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Article  •  02 November 2018

 

The Vegan Pantry

From SuperNatural, Tobie and Georgia Puttock’s tips on essential vegan ingredients.

Our pantry at home is 90 per cent vegan, I enjoy a cheese toastie from time to time, I eat fish every week or so and on rare occasions I enjoy a small piece of steak or a slice of porchetta if it’s on offer. Becoming ‘reducetarian’ wasn’t an overnight decision but a result of gathering information and experience. Since Georgia has been pescatarian for more than ten years, we’re used to not eating red meat, pork or chicken at home, which probably made it easier. We try out different ingredients, make the most of fresh produce and have fun creating new meat-free meals. We get all the nutrients we need from the various plant-based recipes I cook or use a supplement if need be – and we feel great!

For the past twenty years, my pantry probably looked typical of an Italian chef: various olive oils, vinegars, a couple of different spices and lots of herbs, grains and so on. I was in the land of garlic, basil and tomatoes for so long! But after some time out of the professional kitchen I’ve befriended a lot of spices I hadn’t really used before – simply because I hadn’t been taught how to use them – plus different chillies, flours and so on. It makes me realise that vegan cooking has definitely made me a better cook – I’ve learnt to understand how ingredients work on a deeper level, and you can too.
 

Spices

Spices are everything in vegetarian and vegan cooking – they are your best friend and you need to get to know them. They will allow you to make simple dishes with just a few ingredients that are incredibly layered and complex in flavour.

 cardamom

 cayenne pepper

 chilli flakes

 ground cinnamon

 cinnamon sticks

 cloves

 coriander seeds

 ground cumin

 cumin seeds

 fennel seeds

 garam masala

 whole nutmeg

 paprika

 sesame seeds

 turmeric


Herbs

Herbs have always been an important part of my cooking and in SuperNatural, they definitely bring dishes to life. Fresh herbs are always my first choice but can lead to wastage. In order to reduce that, dry out leftover fresh herbs by laying them out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and sitting them in a warm part of the kitchen until dried and crisp. You can then keep them in zip-lock bags or crush them and store them in jars to be used through the bases of sauces for added flavour.

 basil

 coriander

 mint

 dill

 tarragon

 flat leaf parsley

 curly leaf parsley

 


Legumes, grains, nuts, seeds

You can of course use dried beans of all varieties but, to be honest, I almost always use tinned at home. Some beans need to be soaked overnight whereas tinned are ready to rock in seconds. Some grains, like freekeh, don’t take too long to cook and they can also last in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

 black beans

 fava beans

 chickpeas

 red kidney beans

 lentils

 cannellini beans

 peas

 soybeans

 pinto beans

 rice

 freekeh

 couscous

 quinoa

 chia

 flax

 almonds

 cashews

 chestnuts

 hazelnuts

 pecans

 macadamias

 pistachios

 walnuts

 pine nuts

 hemp seeds

 poppy seeds

 sunflower seeds

 

 

 


Other

My cooking is always evolving and my pantry reflects this.

 olive oil

 sesame oil

 extra virgin olive oil

 coconut oil

 shredded coconut

 fine polenta

 semolina

 flour

 wholemeal flour

 corn starch

 almond meal

 self-raising flour

 bicarbonate of soda

 baking powder

 baking soda

 maple syrup

 brown rice malt syrup

 icing sugar

 dried apricots

 cranberries

 soy

 tamari

 

 


SuperNatural Tobie Puttock

A beautiful collection of 100 simple, flavour-filled dishes that vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians will love.

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