Kitchen Tools for Vegans Who Love to Cook!

We came up with the idea of writing about kitchen tools for vegans when I realized that preparing healthy, tasty vegan meals requires a set of tools that not everybody has in a typical kitchen. As you start preparing more whole-food, plant-based (and sometimes even raw!) meals, you’ll see how these tools are not gadgets but really helpful companions on your vegan journey.

My curiosity sparked as the popular low-carb keto diet picked up steam earlier this year, so I decided to give it a shot. (Here's a little more about the keto diet, including how it works, what you can eat, and what all the hype is about). As a total keto newbie, I knew prepping my meals in advance would help me stay on track.

In this Power Hour I'll share my plan for preparing a week's worth of keto breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for two adults in about two hours. If it works for me, a total keto newbie, I think it will work for anyone interested in trying out this way of eating.

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I'm from North Carolina, where BBQ is serious business. The state is damn near split in half by an imaginary line of demarcation: one that determines whether you eat your pulled pork or chopped plates Lexington-style, or you eat them the wrong way. (FIGHT ME!) But whether you prefer a tomato-based sauce or — sigh — that vinegary mess from the East, both sides seem to be in agreement that we don't need the thick, syrupy sauces that blanket the pork, brisket, and ribs that are served in other parts of the country.

At least that's what I thought.

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I've never been the type of person who chooses a bottle of wine or a chocolate bar based on the label alone. Until now, that is. If you've seen the movie Bridget Jones's Baby, this flavor-packed salmon will immediately ring a bell. And now, thanks to Ottolenghi's new cookbook, Simple, you can recreate it at home.

As Ottolenghi explains, "This is the dish Patrick Dempsey's character tells Renée Zellweger that he would have brought her on their imaginary second date," procured from Ottolenghi's London eatery, Ottolenghi. And while this salmon dish has never actually been on the menu, it's easy to imagine it there. Making it reminded me never to shy away from unlikely pairings, and reinforced what I already knew: that condiments are king, and salmon makes for a quick and easy meal.

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Every once in a while I come across an organizer that seriously makes my heart skip a beat. It's rare, so when it happens I have to take a minute to tell you guys about it. Earlier this year, I waxed poetic about this $10 flatware organizer for narrow drawers, which I'll still talk about to anyone who will listen. And just a few weeks ago I came across this wire under-shelf basket ... in copper!

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Ah, pumpkin pie — that most quintessential of Thanksgiving desserts. Here's my own favorite take on pumpkin pie — one that skips the sometimes-finicky, sometimes-soggy pie crust for one made from crispy graham crackers. Add a heaping spoonful of fresh, piquant ginger and you have the pumpkin pie I look forward to all year long.

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Kitchn's Delicious Links column highlights recipes we're excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites.

I'm a total meal prep wannabe who needs all the help I can get. Ideally, I'd like to start with baby steps and work my way up to full on Power Hour mode, the likes of which many of my fellow Kitchn staffers have already been able to achieve. Seriously, a week of breakfast, lunch, and dinner in two hours or under? (One day, Lauren, one day.)

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Behold the single food that has revolutionized my weekly meal plan! From tacos to salads to grain bowls, the simplicity and versatility of shredded chicken really can't be beat. Thanks to the slow cooker and a foolproof ratio, making a large quantity of shredded chicken at once is possible. Here's how you do it.

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When I woke up this morning, an idea for a perfect on-the-go sandwich came to me in a flash. So, I took to Twitter and shared what I thought could be the Next Big Thing in breakfast: two freshly baked cookies (chocolate chip) hugging a nice, thick, breakfast-y layer of butter, completed with a slice or two of bacon.

( ... What?)

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There is one dish that appears pretty consistently on my weekly meal plan, and that is soup. Almost every week, there is a night designated for it — usually at the start of the week so that there are leftovers to dig into for lunch. There are so many reasons why it's such a mainstay: It's a one-pot affair, it often doesn't need much else besides some crusty bread to call it dinner, and it's infinitely adaptable depending on your mood.

Some weeks, it's a soup loaded with enough veggies to get me back into a wholesome routine; other weeks it's a heartier, cream-based or pasta-packed option. Whatever the situation, these 17 recipes are easy picks for your weeknight dinner roster.

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In Explain It Like I'm 6, a dietitian answers the burning health questions from Associate Food Editor Meghan Splawn's daughter, Ella.

In this mini series we've already answered most of Ella's very thoughtful health questions. She asked her mom, Meghan, about protein, why she can't eat ice cream every day, and why she should eat apples. Today we're taking a step back and talking about why she should be eating fruits and veggies — period. Here's Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition with the answer.

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Once fall arrives, going apple picking is one of the first activities I plan with my friends. I love walking through orchards with the crisp fall air around me and plenty of homemade apple cider doughnuts for snacking, but the best part of apple picking is the bounty I get to bring home.

