New to vegan cooking, or want to add some healthful changes to your kitchen couture? Take these few smart tips and tidbits from Vegan Cooking for Dummies! Alex Jamieson’s book Vegan Cooking for Dummies is a staple of our cooking repetoire. Here Marisa Miller-Wolfson shares a few of her favorite tips from this classic must-have;
In this book, Alex included the kind of helpful info that we got in her first Dummies series book, Vegan Living for Dummies, but expanded on good cooking practices and materials and included, of course, oodles of delicious recipes. I made the Darling Dal (Spiced Lentil Stew), which was super simple and yummy and even got the stamp of approval from my husband who’s an Indian food snob.
She put together a nice mix of fun veganized food favorites like Non-Pigs in a Blanket and Grilled Tease Sandwiches and healthy foods like Millet, Adzuki Bean, and Butternut Squash Stew. She flexes her mental muscles in the book, pulling from experiences having trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute cooking school and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Whether you’re a veg-curious newbie or a veteran vegan, her book has some smart tips and clever bits of info that anyone can appreciate:
Native to India and East Africa, cashews are lower in fat than most other nuts and contain about 20 percent protein. They’re also a good source of copper, potassium, and magnesium, so cashews promote good cardiovascular health.
Don’t add salt to water intended for boiling beans because the salt makes the beans take longer to cook through. The cooking time for soaked pinto beans is 2 to 2-1/2 hours but only 4 to 6 minutes in a pressure cooker. (Wowie!)
Add a hint of nuttiness to your grains by toasting them before mixing them into the boiling water.
On stainless steel cookware:
Look for better-quality stainless steel pots and pans that have a disk of copper or aluminum coating on the base, which helps conduct the heat across the diameter of the pan.
On washing fruits and veggies:
Even if you don’t eat the rind (as with melons), cutting through the rind with a knife can draw bacteria and dirt from the rind into the flesh. To get rid of all that gunk, wash all fruits and vegetables under running water in a clean sink.
On egg substitutes:
Add 1/4 cup quick oats mixed with the liquid ingredients to act as a binder in a muffin or quick bread recipe. Oats can act as a thickener in a soup or sauce as well.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of helpful info and advice found in this accessible, easy-to-digest (pun fully intended) book. Check it out!