Jerrelle Guy, the blogger behind Chocolate for Basil, knows some seriously genius tricks for vegetarian cooks. From a foolproof way to cook summer vegetables to achieving the crispiest tofu, these unique cooking hacks from the Black Girl Baking author are a must for anyone who’s all about the veg life.

prepare Tasty vegetables every time

If you find yourself stumped when it comes to cooking new vegetables, the Boston-based blogger recommends roasting them with a generous drizzle of olive oil and salt. “I think when you roast [any new veggie], you intensify the flavor,” she said. Start with her faves, cherry tomatoes and onions.

grill an unexpected cheese

Though Guy’s lofted apartment does not have a backyard or grill, she personally can’t get enough of grilled halloumi. She said that when she’s eating the chewy, salty cheese, she doesn’t miss meat. “It holds the grilled marks really well,” Guy, who boasts over 58 thousand followers on chocolateforbasil Instagram account, explains, “It stands up to the heat and … [I]t can also take on the smoke flavor.”

make grains taste like a barbecue

Sometimes a craving for barbecued meats really comes down to a hankering for that smoky flavor.“You want to think about the flavors, textures, and what’s going to give you that experience [of a barbecue],” she added. Guy swears by whole grains that are smoked, preferably farro, an ancient whole wheat grain with a nutty taste. Pair it with any vegetable, but Guy recommends asparagus. Pro tip: Drizzle BBQ sauce into your seasonal veggies and grains when you’re hangry for barbecued meats.

Get the Crispiest Tofu

Guy says the key to cooking tofu is to view it as its own thing — not just a meat alternative. Her favorite way to make it is to oven-fry it, so whatever you do, don’t make it on the hottest days of summer (we’re looking at you, August). “Blot it and try to get as much water out of it, drain it, freeze it, then fry that, and it will taste so good,” she said. She promises that something happens in the freezer where little pores are created inside the tofu making it denser, chewier and, well, meatier.

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(Photo via Jerrelle Guy)