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 Post subject: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:33 pm
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Location: Charleston, SC
Can anyone suggest some must have food items and/ or appliances to have on hand to prepare vegan meals?


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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What angle are you coming from? If you're just starting out, you might browse through a few cookbooks - like Veganomicon - that have pantry lists and descriptions of foods and cooking tools. But basically you don't need anything except a wide variety of healthy, whole foods that you know you'll eat. Branch out slowly as you try new things.

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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:49 pm 
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Calls "cavemen" on that
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A new cutting board that never had any meat touch it whatsoever! Germs and nasty stuff could be lurking on it.

Besides that, I have not bought any 'special' items for my kitchen since going veggie.

However, i sure cook a lot more than I used to! So my appliances and cutlery collection has grown. but nothing veggie specific, per se

HAHA i do have this egg beater thingy that is supposed to be for beating eggs. Its a really small whisk with a cute little egg guy on the bottom with feet so it can be 'stood up'. I use it all the time. I would say that this item was definitly not marketed towards people that dont eat eggs. but i love that little guy.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:54 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:33 pm
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Location: Charleston, SC
I've only been vegan for 4 months. I was living in seattle so there were infinite vegan options. I now live in SC and you can't even find an authentic Thai restaurant. I have been looking at recipes and have come across things like agrave nectar, egg replacer, and nutritional yeast. I'm not much of a cook, but i'm going to have to learn if I want to continue my new veganism.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:33 pm
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Location: Charleston, SC
I was thinking I should get a little food processor so I can make sauces.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:01 pm 
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I can't recommend Veganomicon enough. Not only are the recipes well thought out, but it has the pantry guide and really basic cooking info, like how to roast vegetables. I'm learning so much about cooking from that book. I bought agave nectar, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices, and Earth Balance to get me started. I don't actually use the agave for anything though, so unless you bake a lot or sweeten things a lot, you maybe can give it a pass. Nutritional yeast is good for making things creamy, but I also don't use it too much. The most expensive and most useful I've found were the herbs and spices. I bought thyme, sage, cumin, coriander, curry, parsley, oregano... I'm drawing a blank... but herbs/spices can really make a difference between more sauteed veggies and a delicious meal.

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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:02 pm 
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ADRIENNE23 wrote:
I was thinking I should get a little food processor so I can make sauces.


I just found out that you can by an immersion blender attachment for a handmixer--rocked my world.

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I would eat Dr. Cow pocket cheese in a second. I would eat it if you hid it under your hat, or in your backpack, but not if it was in your shoe. That's where I draw the line. -allularpunk


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:33 pm
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Location: Charleston, SC
Thanks! I'm going to pick up that book asap. I guess I really need to learn my spices. All i use now is garlic ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:07 pm 
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ADRIENNE23 wrote:
Thanks! I'm going to pick up that book asap. I guess I really need to learn my spices. All i use now is garlic ;)


That's how I was! And then when I'd tried to put other things in I'd make it taste really bad. There are certain spices that go well together, and then some that just don't. I want to say there's a spice guide, but that might have been in one of the Skinny bisque books.

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I would eat Dr. Cow pocket cheese in a second. I would eat it if you hid it under your hat, or in your backpack, but not if it was in your shoe. That's where I draw the line. -allularpunk


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:33 pm
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Location: Charleston, SC
I'll have to pick that one up too!


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:26 pm 
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I'd recommend getting a really good knife too for chopping veggies. And a y-shaped veg peeler.

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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:46 pm 
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I really want an immersion blender-or a better food processor cause mine gets a bit grumpy since it's seen more use this year. My cheap breadmaker has come in handy to make pizza dough. I wish they sold nutritional yeast at costco because we go through a ridiculous amount.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:52 pm 
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I just started with the essentials (knives/chopping boards, a couple pots and pants, a casserole dish), and as I cooked more, I found out other things that I needed more often. So if you're cooking and a recipe calls for some appliances/cookware you don't have, and you find that happening often, go buy it.

As far as pantry items, I buy a few staples and snack items that I eat often, but otherwise, I just go through cookbooks and write down ingredients for a week's worth of recipes and do my grocery shopping weekly.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:02 pm 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Location: Vancouver Island
These are my three go to appliances:

Magic Bullet
Food Processor
Blender

As for pantry items I would suggest:

Nutritional Yeast
Non Dairy Milk
Dried or Canned Beans, especially chickpeas!
Quinoa
Variety of spices
Nuts/Seeds
TVP or TSP

Perishables:

Your favorite fruits & vegetables
Tofu (or tempeh)

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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Good knives! I like those plastic cutting sheets too. You can fold them and pourp your food right into the pan, and you can store a lot of them in a drawer at once.

I make a lot of vegan meals in my crock pot. I also like to cook dry beans with it, so I can flavor the beans while they're cooking. Plus I can start them in the morning and dinner is ready when I get home, with plenty of leftovers. (Cooked beans also freeze well.)

I eat oatmeal for breakfast, so I always keep a supply of dried and frozen fruits and nuts on hand to flavor it.

