Modern Kitchen & Dining Area

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Lodge L5HS3 5-Piece Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Cookware Set – The second most important thing in your kitchen should be a nice set of cast iron cookware. They use a good seasoning to create a non-stick surface and save you from potential hormone disrupting chemicals that form non-stick pans.

WellForce 02840 2 inch, 50mm Flexible Stainless Steel Putty Knife – The trick to cleaning cast iron cookware is to use a putty knife, without any soap or water, to scrape away any leftover food without removing the oil from the surface.

CDN IRM200-Glow ProAccurate Meat/Poultry Ovenproof Thermometer – Here’s one meat thermometer for all of your cooking needs. I’ve tried the fancier digital thermometers but have only had poor luck with them. Analog is superior in this case.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer – The digital thermometer made for the professional chef and serious home cooks. At around $100 it’s an investment that provides for superior speed and accuracy.

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker – The Cadillac of slow cookers with a timer and latches for the lid. Even if you’re just cooking for two, you will want the larger size (think: leftovers and broth). Double check Craigslist before buying this new, even if it has fewer features. One can always add a timer to it later.

Woods Import – Digital Countdown Timer – A simple 110V timer for crock pots that do not have a timer feature.

Norpro 175 Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer – Do not let the name fool you, one can also steam fish or chicken with the help of this simple device. Works great with broccoli, kale and other veggies.

12 Inch x 17 Inch Wire Cooling Rack – Cooling racks serve first duty in our house for roasting veggies and even baking bacon. Raising the item off of the pan provides an even cook on all sides.  And let’s bacon grease collect below.

12-Piece Stainless Steel Pot and Pan Set – If you’re not using cast iron cookware, this is the next best thing to cook on. The lack of plastic non-stick coatings will cut the potential exposure to unnecessary hormone disrupters in your food.

Stainless Cookware Pots and Pans – If you just need to à la carte a few pans, these offer you flexibility without having to order an entire set.

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Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer – The extra effort for using a mandoline pays off with the time savings. It’s damn near impossible to julienne carrots so perfectly small with a knife.

Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife – This is a best seller on Amazon and a no brainer for a cheaper chef’s knife. We’ve got one that earns its keep in our camping supplies.

Victorinox Swiss Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife – The second most important knife in any kitchen is the paring knife. This one is an affordable best seller.

Shun DM0500W 8-Inch Ken Onion Chef’s Knife – If you’re enjoying your time in the kitchen and want to splurge on the most important item in your kitchen, check out this chef’s knife. It handles more like a small samurai sword. It’s easy to sharpen with a whetstone.

Shun DM0700 Classic 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife – A paring of the same craftsmanship as the above chef’s knife.

Kai Japanese Professional Knife Sharpening Stone Sharpener – A dual surfaced whetstone for sharpening any [non-serrated] knives. Having a knife professionally sharpened typically costs $5-10, so this stone will pay for itself in 2-4 cycles.

Norpro 18 Inch Aluminum Magnetic Knife Bar – A handy wall mount for knives.

OXO Utility Cutting Board – This durable cutting board is made from tough polypropylene. It’s a great board to dedicate strictly for meat since you can run this through a dishwasher to sterilize it.

Bamboo 3-Piece Cutting Board Set – Bamboo is a grass, not a tree, but it is also harder and more durable than wood from trees. These will last long when maintained with a little mineral oil.  Hand wash only.

OXO Salad Spinner – The easiest way to rinse and dry your salad greens. The body can also serve as a serving/storage bowl.

Ikea Salad Spinner – A cheaper alternative to the more premium OXO one above.

UberChef™ Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Julienne Peeler and Vegetable Peeler – This tool handles both peeling and julienne slicing with minimal effort. It’s cheaper than the vegetable spiralizer.

OXO Good Grips Y-Peeler – This smart design offers an ergonomic handle with a blade that’s oriented like a conventional razor. This motion is more natural and safer than the conventional peelers.

OXO Good Grips Citrus Squeezer – Citrus and Berries are the two fruit groups for diabetics. This citrus juicer is ergonomic and easy to use/clean.

Bodum Salt and Pepper Grinder – This combination grinder is ergonomic and just plain smart design. Putting the salt and pepper together in the same body, while keeping them separate inside, is the easiest way to spice up your meal.

Set of 6 Bamboo Kitchen Tools – Cooking spoons made from bamboo last longer, splinter less and take fewer resources to produce. And I think they look better, too!

