Cook for Love Founder Brenda Winiarski picked out her favorite items for the kitchen. Send this list to a loved one or treat yourself—investing in the best tools makes low-protein cooking easier and more fun!
Kitchen Aid (or similar) free standing mixer
This is one of only two gadgets that have a permanent place on my kitchen counter. It is used minimum two times a week. The regular model is fine for single batches of cake, cookies and breads. If you are going to make multiple batches, go for the professional (largest) or artisan (medium) model. You can often get a good deal at Costco and they have sales at the department stores.
Kitchen Aid Accessory: Pasta Roller and Cutter Kit
LOVE LOVE LOVE it! If you want to make ravioli, pierogis, lasagna, fresh noodles, flatbread crackers, this cuts the time in less than half. Worth the price even if you only make twice a year!!
Kitchen Aid Accessory: Vegetable Sheet Cutter
Kind of cool, but not necessary. Handy if you are struggling with weight loss or are diabetic and need to cut back on the carb heavy low pro diet. You can make a thin sheet of firmer veggies to use to roll things in – think cucumber for sandwich wrap, butternut squash for enchilada tortilla, zucchini for lasagna, potatoes for savory filled baked rollatini.
The right size bread pan is key for low protein bread. This pan is slightly smaller than the ones you often find in the store (8 x 4 vs 9 x 5). If you use a larger pan, your bread will still be delicious, but it will be a bit squat.
Cannot get your low pro bread to rise? THIS gadget creates the perfect temperature and moisture level for yeasted doughs to do their thing! It folds up flat so does not use a ton of space.
The OXO is my favorite. I like that you can pull the display out if the bowl is large enough that it is blocking your view. I like that if you walk away to get more wheat starch in the pantry and get distracted (story of my life), it remembers the gm amount you were at and does not zero out on you mid recipe. I like that you can use a 20% off coupon and get it at Bed Bath and Beyond.
It took me awhile to believe the hype, but OH MY GOD, this gadget is handy. It reheats frozen food beautifully. Makes frozen bagels taste fresh (when placed in a paper bag and spritzed with water), makes frozen FKC crispy and is super handy for making a quick serving of roasted veggies. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Molly even has a mini one at her dorm to quickly heat a low pro entrée at school. I have the Elite Power Air Fryer but have had it a few years. If I was purchasing a new one, I would go for one of the multi-function toaster oven looking ones, like the Ninja Food one or an Emeril Lagasse one .
Parmesan Cheese (or rather, Wheat Starch) Shaker
This is one of my favorite gadgets! Put wheat starch in this baby for dusting your work surface to roll out cookies, shape your bread, etc.
Goldfish Cracker Cutter
Very handy for making mixes (pancake, eggcellent, etc), pie crusts, breadcrumbs, etc. Have to be honest, I am a weirdo and like to chop vegetables by hand (it makes me focus and quiets my always busy mind) and find that you have to be careful using it for veggies as it can pulverize them too much and make your savory food a little too mushy.
Very handy for the air fryer!
This was a staple when the kids were little. It had a designated space on my counter until they were about 5 and then it got relegated to the pantry in the basement and is still taken out once a month or so. I like the size of this one, but don’t like that there is not a removable insert for the oil for easier clean up.
OMG this is a necessity for travel! Make pancakes in the morning or even a tiny omelet. We plan ahead and cut our bread or tortillas in a circle so we can make grilled cheese & quesadillas, bake stuffed calzones and pockets to the size of the griddle and just heat as needed. You can grill a veggie burger on it, add some garlic butter to the bun and lightly cook. Then order your salad and/or French fries and you have a real meal you will enjoy while you are away.
Dash Sandwich Press
I remember having one of these when I was a kid and I am not sure what took me so long to purchase one! Super handy, especially for the little creeps who only like the bread the day it is made. You can make delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza pockets, etc. Link to video for ideas.
Definitely not necessary but pretty darn fun. Make little stuffed pancakes that look like Munchkins. We fill with fresh fruit, jams, chocolate chips.
Love the large one for an easier clean up for rolling out dough. The cookie sheet size is also super handy to have so you don’t need parchment paper.
Get every size available. Makes it so much easier to have same sized muffins, cupcakes, cookies, veggie balls, etc.
Aside from your basic rolling pin, I love this one for getting doughs into the corners of pans.
Single Cupcake Holders
Make and freeze decorated cupcakes and pull out as needed. There used to be a reusable brand called Cupacake that I occasionally see in Marshalls or Homegoods, but these will also do.
Use this press for uncrustables, poptarts, calzones, empanadas and pierogis. Stuffed pockets using bread, tortilla, naan or galette dough are a great way to re-make leftovers for your lunch box and freezer.
Animal Cracker Cookie Cutters
Perfect for dividing dough and cleaning dough stuck on work surface.
Large Containers for wheat starch and baking mix
If you bake a lot, stop paying crazy amounts of money for wheat starch! The low protein companies sell it for over $5 a pound and the shipping is so expensive. Buy it in bulk at Honeyville, split it with someone at your clinic if you won’t go through it in a year – it comes to about $1.60 a pound, including shipping.
Cook for Love Apron
Need we say more? The most stylish kitchen accessory you can have.. and all proceeds support Cook for Love and PKU News' other programs to support our community! (Awesome PKU mom not included!)