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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:00 pm
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Location: Little Falls, NJ
Items that I use all the time are:
a good knife
a cutting board
a steamer
a big pot to make soups and stews
a saute pan for sauteing veggies and making tofu scramble
baking sheet (for roasting veggies or making vegan scones)

There are many other items I use, but I could get by on just that if I had to.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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ndpittman wrote:
I can't recommend Veganomicon enough. Not only are the recipes well thought out, but it has the pantry guide and really basic cooking info, like how to roast vegetables. I'm learning so much about cooking from that book. I bought agave nectar, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices, and Earth Balance to get me started. I don't actually use the agave for anything though, so unless you bake a lot or sweeten things a lot, you maybe can give it a pass. Nutritional yeast is good for making things creamy, but I also don't use it too much. The most expensive and most useful I've found were the herbs and spices. I bought thyme, sage, cumin, coriander, curry, parsley, oregano... I'm drawing a blank... but herbs/spices can really make a difference between more sauteed veggies and a delicious meal.



I second Veganomicon. I use it constantly. So many good recipes and lots of inspiration.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:37 pm 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Location: Halifax, NS
Shell wrote:
ndpittman wrote:
I can't recommend Veganomicon enough. Not only are the recipes well thought out, but it has the pantry guide and really basic cooking info, like how to roast vegetables. I'm learning so much about cooking from that book. I bought agave nectar, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices, and Earth Balance to get me started. I don't actually use the agave for anything though, so unless you bake a lot or sweeten things a lot, you maybe can give it a pass. Nutritional yeast is good for making things creamy, but I also don't use it too much. The most expensive and most useful I've found were the herbs and spices. I bought thyme, sage, cumin, coriander, curry, parsley, oregano... I'm drawing a blank... but herbs/spices can really make a difference between more sauteed veggies and a delicious meal.



I second Veganomicon. I use it constantly. So many good recipes and lots of inspiration.


Definitely agree about Veganomicon, it's definitely an amazing resource of information as well as awesome recipes.


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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:04 pm 
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I love the Veganomicon too, it has great recipes and info. I also recommend Isa's new book appetite for reduction. It has lots of info on healthy eating and really easy quick recipes. The new book "vegan substiutions" is also fantastic it will teach you everything you need to know about veganizing things and it has recipes.

For my house I always have onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, canned beans, spices, pasta, rice, greens (like kale and spinach) tofu, tempeh, wheat gluten, flax seeds, applesauce,(for baking) coconut creamer, and agave because I like it in my coffee. Oh and lemons limes cilantro and almond milk.

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 Post subject: Re: Is your kitchen Vegan ready?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:13 pm 
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A book I don't see mentioned a lot is How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Big, boring book by Mark Bittman. However, it's a very handy boring book. There's three or four chapter on how to prepare all sorts of vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins (beans, tofu, seitan, tempeh). A lot of simple "base" recipes for soups and salads and things like that. Granted, it's vegetarian, but nearly every recipe outside of the "eggs and milk" chapter can be prepared vegan by leaving or subbing a bit of butter with oil (he even recommends it for most of them), and for a few, subbing some cheese with teese or daiya. The recipes aren't as good (in the bam, in your face flavor sort of way) as vcon or vwav, but it's really handy to have around. I reference it all the time.

In the bare-bones vegan kitchen, I'd go with a 10" Victorinox Chef's Knife (about $30 US on Amazon) (and some sort of case, about $5), a big cutting board (end-grain wood if you can afford it, since it's nice to your knives, bamboo or edge-grain if you can't), a cast iron skillet (10"-12", should be between 15 and 30 dollars), and either a big stockpot (8-12 quarts) (don't pay more than $50, and make sure you have a lid) (go for something with a "disc bottom") or a 5-6 quart enameled cast-iron dutch oven (if you wait for a deal, you can find a Lodge dutch oven for about 50 on amazon). Lastly, don't forget a stirring implement, whether the standard spoon or a spatula (my preferred). Maybe add in a cheapo baking sheet for roasted veggies and cookies. It's not too big an initial outlay, and you can make a lot with it. From here, you figure out what you like, and you figure out what you need to make it better - like pasta a lot, get a colander; or if you like soups and stews, pick up a slow-cooker.

For pantry items, figure out a few quick dishes and start from there. Spaghetti and marinara is easy - dried pasta, olive oil some cans of tomatoes, some bulbs of garlic (bulbs, not jarred), maybe something to mix in like spinach or cannellini beans to make it a complete meal. Also easy - rice + stir-fry: keep some jasmine or basmati rice on hand, keep a couple of veggies in the fridge like green onions and bell peppers, maybe some soy sauce and sesame oil or whatever. Keep some boxed vegetable stock on hand until making your owns seems easier, since it helps in adding flavor to soups. Definitely keep some canned beans around unless you want to cook your own. As far as spices go, try to use a new one every week for a while; they're expensive at first, but last a year or two. After a while, you'll see what you make a lot of, and everything's good from there.


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