Kiwi's Kitchen Must-Haves

Kiwi’s Kitchen Must-Haves and Favourite Brands *Updated Feb 2018*

I go grocery shopping at least once a week. Usually to pick up a few miscellaneous things I may have forgotten about in my original trip or to find the perfect addition to a new recipe I want to try.

When shopping, try to stay around the perimeter of the store; that’s where the best good-for-you food is located. Shop local when possible or convenient <3 Support your local farmers!

Here’s a fairly comprehensive guide to what I normally have somewhere around my kitchen….

All opinions are my own. I have not been paid, sponsored or endorsed by any companies or brands for this post! These are just my preferences as of 2018. Some reference links are provided for additional education.

PRODUCEI try to get organic or farm fresh whenever possible- but I grew up on canned veggies, so I don’t discriminate (: Any veggies are better than NO veggies at all!

  • Bananas – snacking and baking. Peel and freeze to add to smoothies!
  • Apples – Pink Ladys are my fave! Along with granny smith, braeburn and gala. Best for snacking and baking
  • Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more! Add them to your cereal, yoghurt or salad for extra colour and flavour or freeze them to add to smoothies.
  • Oranges – great for snacking and making dressings
  • Peaches – when in season
  • Onions – red, yellow and sweet – save the ends for vegetable stock
  • Potatoes – ANY AND ALL. I love potatoes.
  • Tomatoes – sauce, salads and more!
  • Carrots – great for roasting, snacking and making soup!
  • Celery
  • Romaine/spinach/kale or salad mix
  • Broccoli – check out this recipe for broccoli tots
  • Cauliflower – riced cauli, anyone? Or Pizza?
  • Sweet + bell peppers – great for adding bulk to stir frys and for snacking on raw
  • Zucchini – I use these mostly for baking
  • Green beans
  • Spaghetti + Butternut squash – and any other seasonal gourds you enjoy
  • Corn on the cob
  • Lemons + limes

lean protein.pnglook for lean meats without added nitrates, nitrites and artificial flavours. I try to buy meat in bulk and freeze it so I always have something ready to work with

  • ChickenI prefer breast and tenderloins the most, but buy what you prefer. I’ll use thighs for pot pie, and I also use my grinder for meatloaves, tacos, pizza crust and burgers; I’ll rarely get wings or bone-in anything.. coz let’s face it. I don’t want to have to deal with that. Cooking a whole chicken is usually cheaper, but more time consuming so it all depends on what you’re willing to do!
  • Turkey breast
  • Ground beef the lower the fat content the better. I try to get what’s on sale and sometimes I’ll splurge on higher priced grass-fed beef
  • Other beef cuts – I’ll get a roast to mix things up a bit every once in a while for stews or steak, but I usually have ground beef more readily available
  • Pork
  • BACONalways when its on sale
  • Pepperoni – for pizzas and pizza bowls
  • Shrimp + other fish/seafood – especially salmon, cod and scallops; when on sale
  • Natural peanut butter – no added sugar!
  • ^Beans + Legumes – black beans, red, beans, chickpeas, lentils and more! buy dry in the bulk section of your grocers or opt for canned
  • ^Nuts – all varieties
  • Soy/Tofu based products or other meat substitute – I don’t usually have meat substitutes stocked, but I like to experiment with them every now and then

eggs dairy.png

  • Greek yoghurt – I used to buy the individual containers, but now I pick up a couple of large vanilla containers and add some mix-ins to create my own flavours
  • Whole milk – Ryan uses this the most, but I bake with it, too
  • Almond milk – used for baking and as liquid smoothie base
  • CHEESE – I always have a huge assortment of cheese. For me, the more the better. I prefer to shred my own (anti-caking agents are often added to pre-shredded cheese, even when it’s natural)
  • Cream cheeseflavoured, whipped… it’s all good; but always full fat – gluten free pancakes are a great way to use up extra cream cheese!
  • Unsalted butter – never margarine. NEVER. Choose cows over chemicals
  • Eggs – I aim for cage-free, but always buy what you can afford
  • Coffee creamer – I am a coffee fiend. I always have at least three different flavours in my fridge. Yes, yes, some have artificial colours and flavours in them…  sue me!
  • Mayonnaise – full fat all the time

