Real Food

Living Real Food Starts in the Kitchen

By | Real Food, Real Food Kitchen | No Comments

Living real food starts in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a lot of high-end gear. High-tech gadgets like food processors, stand mixers, and high-powered blenders are great to have, and many of them save time and effort in the kitchen, but rest assured that none of these is necessary in order to start living real food.


All you need are a few essential tools.

Following are the 10 essentials of a real food kitchen:

  1. A good quality, sharp, 6- to 8-inch chef’s knife.

Buy the best knife you can afford on your budget (we like the mid-range offerings from Henckels, Wustoff, and Shun) and choose one that feels good in your hand. A small paring knife and a serrated bread knife also come in handy, but neither is essential.

chef's knife

A good, sharp chef’s knife is number one on our list of essential tools.

  1. A cutting board.

The purpose of a cutting board is to protect the countertop from your knife. Sure, you can spend a small fortune on a stunning, 3-inch-thick walnut beauty that will be a centerpiece of your kitchen for years to come, but a simple plastic rectangle from Ikea will serve you perfectly well for now.

  1. A 6- to 8-quart stockpot with a well-fitting lid.

You’ll use this for cooking pasta, beans, soups, or stews.

  1. A 2- to 4-quart saucepan, also with a well-fitting lid.

For making sauces, reductions, reheating soup, or steaming or boiling vegetables.

  1. A 10-inch skillet.

Useful for sautéing, stir-frying, steaming, omelets, and more. For this and the two pots mentioned above, invest in hard-anodized aluminum versions if you can. They are extremely durable, conduct heat well, are nonstick and easy to care for, and most can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven (makes sure the versions you buy are oven-safe since some brands have non-oven-safe handles or lids).

  1. A box grater with multiple hole sizes.

Use it for grating cheese, potatoes, carrots, squash, citrus zest, onions, ginger, or garlic.

  1. A vegetable peeler.

This will only set you back a couple of dollars, and you’ll use it often to peel potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. It can also be used for making paper-thin slices of hard cheeses like Parmesan or thinly slicing vegetables for salads and other preparations.

baking pans

Baking pans are inexpensive, so you can afford an assortment of shapes and sizes.

  1. A large, rimmed baking sheet (or two).

You don’t need to spend a lot of cash on these, but they’ll be useful for everything from roasting vegetables to baking cookies.

  1. A 9-x-13-inch baking dish.

You can use this for baking cakes, brownies, or casseroles.

  1. A few basic cooking utensils

A spatula, a wooden spoon, a whisk, and a good pair of tongs

What Do We Mean by “Real Food”?

By | Fresh Food, Real Food | No Comments

When we talk about real food, we mean food that is that is grown locally, on farms and ranches that don’t use chemical pesticides or fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It is food that is eaten fresh when it is in season. It is food that is grown and produced using sustainable practices, treating both workers and the environment with respect. It is food made of real ingredients, things you can pronounce that come from honest to goodness places—farms, gardens, ranches, and kitchens, not laboratories or drive-thru windows.


What sets real food apart from processed, additive-laden, ready-made food is that it doesn’t just satisfy your hunger, but nourishes your body and keeps it vital and strong, supports the community, and helps to protect the environment. It doesn’t just feed your body, but also nourishes your life and the world around you. It transforms eating from an item on your to-do list into a pleasurable habit that’s nutritious, delicious, easy, and fun.

Living real food isn’t about what you can’t eat, but rather about eating more of the good stuff—food that is good for your body, your community, and the Earth. This means fresh organic fruits and vegetables, ideally grown locally and purchased from independent grocers or farmers markets, organic dairy products, organic whole grains, wild-caught fish and seafood, organic meats, and minimally processed natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and fruit.

At its core, living real food is about eating what you love, savoring the sense of accomplishment you get from creating meals yourself, and feeling good about what you put in your body. You are in the driver’s seat. Our job is to provide the knowledge, know-how, tools, and inspiration you need to transform the way you eat.

Eating real food is easier than you think. With a bit of knowledge and a few simple tools, anyone can make and eat great meals.


Join Us in Living Real Food

By | Real Food | No Comments

Welcome to Living Real Food, your go-to source for tools, advice, know how, and information about eating well with purpose. Living real food is a healthy lifestyle that is based on understanding and eating real food.

Here at Living Real Food, we love healthy, delicious food—not just eating it, but learning about where our food comes from and how it is grown or produced, shopping for and choosing ingredients, stocking our pantries with quality cooking essentials, finding and using the best tools, discovering quick and easy cooking methods, and turning raw ingredients into tasty and satisfying meals.

Before we started Living Real Foods, we wondered how eating got so complicated and confusing. What, we wondered, are the challenges that keep food lovers from enjoying the kind of healthy, sustainable, local, homemade, delicious foods they love? Through our research, we found that many people simply don’t know enough about wholesome ingredients—where to buy them, how to select them, and what to do with them once they get them home to the kitchen. Some simply don’t know the basics of how to prepare fresh foods, while others feel like they never have the right staples in their pantry or tools in their kitchen to whip up a meal. Still others are convinced that they don’t have enough time or money to eat the kinds of home-prepared meals they’d like.

We started Living Real Food because we believe that healthy, delicious, homemade meals are accessible for everyone, even those with limited time, budgets, and cooking experience. By experimenting with a different kind of eating, discovering what you love, boosting your kitchen know how, connecting with others over shared meals, and learning more about the food you eat, you will begin to get even more nutrition, satisfaction, and enjoyment from the foods you love. Living real food isn’t a destination, it is a personal journey and we hope to offer guidance and advice that will lead you to living the real food life you want.

Living real food means eating fresh, delicious, seasonal whole foods

Living real food means eating fresh, delicious, seasonal whole foods

Join us as we set off on the living real food path together. Once you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll start getting real food wisdom delivered right to your inbox, and you’ll also get immediate access to our start guide and our advice on buying seasonal produce, building a personal pantry, and tooling your real food kitchen. You’ll also gain access to our blog posts about what’s in season, recipes, tips, time- and money-saving food preparation ideas, and other inspiring information and advice that will help you start living real food today.