Here are some foods that are commonly used in plant-based cooking that you may not be familiar with.

Email me if you run across an ingredient you’d like know more about!

nutritional yeast

Nutritional Yeast is deactivated yeast that gives foods a creamy, cheesy flavor. It is very nutritious, providing 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving, and is a great source of folate, and B vitamins, especially  B12. There are many brands, and you can also find it sold in bulk in some health food stores. Its street name is “nooch.”

Miso is made from fermented soybeans and is high in protein. It is used as a seasoning in Asian recipes and adds a creamy texture to soups, dressings, and sauces. If your regular grocery doesn’t carry it, your health food store will.


Tahini is crushed sesame seeds. It is very useful in making creamy dressings and sauces, and can be used in batters for air frying or roasting. Tahini is a good source of protein, fiber, calcium, and iron.

Coconut Aminos is a gluten and soy free alternative to soy sauce. It is slightly sweeter than soy sauce, but works well if you avoiding gluten or soy.

coconut aminos

Dulce (rhymes with pulse) flakes or granules are made from seaweed. Dulce is an excellent source of iodine. The flakes can be used as a salt substitute, and it is useful for adding a slight fish flavor to dishes such as chick pea tuna. 

Agar Powder is made from seaweed or algae and is used as a substitute for gelatin. It’s used in making pudding, custard, jelly and as an egg substitute.

agar powder
Black Salt

 Kala namak, or black salt, is also referred to as Himalayan black salt. It starts out as Himalayan pink salt that is fire-roasted with the seeds of harad fruit, which contain sulfur. The sulfur gives this salt an eggy taste. I use it in chickpea omelettes and chickpea salad sandwiches.