Check out our top tips for cooking perfect vegan meals. Vegan cooking doesn’t assume that you were already a good cook beforehand. Given the reduced access to healthy, preprepared vegan food, it’s likely that you’ll be making more dishes from scratch. After all, ordering from a vegan restaurant and relying on food delivery apps will burn a hole in your pocket.
In case you’re either new to cooking from scratch or now making the switch to vegan cooking, here are some quick tips to get you up to speed.
Herbs and Spices Are Your Friends
When we think of seasoning, we mostly consider adding sea salt or ground pepper right before serving.
This is fine and you’ll surely notice them when they’re missing. However, you can go much further with other herbs and spices added to a dish.
Herbing It Up!
Herbs are confusing for new cooks. Being mostly either leafy or fragrant plants, different styles and types of cooking are supported.
Depending on what’s required for the dish, carefully selected herbs included in vegan cooking add depth to the existing flavors.
Fresh herbs are preferable to dried ones because they’re stronger in scent and flavor.
Nevertheless, fresh herbs can dry out before you get a chance to use them.
Owning a selection of dried herbs gives you plenty of opportunities to select the right one, or to use several of them, depending on the vegan dish being prepared.
Ultimately, some chefs will just use a mixed herbs selection and leave it there.
Even this is better than not using any for fear of choosing the wrong ones. Yet, rest assured that it’s usually impossible to add too many herbs and ruin the dish, unlike with spices.
Unlike herbs, spices typically come from seeds or pods from their originating plants.
These are far more potent than leafy herbs and so must be used sparingly.
There are convenient spice mixes usually tailored around a type of cuisine. For less confident vegan cooks, start with those and then move on to individual spices later.
This reduces the chance of choosing the wrong type of spice for a regional dish.
Use spices minimally until you are familiar with the appropriate spice level for each dish.
Doing this avoids creating a vegan Goan curry that’s spicier than you or your dining guest can handle.
Also, avoid bulk buying for steep discounts on ground spices until you’re clear on the ones you most frequently use.
Find The Vegan Alternative to Your Favorites
One of the easiest things to do when you’re getting started is to take existing dishes that you love and transform them into vegan ones.
To do this successfully, it’s necessary to find alternatives or replacements for animal meat and maybe other previously used ingredients too.
Typically, this requires looking for a suitable vegan-approved protein source for each dish.
The protein chosen should match the texture and taste that you’re seeking.
For example, tofu in a silken or softer form can be used in a sauce, added to a vegan sausage, or in other dishes where a more malleable protein is required.
In other situations, a nuttier and robust protein replacement might call for seitan instead. It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
Use A Non Stick Pan
A non-stick pan is necessary for most cooks to get acceptable results with their cooking.
Otherwise, dishes will become overly brown and may burn even when not left on the heat too long or on a strong heat setting.
For newer vegan cooks, the last thing you need is inferior cooking tools that let you down.
It only takes one or two ruined dishes early on after switching to vegan food to put you off sticking with it.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Lastly, something to consider is if you prefer cooking without any oil. It’s healthier, but a non-stick pan is vital to do this successfully.
Learn How To Cook Veggies
Mastering the selection, preparation, and cooking of various vegetables enhances the results of any vegan meal.
As ingredients, they are highly flexible and adapt well to different cuisines and dishes.
Whether putting them into a stew, an Asian-inspired stir fry, or a refreshing salad for lunch, learning to cook vegetables well without destroying their flavor or nutritional value is the foundation of vegan cooking.
Vegan farmer’s markets can be the perfect place to not only pick up your vegan veggies but also pick up some vegan cooking tips.
Vegan farmer’s markets are full of persons who are already living a vegan lifestyle, they are normally more than happy to share their favorite vegan recipes and vegan cooking tips with you.
Keep It Simple
Don’t overly complicate new dishes when just getting started. Avoid the feeling of needing to duplicate complex dishes that you previously made as a non-vegan.
The idea is to successfully produce tasty vegan food for you (and possibly your family) to consume.
Skip the need to impress until you’ve developed a new confidence in the process.
Different ingredients require new approaches to preparation and altered cooking times.
There will be some trial and error involved, and you should expect that.
By keeping the dishes simple, it’ll be easier to recover from early blunders.
If you’re a new vegan and looking for some menu ideas why not check out our article on what to serve vegan guests, you may get some inspiration.
Cook In Bulk & Freeze
Save time by cooking more than you need for a single sitting. Freeze other portions for later consumption.
Doing so reduces the time to prepare vegan dishes which can be more involved.
This can also be a great way of eating a vegan diet on a budget.
What Are The Benefits Of Learning To Cook Vegan?
There have been a number of controlled studies with have found that a vegan diet is not only ethical but is also an effective way to lose weight fast.
Although there are a number of difficulties you are likely to face as a vegan, vegan cooking does not need to be one of them.
If you are new to veganism, check out our article on getting started as a vegan. It will give you some top tips to help you adjust to a vegan lifestyle without becoming overwhelmed.
Wrapping Up: Tips for Cooking Perfect Vegan Meals
There you have it, some of our top tips for cooking perfect vegan meals every time. It’s a case of starting simple, working out how to make vegan alternatives for your favorite non-vegan dishes, and then branching out from there.