Not many chefs cook vegan. But for those who do, cooking tends to work better with a well stocked kitchen. And when going vegan (especially if you didn’t cook that much) it’s hard to know what should be on the countertops and in the cabinets. So I’ve comprised a list—perhaps a shopping list – of the essential items that every vegan kitchen needs in order to painlessly bake up those vegan cupcakes, and cook the ultimate seitan.
When you are outfitting your kitchen, one should always think of spices, dry pastas, and rice. These items its best to look for when they are on sale and get them when the getting good. Having these sorts of items at hand always is really important, so you don’t have to grab spices when a recipe calls for them, instead you can focus on finding the fresh vegetables and quality ingredients. It will also save you money in the long run.
There are a lot of amazing vegan cookbooks, and it’s really hard to figure out which ones one should get when they are starting out. However I suggest start with one book that is more or less a vegan primer, for beginners like Sarah Kramer’s How it all Vegan, and then a more experienced book – for the money Veganomicon will definitely give you a lot of choices. But it’s best to ease into cooking, if you are new at it. Some vegan recipes can be pretty daunting for novices.
Though this should be quite obvious, when you are cooking from recipes, things can get disastrous especially in baking if you just eye ball everything. You don’t need to get anything amazing in terms of measuring cups, plastic ones usually suffice.
You will use a mixer a lot, and having a good countertop variety, instead of the hand models are really going to save you a lot of headache. However, I hate to say that YOU need to have the more expensive kind, but it’s a lot more convenient in the long run.
If you’re like every vegan out there, you need to get your baking on. You don’t necessarily need to spend a good deal of money on your baking sheets, and cupcake pans, as one can usually get away with reusing the aluminum ones as long as you have a good quality deep pan to lay it in.
Ergonomic Cutting Knives
All knives are not created equal, and when it comes to cooking expensive items like knives should not be skimped on. Cheap knives rust and dull rather quickly, so it’s best to look for quality over quantity.
Non-Stick Frying Pan
When you do a lot of frying, a Teflon coated non stick frying pan is amazing and saves you a lot of worry. And allows for a pan to be kept, and reused for many years, as apposed to having to replace them every year or so. It should be mentioned that due to the nature of Teflon these pans should be hand washed.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a decent food processor. From making vegetable stock for soup to finely dicing a cooking marinade for baked tofu it will be used heavily. I use a hand cranked one from Betty Crocker, which has served me for years. But, electric or hand driven doesn’t matter too much, but spend the money if you can on one that is going to last, because you’ll be turning to it quite often.