The Ultimate Vegan Cooking Guide
Vegan Cooking FAQs
Answering some of the most commonly asked vegan questions - from the most ridiculous, to the most important!
Vegan cooking means creating dishes and recipes without meat, fish, dairy, and egg products.
It can also mean cooking in a space or area where no meat, fish, dairy, or egg products are consumed and/or cooked.
Cooking vegan food is very exciting. It means experimenting with natural ingredients and trying out new things! Be it creating a meat substitute with mushrooms, or baking a cake without egg. Have fun with it!
Most vegans will eat quite a natural, whole foods diet at home. This means lots of grains, vegetables and fruits.
Nowadays, there are many fake meat products available, and they are getting cheaper. So many vegans also use these products when they need to make a quick week-night dinner, or if they want to impress their friends with a home cooked vegan meal!
A vegan diet means eating food that hasn’t come from an animal.
Essentially, all vegan food comes from plants. This includes:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
- Nuts and seeds
- Wheat products (bread, pasta)
- Seaweed and algae
Using these products we are able to make and eat:
- Plant milks (soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, etc.)
- Seitan (made using wheat)
- Fake meats (made using soy, pea protein, seitan)
- Vegetable oils
- Vegan cakes and cookies
- Plant butter
- & much more!
Anything you can do, we can do vegan 😉
Well, you probably won’t be needed steak knives anymore. Unless you are keen on Seitan and fake meats, in which case, that steak knife may make your fake meat dinner look that bit more realistic.
You may find that you will rely more heavily on certain kitchen equipment, like blenders, peelers, graters, spiralisers, a tofu press, etc. Read more about our favourite vegan cooking equipment here.
And if you are a keen cook, vegan or not, it is always handy having equipment like standalone mixers, mortar & pestles, and spice grinders.
This depends on what kind of food you will be buying.
If you enjoy eating vegetables and fruits, and supplementing these with grains, then you’ll be able to eat very cheaply.
However, if you also like to eat processed/ready-made products like fake meat, vegan ice cream, branded vegan milks, then you may end up spending more money.
Most supermarkets/stores have their own brand vegan products now that are much cheaper than the big brands.
Of course not.
Food is only ever as tasty as the cook makes it. Vegan food is a much newer thing to many people so they may not understand at first how to flavour it.
Some food may require more seasoning, but this is really quite simple to do.
It is about trialling new flavour combinations and finding things that work for you.
That’s where I come in. I’ve done a lot of the inventing so you don’t have to! Discover some of my tasty vegan recipes here.
THE ULTIMATE VEGAN COOKING EQUIPMENT GUIDE
VEGAN COOKING EQUIPMENT
If you are vegan, then bets are you are also conscious of using too much plastic.
Cling film has been with us for yonks. I’d often reach for it without even thinking about what it is. It is plastic, and it is horrible.
Now I solely rely on Tupperware (I even bring it with me on my travels and to restaurants) and vegan food wraps, which are reusable wraps that you can place on-top of bowls/plates of leftover food.
Pressing tofu is essential for a lot of vegan recipes. It helps to get rid of the unnecessary liquid that you’ll find swimming around in your tofu.
This helps with the cooking process and also helps improve the texture of the tofu, making it almost ‘chicken’ like.
You can press the liquid out by placing the tofu inside a linen towel and then balancing a heavy saucepan or book on top, but this can be quite precarious. This tofu press makes life just that bit simpler.
I couldn’t live without a blender, or a high speed blender at that.
So many blenders claim to be high speed and powerful, yet they are incapable of making a smoothie ‘smooth’.
I was gifted a Vitamix blender at graduation and I never looked back.
These things are real machines. They can be used for anything that needs blending, blitzing, cooking whilst blending, you name it.
They are quite pricey, but so worth it. I recommend any of the smart models, I’ve used them all in work and at home, and love them all!
LEARN TO COOK VEGAN
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LEARNING VEGAN COOKING
Veecoco is the ultimate online vegan cooking course. They cover many different cuisines and it is 100% vegan.
You can choose from:
- Vegan German Food
- Vegan Korean Food
- Vegan Japanese Food
- Vegan Thai Food
- Vegan Vietnamese Food
- & much much more!
You can also buy a yearly membership and get access to ALL of their awesome courses.