Grains + Pasta.pngfreeze bread and bagels and defrost them as them as needed. I can’t go through bread very quickly so this makes sure that it stays fresh longer!

canned.png

  • Beans – refried beans, black beans and chickpeas, especially
  • Tuna
  • Coconut milk – for vegan recipes or substituting heavy cream
  • Tomatoes – for big batch sauces or a quick fix
  • Pumpkinbecause you know your girl is basic
  • Veggies – just in case
  • Tomatoes + chilis – like Rotel

Snacks.pngWhen I’m not making my own treats, sometimes a packaged snack hits the spot. Be sure to read those ingredients!

  • Jerky – Krave black-cherry bbq is my fave!
  • Smartfood popcorn – tried and true favourite
  • Kettle brand potato chips – local (Salem, OR) and delicious
  • Triscuitsbest with cheese!
  • Wheat Thinsmore cheese, please!
  • Pretzels – what… you don’t like cheese? I use these in lieu of breadcrumbs sometimes, too.

baking MISC.png

  • Oil – for cooking and baking, EVOO, coconut, avocado.. Whatever you prefer; just stay away from hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils!
  • ^Spices – stock up, you’re going to need them.. The more the better!
  • ^Flours – whole wheat, white whole wheat, almond, coconut and oat flours, depending on the recipe
  • ^Baking soda
  • ^Baking powder
  • ^Cocoa powder
  • ^Cinnamon
  • ^Sugars – light/dark brown, coconut sugar and sometimes white granulated sugar. I NEVER use artificial sweeteners when I’m baking
  • ^Chia seeds
  • ^Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • ^Chocolate chips
  • Salsa – taco night is always better with salsa
  • Honey
  • Mustard – I make a bomb honey mustard sauce. I named it Stoopid Sauce coz its stoopid good
  • Maple Syrup – real, natural maple syrup; no sugar-free substitutes in this house
  • Marie’s salad dressingsrecently obsessed
  • Sour cream or plain greek yoghurt
  • Assorted jams/jelly/preserves – watch for fake or added sugar
  • Minced garlic – the refrigerated kind in a jar. I can never go through fresh garlic fast enough

I’m working on getting some additional brand/personal equipment information, too…. come back soon!

Items marked with “^” indicates an item I usually buy from the bulk section of most markets. Check your local market for availability!


halloween bash

Mrs Lovett’s Meatpies; The BEST Pies in Portland

Happy belated Halloween, everyone!! I hope it was fun and safe for all!

If you follow me on Instagram (which, if you don’t, why are you here?) you will have seen the copious amounts of pies I made for the Halloween bash we held at our place this year.

Ryan and I dressed like Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett; it was perfect.

In trying to keep things authentic, I decided to make meat pies for our guests! I got a LOT of requests for this one, so here it is!

Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies

This French meat pie recipe is one that my mother always made (that was given to her by a woman who owns a catering business back east) so the recipe makes 3-10inch pies! The best thing about them is you can assemble them, cook them (or not) and freeze them! Its a tradition for my mum to make these around the holiday season, freeze them and pop em in the oven when we're ready to eat them!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 boxes premade pie crust top and bottom sheets
  • 5 lbs ground pork I used a mixture of pork and beef; it's what I had
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 1/2 cup water you may need more or less, depending on the fat content of your meat
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground allspice
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

Instructions

  1. Place the meat, onions, water, salt and pepper into a large 5-quart or larger stock pot and cook on low, uncovered for at least three hours, stirring often; adding more water if needed. Remove from heat and mash until there are no longer large lumps of meat then add allspice, cloves, and potatoes and mix together until blended.

  2. Preheat oven to 400F and prepare your pie tins (mini muffin pans, or whatever you’re using) by lightly coating with oil and laying down the bottom crust. Fill the shells evenly with the meat mixture, and cover with top crust. Crimp the edges to seal the pie and make slits (or carve some designs) on top to vent. Feel free to brush with an egg wash, but I used some coconut oil and it turned out perfect!