Apples are delicious eaten straight out of hand, but they also have the ability to swing savory or sweet in recipes. I can't go a whole season without making a pie (and we do have some tasty recipes for those), but there's so much more you can do with apples. Here are 15 ideas that might just inspire you to fill up two bags of apples at the orchard instead of one.

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Of all the comfort foods out there in the world, I'll argue mac and cheese just might be the most comforting. I mean, how can you really go wrong with pasta bathed in cheese sauce? It's not exactly the most wholesome dish (although it's pretty wholesome for the soul), but that doesn't mean it should only be saved for special occasions. A few smart tricks and tips can make it a more balanced dinner that you can feel good about.

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After a busy day, dinner usually needs to be quick. It also needs to be comforting, to combat whatever you faced at work, school, or elsewhere. These 10 recipes are both of those things but they're also extra wholesome — full of vegetables and lean protein — so you can feel good about them, too.

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Not only can a good stain remover save your garments, carpet, and upholstery from unsightly spills and stains, they also work to keep your stuff looking fresh and new for longer. That's why it's important to always have a handful of solid stain removers on hand, so you can rescue your goods from blemishes before it's too late.

So to help make your life, or at least laundry day, go more smoothly, we rounded up the top-rated stain removers on the market. From a cult favorite spot remover to a pocket-sized stain-fighting pen, read ahead for eight stain-removers you need to stock up on ASAP.

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Come fall and I'm usually ready to eat my weight in butternut squash. Roasted, puréed, cubed into salads and pasta, baked into muffins and pastries — I just can't get enough. But as much as I love butternut, I hate prepping it; peeling and cutting through this hard squash is cumbersome.

Well, we can say goodbye to that dreaded prep, because this is the easiest way to cook butternut squash without any peeling or cutting.

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Boeuf bourguignon is so much more than just another beef stew. This classic French dish, made so popular by a certain Ms. Julia Child, is the kind of stew that moves you from one level of home cooking to the next. The aroma alone — the deeply savory scent of onions, slow-cooked beef, and red wine — is enough to make your eyes roll skyward and your knees go weak. Make boeuf bourguignon once and you'll wonder why anyone ever bothers making anything else.

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Have you ever watched The Great British Bake Off or its American counterpart, The Great American Baking Show, and been totally intimidated? The things that these people can do with a bunch of flour, sugar, and butter!

Sometimes, though, even the best bakers need a helping hand in the dessert department. We consulted a few baking pros that we really admire (including two winners of TGABS!) to see what shortcuts they allow themselves to take, if any.

Here are their deep, dark, confessions. These are the things they never bother making from scratch.

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It's hard to beat a simple sheet pan of crispy roasted Brussels sprouts; it's a fall and winter side dish that goes with basically everything. And while roasted Brussels sprouts are great served plain and simple — with just olive oil, salt, and pepper — sometimes it's fun to play around. Start with a basic recipe like this one and add a little bit of this and that from your pantry to give this wholesome side dish an upgrade. Here's how to do it.

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Ideally, a pumpkin that you get now will last you through Thanksgiving, right? Sadly, that's not always the case: Pumpkins are organic, so there's no way to stop the rotting process indefinitely. But there are smart, thrifty ways to keep your carved pumpkin fresh and extend its life through Halloween and beyond!

Here are the five best ways to preserve your carved Halloween pumpkin and keep it looking great.

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It seems like every company in the world is involved in the "personal hydration" business. That's corporate speak for "water bottles," and some of these bottles are better than others. While there are hundreds (thousands?) of pretty, Instagram-worthy bottles out there, they don't all keep your water cold, clean up easily, or offer a leak-proof seal. Which brings us to one of our all-time favorite personal hydration bottles: the Hydro Flask, which we hear is now on sale at Costco.

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I come from a long line of people who are always right. It's true — just ask my parents. With 24 aunts and uncles and more cousins than I can count, I've heard lots of advice over the years, particularly about saving money.

But I'll be the first to say that it's sometimes difficult to sort fact from fiction. Not because my loved ones lie, but because times change, store practices evolve, and honestly, your mileage may vary. So my aunt's must-try tip for buying yogurt may have been true in 2005, but it actually not be worth trying at all in 2018.

Let's examine some of these myths that have been passed down over the generations.

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Chitra Agrawal, the cookbook author behind Vibrant India and the creator of a line of authentic Indian condiments called Brooklyn Delhi, also has a blog: It's called the ABCDs of Cooking (and it's not because the URL for the ABCs of Cooking was already taken). According to Chitra, ABCD stands for "American Born Confused Desi, a term sometimes used to describe a South Asian born and brought up in the U.S."

As her blog name cleverly suggests, Chitra not only aims to coach people through basic cooking techniques, but also to acquaint people with cherished family recipes that are a major part of her identity. Because Chitra is intimately familiar with the ingredients necessary to bring those recipes to life, we asked her for some of her favorite canned goods shortcuts — all of which you can find in an Indian grocery store.

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I love my vacuums. