We’re tired of the cliché that vegetarians only eat salad. Vegetarian cooking is so much more than chopping lettuce and concocting a fresh vinaigrette. Living life without consuming meat, or sometimes without eggs or dairy, can be challenging and unfortunately bland. Not only do vegetarians and vegans have a hard time finding restaurants that accommodate their no-meat diets, but cooking at home can be difficult as well. Instagram-worthy vegetarian recipes tend to require special equipment to get the job done beautifully and efficiently. Here are 10 tools every vegetarian chef will appreciate.
1. Vegetable Spiralizer: You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love zoodles. This Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer ($30) makes veggies into healthy, curly pasta that makes anyone cutting back on gluten say, “yum.”
2. Nut Milk Bag: Some vegetarians are also dairy free, but store-bought almond milk can be loaded with sugars. This mess-free Ellie’s Best Pro Quality Nut Milk Bag ($9) is great for skimming out pulp for a smooth and creamy homemade almond milk. It also works for juice! Make sure to send this veggie-friendly gift along with a fresh batch of organic almonds and a Libbey Glass Milk Bottle ($10).
3. Garlic Chopper: All foodies, especially veggie foodies, have probably racked up hours chopping garlic. This incredible GarlicZoom Garlic Chopper from Chef’n ($12) doesn’t just slice; it also chops your garlic to a fine mince or a coarse dice.
4. Cast Iron Dutch Oven: A quality dutch oven has so many uses, like one-pot pastas, stews, and soups. Plus its enamel coating makes it easy to clean. This Lodge Red Dutch Oven ($50) has more than 5,000 five-star reviews.
5. Food Processor: Every vegetarian or vegan cook has encountered an amazing recipe that they could not do because it required a food processor. An inexpensive mini one like this KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor ($50) is perfect when you’re cooking for one or two people.
6. Tofu Press ($20): Squeezing excess liquid from tofu can be tedious but necessary. This handy EZ Tofu Press ($20) gets that liquid out so your tofu is ready to soak up some flavor.
7. Dehydrator: Dried fruit or veggies can be a great healthy snack for vegetarians and vegans who want to avoid food additives in packaged snacks. The Presto Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator ($60) makes dehydrating food easier and faster than using the oven.
8. Soymilk Maker: Usually, veggie-friendly folk grab soymilk at the grocery store, but what fun would it be to make their own from scratch? The SoyaJoy Sow Milk Maker ($140) can make milk from beans, grains, and seeds without the additives that most store-bought soymilk contains. It’s also a handy tool for making soup.
9. Peeler: The one thing every vegetarian cook should have in their kitchen is a good veggie peeler. The Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler ($10 for three) is a top seller on Amazon, and it’s colorful, just like your kitchen.
10. Vegetarian Cookbook: There are so many great vegetarian cookbooks out there. However, if you are going to buy one book for your veggie-friend’s kitchen, this one is amazing. The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook is written by Deborah Madison ($34), who has been dubbed the “Julia Child of vegetarian cooking.” You can’t get a better endorsement than that.
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