Here are some healthy and delicious ways to bring vegetables to the center of the plate, whether you’re a novice or an expert at cooking with plants.
While it may seem daunting at first, cooking vegetarian does not need to be difficult. The best vegetarian food strikes the perfect balance between the extremes of heavy, old school fare and bland, unadorned salads.
Just as you take care sourcing fresh, high-quality ingredients, it is important to have the right tools and techniques to bring plants to the center of the table. Here, we break down six must-have products, from preparation to garnish, to make healthy vegetarian food accessible for home chefs of every skillset.
As with meat, one of the most important tools you will need for successful vegetarian cooking is a good knife. In order to ensure even cooking, cutting your vegetables into similar sized pieces couldn’t be more important. Different sizes will yield uneven, sometimes unpleasant textures and while contrast is important, you’ll want to achieve that from either spices like chilies or add-ins like nuts rather than an errant piece of partially cooked potato.
While a good chef’s knife is essential, the 7" Santoku Knife is a favorite for plant-forward cooking because of its flat, fluted cutting edge, which is more suited to notoriously unwieldy vegetables like squash. The shorter blade length also makes it ideal for precision cuts (think: scoring before roasting or removing kale ribs) and gives you exceptional control when chopping, dicing or julienning.
Sautéing is a major component of vegetarian cooking. When it comes to low fat cooking, non stick cookware is ideal for this technique (and more). Flipping egg-white omelets, searing tofu or wilting greens are all made simple with the super slick surface of our Non Stick Frying Pan.
Each piece in our Non Stick Collection is coated with durable, professional-grade non stick coating, perfect for weeknight sautés or heating up meal prepped dishes with minimal mess.
Learning how to properly roast vegetables is one of the best ways to introduce more of them into your diet and truly enjoy the process. After using your knife to cut your desired vegetable (or better yet a medley of them) into similar sized pieces, you can continue to ensure even cooking by making sure the pan is not crowded.
As the water begins to cook out of the vegetables, a Maillard reaction occurs and the vegetables' own sugars help them beautifully caramelize. While a little oil aids in the cleanup process and creates a crispy exterior, it is not necessary to perfectly cook veggies. Roasting temperatures vary between 375ºF and 450ºF, so try to pair similarly dense vegetables to make sure that nothing gets over or undercooked.
The high, curved walls of our Carbon Steel Roasting Pan further ensure even cooking and allow you to easily turn vegetables without fear of spilling them into the oven. Designed in partnership with Chef Tom Colicchio, it can just as easily be used to cook a holiday or weeknight dinner.
Texture is a great way to give the vegetables you may have detested in childhood a second chance—for example, if you over steam broccoli, asparagus or Brussels sprouts, they end up like mushy cafeteria food rather than the verdant, fresh, delicious ingredient they should be.
One easy way to level up your veg and add some interesting texture is as easy as taking it to the grill. While meat will release proteins as it cooks, vegetables yield water, helping to steam them along the way and improving texture.
The 62 perforations on our 11" Blue Carbon Steel Grill Frying Pan allow for the flames to make even contact with the bottom of the pan, while acting as a basket to prevent losing ingredients to grill grates. The result is impressive grill marks, chargrilled flavor, and more uniform cooking, all but promising crispy, interesting veg instead of ones that have been sadly steamed.
If you're preparing a big salad or roasting a whole cauliflower, you're going to need something to organize your add-ins or garnishes. Enter: the Mise en Place Set. French for "everything in it's place," the principles of mise en place instruct you to get your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Never again will you frantically chop onions while the oil is heating—instead, you'll be calm, cool, and collected as you add in your pre-measured and chopped ingredients.
Salads can be drab or beautiful depending on many things— dressings, toppings, greens used and, of course, plating. After you have chopped your vegetables of choice, one way to really let them shine is to mix and present them in one of our Serving Bowls.
With its 12" diameter, our Serving Bowl provides salads with the stage they truly deserve. Each piece in our Tabletop Collection is crafted with care in England, and features 360-degree glazing and both scratch and stain resistant construction so you can use your metal mixing spoons without fear.
Now that you're fully armed with everything you need to cook meat-free, it's time to put it all into practice. Don't know where to start? Our collection of vegetarian recipes from our in-house culinary team and restaurant customers proves that you don't need meat for a meal to be delicious.
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