The Plant-Based Kitchen

Having the proper tools makes any job easier, and that is especially true in the kitchen. Don’t feel like you need to rush out and spend a ton of money, but if you are addicted to kitchen gadgets, here are some the things I use all the time. 

The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and steamer all in one. It also has settings for making yogurt and cooking rice. I mainly use mine to cook my weekly pots of whole grains and bean, but also make soups and curries, roast potatoes, and make vegetable stock from food scraps.

I started out with a regular Oster blender, which is fine, it will just take longer to make your sauces and smoothies really smooth. If you are looking for a new blender, though, you might consider investing in a Blend Tec, Vitamix, or Ninja. The Vitamix 5200 is my current choice.

Vitamix Blender
measuring cups

I have two or three sets of each of these liquid and dry measuring cups and spoons. It’s helpful to have more than one set if you are making a very involved recipe, or if you are meal prepping multiple recipes at one time.

You will be surprised how often you will use rubber spatulas in the plant-based kitchen. Make sure you have several sizes, including small and skinny ones for scraping your blender and small jars- you won’t want to waste any of the delicious sauces and dressings you make.

rubber spatulas
knives

A good chopping knife may be your most important tool. A good quality knife makes chopping and slicing so much easier. Treat yourself to a good one, and buy a sharpener while you’re at it; I have this sharpener.

A variety of sizes of food storage containers is vital. You will need to freeze and refrigerate leftovers, sauces, and dressings, and store dry goods you purchased in bulk. I prefer freezer-safe glass containers or mason jars. And, please, let’s not use single-use plastic bags or plastic wrap!

food storage containers
Food Processor

I use my food processor for processing dry ingredients, chopping large quantities, and slicing or shredding vegetables.

You’ll need a large colander, and maybe a second smaller one, for rinsing and draining produce, rice, beans, and pasta. 

colander
wire mesh strainer

I use my wire mesh strainers for rinsing or draining smaller quantities of rice and beans before and after cooking, straining vegetables out of my homemade stock, and straining pulp or flavoring herbs out of juices or soups.

Ice cube trays are awesome for saving small amounts of leftover liquid ingredients such as lemon and lime juice, salad dressings, enchilada sauce, tomato paste, and cheese sauce, and for freezing fresh herbs. 

coffee grinder

I gave up coffee for green tea, but I still use my coffee grinder all the time to grind flax and chia seeds, as well small portions of nuts for tossing in a salad, cereal or curry.

I’m sure you recycle your single-use plastics, but let’s go one step better and not use them at all! Take your own grocery bags and produce bags to the store and set a good example for others.

tofu press

You don’t have to have a special press to press tofu, but if you cook with tofu often, you might enjoy the ease of using a tofu press

With an air fryer, you can give up cooking with oil and still enjoy crispy, crunchy not-fried foods! I use mine for making egg rolls and tortilla chips, roasting chick peas, potatoes, and kale chips. It’s also a great way to reheat foods and maintain texture.

Air fryer
green bags

Once again, let’s give up using single-use plastics! I store all my fresh produce in green bags. I rinse and dry them after each use and use again.