If you are looking for more of our food then you can actually watch our videos on Skillshare.
We teach you how to cook:
Keep an eye out on our teacher page for more videos coming soon!
LEARN TO COOK VEGAN WITH
OUR TOP VEGAN COURSES
This is where I learnt how to become a professional vegan chef.
I was already working in kitchens but I wanted to up my game. Their vegan diploma course prepared me with everything I needed to know to get an awesome cheffing job in London.
It helped to springboard my career. And is even better for those who are complete beginners and looking for somewhere to learn from scratch.
VEGAN NUTRITION HELP
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VEGAN NUTRITION
Another awesome vegan company that have vegans covered with all their vitamin pills.
These multivitamins are made up of the 3 most important nutrients, that they found through their studies most people were deficient in, Vitamin D, B12, and Omega-3.
They also give back to animal sanctuaries and are Vegan Society registered!
Form Nutrition is our favourite protein powder. The company is 100% vegan and awesome! They are a B Corp and they give back to some awesome projects around the world.
Their powders are tasty and come in a range of flavours. Plus you can either get their plain (no flavourings or sweetener) powder, performance powder (with extra protein), or their superblend (which has loads of awesome vitamins and nutrients in it).
Superblend is perfect for a healthy vegan diet. They give you near enough everything you need in just 2 scoops of powder. Just add in to your favourite shake, or morning porridge.
You can add Form Nutrition powders into the following Edible Ethics’ recipes for tasty high-protein meals (just use less flour):
These tablets are super popular in the UK and it’s no surprise why, they are made by The Vegan Society themselves.
They come in two flavours, blackcurrant and orange.
Each tablet is made up of:
- Vitamin B2 (1.6mg – 114%)
- Vitamin B6 (2mg – 143%)
- Vitamin B12 (25µg – 1,000%)
- Vitamin D3 (20µg – 400%)
- Folic Acid (200µg – 100%)
- Iodine (150µg – 100%)
- Selenium (60µg – 109%)
VEGAN COOKING RESOURCES
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VEGAN COOKING RESOURCES
Here is a list of our favourite vegan cookbooks.
These are a mix of fully vegan cookbooks, and vegan-friendly cookbooks.
Some of our favourite vegan recipes actually come from non-vegan cookbooks. Normally from the likes of Ottolenghi or Meera Sodha.
- Wicked Healthy Cookbook
- Thug Kitchen
- Bish Bash Bosh! Cookbook
- Aquafabulous! Cookbook
- Avant Garde Vegan Cookbook
VEGAN COOKING RESOURCES
TO HELP YOU COOK VEGAN
We may be a vegan blog ourselves, and would hope that you find our recipes useful! But also we have our own favourite vegan blogs to help you on your vegan journey.
For all round vegan recipes, then you must check out Simple Vegan Blog.
How to Cook With...?
THE ULTIMATE VEGAN INGREDIENTS GUIDE
ABOUT VEGAN CHEESE
Vegan cheese is a type of cheese which is made without animal products.
Usually it is made with coconut oil, nuts, seeds, or tapioca.
Many vegan cheesemongers follow traditional cheesemaking techniques. You can find many types of vegan cheese, including vegan blue cheese, vegan smoked cheese, vegan ricotta, etc.
Nowadays vegan cheese is just as good as the real thing, but it is made without harming animals. So you can eat your vegan cheese guilt-free.
Moreover, vegan cheese can be healthier than dairy cheese, because it contains no animal fat – have you watched gamechangers?
Do still eat in moderation, especially if you are eating more ‘processed’ vegan cheese.
There are so many different kinds of vegan cheese on the market and we are sure you will have your favourites.
However, we believe the best vegan cheese is made using whole foods and natural ingredients. Vegan doesn’t always equal healthy. Make sure you avoid over-processed food.
If you are looking for a comparison of the main vegan cheese brands in the US, check out this article by LiveKindly.
HOW TO COOK WITH VEGAN CHEESE
There are so many tasty vegan cheeses out there, and they can make a delicious sauce base. In particular, softer nut-based cheeses.
Use as a base for the popular mac and cheese, or as a base for a creamy ‘cheesy’ sauce.
Vegan cheese makes a great filling for toasties and sandwiches. Team up with a chutney or vegan meat alternative.
