13 Essential Gadgets in My Paleo Kitchen

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
September 8, 2015 [printfriendly]



evolution rI was going to title this post, Gadgets I Can’t Live Without in My Paleo Kitchen After Getting Rid of All the Junk That I Thought I Couldn’t Live Without But Discovered That I Didn’t Need. But, that would be too long of a title, and you would lose interest before you finished reading it. So, I chose the shortened title.


Over the last 2 1/2 years, I have learned to cook Paleo with great success, if I must say so myself. During this time, I have used so much gadgetry that I could open a used cooking-utensil store. My experience, however, has led me to eliminate most of the useless items and retain those few devices that actually make my love for cooking easier, more efficient, and most fun. My kitchen includes the obvious things that every chef would use during his or her meal preparation. But, here is my list of the 13 essential gadgets that I cannot live without and that I use the most in my Paleo kitchen:


1. Avocado slicer
This slicer makes cutting, pitting, and removing the meat from an avocado an easy job. My wife and I eat avocados daily.

1 avocado slicer














2. Flexible cutting mats
Not only are these great for cutting foods, but they bend. So, I can easily transfer its contents into a saucepan or wherever it needs to be placed.

2 cutting mat











3. Hand citrus juicer
When I need some lemon or lime juice for acid in my food preparation, this easily allows me to squeeze what I need without the seeds or the mess of squeezing the citrus fruit in my hand.

3 citrus juiceer











4. Manual food chopper
Chopping onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and similar foods finely can be difficult and time consuming. A manual food chopper makes the task quicker and more efficient than using a chef knife.

4 manual chopper














5. NutriBullet Rx
This power blender has a smaller capacity than the Vitamix Blender, but it is more convenient, easier to clean, and the actual mixing containers become storage containers – a big convenience. I couldn’t make a smoothie without this. And, I drink smoothies everyday. See my recipe for my favorite smoothie.

5 nutribullet rx














6. Reusable cheesecloth bags
I make my own ghee. My main purpose for the cheesecloth bag is to use this as a liner in a funnel to filter hot, melted butter and separate the butter fat (ghee) from its butter solids.

6 cheescloth bag














7. Salad spinner
After washing salad vegetables in preparation for a salad, you could dry them with a towel or you could use a salad spinner to remove the water efficiently and effectively. I choose the latter.

7 salad spinner














8. Slow cooker
I use my slow cooker at least once a week. I am always making batches of bone broth. If not bone broth, I am preparing some of my favorite slow cooker recipes like dry ribs, French onion oxtail stew, or meatloaf wrapped in bacon.

8 slow cooker














9. Spiral slicer
This is a quick and easy device that transforms zucchini, squash, or any tuber-like vegetable into spaghetti-like forms to add to a salad or to cook like spaghetti.

9 spiral slicer














10. Splatter screen
When cooking oils and fats, there may be a serious splatter problem. This could result in staining your clothes or burning your body. A splatter screen will eliminate potential danger.

10 splatter screen











11. Stainless steel box grater
This hand-grater is a quick way to slice hard boiled eggs to make egg salad, grate frozen ginger to use in recipes, or anything else you need to grate or slice. This particular box grater has six sides that offer various cutting options.

11 box grater














12. Stick blender
I have found this to be invaluable to blend my salad dressings, my spiced bulletproof matcha, spiced bulletproof coffee, and my healthy mayo to name a few.

12 stick blender














13. Strainer for bone broth
After cooking bone broth for hours, the solid ingredients need to be removed. This 8-inch diameter funnel is large enough with a sufficiently fine mesh to remove all particulates, rendering a perfect liquid broth.

13 strainer














No doubt you will have your favorites. But, these 13 essential gadgets have made my life in my Paleo kitchen easy and fun.

