Welcome to the Vegan Coach guide to vegan cooking. Ready to play with your food?
Are you looking for tips on working with and cooking basic vegetarian whole foods like vegetables, beans, and whole grains? If so, then you will love the information you'll find here.
It's like your very own virtual cooking school. :)
Do you like to cook? Or is it a necessary evil?
Before I went vegan back in 1994, I was the worst cook I knew; my friends actually joked about my lack of skills in the kitchen (boo-hoo). I just really HAY-AY-ATED cooking.
It wasn't until I went vegetarian (and later dropped the eggs and dairy) that I was forced to learn how to cook for myself and hubby Jeff.
And what I have learned over the years is that cooking is the best way to relax, let all the stress float away, and let your creativity flow.
But cooking CAN be stressful too, especially when you first head down this path and you really don't have a clue what to cook. Or you get bored with the same few recipes you make over and over again.
Let's begin with the main ingredients, followed by a few tips to help get you started...
Vegan Cooking Guide
These whole foods are the foundation of your meals.
Click on each one. Get to know them!
Highly recommended: Be sure to review the easy-to-understand Vegan Cooking Guide Tutorial to learn how to make use of all the information you will find after clicking on the following food groups. (This will open in a new window so you can go back and forth as needed.)
Vegetable Cooking Guide
We'll show you how to cook veggies! Click to learn more about fresh vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
Whole Grains Cooking Guide
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.
Protein Cooking Guide
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.
Guide to Fruit
Fruit! Good! Eat!
Click to learn more about fruits of all shapes and sizes
VEGAN COOKING STEP #1:
The most important thing you can do is to get familiar with the main ingredients you will use the most when cooking.
This is vital to your success as you learn to cook 100% plant-based vegetarian dishes.
Because if you don't know how to work with each ingredient individually, how can you hope to mix them together to make a yummy meal?
Take a look again at the list above and you will find fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans (and other foods loaded with protein).
As an example, if you click on The Vegetable Cooking Guide you will visit an article that lists some of the most popular veggies out there. Click on any of the veggie links, and you will find detailed tips and advice that will teach you how to shop for these ingredients, how to prep and cook them, and how to flavor them, plus links to nutrition information.
VEGAN COOKING STEP #2:
Now, Step 1 helped you to get familiar with how to make each whole-food main ingredient on its own.
And when you have these basics down, you can begin to put them together to make easy meals.
For instance, let's say you learn how to cook broccoli. You also tried your hand at making some quinoa. And you have discovered how to cook black beans. What are you going to do with this information?
Here are some ideas for how you might use the three ingredients above to whip up a healthy and delectable meal:
Really, the possibilities are limitless. Become comfy with the main ingredients for your meals - refer to the categories of delicious foods above to guide you.
Also, take a peek at Cooking From Scratch where you will find lots of dishes I created on-the-fly using the same techniques you're learning here.
VEGAN COOKING STEP #3:
Now that you have an idea of how to cook your main ingredients, and how you can get started making these ingredients into a meal, it's time for some cooking tips to help you along:
VEGAN COOKING STEP #4:
Get to know the Vegan Food Pyramid so you have an understanding of which food groups you need to eat on a daily basis. This will help to guide you in choosing your main ingredients with which to make your meals.
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-- Small Footprints, Asheville, North Carolina
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-- Mike Y., Tucson, Arizona
"You have a great site. I still haven't make it through every page, but I intend to. It's cool that you are doing this: helping people understand how to go/stay/cook vegan. It's not easy in the beginning when trying to switch to a vegan diet. Even though two years ago I went vegan for a whole year, I forget how now that I am trying to return to it again. Your site is a definite source in helping me find my way back again."
-- Carol Radike, San Luis Obispo, California