Open Feedback Dialog

Easy Recipes with Kitchen Essentials

By Margaret Furtado, MS RD LDN CYT and Joseph Ewing, RD LDN


With all the hustle and bustle in the world today, who has time to prepare a home cooked meal, especially when you can drive past any fast food restaurant and purchase a meal that is inexpensive and ready-to-eat? Hold everything! By stocking your kitchen with the proper utensils, cookware, and some simple ingredients, you can prepare a home-cooked meal in no time. Not only that, it can be healthy for you and your family AND easy on your wallet! It will also leave you with the satisfaction of knowing that what you and your family are putting into your bodies is made with healthy food that you prepared yourself.

Utensils and Cookware

Having the right basic utensils in your kitchen can save you time and plenty of headaches when preparing meals. Cooking can be easy if you have everything you need on hand.

  • Stock your kitchen with various sized pots and pans as well as a few baking sheets and muffin tins so that you are ready for every cooking occasion.
  • Make sure you have some of the essential cooking utensils such as wooden spoons, spatulas, rubber spatulas and tongs. Additionally, you will want various sized mixing bowls.
  • A set of measuring spoons, dry measuring cups, and a good liquid measuring cup are essential for portion control and to have recipes turn out the way they were intended.


In order to stock your kitchen for success, first think about what you and your family like to eat. For example, if you like to eat a lot of vegetables, look for coupons in the newspaper for your favorite frozen vegetables and stock up. Then, you can supplement with fresh vegetables as needed. Keep chicken stock and different varieties of reduced fat canned soups on hand for quick and easy dishes. Stock your freezer with preportioned protein options for example chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, lean beef, pork and vegetable proteins such as edamame. And, always have a number of seasonings, spices, and marinades in your kitchen to create tasty and interesting new dishes.


These recipes use ingredients that are part of your kitchen essentials.

Crispy Chicken

This is a delicious alternative to your classic fried chicken!



1 container (6 ounces) plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Cooking spray


Method of Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, 1 second.


Stir the yogurt in a bowl until smooth. Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly.


In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and salt; mix well. Dip each chicken breast in the yogurt mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture, coating completely.


Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Yield: Makes 6 (4-ounce) servings


Nutritional Analysis:

Calories: 188.5, Protein: 29 g, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Total Fat: 4 g, Sat Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 66 mg, Sodium: 321 mg, Sugars: 2 g, Fiber: 2 g



Easy Mushroom Sauce

This savory sauce is a delicious accompaniment for chicken, steak or even pork.


1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1 1/2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup skim milk


Method of Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onions and mushrooms until tender. Stir in the soup and milk. Cook until smooth.

Makes 8 (about ¼ cup) servings

Nutritional Analysis:

Calories: 63.3, Protein: 1.4 g, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Total Fat: 4 g, Sat Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 187 mg, Sugar: 1.5 g, Fiber: 1 g




Edamame are whole soybeans that are a simple and nutritious way to get more soy protein in your diet. Pop the shells open and eat the beans inside. You can find them fresh or frozen at your grocery store. If they are not available in your grocery store, you can look for them at a Japanese specialty store or a natural food store.



2 1/2 quarts water

1 tablespoon salt

2 pounds fresh or frozen edamame, in the shell

1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt


Method of Preparation

In a 3-quart pot, bring the water and table salt to a boil over high heat. Add the edamame, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes if using fresh beans or 4 minutes if using frozen.

Drain the beans and transfer them to a serving bowl just large enough to hold the edamame. If the serving container is too large, the beans will cool off too quickly. Toss the beans with the coarse sea salt and serve immediately.

Makes 14 (about 1 cup) servings

Nutritional Analysis:

Calories: 91.5, Protein: 8 g, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Total Fat: 4 g, Sat Fat: 0.5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 30 mg, Sugar: 2 g, Fiber: 3 g