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My Favorite Paleo Recipes:
Slow Cooker Meatloaf Wrapped in Bacon

evolution rMeatloaf has always been a staple, quick meal in my home while growing up. Of course, the traditional meatloaf had bread and other ingredients that were not anything that resembled a Paleo compatible dish. Here is a recipe that not only is Paleo, but also includes organ meat – heart. There is a slightly spicy topping that tingles the palate, and you could add more red pepper flakes if you want more heat. The slow cooker and the addition of shiitake mushrooms keep the loaf moist and create a good amount of juice in the bottom of the pot. The juice is great to spoon over the meatloaf slices. Also, the meatloaf freezes well for later. By the way, bacon makes everything better!
Ingredients for Loaf:
1 lb grass fed/finished beef, ground
1 lb grass fed/finished beef heart, ground
3 cups shiitake mushroom caps, coarsely chopped
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbs dried oregano
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 lb pastured bacon (about 6 slices)
Ingredients for Topping:
4 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
• Combine all ingredients for meatloaf except bacon in large bowl and mix thoroughly
• Shape into an oval loaf in pot of 3-quart slow cooker
Meatloaf 1
• Lay bacon strips side-to-side over loaf and tuck ends under loaf to maintain shape of loaf
Meatloaf 2
• Combine ingredients for topping in small bowl and mix thoroughly
• Spread topping over top of bacon strips to cover completely
Meatloaf 4
Meatloaf 5
• Cover and cook on High for 1 hour; then cook on Low for 3 hours
• Remove from slow cooker and slice. Spoon the left over juice from the bottom of the pot over the meatloaf slices for more flavor and moisture
Meatloaf done

My Favorite Paleo Recipes:
Dry Ribs in Slow Cooker

evolution rI love ribs – dry, spicy, fall-apart, melt-in-your-mouth ribs. But, I don’t want the carbs from sugar or other unnatural ingredients that are frequently in commercial rubs. So, here is a recipe that offers everything I want from my ribs. See if this works for you. I posted a picture of the ribs as I put them into my slow cooker, and then a picture on a serving plate after 10 hours of cooking.
4-5 pounds of pastured pork ribs
1-2 large onions sliced thickly to cover bottom of slow cooker
2 tablespoons of coarse Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of fresh cracked pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
• Mix all spices together in a small bowl.
• Cut onions into thick slices and place them along the bottom of slow cooker. These will keep the ribs elevated off the bottom of the pot and away from drippings.
• Use paper towels to dry ribs.
Ribs 1
• Generously apply dry rub to all surfaces of the ribs, and use up all rub mixture.
• Place ribs on top of onion layer with the “meat side” up.
• Set slow cooker on low, and cook for 8-10 hours.
• Remove from slow cooker, and place on serving plate.
Ribs 2

My Favorite Paleo Recipes:
French Onion Oxtail Stew in Slow Cooker

evolution rThis is a super hearty and healthy dish. It has become one of my favorite dinners. Oxtails are rich in nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, magnesium, glycine, and phosphorus, which help form bone cells, connective tissue, and collagen. Along with the bone broth as a base, you can see how healthy this stew is for joint and bone health.
This dish is especially delicious when it is placed on a bed of cauliflower mash, which you can check out with this link.
2 tbs ghee (or butter) from grass-fed cows to brown oxtails
3 lbs of cut-up oxtails
Salt and pepper, for oxtails
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup red wine
3 cups homemade bone broth
4 tbs ghee (or butter) from grass-fed cows to caramelize onions
4 large sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste (optional: red pepper flakes for some heat!)
• In a heavy skillet, heat ghee or butter over high heat
• Season the oxtails liberally with salt and pepper
• Place oxtails in hot fat and brown on all sides
• Reduce heat to medium and add garlic
• Continue cooking for another minute or so to softly cook garlic
• Transfer oxtails and garlic to slow cooker
• Add wine, bone broth, and thyme to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours
• Before oxtails are done, add remaining ghee or butter to heavy covered skillet on medium-low heat
• Add onion to skillet, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes until onions are soft
• Remove cover and raise heat to medium stirring frequently, and cook until caramelized – onions will turn a deep golden color which may take an hour or so
• Once the oxtails are done in the slow cooker, remove oxtails with tongs and transfer to a large plate to cool
• Remove meat and gristle from bones and discard bones – I remove the meat and gristle with my fingers so I can feel for the inevitable small bones that could remain in the meat
• Transfer meat, gristle, and the remaining liquid from the slow cooker to the skillet containing the onions
• Continue on medium heat for 30-60 minutes to reduce liquid to a thick stew; stir frequently
• Salt and pepper to taste (optional: some red pepper flakes for heat)
• For a great meal, serve over cauliflower mash – unbelievable and healthy