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.

– Paul Prudhomme

Silicone Kitchen Cooking Mitt – Protect your hands with these mitts. The silicone can handle very high temps, just not direct flames.

Huck Towels – Lint-free surgical towels might seem out-of-place in the kitchen, but they do double duty here. These are the perfect size for kitchen towels and they keep from disintegrating on your food and kitchen items.

OXO Good Grips Fish Turner – Eating lean meats often involves fish. While I consider this spatula extra credit in a kitchen, it is quite nice for getting fish off of a pan without it falling to pieces.

OXO Large Silicone Flexible Spatula – Ideal for flipping burgers or eggs and heat-resistant to 600°F.

OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer – OXO designs some very nice kitchen tools. This one can be helpful, but you can always substitute your least favorite ceramic mug and hope it does not fracture on your dinner.

OXO Box Grater – The top shelf grater that has a very ergonomic handle for easy use. The bottom container makes sense, too.

Stainless Steel Box Grater – A good second alternative to the premium OXO. It works just as well, but without a well designed handle nor container box at the bottom.

Stainless Steel Strainer 3-Inch – A helpful little strainer for filtering out cold press coffee or other fibrous particles from teas, sauces, etc.

Stainless Mesh Colander – This set of colanders works for more than just pasta. Use it to wash and rinse vegetables, sweat out cabbage/eggplant/zucchini.

OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Funnel and Strainer Set – A smart designed set of funnels to help get salad dressings into bottles or beverages into smaller containers.

OXO Stainless Steel Locking Tongs 9-Inch – Tongs are the one kitchen you do not realize how much you need until you have it. I also like the longer versions for grilling.  12-Inch or 16-Inch

Extra-Fine Tea Infuser – A great tool for loose leaf tea straining. You simply put it in your cup with hot water. It’s ideal for single servings, but not the best for brewing larger amounts of tea.

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Weber Spirit E210 Propane Grill – The gold standard for the backyard grill master. Weber has been an iconic brand since 1952 when it was crafted from half of a marine buoy. Some features from this grill series are cast metal base and lid for better heat retention, when compared to thinner sheet metal. The even cooking from the well designed gas burners will impart that delicious flavor that only come from a grill. It is also available with 2 burners and a side burner or as a 3 burner or a 3 burner with one side burner. A 2 burner setup can easily accommodate cooking for a family of 4.

Weber Cast-Iron Cooking Grate – These fit the grills mentioned above. Cast iron grates will keep heat better than the standard sheet metal grate. They also hold grease an oil well to keep meatan produce from sticking.

Weber Grill Brush – Use this for cleaning off your grates between cooking.

Grill Cover for Spirit 200/300 Series – If your grill is left out in the elements, it’s wise to protect your investment with an affordable cover. This will make sure it lasts for years of delicious giving.

Weber Grill Pan – The grill is not just for burgers. Utilize this pan for grilling smaller vegetables, fruit or pieces of fish.

Weber Stainless Steel Spatula – An affordable, long spatula suitable for the higher temps as seen on a grill.

OXO 16-Inch Locking Tongs – If I’m not using a spatula on the grill, I’m using a long pair of tongs. To save some money, consider just buying the 12-Inch Locking Tongs to use both indoors and outside.

George Foreman Classic Plate Grill – This affordable electric (110V) grill works for those who do not have outdoor space for a conventional propane grill. The best feature of this grill is that it travels well – for family vacations or the road warrior sales persons. You can cook an affordable feast in a hotel room with this appliance. The only drawback is that it uses a non-stick coating from a, potentially hormone disrupting, petrochemical chemical process.

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Pyrex makes some of my favorite storage, measuring and bakeware items. They’re cheaper when purchased in sets, but just buy what you need. The 7-cup round storage dishes are great for lunches.

Pyrex Storage 10-Piece Set

Pyrex Storage 7-Cup Round Dish

Pyrex Easy Grab 4-Piece Value Pack

Pyrex 2-Cup Measuring Cup

Debbie Meyer GreenBags, 20-Pack – I find these work best with leafy greens and extends their life by 1-3 days. They are good for several uses before needing replaced.

Kitchen Helper Shelf and Large Two Shelf Organizer – These two shelves help to make space in tight cabinets.

Ziploc Freezer Bags Gallon and Ziploc Freezer Bags Quart – These rugged freezer bags handle the freezer and travel well. They are great for storing burgers, bones, berries and much more.

