I am so glad I learned that was not true.
In my early 20s when I was living on my own I became very interested in The China Study, the work of the Cleveland Clinic, and also simply studying my own experience when I stepped away from the food I was raised on and began to cook mostly plant-based and sometime introduce responsibly raised fish when I could afford it. My health and self-esteem once I began to cook for myself more regularly dramatically improved.
Whether someone goes totally Vegan, or simply wants to shift the ratios in their diet, reframing a diet to become more plant-based can be a challenge when the recipes you were raised on rely heavily on milk, meat, and cheese. I don't really think that fall back on these recipes because they 'don't like' plant-based meals, but simply because they don't know how to easily choose something else - and quite frankly their kitchen isn't set-up to support a a new way of cooking.
In this blog I introduce some of my favorite and most used kitchen tools that I use, and I believe can help anyone increase their vegetable consumption!
I use this badboy every.single.day. Here's the thing. I have had other blenders and they have all paled in comparison to Vitamix. Yes the price tag is higher than other blenders... but in the long run this blender has lasted YEARS longer than my previous blenders. The Vitamix also has the power to create enough friction that you can make hot purees and soups - which is one of my favorite aspects of this machine. Be it plant-based soups like Black Bean Tortilla Soup or my daily green smoothie, my Vitamix has been the best investment in my kitchen by far.
If you are going to cook more plants, you probably will start using your strainer for more than pasta. Bottom line every can of beans, and all of your dehydrated grains (rice, quinoa etc) need to be rinsed! Rinsing your beans and grains makes them easier on your tummy. But your typically pasta strainer often has holes that are too wide for small grains and beans and you end up losing a lot of your product down the drain. So grab a finer mesh strainer and keep more of your food where it belongs - in your belly!
Pyrex Bowls with Lids
First every kitchen, plant-based or not, needs a lil Pyrex in it. Their products are timeless for a reason - they work. But for plant-based home cooks I love their nesting set of bowls with lids because I find it is often easier to batch cook and store recipes so you have something easy to reach for later in the week. And BONUS a lot of plant-based recipes get better over time due to the fact that hearty veggies, beans and grains then have time to soak up whatever dressing you have tossed them with. Having beautiful and convenient glass bowls with lids makes preparing large batches of coleslaws, and pasta salads, and bean and grain dishes more appealing!
To-Go Glass Containers with Locking Lids
Similar to the Pyrex bowls above, locking lid containers are great to take your plant-based meals on the go. I like sauce with my food and I hate chasing down the tiny little dressing containers. So locking lids that have the silicon rims keeps things really simply... and prevents spilling.
Overnight oats are my jam and I like making them in Ball Jars so that I can take them on the go - but also so that I can pour hot liquid over them in the morning if I want to warm them up.... there is some debate over their microwave-ability... so nuke at your own risk ;). But I also love having mason jars on hand for other fun plant-based foods - that are way easier than you might think - like quick pickling! I love a refrigerate pickling of dilly beans, pickled red onion, and pickled carrots and cauliflower. Now you could go all the way and do heat-based jarring and canning and I have in the past. But honestly I find that I end up eating the foods so quickly that I don't take the time to jar up my pickled foods for long term storage. Having quick pickled veggies on hand lends that zing you want for yummy sandwiches, toppings for tacos, and zesty salads!
I have all of these products - and more ideas - listed for you in my Amazon Idea's List. Check it out here.
Julia Lopez is a yoga teacher, personal trainer, and Founder of Practice Everywhere.