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Tips and Tricks

Here are some secrets for saving time while jazzing and lightening up your recipes:

• Use vegetable oil instead of animal fat for frying and sautéing.

• Use vegetable stock or broth or wine instead of animal-based stocks in soups, sauces, and stews.

• To liven up your rice, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and sauté one tablespoon of garlic for two minutes. Add the rice and sauté until lightly browned. Cook the rice according to package directions, adding vegetable broth instead of water for flavor.

• Use only the freshest ingredients in your recipes.

• To perk up wilted lettuce, add lemon juice to a bowl of cold water and soak lettuce for an hour in the refrigerator.

• If a soup or stew is too salty, add chunks of raw potatoes. Discard them after they have cooked—they will have absorbed the salt. If a soup or stew is too sweet, add salt. If a main dish or vegetable is too sweet, add one teaspoon of cider vinegar.

• When sautéing zucchini, potatoes, carrots, and squash, use a fork to stir. Spoons often break up the vegetables.

• To thicken sauces: Try using cornstarch mixed with cold water (in a one-to-one ratio), brown rice flour (approximately 1 2/3 teaspoonfuls per 1/2 cup of liquid), potato starch or flour (2/3 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of liquid), tapioca flour mixed with cold water (in a one-to-one ratio), or ground nuts.

• Save time by reading a new recipe all the way through first and making sure you have all the ingredients and tools. Try mastering six to eight recipes and using them in rotation—a trick gourmet chefs use.

• Brown rice syrup can be used in place of sugar, honey, and other sweeteners. To substitute for sugar, use 1 1/4 cups of brown rice syrup for 1 cup of sugar and use 1/4 cup less of a liquid called for in the recipe.

Don’t forget to check out our vegan shopping guide and delicious recipes.

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