Ok, are you ready for this? I am going to give you most of my secrets for creating amazing tasting vegan food. I will give it to you in list form first because these are the things you should have in your pantry so that you can also create great tasting vegan food!
Onion powder, smoked paprika, Braggs liquid amino acids, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt free tomato paste, medjool dates, Rancho Gordo beans, nutritional yeast, raw-unsalted cashews and non-alkalized and black cocoa powder.
Now, I will explain the reason for each and where you can obtain them!
The onion powder I use comes from an online company called iHerb. It comes in a 160z bag and is organic. It is far superior to the little jars you can buy at the supermarket and gives dishes a great flavor.
Smoked paprika is something I stumbled upon when we lived in New Zealand. I had never heard of it before but decided to try it on the advice from a friend. I have been using it religiously ever since. It is great to use in bean dishes or dishes that would normally have meat in them. It can give just about any dish a smoky depth. mmmm. You can get this in just about any supermarket now.
Braggs liquid amino acids is an essential ingredient that I used very regularly. It is a replacement for salt. The reason I feel like it is Ok to use is that it only has 320 ml of sodium vs 2300 ml of sodium in table salt. It is also derived from vegetables. Many supermarkets now cary it but if you can’t find it there, you can find it at a health food store like Whole Foods.
White wine vinegar and Balsamic vinegar are a must for any kitchen. These vinegars have a depth of flavor that you just can’t get from white vinegar. I use both regularly to make salad dressings. You can find one of my recipes in Vegan Kale Salad.
Salt free tomato paste adds a rich tomato flavor to any soup or sauce. Sometimes when you make a sauce and it just “needs a little something” , sometimes a little glob of tomato paste is all you need to give it a punch of flavor. Make sure that it is salt free so you don’t add unnecessary sodium to your dish.
Medjool dates. I choose to use medjool dates instead of normal dates because they are so much creamier and have a caramel flavor that is irresistible. I also find that they are much sweeter than your average date.
Rancho Gordo beans are the most delicious beans I have found. They carry many species of beans that you cannot find for sale anywhere else in the world. This is what the company specializes in. If you have a moment, you really should read about this company. It is amazing what they are doing for the world! Once you try their beans you will never go back to the conventional beans you find in the supermarket. They have a depth of flavor that I have never tasted before!
Nutritional Yeast is another vegan cooking staple ingredient. It has a rich, almost cheesy flavor. It is a versatile powder that you can add to sauces to give it a “cheesy” flavor or sprinkle it on your popped corn instead of butter. I use it in many of my recipes to give a dish a richer flavor. I buy it from iHerb in 160z bags.
Raw, unsalted cashews are also a must for your pantry. They are the base for all of my salad dressings and creamy sauces like Alfredo. I also use them to make cheesecake like my Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake. The alfredo recipe is soon to be one of my next shows.
Non-alkalized cocoa powder is something Dr. Fuhrman suggests in his book Eat to Live. It is much less processed and has 50% more of the alkaloids that are good for you. Black cocoa powder is a dark cocoa powder that tastes kind of like ground up oreo cookies. They can both be purchased through iHerb I 160z bags.
The ingredients that I have listed from iHerb are actually from a company called Frontier. I have a wholesale account with them which allows me to get an even better deal!
Essential appliances I would suggest are a high powered blender and a pressure cooker. We use our Blendtec blender every day sometime five or six times a day. I would say it is the most important appliance in our kitchen. A pressure cooker is another great appliance. I use it to cook my Rancho Gordo beans! We eat a lot of beans in family. Cooking beans the traditional way takes quite a few hours so I use a pressure cooker to save time. My pressure cooker is made by Fagor.