Getting started with vegetarian cooking

My friend Mandy has just switched to a plant based diet, so I wanted to share my top vegetarian and vegan ingredients that should make the move easier.

These days it’s easy to replace meat with vegetarian and vegan alternatives:

  • Massell vegan stock cubes that taste just like chicken and beef stock.
  • Quorn mince (available in the frozen section at Coles and Woolies) is a great alternative to mince beef and with a splash of Worcester sauce and some beef stock added, even meat eaters can’t tell the difference.
  • Linda McCartney rosemary sausages (frozen) are great for BBQs.
  • Meat free burger patties make great replacements for hamburger patties. My favourite is the Bean Supreme Black Bean & Beetroot Burger.
  • There are loads of frozen vegetarian schnitzels available – my favourite is Fry’s Meat Free Schnitzels With Soy & Flaxseed (Coles & Woolies).
  • Tofu absorbs the flavour of whatever you season it with, although I’ve never been a huge fan I’ve finally found a way to make tofu taste great. I marinate it in Japanese Ponzu sauce with ginger and garlic for a few hours and then fry it in coconut oil until it’s crispy. It’s so good I eat it just like that and if there’s enough left I add it to salads, stir frys or any recipes with chicken strips. If you bake it first it becomes even more crispy.

Stock up on:

  • Ponzu sauce (for marinating tofu)
  • Quinoa
  • Organic tofu
  • Fresh Ginger for marinating tofu
  • Almonds (bulk buy at Aldi) for making your own almond milk
  • Dessicated coconut
  • Coconut oil
  • Oats
  • Dried beans – red kidney beans, chick peas, borlotti beans (white kidney beans), red lentils, black beans soup mix, barley
  • Thai red curry (find fish free options)
  • Basel or sundried tomatoe pesto
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice

Kitchen appliances that can help:

  • Nut milk bag
  • Nutribullet for smoothies
  • Food processor for chopping vegetables
  • Hand blender for hummus
  • InstaPot or other electronic pressure cooker

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