Is your pantry full and cluttered but you’re not too sure what’s in there? When is the last time you took time to remove those items at the back and work them into your meal prep?
If your goal is to take control of your kitchen and nutrition once and for all, then you have to meet Meghan Telpner, Founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, an online education program providing resources and training for health, nutrition and culinary enthusiasts. Both Abigail and I are proud graduates of this program, and it really helped shape our confidence in the kitchen.
Today, Meghan is teaching you exactly how to set up your kitchen like a Culinary Nutrition Expert including the key ingredients, tools, and set-up. The best part? It’s not nearly as much work as you think.
Having a pantry that is well-stocked means more healthy, delicious meals at home and less money spent on take out. It will also ensure meals come together quicker than you ever thought possible.
Here are some of the key ingredients Meghan recommends having on hand:
- Healthy Cooking Oils: Ghee, avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil.
- Alternative Flours: Brown rice flour, chickpea flour, coconut flour, and almond flour.
- Nuts & Seeds: For salad toppings, gluten-free breading, creamy sauces, and easy snacks.
- Grains & Legumes: Rice, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, gluten-free oats, and buckwheat
- Herbs & Spices: Sea salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, fennel, thyme, and turmeric.
You don't need to rush out to grab all of these items at once. Instead, stock up over time. Purchase items in smaller sizes to ensure you enjoy them before you commit to making them a pantry staple.
"Take a look at your menu plans, grocery lists, and receipts. Are there certain items that you buy all the time for your favourite recipes? These are the ingredients that you need to buy first, or in large amounts, for your pantry.”
When it comes to kitchen tools, Meghan explains that less is more:
“I like to keep it simple. I aim to keep my kitchen as plastic-free as possible and stay away from single-use kitchen gadgets and small appliances. The slow cooker is as far as I’ll go with the new trending cooking appliances.”
Small appliances can take up a lot of space, especially if they are only focused on one task. The best tools in the kitchen have multiple uses.
Meghan says you only need the following key tools to function like a pro in your kitchen:
- A large, lightweight bamboo cutting board
- A sharp knife
- A high-speed blender
- A stainless steel vegetable peeler
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A box grater
- Clear storage containers (plastic-free)
- Masking tape and a marker (for labeling)
Pots and Pans
When it comes to pots and pans, Meghan suggests avoiding sets and instead buying only the individual pieces that you really need.
“I don’t have a full set of any one type of pot. I’m not a fan of sets of pots and pans as you often end up with more pieces than you actually need, so I prefer to buy single pieces based on what I need, the material I prefer, and how they will be used.”
When choosing your pots and pans, Meghan advises steering clear of Teflon. There are many other options that last longer and don’t pose health risks like Teflon does.
If you already have Teflon in your kitchen, consider swapping it out for cast-iron, stainless steel or titanium-based pots and pans.
Kitchen Set Up
Setting your kitchen up efficiently will ensure it is a welcoming space that you actually want to be in. If your kitchen feels like an absolute mess, Meghan recommends that you start by decluttering.
“The first step is making your kitchen a space you enjoy and a big part of that is clearing the clutter. Over the years, we have a tendency to amass kitchen stuff- utensils, towels, serving plates, appliances – that we never use. Gift, donate or sell what you don’t use to make it easy to access what you do use.”
Once you’ve cleared space, set out the items that you access the most so that you’re not wasting time rummaging through cupboards and drawers while you cook. This will also give you space to actually organize your cupboards like you’ve been meaning to do for years.
It is easy to fall back into cluttered ways, so Meghan says to plan regular kitchen clean-outs.
“A little kitchen clean-out twice a year goes a long way in keeping the kitchen organized and efficient.”
If you’re looking to take your Culinary Nutrition skills to the next level, be sure to check out Meghan’s Academy of Culinary Nutrition Program. Registration is now open! Learn more here or click below to sign up for a free mini-training.
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