  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Remember, these can be frozen before OR after baking; just take em out and bake! Serve with a side of veggies, some brown gravy and you have yourself an amazing meal. Just don’t start using human…

I used pre-made pie crust just unroll and bake! but feel free to use whatever crust recipe you love.

I needed more packages of the dough in order to make the mini pies and hand pies, so plan accordingly! Its about trial and error... the good thing is that the dough is still pliable enough that you can take the remnants, squish em back together and roll it out again for more. If you're not feeling crafty enough for small ones, stick to the regular sized ones.


pumpkin cream cheese bread

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

 

This recipe makes THE PERFECT pumpkin bread. I made it into 3-mini loaves as a thank you to the hosts of the Seattle WLS Meetup earlier this month and it was a huge hit.

Not to mention the pumpkin banana muffins, too… that’ll be another post, I promise!IMG_7931.JPG

You can feel free to use flavoured cream cheese in the topping if you want, but plain works just as well! You can also adjust the cooking time to make one big loaf, too.. just keep an eye on it!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

By adjusting the cooking time, you can make 3 mini-loaves, or one big loaf! This bread has the perfect amount of sugar and spice to bring happiness to any holiday event, regardless of the weather outside.

Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

pumpkin batter

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar) lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purree not pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

cheese batter

  • 8 oz cream cheese (flavoured is ok, just not whipped) room temperature
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease either 3 mini loaf pans or one regular sized loaf pan. Make the cheese batter first by mixing all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth; set aside.

  2. To make the pumpkin batter, cream together the brown sugar and eggs with electric mixer until fluffy.

  3. Fold in the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, and vanilla; mix until smooth.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice; then slowly add it to the wet ingredients; careful not to overmix.

  5. Divide the pumpkin mixture between the three mini loaves or pour into one regular size and top with the cream cheese batter. Mini loaves take 35-40 minutes while the large loaf takes 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Watch them carefully! You want the edges to be brown, but not burned.

These would make perfect host gifts if you’re going to a Thanksgiving gathering this year!

Sorry it took so long to post, I’ve been busy… and lazy; simultaneously. As always… Thanks for sticking around!


rice

Mexican Style Brown Rice

This might not be the quickest recipe, but I assure you it is well worth the time!

Mexican Style Brown Rice

All white rice starts out as brown rice. A milling process removes the rice's husk, bran, and germ. This process increases white rice's shelf life but removes much of its nutrition, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals... so when choosing rice for your meals, opt for brown rice whenever possible!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oil of choice
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2.5 cups vegetable stock or water you can use chicken stock if you wish, too
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • seasonings; salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper, chili powder to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place tomato, onion and garlic in a food processor and blend until almost smooth. You’ll need 2 cups of this mixture; you can use the rest if there is any for something else. Salsa maybe?

  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan, add the rice and minced jalapeno and mix until the rice is slightly browned; about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the tomato mixture, veggie stock and tomato paste, stir to combine. Add your seasonings now!

  3. Bring to a boil before turning down the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour stirring occasionally.

  4. Before serving, mix in chopped cilantro and serve with your favourite tacos, refried beans or whatever you want!

 


potato coins

Perfect Oven Baked Potato Coins

 

JordanShrinks did this 30 day potato diet cleanse a while ago and she has me thinking about nothing BUT potatoes.

You can check out her video on what the potato cleanse is and how she did it!

While I’ll never do any kind of diet cleanse or what have you, she did seem to get the perfect, tasty potatoes every time. I guess if that’s most of what you’re eating morning, noon, and night you’ll get really good at preparing them, right?

Wash, slice, roast and devour. Its really that easy. If you’re thinking, “BUT WHITE POTATOES ARE BAD” Lemmie show you this:

potatoes
Just eat your damn veggies, ok?

Perfect Potato Coins

You can cut these anywhere from 1/8″-1/2″ thick depending on how you like them, so play around with thickness and cooking time to find what you like best. Thicker potatoes = longer cooking time. Duh 😉

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • potatoes; DUH
  • seasonings of choice I end up always using garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and thyme
  • drizzle of oil if that's your thing... I don't normally us any.