Vacuum Sealer – The tried and true way for freezing items requires a vacuum sealer. This nifty device pulls out the air surrounding food to keep it from getting freezer burn and prematurely aging while in the freezer for months at a time. It does need some special vacuum bags to work correctly. Most folks can get away with the above Ziploc bags, but keep this device in mind if you find yourself freezing often.

Glass Butter Dish – The time-honored butter dish that your grandmother would be proud to see on your kitchen counter. The high fat content of butter keeps it from going rancid at room temperature. And butter at room temperature spreads easily without having the use of trans fats.

Ball Jar 64 oz – This large glass jar works well for making sun teas or cold press coffee or stevia/fruit flavored waters.

Brita 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher – This is the easiest and low-cost way to make tap water taste palatable. Replace the Water Filters (3X) about every two months.

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Cutting vegetables for a salad with an olive oil


Hamilton Beach 58148A Power Elite Multi-Function Blender – A value buy for blenders. It’ll handle 95% of what you can throw at it and the body is glass which is great for clean-up and hot soups/sauces.

Vitamix 5200 Series Blender, Black – Yes, the price tag on this blender looks like a car payment on a European luxury sedan, however, it’s the finest blender on the planet. The blade design provides for the silkiest of smoothies and sauces; the motor on this appliance is like a turbo Vette. Your family will be arguing over this at your funeral.

Immersion Hand Blender – The ideal toolkit for making salad dressings, marinades and other sauces. Also useful for pureeing soup while still in the pan.

Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer – The easiest way to make “pasta” safe for diabetics with vegetables. It’s also a time saver.

Hand Crank Meat Grinder – This affordable model is good for light use. For faster grinding invest in an electric grinder.

Electric Meat Grinder – An excellent choice for a powered meat grinder. Great for making burgers or sausages.

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale – A helpful item for making burgers or just weighing ingredients for those trying to take their calorie counting to precise levels.

Multipure Drinking Water Systems – These water filter systems remove most contaminants while leaving the most amount of nutrients in your drinking water. And more importantly happen to make some of the best tasting water with the least amount of waste. It requires some plumbing work to fit into your sink or daisy chain into your refrigerator.

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Genuine Joe Anti-Fatigue Mat, Beveled Edge, 2 by 3-Feet, Black – If you’re spending five hours per week in the kitchen (and you should be!) this mat will help that time pass with less discomfort.

Mirror 12X Magnification – This mirror is not listed here by error. Placing a mirror, at eye sight, on your fridge has been shown in studies to cut impulse cravings. It’s a way to control your subconscious.

Freezer-Refrigerator Thermometer – The easiest way to tell if your fridge is on the fritz. And also helpful for adjusting temperatures to their ideal zone.

Crayola Large Dry Erase Crayons – Use these crayons to easily write on most storage containers. It’s great to label lunches, serving sizes or date placed in fridge/freezer. The dry erase aspect of these crayons means it easily washes off by hand or in the dishwasher. Safe and non-toxic.

Luncheon Plate 6-Piece Set – The easiest way to eat smaller portion sizes is by simply using a smaller plate. These luncheon plates are smaller than the dinner plates.

Mineral Oil – This simple oil is what is used for keeping your wood or bamboo cutting boards in good shape. After a thorough wash, lightly oil a dry cutting board with this and allow to soak in for a day. Re-oil cutting boards every 1-2 months.

Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Soap – This versatile soap is great for washing your hands, dishes or even your hair and body.

Seventh Generation Dish Liquid Free and Clear – An affordable, natural dish soap that is free from any harmful dyes or fragrances.

Heavy Duty Sponges – These live up to touch tasks and last longer than no-name brands.

Bon Ami Powder Cleaner – This powerful cleaner has been around since the 1800’s. It does not contain any detergents, bleach, perfume scents, fragrance or dyes. Bon Ami also comes in a liquid cleaner.

Seventh Generation Dishwashing Detergent – A natural and non-toxic detergent for your dishwasher. It is free from any harmful dyes or fragrances.

Insulated Lunch Bag – Keep your lunches secure with this simple lunch container. The insulation also provides glass Pyrex containers some added protection, as well.



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I am the resident Diabetic Lifestyle Advocate at Five Hour Diabetic. Here I debunk conventional thinking about nutrition and exercise. My purpose is to enable diabetics to take back control of their health. And make simple recipes that honestly don’t suck.

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