Top 7 Kitchen Gadgets for Plant-Based Cooking



So, you're going plant-based. Hoorah!


Maybe you feeling like you're getting older and you want more energy. . . 


Or there is some health condition that's kind of minor that you think you can cure. 


At least thats what it was for me. 


(It helped)


But, there is something intimidating about going all "plant-based" or "vegan." 


You have to create your own little bubble where you are not even tempted by those animal based foods. 


As a chef, I guess I have an advantage. I can make food look tastier and sometimes it works. 


But, at the end of the day it has to be tastier. 


And that's where my little toolkit comes in. 


Below are some of the top kitchen tools that I use when I cook plant-based. 


I admit I am not a full time vegan, but I try to eat 80% plant-based. 


These tools can be used in the traditional kitchen, but they are especially helpful for making plant-based foods tastier. 

You'll also find links to the products I like to use. Please note that I will receive some commissions on the products purchased here. I only recommend products I really like. 

#1 
Must have tool

Microplane

Whether it's garlic, ginger, or lemon zest, this is a must. Things like tofu need a lot of help and flavor.  Using a microplane can help you mince ingredients to get a quick marinade together. The smaller the ingredients, the faster they will penetrate into the protein or veggie to flavor it.

If you're not fully vegan, microplanes are the best for grating hard cheeses like Parmesan over soups or pasta. 



#2
Old tool, new uses

Vegetable peeler


Don't bother buying zoodles (vegetable noodles) at the market or buying some fancy gadget that you don't have room for in the kitchen. 

Make your veggie noodles with a plain old vegetable peeler. Carrots, asparagus, zucchini or butternut squash make create zoodles. 

The fun doesn't stop there. Use your vegetable peeler to shave chocolate onto desserts, or (for the 80% vegan like me) Parmesan cheese shavings onto salads. 




#3
Roast like a pro

Roasting pan and unbleached parchment paper

Most people don't know that regular parchment paper is bleached to make it white. Maybe its harmless, but most likely the bleach isn't good for us. It can leach into the food. So, I like to use unbleached parchment paper to roast veggies- the brown stuff.

Also, take it from a chef who's roasted a lot. Do NOT use thin cookie sheets for roasting. The high temperature used for roasting makes the pan buckle. Then, you go to make cookies and they droop to one side because the pan tilts. Invest in a heavy duty roasting pan that won't bend and buckle under 425 F roasting heat. 





#4 
Tool for sauces

Immersion blender and/or vitamix

Really, an essential tool in the plant-based kitchen. Soups, sauces, and nut butters all require some heavy duty power to break them down. I can do almost anything in my Vitamix blender. The immersion blender just comes in handy for soups and smaller batch sauces. 

Don't stop with just liquids! The Vitamix does a great job blending flaxseeds, and oats to make gluten-free pancakes. 





#5
Tool for better quinoa

Small mesh strainer

Yes, you can get away with not having a small mesh strainer, but I don't recommend it. On a plant-based diet, quinoa becomes your friend- your best friend. Quinoa is one of the most complete plant-based proteins so you can add it to breakfast bowls or buddha bowls. The trick to good-tasting quinoa is rinsing it.... sometimes 3 times, or until the water runs clear. This washes the bitter taste away.

Without rinsing quinoa, you might just not cook it at all. Get a strainer to enjoy quinoa. 





#6
Old standby

Large soup pot

Soup is one of the best ways to get a complete meal. Making a big pot at the beginning of the week can save you a lot of time during the week. It's also a great way to use up any veggies you forgot about in the fridge. Add a grain like farro, barley, pasta, or quinoa (gluten-free) to soups to make it a meal. Soup always tastes better the next day too. It's a nutrient powerhouse because all nutrients stay in the broth. 





#7
Most overlooked tool

Comfortable knife and sharpener

Since you'll be cooking a lot, make sure your knife is sharp. It makes it safer and easier to cut your veggies. Get a 6 or 8-inch knife thats comfortable for you. Long-lasting, good knife brands are Globe, Wusthof, Henckels, and Messermeister. My preference is the Wusthof 8-inch. The best knife is the one that is comfortable in your hand.

Then use a honing steel once or twice a month to straighten the knife. If you don't feel comfortable using a honing steel, use a knife sharpener.

Also, use a wooden cutting board whenever you can. This is the best for your knife. It doesn't dull it as fast. Wood actually may hold less bacteria than plastic, too, making it the safer and more natural choice. 


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Summary


You don't really need fancy gadgets to eat a plant-based diet. But, having these tools make it easier and more convenient to cook plant-based meals.  

The more fun you have, and the more you get into the creative process of plant-based cooking, the more likely you will stick with the diet.

Maybe even your loved ones will jump on board. (That's my goal after all!)


If this helped you out, tag me on Instagram @chefjoannas using your tool. Happy cooking.

Joanna





Need more help?


Join the 'Cook to 100' program to learn more about plant-based cooking basics. Or check out 80% plant-based meal plans. 

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