by Purple Carrot

Here are some helpful kitchen tips from our culinary team.

1. Use kosher salt—it has larger, coarser grains that are easier to grasp and sprinkle over food.
And don’t forget to taste as you’re cooking, and add salt as necessary.

2. Choose the right cooking oil. When cooking over high heat, use oils with a higher smoke point so they don’t degrade during cooking. We typically use olive oil or vegetable oil in our recipes, but you can always swap these for other high heat oils like coconut, avocado, or canola oil if you prefer.

3. Bake instead of fry. For a healthier option, you can usually bake ingredients instead of frying them. We suggest adding some vegetable broth to your baking sheet to prevent ingredients from drying out. You can also use a nonstick skillet and cooking spray when sautéing foods if you prefer not to sauté using oil.

4. Press your tofu. Drain your tofu, pat it dry and wrap it with a clean kitchen towel. Cover the wrapped tofu with a weighted object like a frying pan or heavy book to squeeze out the moisture. With less moisture, tofu can better absorb flavor and also gets crispier when you cook it.

5. Cook plant-based meats properly. Always wait until the oil in your pan is hot before adding proteins like tempeh and tofu. This prevents the food from soaking up too much oil.

6. Salt the pasta water. This will give your pasta great flavor, and it also helps vegetables retain their color. Add 1 tbsp salt for a medium saucepan of water or 2 tbsp for a large pot.

7. Cook grains in advance. Pressed for time? Cooking rice or other grains ahead of time—the day before or even just earlier in the day—is an easy way to cut down on recipe cooking time.

8. Tamari and soy sauce are very similar, and we use them interchangeably. So don’t be alarmed if we send you one instead of the other. Tamari is also gluten-free.

9. Don’t worry if you receive tempeh with black spots. Black, white, and grey spots on tempeh are normal and can even be a sign that your tempeh is fully mature. You’ll know your tempeh has gone bad if it feels slimy or has an ammonia-like odor.