You may think of sous vide as a cooking technique only used in restaurants (it’s one of those fancy foodie terms). Chances are you never even considered attempting this method of cooking food in temperature-controlled water. But there’s one simple, sleek device that can do it for you. With an immersion circulator, you just plop some food in a sealed plastic bag, place the bag in water, and choose a desired setting. The device will circulate and control the temperature of the water to cook your food to perfection.
Before you write this off as just another gadget that will collect dust with your As Seen on TV collection, hear us out. It’s a worthy addition to your kitchen tools. For starters, it’s completely foolproof. If your oven never seems to cook your food to the correct doneness or leaves you with one side of a chicken brunt and the other still wiggly, you’ll love sous vide cooking, since it is one of the best ways to cook food evenly and takes away the potential for overcooking. And people will no doubt be impressed when you casually mention the sous vide steak you made last night. It’s also lazy girl–approved for obvious reasons. Some models can even be turned on from your phone via Bluetooth, so you can start cooking your food from anywhere and come home to a prepared meal. You can sous vide meat, fruit, or veggie dishes, eggs (just like those Starbucks’ egg white bites), and even desserts.
The immersion circulator even works for office lunches, says Rachel Drori, founder of Daily Harvest, who uses one with her team at work. “We are a team of about 10 now, so we trade off with a team member bringing in something for lunch that can be prepped ahead of time over the weekend and frozen,” says Drori. “It is super easy to add a protein with some seasonings into a reusable gallon zip-top bag.” Simply place the circulator and frozen baggie in water at the beginning of the day, turn on during your morning meeting, and it’s ready for lunch. Drori suggests the Anova Culinary Bluetooth Sous Vide Precision Cooker ($149; amazon.com), but there are other models available. Whether you work at a start-up and have access to communal kitchen pots, or choose to work your sous vide magic at home, test out these favorites from the Daily Harvest team and be amazed at how you’ve lived without this kitchen gadget for so long.
Turmeric Curry Coconut Shrimp + Butter Lettuce Wraps
Add raw shrimp, coconut milk, salt, pepper, coriander, turmeric, and your favorite curry to a reusable ziplock and freeze until ready to circulate. Fill a butter lettuce cup with the warmed shrimp mixture, and top with shredded fresh or pickled carrot and red quinoa.
Chipotle-Mesquite Tofu Tacos + Paleo Wraps
Add tofu, mesquite powder, crushed tomatoes, chipotle powder, lime juice, salt, and pepper to a reusable ziplock and freeze until ready to circulate. Fill a Paleo-friendly tortilla (or your favorite wrap) with the tofu blend and add avocado, salsa, and, for a twist, coconut probiotic yogurt instead of sour cream.
Chamomile-Dill Salmon + Shredded Kale Salad
Add portions of salmon, sprigs of dill, dried chamomile, slices of lemon, grass-fed butter, salt, and pepper to a reusable ziplock and freeze until ready to circulate. Place cooked ingredients on a bed of shredded kale, and top with hazelnuts, chickpeas, and a lemon-olive oil dressing