Vegan Basics

Vegan Basics #3, 5 Cranky Ingredients For Your Cupboard

You become a vegan, you google some recipes, they’ve all got some bonky ingredient you’ve never heard of, beans on toast it is again then!

I used to get frustrated by this, I then realised a lot of these weird ingredients were repeating themselves in recipes so I gave in and bought some. However some of them won’t and you can just substitute them with something else. I will not give in, I will never buy coconut vinegar!! I love you balsamic (can find you in any supermarket) vinegar, old friend.

It did feel expensive at first but I’ve had these things in my cupboard for ages and do use them regularly so when you look at it like that it’s not that expensive at all.

Here’s some of the weirdo ingredients I would recommend buying as you do get more use out of them than you’d think.

Onion powder

Really like this. Just bunge a little in something to give it some big flavour!

Garlic powder

This stuff stinks! If a recipe says use half a teaspoon, for the love of God only use a quarter of a teaspoon. Do not let it touch your skin! It stinks! Can’t argue that it adds flavour though, a very tasty flavour, a tasty, stinky flavour.

Nutritional yeast

I had no clue at all what this stuff was. Imagine you’re a fish in a tank (wipe your tears away vegan friends, you’re free in reality, be thankful) and you’re owner (slave owner) has decided to feed you little flakes that taste a bit like cheese. That’s what these are like. They’re a bit odd really but you can blend them up with things to make a cheesey style sauce or I find myself just sprinkling them on a lot of things. At times I find myself sneaking into the cupboard and nicking a little pinch out of the pot. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be able to make a sauce that is just like cow cheese sauce, the people who told you this lied. You can make a satisfying, tasty sauce that is lovely, just accept that it’s nutritional yeast sauce and not trying to be anything else. The link for the one above has added B12 too which is also a lovely extra.

Liquid smoke

As with the onion and garlic powder, you really don’t need to add a lot of this for it to make a difference, just pop a dash in. It’s just one of those flavours that’s usually associated with meat, it’s sort of bbq-y. I like the name too, sounds sort of impossible sciencey!

Vital wheat gluten

People who mock vegan food usually assume it’s all gluten free and organic, in your face mockers! This is a whole load of gluten! Bam! On the downside, apologies to my gluten free friends out there, this one isn’t for you. This is basically like a flour that makes a really elasticy dough.

Of course the lovely thing about these, apart from they sound like they should be in a witches potion, is when foody types are talking you can mention them and sound a bit like you know what you’re on about. Make sure you sound confident otherwise they’ll figure you out.

The pictures above have links in them to Amazon, if you’re tempted to buy any I’d really appreciate if you could buy them through my links so I can make many, many dollar. Otherwise I’ll have to keep going to my job everyday and nobody wants that, not even my boss anymore I don’t think!

Here’s a simple recipe I use all of these in for Vegan Ribs.

Vital wheat gluten, 1 cup
Nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp
Smoked paprika, 1 tbsp
Garlic powder, 1 tsp (if you were paying attention before you might want to alter this, depends how much you like garlic)
Onion powder, 1 tbsp
Black pepper, a pinch
Liquid smoke, 1 tsp
Soy sauce, 1 tbsp
Veg stock, 3/4 cup

Mix everything together to make a dough. I would recommend mixing all the dry ingredients together first and all the wet together before adding them to each other, makes a more even mix.
Bake for 20 minutes at 180°
Cover the dough in 1/2 cup of vegan bbq sauce
Bake for another 5 minutes.

I can’t find where I found this recipe now, it was one of those quick facebook videos. If it’s yours I’m sorry, let me know and I’ll add a link to your site.

Get cooking people!

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