Vegan cooking doesn’t have to be scary, bland or prohibitively expensive. Gain confidence in plant-based cooking with these tips and techniques.
Whether it’s for health, ethical or environmental reasons, veganism has been on the rise for the past few years, with many restaurants offering more and more plant-based options.
Cooking vegan at home can be simple and affordable but as with any specialized diet you will need the right tools.
Here, we break down some essential products for the plant based kitchen and pantry along with some advice on how to prepare some of our favorite vegan staples.
Whether you’re trimming herbs or preparing vegetables, good cooking starts with good knives. Our 8-inch Chef’s Knife is the perfect all-purpose blade for all your kitchen needs, whether that’s mincing garlic for a sauce or scoring trumpet mushrooms for the grill.
In fact, the full tang, fully forged knife is perfect even for heavy-duty tasks, like breaking down a spaghetti squash.
Start by slicing off the top and bottom so you have a flat work surface, then cut the squash either in half or in rings to achieve longer noodle strands. Roast on a lightly oiled sheet pan at 400ºF for 40-60min (cutting the squash into rings shortens cooking time).
Let cool on the pan before using a fork to shred the squash into noodles and serve with desired sauce.
Working with vegetables creates a lot of refuse – potato peelings, celery ribs, mushroom stems – but these don’t have to become trash or compost. Turn your discarded vegetable bits into a zero-waste stock with the help of our Stainless Clad Stock Pot. Available in either an 8 or 12-quart option, the 5-ply metal construction ensures even cooking and can even withstand oven temperatures of up to 800ºF.
To make stock, simply add all of your vegetable scraps to the Stock Pot and cover them with cool water. Add in any aromatic spices such as bay leaves or peppercorns and for extra nutrients and flavor, add a stick of kombu (thick, dried seaweed). Additionally, adding onion skins will give your stock some color.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer on medium-low for about an hour. Let the stock cool in the Stock Pot before straining and decanting into your container of choice.
Nothing lets vegetables shine like a big stir-fry. Get colorful – the more variety the better – and get creative, adding in tofu and nuts like cashews or peanuts for crunch and protein.
Our award-winning Blue Carbon Steel Wok is the perfect vehicle for crafting great stir fry at home. Carbon steel is excellent at conducting and distributing high heat while also retaining a naturally slick surface.
Remember to cut your vegetables into similar sized pieces to make sure everything cooks evenly. Add sauces at the end, toss to thoroughly coat and plate up an easy and fun weeknight meal.
Sauces are a wonderful way to enhance vegan food, from basic tomato to a festive mushroom gravy. Grains can serve as a great base for plant-based food as well, soaking up the aforementioned sauces and helping to bulk up meals.
Luckily, our Stainless Clad Saucepan can be used for both, with a 2 and 4-quart option. Our Stainless Clad Saucepan makes it easy to control heat distribution along the bottom and sides of the pan, while the handle stays cool for a comfortable cooking experience. T
ry the smaller option for cooking some quinoa or brown rice and use the 4-quart for all of your sauce needs.
A main component of plant-based cooking is sautéing, especially for simple meals. One common vegan staple is the protein-rich trio of a green, a bean and a grain and the combinations are endless.
Once again, Carbon Steel creates the perfect hybrid of stainless steel and cast iron in our Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan. Like the Wok, its surface is built to withstand high heat while remaining smooth and easy to use.
For perfectly cooked greens, mince or thinly slice several cloves of garlic and sauté for a few moments over medium-low heat until fragrant. Instead of discarding the tough inner stems from kale or collard greens, remove them from the leaves, slice them into small pieces, even pieces and cook them along with the garlic for a few minutes more.
Then add your greens, either torn or sliced and cook until thoroughly wilted and soft. Garnish with a little more olive oil and salt. The 12-inch Frying Pan should comfortably accommodate two bunches of greens.