Low Carb Pantry Essentials

Essential Ingredients:

RomeOK, here’s the deal. We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your lowcarb pantry. Buy things as you can and then keep them stocked while you add to them. I think one of the problems people considering when going lowcarb is OMG I don’t have any of this stuff and they give up.  Eating lowcarb does takes commitment and that’s really about all it takes. If you are eating recipes from this site you will be eating lowcarb and trust me, I am not into suffering.  As a chef in my former working life it has been relatively easy for me to formulate my recipes and all you have to do is now follow them. I realize most people cannot do this (re-formulate recipes) and now it should be much easier for you. Some of the recipes may look complicated and some of them actually are and if you want a finished meal that tastes like anything people will actually eat it takes time, good ingredients, and patience. I have eaten all the recipes here and have eaten this way for the last 6+ years and as I said, I am not into suffering. I eat a lot of fat cause fat makes your pants fall down, as in lots of weight loss and…it is good for you. I eat full fat cheeses, tons of butter, olive oil and 40% heavy cream. I render and use my own lard and tallow and I am not asking you to do that, only that you use healthy fats which means, if possible, no vegetable oils. Butter, olive oil and coconut oil should do you very well in almost all cases.

Yes, I am lucky to be living in foodie town heaven Portland, Oregon. I have access to absolutely everything here. Not all of you will be this lucky and my only advice can be to do as well as you can under your own circumstances. Here is another lucky thing for me. Portland is the home of Bob’s Redmill.  I go to their only store and buy things in bulk for 40% less than any grocery.  Most of the products & prices I get from Netrition are probably the best I have found and their shipping is ridiculously low.  I have marked them with a red X.

It will cost a bit more in the beginning but I would suggest trying a product before you stock up unless you are familiar with it.  I will say as the guinea pig, these are the products I highly recommend. You may have a product you have used & love and I say continue using it as I am absolutely not wed to anyone else’s decisions.  Each link will take you to pictures & prices of the products and NO I am NOT compensated for any endorsements I may make here as these are all products I use…everyday.

Essential Equipment: This is a pretty short list But I’m going to blab about a couple things.

A Good Quality Set Of Knives And What To Look For:

 Chef's KnifeBoning KnifeParing Knife

 

 

My preference happens to be Forschner Knives made by Victorinox which is the same company that has been making Swiss Army Knives forever and first delivered to the Swiss Army in 1891.  I have had my chef’s knife nearly 40 years which is pretty good testament as to its quality and durability. There are several reasons why I like these knives. 1.) The balance and feel in my hand and yours may be different 2.) The prices. They are extremely well priced for what you get. 3.) They are easy to sharpen and keep sharpened. There are different hardness’s of steel blades and Forschner is what I call a middle of the roader. It is easy enough to realign the blade on a knife steel quite easily and hard enough to keep its edge for a time. I do have a honing stone and I use it maybe every 3 years. Remember every time you use a stone you are grinding away part of the blade. All you are doing when using a knife steel is realigning the blade which happens with use. Knife EdgeI liken a knife blade to my beloved Rocky Mountains. If you could see a straight on view of a blade that needs sharpening it is kind of raggedy. By steeling the blade it aligns those raggedy edges back into line which sharpens. Every time you hone a knife you are actually wearing away part of the metal. Keep this in mind when purchasing your knives. How often do I want to hone them? How often do I want to just steel them? How long do I want them to last? If you end up with very hard steel blades the edge will last a long time but they are much harder to sharpen and depending, it may need to be done professionally. As you look at the pictures notice the Rosewood Handled Knives and each is riveted three times. These are my preferred knives but you can’t put them in a dishwasher and I never have.  All knives should always be hand-washed. The three rivets will hold the blade forever. When looking at the length of a knife it refers to the blade length-not an overall length. It is absolutely essential to have knives that feel good and have the right balance in your hands and this will be different for each of you. Buying knives is an investment. I have more than 3 knives but really it is my belief you only need 3 working knives. I do have an electric knife. One last thought: The absolute easiest way to cut yourself is using a dull knife. Ever notice how it can “bounce” off an onion and into your finger or hand? That’s a dull blade so keep those puppies sharp.

Baking Pans:

Baking PansI have talked several places on the site about the importance of quality metal baking pans and this is another reminder.  If you are going to bake it would be a very good idea to use professional pans.  Magic Line Pans are the best quality available, they come in about every size & shape you will ever need and…they are made here in the USA.  There is a complete size set of square pans (6″, 7″, 8″, 9″,10″ and 12″) and with these you will have what you need (and perhaps more) to make my recipes.  Since there are only two of us I often make a ½ recipe, use the 6″x6″ pan and cut into 8-10 pieces.  I think because I promote this set of pans several places on this site they keep selling out of them so if you don’t see the 6 pan combo call 309-747-2125 and they will make one for you. 

The rest of the stuff and I’ll add as needed:

I have always pretty much been a chef of limited gadgets but there are a few essentials you will need. For me if it only does one job then I don’t need or want it, if it does two jobs then maybe, and three or more count me in baby. And before you laugh, there are a few gadgets that do only one thing but they are few and far between. I have had and used the same Chef’s knife for nearly 40 years and same goes for my Sharp convection microwave. Got it in 1978, I have no idea how many times a day I use it but it’s plenty, and it still has the original bulb in it. It was produced long before the notion of planned obsolescence. I guess now-a-days you can buy a microwave for $40. but what are you really getting?