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 425F

  2. wash and cut up your potatoes into coins no thicker than 1/2″ thick, toss them in a sealed bag with seasonings and shake em up! The moisture from washing them makes the seasonings stick instead of using oil 😉

  3. place them in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crispy


oven fried perfection

Oven Fried Chicken – Gluten Free!

OOOOOH BOY! Do I have a surprise for you.

I, like most people, love the crunch of fried chicken. I’m always looking for healthier ways to make my favourite foods and I think I’ve found the answer to this one.

Brown rice cereal.

rice cereal

YUP. That’s right. While these aren’t a particularly tasty breakfast cereal on their own, crumble them up with some seasoning, slap it on some chicken and you will be in HEAVEN

chicken.gif

Gluten Free Oven-Fried Chicken

By using a healthier alternative to breadcrumbs and deep-fried oils, you can feel free to indulge in a second helping of this oven-fried chicken that uses brown rice cereal for its big time CRUNCH.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • ~1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1 Tbsp seasonings of choice I used TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute and Spice and Tea Exchange cheese seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp ranch dressing (or a beaten egg) this is for the crumbs to stick to!

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 375F and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment and placing a wire rack on top, then spray the rack with non-stick spray. PRO TIP: Lifting it up off of the parchment, helps the air circulate and make the underside crispier

  2. pulverize the brown rice cereal and seasoning together in a food processor or crush it up in a ziplock bag

  3. pat your chicken dry with a paper towel before coating in ranch or beaten egg and then press the chicken into the rice cereal crumbs. REALLY press the crumb mixture into the chicken to make sure it sticks well!

  4. Once the chicken is well-coated, place on the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165F. You can flip it halfway through if you’d like to see if it’ll crunch up the underside a little better, but it turned out awesome without doing it!

  5. Serve with a side of your choice or cut it up and toss it in a salad!

Recipe Notes

I used one big chicken boob, probably ~1lb. You can cut it into chunks to make nuggets or coat the whole thing instead!


maca pie

No Bake Cocoa Maca Pie – Vegan + Gluten Free

This amazing no-bake pie is perfectly sweet and only takes a few hours to set in the refrigerator to perfection!

I’m neither vegan or gluten free, but I love to experiment with other forms of eating to experience m o r e  f o o d. I was able to adapt this recipe from The Truth About Cancer.

I used what I had around the house for nuts, but I’ll list a few alternatives you can use, too!

No Bake Cocoa Maca Pie - GF + Vegan

This pie is filled to the brim with ALL KINDS OF SUPER FOODS! Chia, flaxseed, coconut oil... from how decadent it tastes, its hard to believe its good for you. I was able to adapt this recipe from The Truth About Cancer.

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 20 minutes
setting time 1 hour

Ingredients

crust

  • 3/4 cup raw peacans you can use almonds, cashews or any combination of raw nuts!
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey if you’re not strict vegan
  • 144 tsp salt chocolate sea salt from The Spice and Tea Exchange

Filling

  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts soaked in water for 4 hours OR macadamia nuts soaked 1 hour OR cashews soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder or dutch cocoa powder add an additional 1/4 cup for a richer, dark chocolate flavour
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup or honey if you’re not strict vegan
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maca powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional, but I LOVE the kick it gives the filling!
  • 1/4 cup water optional; to think mixture if needed

Instructions

  1. Use a little bit of oil or nonstick spray to coat 9″pie pan. Add all crust ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until combined. Press the mixture evenly into the pie pan and about 1/2″ up the sides and stick it in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

  2. Combine all filling ingredients (except the water) in a blender or food processor until smooth it will be the consistency of thick pudding adding water 1T at a time if needed.

  3. Pour the filling over the crust and set back in the freezer for an hour to set if you’re in a hurry or in the fridge overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for ten minutes to soften if its frozen before cutting into 8 slices. Top with coconut flakes, cocoa nibs or powdered peanut butter.. or eat it plain! Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

The cayenne gives the pie a wonderful kick, but if you’re not a fan, feel free to skip it!