Here are some of my favorite kitchen items. Having the right equipment can make preparing oil free plant based meals so much easier.
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Every cook should have a good chef’s knife, and it should be kept honed and sharpened – a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. If you don’t know which knife to buy, visit a kitchen store like Williams Sonoma. Their staff will let you try out different knives to find out which is the best fit for you. My chef’s knife and sharpening steel are made by Wüsthof.
In addition to a chef’s knife, a paring knife is useful for small cutting and peeling tasks. My paring knife is also made by Wüsthof.
Utensils and Gadgets
Though not a necessity, I love this Tofu Press. Easier and less messy than using weighted objects to press your tofu. This tofu press easily and effectively removes the water from your tofu, allowing it to absorb more of your marinades and seasonings.
A fine meshed strainer is essential for rinsing legumes and grains. This one even works with quinoa.
A larger colander is useful for draining pasta and rinsing fruits and vegetables. I like this one because it has small holes throughout the colander, including the bottom. It drains easily, and spaghetti or other small items will not fall through the holes. And it has a stable base that allows it to sit elevated above the bottom of the sink.
Cookware and Bakeware
I use two types of cookware for my stove top cooking. A nonstick pan is essential for making dishes like tofu scramble, pancakes, and french toast, without oil. I absolutely love my 12 inch Ozeri Stone Earth Frying Pan.
For other stove top cooking, I use a set of All-Clad stainless steel cookware, but other brands of stainless steel cookware will work just fine. At a minimum, you should have a skillet, a small sauce pan, a medium sauce pan, and a stock pot.
Silicone cupcake pans and Silpats are wonderful for oil free baking!
The one small appliance I use the most is my Vitamix Blender. I saved money on my purchase by buying a refurbished model. While a Vitamix is expensive, I’ve found it to be worth every penny. I use it to blend smoothies, and even the seeds of berries are pureed. It makes the smoothest, creamiest nut based sauces and dressings. It crushes ice, and can also make hot soups with it’s high speed.
I also use my Instant Pot on a regular basis. In addition to cooking soups and stews, it quickly cooks quinoa, rice, steel cut oats, and beans, among many other dishes. It not only saves time, but it also uses less power than a stove, and doesn’t heat the kitchen in the summer time.
While an air fryer isn’t really a necessity, I use mine regularly to make oil free tortilla chips and french fries. My daughter loves to reheat leftover pizza in it. It works much like a convection oven, but cooks things quicker. And, it doesn’t heat the house like an oven.
An immersion blender is great for pureeing soups and sauces in the cooking pot, without having to transfer them to a blender.
We own a couple of Foreman Grills and a panini press. These have a perfect nonstick surface for cooking oil free hashbrowns, oil-free panini sandwiches, and grilled vegetables.
For more information on following a plant based diet, see: