Welcome to your Vegan Cooking Guide Tutorial!
There is a LOT of information tucked within our website about how to cook with plant-based whole food ingredients.
And if you're like most vegan home cooks, you'll find it all to be extremely helpful to you as you begin (or continue on) your cooking adventures.
But it can be a little overwhelming to have so much information if you're unsure what to do with it.
This page will help you find your way around and make the most of your journey through our website so you can get started creating your very own recipes quickly and easily.
Let's get started...
Imagine purchasing a whole food ingredient from your favorite market.
Whether it's produce (like broccoli or asparagus), grains (like brown rice or quinoa), beans, fruit, you name it -- you just need some ideas of how you can prepare it; right?
Most people -- maybe even you? -- go in search of recipes to help you to bring the food from its raw self to a yummy cooked creation.
What if you don't have time to search for a recipe?
Maybe you need to make dinner NOW.
Or maybe you find you don't have the ingredients on hand the recipe calls for.
Or maybe (if you're anything like my husband) you find recipes to be confusing and overwhelming.
You just want to make some freakin' vegan food!
Is that too much to ask?!?!
Heck, no, that's not too much to ask!
So let's take a look at how we can help you move forward cooking your whole food ingredients...
Your cooking adventure begins when you choose your main ingredient from the list of foods below, such as one of the veggies, whole grains or beans.
Clicking the link will send you to an article devoted to your chosen main ingredient where you'll find the tips and advice you need to prepare your food from beginning to end.
What's that you say? You'd like to go through an example?
Thought you'd never ask. :)
Let's say you chose "Cabbage" from the list of veggies.
The first thing we'll teach you is how to shop for your cabbage in the store...
Look for Cabbage with crisp and smooth outer leaves, with no tears, bruises or cracks. If you see any damage on the outside, chances are there will be damage on the inside, most likely in the form of worms or other pests. Also, look to the bottom to see if the leaves are beginning to separate from the stem -- if so, pass on it as this is an indication of age...
Next, you'll learn how to Clean and Prep your chosen main ingredient to get it ready for the next step:
Fill a bowl (or a Salad Spinner) with clean, filtered water. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice, apple cider vinegar, or any other edible acid which will help to clean your veggie more thoroughly (p.s. don't skip this step -- it's very important).
Remove outer leaves and discard. Cut head of cabbage into quarters and soak in the prepared water for 10 minutes or so. Rinse...
Then you'll discover cooking techniques that work beautifully with your particular chosen main ingredient.
Simply click any cooking technique image to visit an article that will explain the technique for you from beginning to end:
If you'd like to give it a try, click on any of the cooking techniques below -- a new page will open so you can check it out and then come right on back here when you're done...
Here's an example of a couple cooking techniques we use and recommend for cabbage...
*Note: Remember, the cooking techniques we list throughout our website are just suggestions.
As you spend more time with us learning various cooking techniques, you may want to experiment with a particular one that isn't listed for your ingredient of choice.
Creativity and experimentation is the name of the game whenever you step into the kitchen.
And here's where your creativity will really come into play...
The "Vegan Flavor Matches" are a list of the foods, herbs, spices and other ingredients that tend to go perfectly with the flavor of your chosen main ingredient. Just mix and match -- kind of like Garanimals! :)
Choose the ingredients that you have on hand to get your meal on the table in minutes.
Butter, non-dairy (I like organic Earth Balance)
Cream, organic and non-dairy (I like Silk Soy Creamer which is non-GMO)
Here's how to use the Flavor Matches in this example for cabbage.
Suppose you have some coconut nectar, coconut milk, garlic and lemon juice on hand. You can whip this into a sauce and pour it over lightly steamed cabbage.
Or you could sauté some chopped cabbage and leeks in a little non-dairy butter and sprinkle with caraway seeds, salt and pepper, and any other ingredients you have on hand that match your taste buds.
The Flavor Matches give you the training wheels you need to learn how to mix and match flavors that work perfectly with your chosen main ingredient. Be sure to take note of those ingredients you'd like to purchase so you have them on hand for next time.
You'll find Flavor Matches all across our site on the pages that focus on one particuar whole-food ingredient (such as How To Cook Beans or How To Cook Brown Rice or How To Cook Broccoli, etc.).
Use this search box to find a whole-food main ingredient you're cooking (such as the examples I just gave: "beans" or "brown rice" or "broccoli").
Note: These matches are just a guide to get your creative juices flowing. You will most likely discover Flavor Matches on your own. Don't be afraid to play with your food. :)
You will also find other tools that you may find useful, such as Helpful Hints...
Red cabbage turns blue when cooked for a length of time. To avoid color loss: When cooking for longer periods of time (such as boiling) add a splash of vinegar to the cooking water.
...Similar Food Suggestions...
...Vegan Nutrition Information...
World's Healthiest Foods.com
It's the Vegan Food Guide of your dreams! And it's all here for you to play with and use to your heart's content.
Are you ready? It's time to use all of these tips and PLAY!
Click a link below to visit a main category (such as Whole Grains). Then, select a specific ingredient (like Brown Rice)...
We'll show you how to cook veggies! Click to learn more about fresh vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
Here we'll teach you how to cook whole grains from scratch. Click to learn more about cooking with whole grains, like brown rice and barley, and pseudocereals like quinoa and buckwheat.
Here you'll learn all about cooking the higher protein vegan foods including all kinds of beans, large and small. We also cover tempeh, nuts and seeds.
Fruit! Good! Eat!
Click to learn more about fruits of all shapes and sizes
Thanks for visiting. If you have any questions please ask below.
Happy cooking. Have fun! :)
"I have always been a good cook, but preparing vegan meals is soooo different. I had to start from the beginning.
"Your website was, and still is, my safe place to go when trying to create great vegan meals. I love creating my own recipes and your way of listing complementary foods and spices allows me to do that easily. I have your books and they help a lot also."
-- MaryAnn Raymond, River Vale, New Jersey