Essential Kitchen Toolkit

Back to basics guidelines for preparing convenient, nutritious meals.

Between going to work, taking the kids to practice, walking the dog and scheduling in everything else you have to do on any given day, "what's for dinner" is usually the last thing on your mind - at least at 5 o'clock. When you're so busy, the take-out menu may look tempting, but consider this: in the time it takes to order and pick up a take-out meal, you can put a delicious, healthful meal on the table. All it takes is a little kitchen organization and smart planning.

The CFA's Essential Kitchen Toolkit contains the ingredients to help make the most chaotic kitchen run smoother. From easy-to-read guides for organizing the kitchen to planning, preparing and serving healthful meals, the Essential Kitchen Toolkit is designed to help busy home cooks revive what they may (or may not!) have learned in their high school home economics class.

Here are a list of ingredients that can be found if you download the Essential Kitchen Toolkit now!

  • Introduction from Roberta Duyff
  • Kitchen Organization
  • Simple Steps to Make Your Work Centers Works for You
  • Perk Up the Pantry
  • Reorganize the Refrigerator and Freezer
  • Safe Food Storage
  • Stock Up on Nutrient-Rich Choices
  • Choose Canned
  • Can-Do in the Kitchen
  • Smart Meal Planning, Preparation and Shopping
  • Step 1: Plan Ahead
  • Using a Meal Planning Grid
  • Step 2: Shop Smart
  • How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label
  • Step 3: Get Ready to Cook
  • Step 4: Get Cooking
  • Step 5 and Step 6: Serve and Clean Up
  • Bring Your Family on Board
  • Save Green and Go Green in the Kitchen
  • Essential Kitchen Tools
  • The Kitchen Glossary
  • Meals in Minutes

Introduction From Roberta Duyff

With 2009 widely described as the "year of the home cook," it's no surprise that we're all getting reacquainted with our kitchens. However, a Rutgers University study published in the May 2009 issue of Forum for Family and Consumer Issues and commissioned by the Canned Food Alliance (CFA), recently found moms want a better grasp of kitchen basics. When given an action plan for healthy meal preparation, grocery shopping, kitchen organization and food
storage practices, the study found that moms made positive changes towards providing nourishing, great-tasting family meals.

Recognizing that moms make positive changes when they receive advice on how to prepare and serve easy, quick and healthful meals, the Canned Food Alliance and I teamed up to create this tool box of kitchen basics. With action plans adapted from the tools proven to work with moms in the recent Rutgers study, this Essential Kitchen Toolkit is meant to help busy home cooks revive what they may (or may not!) have learned in their high school home economics class.

On the pages of the Essential Kitchen Toolkit you will find the ingredients to help make the most chaotic kitchen run smoother, giving you more time to concentrate on the important things - like nurturing your family's bodies and souls. We've included easy-to-read guides for planningand preparing healthful meals, for organizing the kitchen, for navigating the grocery store and even for going green in your kitchen. This Essential Kitchen Toolkit also provides you with a collection of simple recipes, a kitchen glossary and safe food handling and storage tips.

Now that you're armed with the tools to help you perform kitchen tasks faster and easier, it's time to put some home economics basics back into your kitchen and your shopping cart.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!

Roberta L. Duyff MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
For the Canned Food Alliance