Friday, October 28, 2011

Vegan Mofo: My 5 Favourite Kitchen Tools

vegan graffitiWell, I had good intentions, but life got in the way, and I didn't share as much as I had planned to for Vegan Mofo.  To be honest, I haven't made anything super exciting for the last while anyway.  I thought I'd wrap up the month by talking about things that I found useful for me in the last year or so since I decided to follow a vegan diet.

My 5 Favourite Tools:

1. Hot-Air Popcorn Maker:

OK, so this one is a no brainer--I use it for popcorn.  I figured out that by putting in a little extra popcorn, the kernels move a little more slowly and have a better chance of popping in the machine rather than flying out of the chute and popping in the bowl, leading to popcorn flying around my kitchen.  I use about one and a half of the measures and it turns out well (you don't want to over do it, or it will burn!  Yes, this is the voice of experience).  Sometimes I use a vegan margarine on it, but I also like to give it a spritz of canola oil spray instead.  My ultimate I need something sweet and I have no vegan chocolate is to put some vegan chocolate chips in the bottom of the bowl before I make the popcorn.  The popcorn warms them up, they melt, and everyone is happy, or at least I am.

2.  My Blender:

I love my smoothies, so my blender gets a regular work out.  I had a Magic Bullet, but I ended up breaking that sucker (note to self remember to check on warranty).  Smoothies can be complicated, or they can be pretty simple.  I generally go for simple because I am not a morning person and I'm not going to try to figure out a complex recipe while my eyes are not completely open.  I throw in some fruit, usually a banana and some frozen berries, or fresh fruit, depending on what I have on hand.  Pour in some non-dairy milk (currently using almond milk-yummy!), pop the lid on and blend.  When I feel a little more creative, I add peanut butter or chocolate chips (no, they don't blend well, but hey, it's chocolate!).  I started adding chia seeds to my smoothies too.  They don't affect the taste and they're crunchy, so what's not to like?

Vegan Graf 3. Rice Cooker:

Love my rice cooker.  I tried to cook brown rice on the stove and every time I made it, it was crunchy.  We got a rice cooker, and suddenly I'm cooking brown rice perfectly.  It tastes good and the kids even ate it without questioning anything.  We eat a lot of different kinds of rice and they all cook well in the rice cooker.  I have also used it to cook quinoa.  Last time I did, I don't think I had enough water and it was a little dry and crunchy, and I may have burned some of it.  I still liked it, but I will have to experiment with the water levels a little more.

4:  Crock Pot:

When I talk about cooking, you may notice that I tend to "throw" a lot of things in to what ever I'm making.  I do this with the crock pot too.  I cook what I have on hand.  I'm not going to go digging for a recipe only to find that I don't have whatever is needed.  I make a lot of soup in the winter months in my crock pot.  Vegetable soup stock, water, chop up some veggies, add some spices, put the lid on and let it do it's thing.  You don't need a recipe.  It's soup.  Smell it.  Taste it.  If it doesn't seem right, try adding something else.  I like to finish my soups by adding vegan dumplings to them before serving, but my kids don't like them, so I don't make them as often as I used to.  (What kid doesn't like dumplings?  My brother and I used to love eating them!).

5:  Electric Frying Pan:

Last but not least is my electric frying pan.  I used to have an electric wok, but we never used it.  This is the way to go.  It's great for sauteing some vegetables, making a sauce, for pancakes and French toast and lots of other things.  Last night, I used it to fry up the pumpkin seeds out of my daughter's baby pumpkin.  (she got it on her field trip to a farm).  This is another tool I use to throw together a meal.  Toss a can of beans, some veggies and some seasoning in, heat it all up and pop it on your plate with a side of rice or quinoa.  Yum yum!

vegan pumpkin
How great is this Vegan pumpkin?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I don't have any of those gadgets except the blender & I consider myself to be a bit of a kitchen gadget fiend! I definitely need an air popper!