Welcome to your Vegan Cooking Guide Tutorial!
There is a lot of information tucked within our website that will be extremely helpful to you as you begin (or continue on) your cooking adventures.
And it all starts with our Vegan Cooking Guide which teaches you how to shop for whole foods, clean and prep them, cook them up, and flavor and season them too.
Whew! Lots of faaaabulous and fun stuff to play with!
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 imagine you purchase a particular whole food from your favorite market. Whether it's produce, grains, beans, fruit, you name it, you simply need some ideas of how you can prepare it.
Many of us go in search of recipes (which can be time consuming) that will help you to bring the food from its raw self to a yummy cooked creation.
But 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.
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. This Tutorial will help you make sense of the fantastically helpful information you'll find there.
After you've selected your main ingredient, you'll discover how to choose the freshest and most beautiful foods from the market. For example, let's say you chose "Cabbage" from the list of veggies.
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. You will simply click the images to visit an article that will explain the technique for you from beginning to end:
Here are the cooking techniques we use and recommend...
*Note: Remember, these are just suggestions. As you spend more time on this site learning various cooking techniques, you may want to experiment with a particular technique that isn't listed for your food of choice. Creativity and experimentation is the name of the game whenever you step into the kitchen.
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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. etc. etc.). Use the Search bar at the top of our website to find a whole-food main ingredient you're cooking (such as the examples I just gave: "beans" or "brown rice" or "broccoli" etc.). Have fun!
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 take the first step in your cooking adventure...
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