Cooking Tips

How to cook for some quick, vegan staples.

First, here are some tips for cooking for yourself:

  1. Cook in bulk over the weekend, store the food in your fridge or freezer, and heat it up later in the week. If you do this, you don’t have to cook as much during the school week.
  2. Do your homework while you wait for things to cook.

How to cook beans:

From a can:

You don’t need to cook canned beans, because they come already cooked. Cans are your easiest option. Put the beans in a strainer, rinse them, and see below for bean recipes.

From scratch:

Cooking beans from scratch takes time. However, you don’t need to watch the beans cook the entire time. You can do your own thing while the beans cook.

  1. Rinse and pick through beans to clean out pebbles and dust.
  2. Soak the beans for about 8-10 hours. I suggest you do this overnight or during the school day.
  3. Add water to a pot. Add 3 cups of water for every cup of beans.
  4. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  5. Boil water.
  6. Add the beans to the pot, and turn the stove down to low.
  7. Keep cooking until beans are as squishy or tender as you want them to be. This could take half an hour or a couple of hours. You can’t really predict when they’ll be finished.

Bean Recipes:

 

How to cook lentils:

From a can: 

You don’t need to cook canned lentils, because they are already ready. Cans are the easiest option. Open the can, and see the lentil recipes below.

From scratch:

  1. Rinse lentils and pick through lentils to clean pebbles, dust and debris.
  2. Add water to a pot at ratio of two cups of water for every cup of lentils.
  3. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  4. Boil water.
  5. Once water boils, add lentils, and turn down the stove down to low.
  6. After about 20 minutes, the lentils should be ready.

Lentil Recipes:

 

How to cook rice:

  1. Add water to a pot. Add two cups of water for every one cup of rice.
  2. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  3. Boil the water.
  4. Add the rice.
  5. Cover the pot. Turn the stove down to low.
  6. When rice is done, it is not crunchy, but firm. White rice should be finished after 18 minutes. Brown rice should be done after 30 minutes. Wild rice should be done after 45 minutes.
  7. Drain the water left in the pan.

Mix it with vegetables, legumes and tofu, and spices, or use it as a side dish.

 

How to cook quinoa:

  1. Add water to a pot. Add 2 cups of water for each cup of quinoa.
  2. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  3. Boil water. While the water boils, soak the quinoa in a separate bowl. Without the soaking, quinoa has a weird taste.
  4. After water boils, add the quinoa. Then, turn the heat down to low.
  5. Quinoa should be done after 15-30 minutes. Quinoa is done when it is soft, transparent, and when there is no water left in the pot.

Mix quinoa with vegetables, legumes and tofu, and spices, or use it as a side dish.

 

How to cook cous cous:

  1. Add water to the pot. Add 1.25 cups of water for each cup of cous cous. Add cous cous.
  2. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  3. Boil water.
  4. Cous cous should be done after 10 minutes.

Mix cous cous with vegetables, legumes and tofu, and spices, or use it as a side dish.

 

How to cook barley:

  1. Add water to the pot. Add three cups of water for each cup of barley
  2. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  3. Boil water.
  4. After water boils, add barley. Then, turn the heat down to low.
  5. Barley should be done after 45 minutes. Barley is done when it absorbs all the water.

Once your barley is ready, you can:

Mix barley with vegetables, legumes and tofu, and spices, or use it as a side dish.

 

How to cook pasta:

  1. Add water. Add two cups of water for each cup of pasta. The water to pasta ratio might vary, so check your package for a specific ratio.
  2. Boil water.
  3. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  4. Once water boils, add pasta and turn the stove to low.
  5. The pasta package should tell how you long you need to leave the pasta.

Pasta Recipes:

  • Mac and cheese (if vegan, use vegan butter, and use vegan cheese or nutritional yeast)
  • Pasta and vegetarian meat balls (tofu, tempeh, seitan)
  • Stuffed pasta shells
  • Ravioli

 

How to cook polenta:

  1. Add water to the pot. Add four cups of water for every cup of polenta.
  2. Add your preferred oils, seasonings, broths and salt to the water.
  3. Boil water.
  4. Pour polenta in the pot and turn the stove to low.
  5. Stir the polenta.
  6. The polenta package should tell you how long you need to cook it.

Once you are done, eat polenta plain, or add tofu, tempeh, seitan, vegetarian meats, cheese, vegan cheese, nutritional yeast or various vegetables to it.

 

How to bake without milk and eggs:

Use the same recipe, but instead of using milk, use a non-dairy milk like almond milk or soy milk.

Instead of using eggs, use one of these:

  • Mashed fruits like bananas, apples, tomatoes, or potatoes. About a 1/3 cup of fruit is the same amount as an egg.
  • 1 tablespoon of water plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of flaxseed or 2.5 tablespoons of whole flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of baking powder
  • Or, buy egg replacer at your grocery store, and follow the instructions.

 

Here are some more cooking instructions from other sources. Many of these foods are more complicated to cook, so I decided to let experts explain them:

How to cook tofu 

How to cook tempeh 

How to cook squash

How to cook potatoes

How to cook sweet potatoes

How to cook veggies