September 19, 2018
Moving to a whole food plant-based diet is daunting at first. All the sudden, simple things like grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking feel more complicated. And since you're eating minimal processed foods, meal prep takes a heck of a lot longer than it used to.
Luckily, MamaSezz Chef Caroline has some whole food plant-based kitchen hacks that won’t just save you time, but (probably) your sanity, too.
There’s a common misconception that moving to a whole food plant-based means creamy dishes are a thing of the past. Don’t you believe this for a minute! Here are some of our favorite ways to make dairy-free dishes creamy and delicious.
Put that knife down! Instead of cutting the bottom of your asparagus stems, snap the asparagus using your hands. The stem will snap in the perfect spot to get rid of the tough, white portion at the bottom.
Wipe the dirt off of mushrooms with a damp paper towel or cloth for a quick and easy cleanup that doesn’t dry out your mushrooms.
To break off cloves from the head, place garlic on a hard surface and use the heal of your hand to firmly hit the head at the base. To peel garlic place cloves on a cutting board and press into board using the flat part of a knife and the heal of your hand. Once the garlic begins to crush, the peel will come off easily.
Use a sharp knife to slice the avocado from stem to base, around the pit. Place a hand on either side of the cut and twist the halves in opposite directions. Use the knife to firmly tap into the pit until it sticks, and then twist the knife until the pit becomes free. Slice the halves in half and peel away the skin with your fingers.
Preheat oven to 400. Slice potatoes into cubes or French fry shapes. Blanch them in boiling water until they begin to soften. Pat dry and place on a nonstick sheet pan (using parchment paper of a mat), and bake until crispy, flipping the over at least once. Salt or season after potatoes are cooked.
Pierce the skin of your acorn or spaghetti squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes. Let sit until cool and then use a sharp knife to slice through the squash. Use a rubber mallet to gently guide the knife through if the squash remains tough.
Eggplant too bitter? Slice your eggplant and rest on paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and let sit until beads of water begin to appear on the surfaces of the eggplant. Pat dry and repeat on the other side. Proceed to cook your eggplant without the bitter flavor!
Cook your tempeh in about half a cup of water. Wait for moisture to cook off and taste tempeh. If it is still bitter, repeat this process until the bitterness is gone.
Using your bananas for smoothies, nice cream, or baking? You’re gonna wanna freeze those babies. Peel your bananas and break them into 1 to 2 inch long pieces and place in a air-tight plastic bag. Breaking instead of slicing with prevent clumping due to smooth edges.
Look like Lady MacBeth after a beet roasting session? If your hands are stained with beet juice use a salt scrub (salt and water) before using soap. Presto — your have your hands back.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the leaves close to tip of the beet. Rinse dirt off your beet but keep skin in tact. Place beets on a parchment-paper lined sheet and roast for 45-60 minutes. They’re done when a knife slides easily into the middle of the vegetable. Test at 45 minutes and keep roasting for 5-10 minute intervals if not done. Let them cool for 20 minutes then use a paper towel and/or your hands to rub the skin away.
Ever put off trying out a blender recipe because you fear the cleanup? This hack is life changing then. After rinsing the blender, fill with warm water and a dash of dish soap. Blend for an additional minute and rinse out soap. You’re welcome.
Leave your corn in the husk and microwave on high for 3 minutes per 2 cobs. Easy peasy weeknight trick.
One word: chia. Live it, learn it, love it. Grab 1 tablespoon ground chia seed (or flax seed) mixed with 2.5 tablespoons warm water. Let sit for 5-8 minutes until absorbed. You can also try ¼ cup of applesauce or 1 banana mashed as a replacement for 1 egg. More egg-free baking tips here.
Tired of wasting tomato paste? Scoop 1 tablespoon of paste at a time and freeze it in an ice cute tray. Once frozen, crack the paste out and place them in a freezer baggie for later use. Say goodbye to that moldy half-used can in the back of your fridge! This works for sauces, creams, and dressings, too.
Who says you have to get rid of old kitchen gadgets? Use and egg slicer to cut baby bella and white button mushrooms.
You may hear that going whole food plant-based means you need to spend hundreds of dollars on new equipment. We say...not so much. We’ve rounded up the plant-based kitchen tools you actually need here (you probably have most of these already).
When in doubt: F.A.S.S. What’s it mean? Fat, Acid, Salt, Sweet. When something’s not quite tasting right with your whole food plant-based dish, chances are it’s missing one of these. Read more about plant-based sources of F.A.S.S. here.
We don’t blame you! Get whole food plant-based meals delivered, ready to heat and eat. Browse our ready-made dishes here.
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