This is a directory to common and uncommon ingredients and how they are used in vegan cooking. I’m adding as I go along to how I use or you can use various ingredients.
Aquafaba – the liquid from canned beans. Such as chickpeas for example. It’s used to replace eggs. Use when making meringues to burgers where a non-vegan recipe calls for eggs.
Firm tofu – use as is or marinate. Bake, fry and stir fry. This is a “cheese” made from soy beans and a favourite to many vegans. Make the tofu more firm by removing the tofu from the packaging and water. Place in a container with something heavy on top in the fridge overnight. The next day you will notice that excess water has accumulated around the tofu which you can discard and you now have a more dense tofu.
Silken Tofu – use for pie fillings, vegan mayo, desserts or to make scrambled tofu.
Nutritional yeast – sprinkle on top of pasta dishes, or use to create parmesan inspired dry nut cheese, or to add a savoury cheesy flavour to anything from pasta sauces to home made sausages.
Seitan – this is wheat gluten, it’s wheat flour stripped of all carbs so it’s pure plant based protein. Use it to create your own home made mock meat and sausages.
Gluten flour – it’s the same as seitan flour.
Chickpea flour – the flour from chickpeas. Use to create savoury pancakes, burmese tofu or a version of scrambled “eggs”.
Polenta – create a savoury porridge to eat as is, or spread the porridge on a tray (or any leftover porridge), and store in the fridge overnight and fry in oil or bake in the oven to create polenta fries or cakes.
Tempeh – this is fermented soy beans. Use as is to add as a protein to asian inspired dishes or you can create tempeh bacon by creating thin slices, that you coat in a bacon inspired flavour, bake in the oven and create a vegan bacon type dish.
Liquid smoke – adds a smoky meaty flavour to any dish. Essential in the vegan kitchen.
Elephant beans or white broad beans – great to create dip or spread bases with. Really takes on flavour and spices really well. Also great to use if you want to make your own homemade vegan sausages to make your seitan sausages less dense and chevy.
Sunflower seeds – great for creating vegan spreads and pates. Does not need to be soaked overnight before usage.
Lemon juice – use both as a flavour enhancer and a preserver for dips and spreads.
Avocados – the great love of any vegan. Versatile and used to fatten up smoothies to make them velvety delicious. To guacamole and to create raw chocolate desserts to frosting for cupcakes.
Bananas – overripe bananas are immediately sliced and put in a ziplock bag in my freezer. To take out and create nice cream. They are also great for adding a natural sweetener to any smoothie or to use in baking for both sweetness and as a egg replacer.
Dates – use for its natural sweetness when baking or making smoothies to raw candy or cheesecake.
Tahini – use for a smoky flavour in hummus, or any sauce or stew you make. Or blend with water, herbs and spices to create a white condiment sauce.
Rapeseed oil – this is my favourite oil. I only buy the cold pressed virgin variety with a deep yellow colour. Both for the nutty flavour which I think enhances any hummus worth coming out of my kitchen or salad dressing. To creating that crisp, golden texture on whatever I use it on, either I fry or bake it in the oven.
Coconut oil – the virgin, cold pressed variety is a staple in my kitchen for everything from raw desserts, bulletproof coffee to my morning porridge.
Oats – either I use them as is in everything from cookies or you can use this as a smoothie base.
Make your own oat flour in a food processor to use when baking to creating firmness and coat homemade vegan patties
Rosewater – use for flavour cocktails to meringues or whisk together with vegan whipped cream to give it that extra dimension and flavour.