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Prices start at just $9.99
When I was about six or seven years old, I announced to my family at the dinner table that I wouldn’t be eating meat—not that night or any night after. As I picked around at the side dishes that night, my parents happily devoured the brisket they had prepared, assuming the vegetarian phase would end as abruptly as it began.
The “phase” has lasted 20 years now, and in that time, I’ve learned how to cook vegetarian foods that my meat-eating family loves as much as I do. As a food writer, I have the opportunity to test countless kitchen items that make plant-based cooking easier and more efficient. If you’re looking to eat less meat or add more fresh vegetables to your diet, I’ve curated a list of my favorite tools that make vegetarian cooking more fun, and prices start at just $9.99.
The Best Vegetarian Kitchen Products
Tofuture Tofu Press, $21.99
Keylitos 5-in-1 Immersion Blender, $39.99 (originally $49.99)
Mora Ceramics Flat Pasta Bowl, Set of 4, $35.09
Stariver Small Rice Cooker, $31.99
Tovolo Mini Silicone Tongs, $9.99
Tofuture Tofu Press
To buy: $21.99, amazon.com
Learning to cook tofu is a vegetarian rite of passage. While my relationship with bean curd was hardly love at first bite—I initially found it chalky—over the years I’ve come to master the art of that perfect crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside consistency that now has me hooked. And I owe most of the credit to this $22 tool from Tofuture. Pressing the liquid out makes for a firmer, meatier texture, and the lack of moisture gives the outside a great crunch. While you can achieve this with, say, a perfectly balanced stack of books, this tofu press won’t topple over or create a mess. Made to fit any 8 to 12 ounce block of tofu (from firm to silken), it features various hooks so I can choose the level of pressure I want. It fits easily in the fridge so I can prep ahead of time. Finally, when it’s time to clean up, the Tofuture disassembles into three pieces that fit easily in the dishwasher.
Keylitos 5-in-1 Immersion Blender
To buy: $39.99 (was $49.99), amazon.com
Smoothie bowls are one of my favorite plant-based breakfasts, but in my cozy kitchen, there’s no room for a big, bulky blender. That’s why I can’t live without this five-in-one handheld blender. Like any immersion blender, it’s fabulous for pureeing soups and smoothies, but it comes with several convenient attachments that transform it into a vegetable chopper, a whisk, a milk frother, and even a hand mixer. I use it in my kitchen to make stir-fry sauces, salad dressings and my morning matcha lattes.
Rllygrt Ceramic Air Fryer Liners, Set of 2
To buy: $35.14, amazon.com
As a vegetarian, I use my air fryer almost daily to crisp up brussels sprouts, make homemade fries, and reheat leftovers. I used to wash my air fryer after every use, until I invested in mini liners to cut down on cleanup time and make transferring food a whole lot easier. While most options are made from single-use materials or silicone, I prefer these heat-safe ceramic ones. Not only do they fit snugly in both my air fryer and instapot—they’re well-made and come in a variety of colors that make for aesthetically-pleasing family-style presentations. I love that they double as serving trays, so I don’t have to dirty extra dishes.
OXO Good Grips Large Salad Spinner
To buy: $39.69, amazon.com
After receiving one as a gift just last month, this OXO salad spinner has quickly become an essential, everyday tool in my kitchen. When I’m making a salad (which I do almost daily) or adding berries to my breakfast bowl, the spinner makes it easy to wash and dry produce with the press of a button. I love that it features a break button that makes the bowl stop on a dime and a lid you can disassemble (and even place in the dishwasher) for ultra-easy cleanup.
Mora Ceramics Flat Pasta Bowl, Set of 4
To buy: $35.09, amazon.com
Noodles are a plant-based hero on many a meaty menu. I cook pasta at least once a week, and these ceramic vessels are my favorite bowls to serve out of and eat from. But they’re not just for pasta. Toeing the line between plate and bowl, the uses are endless. I find them perfect for “big salads,” rice bowls, ramen and everything in between. They’re stackable, microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and feature a scratch resistant glaze that really works. With their raw terracotta trimmings and speckled glazings, they’ve even racked up compliments from several of my design-minded friends.
Creative Co-op Stoneware Colanders, Set of 2
To buy: $26.68, amazon.com
I love storing freshly-washed fruits and vegetables in colanders to snack on throughout the week. This earth-toned stoneware set adds a chic touch to my produce shelf and keeps the fridge looking organized. They’re elegant enough to go straight from the fridge to the dinner table, and when I’m not using them I leave them out on my countertop as decor.
Stariver Small Rice Cooker
To buy: $31.99, amazon.com
Despite silly assumptions that vegetarians only eat leaves, carbs are a huge part of my life. Great for absorbing sauces (and boosting my mood), they’re a must for any meal I make at home—even if I’m only cooking for one. After scraping burnt bits off of one too many forgotten batches on the stovetop, I decided to invest in this mini rice cooker that switches automatically to the “keep warm” mode when your food is ready. Featuring settings for rice, noodles, soups, congee and more, the appliance’s simple, user-friendly design and nonstick interior firmly place it in my daily rotation. Since I use it so often, I like that it’s attractive enough to keep on my countertop.
Tovolo Mini Silicone Tongs
To buy: $9.99, amazon.com
I love prepping single servings of salad to eat for lunch throughout the week, and these mini tongs have become my favorite way to toss in dressing without having to make a mess or transfer into a larger bowl. They’re equally handy when tossing roasted vegetables or frying tofu.
Read the original article on Eating Well.