Food storage bags to group different items together (and then label entire bag “Asian inspired pork stir fry” for example).
Towels for wiping down counter, knives, and hands.
Gloves for handling raw protein.
Individual portion cups (2oz) for batching sauces such as pestos, and dressings (or mini silicone muffin tray to portion and freeze).
Keep a well stocked pantry with a variety of ingredients to keep the flavors of your dishes drastically different. Example, have ingredients like sesame oil or curry paste to create Asian flavors or chipotle peppers in adobo for a Mexican twist.
Utilize kitchen tools and machines efficiently. Example, if you are making pesto in your blender, and then need to make salad dressing after, it won’t be an issue if you make salad dressing in the same blender without rinsing it out. In fact, it will add a nice herby flavor! Also, don’t be afraid to use the slow cooker in your down time… like when you’re asleep!
Have fun, experiment, and don’t be afraid to fail! Keep the variety interesting!
Experiment with different methods of cooking the same item to yield different results. For example, you can do a million things with a red onion! You can..
Slice it raw to add to a salad or sandwich.
Slice and then slowly caramelize to bring out the sweetness.
Slice and then pickle by simmering in vinegar for about 10 minutes. A great hit of acidity!
Cut into large cubes and slow roast in the oven with oil, salt, and pepper.
Cut in half and simply grill; serve alongside steak.