ABOUT VEGAN MILK
Vegan milk is a direct replacement for cow’s milk (or other dairy options).
Vegan milk can be used for drinking, adding to tea, baking, and much more!
Vegan milk can be made using many different ingredients. The most popular are:
Most vegan milk is made by extracting the liquid from the vegan ingredient, or simply blending it with water.
The vegan milk you buy is often fortified with vitamins and minerals that you also find in dairy products, like calcium. This is important for your health and wellness.
Moreover, the dairy industry causes mass suffering for animals. Vegan alternatives are kinder to animals and the environment.
The big vegan debate, everyone has their favourite and it often depends on what they are using it for.
If you are a big coffee drinker, then you’d prefer:
If you are looking for something creamy for your porridge or cereal, then try:
For the environmentally-conscious vegan milk drinkers, try a milk using an environmentally friendly crop, like:
For more information on the environmental impacts of your vegan milk, check out this post.
Also, make sure to read The Vegan Review’s guide to eco-friendly alt-milk here.
Most supermarkets and grocery stores now stock at least a few options. Smaller establishments may provide just soy milk.
If you are eating out, try to check their menu first, or send them an email, to find out if they supply a vegan milk alternative. If you are keen on having milk in your tea/coffee, then consider carrying a flash about with you!
HOW TO COOK WITH VEGAN MILK
If you are looking to create a creamy sauce then vegan milk is perfect for you.
You can use it just like you would to make a bechamel sauce.
Try out this vegan bechamel recipe here.
If you are too lazy to make a bechamel, alternatively, you can mix a couple of spoonfuls of a vegan cream cheese, or cashew cheese, with some dairy-free milk, to create a creamy sauce base.
Many recipes for baked goods call for milk. Luckily for vegans, we can replace like-for-like with dairy-free milk.
When a recipe calls for a buttermilk concoction, you can use vegan milk and lemon juice to get a similar affect.
Ice cream… Pannacotta… Milk Pudding…
You can make any of these using vegan milk!
Most milk desserts will need to be set. Traditionally, gelatine is used. Vegans can use agar agar instead.
As previously mentioned, there are many awesome vegan milks on the market today.
If you are a coffee addict, pick up a barista style vegan milk.
Check out this awesome recipe for a vegan coffee smoothie using soy milk.
If you are a white russian lover, try a thick soy milk.
The options are endless!
ABOUT VEGAN EGG
Vegan egg can be made using many different natural ingredients, depending on the type of egg dish you want to replicate.
For instance, you can make a vegan scrambled egg using tofu, or mung beans.
If you are trying to replicate a dish that uses egg whites, like meringues, you can use aquafaba (the water from chickpeas).
So, vegan egg is either used to ‘bind’ ingredients together in recipes, or to actually mimic egg in a dish.
There are many ways to make vegan eggs. We will show some examples based upon their uses.
- Chia Egg
- Flaxseed Egg
- Apple Sauce
- Mung Bean
- Black Salt
Chicken farming causes unnecessary suffering on chickens, and vegan alternatives are so good, so there is no need to harm animals for tasty food!
Some vegan egg products will most likely only be stocked in specialist shops. However, you can make your own vegan ‘egg’ like products pretty easily with tofu, which is available pretty much everywhere!
HOW TO COOK WITH VEGAN EGG
Some form of ‘egg’ like binder is needed in most baking recipes. This is because when baking there are many ingredients which are put together, without a binder they will stay separate. Meaning you’ll probably end up with a lump of mush on your plate.
Popular binders are aquafaba (miracle ingredient) and chia egg.
As mentioned, sometimes you may want to mimic egg as an element in your dish.
This could include, scrambled egg, a fried egg, poached egg, etc.
Making vegan scrambled egg is very simple. Check out this tasty vegan scrambled tofu recipe.
Copying fried eggs etc. is more of a challenge. But it has been done. This restaurant in LA makes their own vegan egg yolk out of tomato.
So I’ve decided to also take on this challenge and create the whole thing – a vegan fried egg. You can keep up to date with my vegan eggsperiment here!
If you are making a pastry dish, or a baked product, that requires an egg glaze, you can use a few vegan alternatives.
If it is for a sweet dish, try mixing some maple syrup with a vegan milk and then brushing it on.
Alternatively, you can brush on aquafaba.