Going with vegan food is not an easy decision for many people, especially those who have spent almost their entire lives eating meat. It’s not easy, and there’s a learning curve when you transition from eating meat to going without. That said, it is not as impossible as it seems. When you go vegan, you don’t have to leave the flavors behind. You’re just moving to a different area—one that you likely have not explored enough.
You don’t have to rely on take-out, crackers, raw fruit, and vegetables for the rest of your life. You’re just rediscovering new ways to eat them. Cooking vegan will push you to explore ingenious and surprisingly easy ways to create dishes that will leave you full, satisfied, and craving for more. Making delicious vegan meals is all about creativity and making your ingredients shine.
The only way you can get better at cooking vegan food is by practicing. On your journey to becoming a vegan cook, here are the four most important things you need to remember:
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
The first thing you need to remember is that cooking should be fun. Especially when cooking vegan food, genuinely enjoying the process will help you eventually get better and better at it. To get better at cooking, you have to actually want to be there. Cooking, especially vegan food, can be challenging, time-consuming, and hectic. But if you prepare everything in advance, it should be a breeze.
Food prep refers to the process that includes doing your research, purchasing, and chopping up your ingredients in advance and in bulk. So much of the stress in cooking just comes from being ill-prepared. Where are the chives? Have you chopped the onions? Is the seasoning ready?
It can be rattling being in front of a stove and scrambling to get all your ingredients in the pan. Do yourself a favor and do the research, food prep, and everything else before turning on the stove. Some even do it at the start of the week. It will save you a whole lot of trouble and ensures that you don’t get sick of the kitchen.
Splurge on the Good Stuff
Grains, fruit, vegetables, and more are going to be the new stars of your dishes, but without good supporting ingredients—oil, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, to name a few—you’ll be stuck with bland, dull, and ultimately uninspired food. Those main ingredients are relatively inexpensive, especially if you catch a special sale. What you should splurge on is the seasoning.
Buying premium ingredients ensures that all your food prep and work in the kitchen results in the best tasting vegan food you’ve ever had. Good olive oil and spices make a difference in the way your food tastes and smells. Often, with ingredients like premium spices and whatnot, you won’t even have to use a lot. Depending on your taste buds, it might last long with you.
Perfect the Basics and Then Get Creative
Vegan cooking is all about innovation and creativity. But the best way to get there is by perfecting the basics first. If you can make a bowl of pasta shine with regular ingredients, imagine what you can do when you decide to go out of the box and use non-traditional ingredients. Take a traditional bowl of pesto pasta and elevate it with a few choice spices and vegetables. It’s all up to you. The possibilities are endless!
The Bottom Line
Cooking vegan food is fun. It’s art and science at the same time. To create amazing vegan dishes, you have to get to know your ingredients. For example, watermelon isn’t just a summer fruit. It can be an excellent base for savory dishes like vegan smoked “ribs.” Everything is possible as long as you step out of your comfort zone and explore.
If you’re interested in more cooking tips and ideas from private chefs in Asheville, North Carolina, browse our website! Here at Food Fire Knives, we want to help everyone experience food in new and exciting ways. We offer private chef catering and cooking classes open to all. Sign up for our newsletter now and stay up to date with the latest on food and cooking!