Calories: When changing to a whole food, plant-based diet it is important to eat enough calories. No restrictions please. You are in a metamorphasis, changing and detoxing every cell in your body. You need to eat. Fruits and vegetables are water rich and not calorie dense. Don't be surprised if you are hungry 2 hours after eating. In fact take this as an opportunity to eat. Eat to satisfy your natural hunger. It's time to trust your body again. It's time to fall in love with food.
Water chopping: This is an easy and effective way to mince produce without the hard work of hand chopping. Simply fill your blender with water to half fulll. Add coarsely chopped veggies of your choice and pulse once or twice. Keep pulsing until they are finely chopped. Then strain and use.
* Don't overfill the pitcher with chopped veggies, there needs to be enough water for the produce to swirl around evenly.
Salad Dressings: Most salad dressing use a variety of flavour elements like sweet, salt, acid, spice, fat etc. Using a blender try adding an ingredient from each of the flavour categories plus a little liquid to get things moving.
I've had great success with something like this: a handful of sunflower seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, chilli powder, black pepper, salt, a medjool date, 2 stalks of celery, a dash of liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar and water.
Blend on high until creamy and smooth. This is a great basic recipe but you can create endless dips and salad dressings from keeping in mind the flavour elements. If you're like me and prefer not to use measurements while cooking you will quickly adapt and learn how much of each ingredient you prefer to use.
Nicecream: Banana nicecream is a daily staple especially on a raw/high raw vegan diet as bananas have enough calories to sustain you. Over the years I have found that a food processor is the easiest way to make this staple food. I prefer a Ninja food processor as the double tier 'S' blade whips the frozen fruit quickly and effortlessly. You may also use a high speed blender, frozen fruit machine like a Yonanas or a Champion juicer extractor with the blank plate in.
Egg Replacer: When I first went plant-based egg replacer and flax eggs were my 'go to' every time I had to bake something. Over the years I've found baking powder, baking soda in a 1:1 ratio plus a splash of vinegar created tremendous volume in muffins and quick breads.
Water Sauteing: It's true, you don't need to use oil when sauteing vegetables. Instead heat a skillet on high until a small splash of water beads and pops when added to it. Add your produce and use the natural liquids that release from the heat, once those begin to dry out add small splashes of water or veggie broth, just enough to keep things moving and cooking. If you add too much liquid you will start steaming and boiling the veggies, not sauteing. The purpose of sauteing produce is to caramelize the natural sugars in plants which will add flavour to your dish.
No Oil In Your Pasta Water: The purpose of adding oil to your cooking water is to prevent the noodles from sticking together in the pot while cooking and after once drained. The truth is when cooking pasta you do not need to add oil to the cooking water. Instead salt as usual (as that flavours the noodles, skip if on a low sodium diet). Stir the noodles after a couple of minutes to separate them in the boiling water. Drain and if using with a sauce do so immediately if you rinse the noodles now the sauce will not stick to them. Should there be leftover noodles, rinse them well before refrigerating and the next day they will not be clumped together.
Oat Flour: Lots of my recipes use oat flour. This is simple to make just add oats to a high speed blender and blend until a flour forms usually 20 - 30 seconds.
Chickpeas/Lentils: Use dry, uncooked chickpeas & lentils as a ground chicken/meat alternative. Soak 18 - 24 hours, rinse and drain. Blend in a food processor or blender with spices and seasonings. When cooked the natural starches in the legumes congeal and form bonds just like how ground meat would. Makes excellent vegan falafel, meat balls, meatlaof, and patties without the use of a flour or binder. Plus the texture is out of this world.