A healthy kitchen does need a few pieces of cookware, one main reasons:
to be able to reduce the amount of fats and oils used in the cooking. Yes we still use good fats and oils, but in much smaller amounts. When you learn how to coax flavor into dishes using aromatics, herbs, citrus etc (yes this will be covered in another post) you simply don't need as much fat, sometimes you can reduce the fat in a recipe by 75% and more and still have an outstanding dish!
ok, so what's the problem with that, why the special cookware?
the right cookware will allow you to cook with far less fat and...
your food won't burn and stick to the cookware!!!!
yep less fat means your food will want to adhere more to the cooking surfaces.
here are my recommendations:
a 12" ceramic coated non stick frying pan. why ceramic? because regular teflon type cookware emits some seriously noxious chemicals into the air at anything except low temperature, yuck!
I get mine on Amazon, favorite brand: GreenLife it is the frying pan with the pale blue handel in the picture.
either non stick ceramic or enamel coated pots, such as a saucepan, dutch oven, larger pot. The ceramic ones are far more afordable and much lighter to use. I must confess i do own a few enamel coated cast iron pieces by LeCreuset... I LOVE them, but they are not necessary :)
cast iron cookware, seasoned, but not enamel coated. These might sometimes have enamel coating on the outside, but the cooking surface will look black. in the picture, the stove top grill pan is an example of such cookware.
these types of cookware allow for perfectly searing lean proteins or veggies (think grilled zucchini). if you have a good outdoor grill you do not necessarily need one of these, unless you want to be able to grill and sear indoors.
I prefer seasoned cast iron; make sure you read the label when you get one, it should specify. However, the non seasoned cast iron cookware is yet again far more afordable, just read care instructions carefully.