Cutting Board - BPA free, bigger than standard size. Won’t fit in your dishwasher and you’ll need a large cabinet to store it. It’s taller than a sheet pan.
Cutting Board Scrapper - You’ll need this if you buy a bigger cutting board since you can’t carry the big board to your stove.
Cast Iron Pan - Standard 12” cast iron by Lodge, nothing fancy, but comes with a silicon sleeve for a hot handle.
Basic Vitamix - Great for everything.
Smart Vitamix - Digital with auto-shutoff.
Big Mixing Bowls - For most everything.
Small Mixing Bowls - For marinades and sauces.
Thermometer - Best one. Use it all the time for meats and fish. Poultry - 165º. Fish - 145º.
No-Cut Gloves - Use when using a grater or mandolin.
Mandolin - great for shredding Brussel sprouts or zucchini rounds
Lemon/Lime Squeezer - This one will work for both lemon and limes.
Microplane - For zesting.
Favorite Spatula Set - Includes large “spoon” spatula and the small one for tomato paste cans, lifting muffins out of pans, small bowls, plus two more.
Long Spoon - Great for getting all the “gold” out of the bottom of your Vitamix!
Freshpicks.com - Farmbox + organic produce and meats delivered around Chicago.
VitalChoice.com - Best flash frozen wild fish. I believe you get $20 off with that link. I only cook seafood from Vital Choice at home. It’s wild, sustainably caught and flash frozen. I simply defrost each filet in their packs in a pyrex dish filled with cool/warm water. It takes about 30 minutes to defrost, so I can pull them out whenever needed. Vital Choice fish is fresh, not fatty and the most delicious in my opinion. I like their Halibut, Mahi Mahi, Cod and Silver Salmon. All other salmon I call “wedding salmon.” Blech. That said, I do also trust Whole Foods fish department. Look at the wall behind the counter to see how they rank their seafood.
Frontier Coop - Bulk spices - organic and most flavorful in my opinion.
I like to order somethings in bulk from Costco, so that I can make anything at any time. Having forzen proteins from the sources above also makes this possible. With Instacart, you can order from Costco without needing a membership. If you've never ordered from Instacart, that link is a referral link and will give you $10 off. Yes, some other brands might be higher quality, but having these items on hand is a lifesaver. Here's what I order from Costco - most are organic...
Organic Diced Tomatoes
Organic Tomato Sauce
Organic Tomato Paste
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic Vegetable Broth - not stocked in summer
Organic Whole Unsalted Cashews
Organic Coconut Water
Organic Ground Flaxseed
Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk - you need to note unsweetened in ALL CAPS
Organic Vegetables and Fruits - when I'm placing an order, but typically get elsewhere
Organic Eggs - when I'm placing an order, but typically get elsewhere
Bags of Limes and Lemons - will get non-organic if I have to, because I go through bags and bags of these
Supplements + More
Probiotic - I take this on and off.
Vitamin D3 + K2 - Boosts mood and helps bones! Sunshine is the best source though.
Fish Oil - Reduces inflammation.
Liquid Melatonin - Sugary, but better than Natrol.
Collective Resource - Composting at home.
Northshore Composting - run by a cool New Trier senior
Music - Good for shopping, cooking, yoga, walking, driving with the windows down.
PubMed - research site, check up on “new” studies that you read.