Ginny McMeans is a cooking fanatic and runs the blog Vegan in the Freezer. Her recipes are healthy and delicious enough to enjoy now or freeze for the future. There’s something for everyone — from home cooking to gourmet fare.
Many of these recipes appear in McMeans’ cookbook, “The Make Ahead Vegan: 125 Freezer-Friendly Recipes.” And if you like them, you’re in luck: She has another cookbook coming out that’s set to appear on shelves in November of this year.
If you’re ready to follow in McMeans’ footsteps and stock up on some yummy vegan meals, you might be wondering what you should have on hand to get you started. Below, she names eight tools you’ll need to cook your way to vegan happiness.
Mini food chopper
Besides my paring knife, the thing I use most in the kitchen is my mini food chopper. As a heads up, this only chops, so it’s not technically a processor. So many recipes don’t require grated veggies, and some only need a pulse or two. With this, you can chop carrots, onions, bell peppers, nuts, or bread crumbs and never change the blade. You can find it here.
Vegetable steamer basket
I can’t live without this vegetable steamer basket. The size of the base is very convenient, as it fits into many different pans. Plus, it’ll hold a lot of veggies. A beautiful, healthy vegetable, full of all its vitamins and nutrients, is ready to enjoy in just minutes. You can find it here.
For those not in the know, tofu comes in square packaging and is packed in water. Generally, the way you prepare tofu is to add it to sauces or dressings so that it can soak up the flavors before cooking. But first, you need to remove the water. Use this handy tofu press for straining, and you’ll be ready to go in no time. You can find it here.
This grill pan is great for looks and taste. It’s oh so pretty to have those angled grill marks on long strips of zucchini or across pineapple slices, and they taste so darn good, too. Another option for vegetable preparation is always a good thing. You can find it here.
Cheese cloth and string
These are indispensable items when you’re making seitan and want it to hold a specific shape. I make a lot of different-flavored seitan sausages, and cheese cloth really helps hold the long, thin shapes in place.
This is one item nearly every vegan has in their cupboard. It adds a nutty, cheesy flavor and is a complete protein. You can add nutritional yeast to sauces, and it’s also treated as a condiment. It provides numerous nutrients and vitamins, including B-complex vitamins. If you can find it fortified with B-12, even better. You can find it here.
When I want my chopped vegetables to look perfect, I get out this chopper. What I really like about it is that it’s fast. I can have an onion or bell pepper chopped, perfectly, in under 30 seconds, with no chance of cutting myself. You can find it here.
Nothing is better than blending a fruit or two together, adding a tablespoon of maple syrup, and pouring it into a popsicle mold — it’s a deliciously healthy refreshment on a stick. These easy-to-use and easy-to-clean molds make the whole process a breeze. You can find them here.
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Ginny McMeans is a cooking fanatic and runs the blog Vegan in the Freezer. She’s also the author of “The Make Ahead Vegan.” McMeans and her husband live in the Great Southwest and, in their spare time, enjoy traveling together.