimes get a real craving for DD’s chocolate glazed chocolate cake donuts, baking up a homemade doughnut often satisfies my sweet tooth.

These pumpkin spice doughnuts are delicious and easy! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo! The maple caramel glaze that tops the doughnuts really make them memorable, so don’t leave it out! I highly recommend using a silicone mini doughnut pan for this recipe so you can pop the doughnut out of the mold easily. I’ve tried to make doughnuts with non-stick metal pans in the past, but they always get stuck. Even though you are using silicone, give the inside of each cavity a rub with a bit of coconut oil prior to adding the batter.

I have not tested this recipe using canned pumpkin, and highly recommend using freshly roasted pumpkin. To roast, simply cut a pie pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with a little coconut oil, and bake cut side down at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once cool, scoop the flesh out and blend in a high speed blender. To get my pumpkin to blend, I had to add a tiny amount of coconut milk so that my NutriBullet could blend it all of the way.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays, and I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

*makes ~12-14 mini doughnuts

Ingredients:

Doughnut

  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, slightly melted
  • ½ cup Roasted Pie Pumpkin puree (I puree mine in a Nutribullet and often need to add a small amount of coconut milk to get it to blend)
  • ½ cup + 3 Tbsp. Fine Almond Flour (I recommend this brand)
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Tapioca Starch
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼-½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs, whisked
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar (Big Tree Farms is my favorite)
  • 1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • ½ tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ¼ tsp. Salt

Maple Caramel Glaze

  • 4 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Coconut Milk
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

To make the donuts, mix the coconut oil, pumpkin, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and eggs together in a large glass bowl. Whisk these wet ingredients together until they are well combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to incorporate. Add the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and mix.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a (mini) doughnut pan with coconut oil. To make extra pretty doughnuts, I recommend transferring the batter to a piping bag or a plastic bag with one of the points cut off, but a regular spoon will work as well. Fill the holes in the pan so the batter is just below the rim of the pan, which will allow them to puff up when baked. Place the pan in the oven and allow the doughnuts to bake undisturbed for 10 minutes. Check the doughnuts and bake for about another 5 minutes, or until the doughnuts feel firm but still a bit springy. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool.

While the doughnuts are cooling, create the maple glaze. In a small sauce pan, heat the maple syrup, coconut sugar, and coconut milk over medium heat. Once the liquid begins to bubble, reduce to medium low heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the glaze thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down a bit. The glaze will thicken a little more as it cools. You want the consistency to be like thick honey. If it is too runny, return the pan to the burner and heat for a little longer. Remove the pan from the burner and stir in the vanilla.

Once the glaze cools just slightly, gently pop out the doughnuts from the silicone mold and press gently into the glaze. Flip the doughnuts over and place them on a cooling rack so they can fully cool and the glaze can firm up. Sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!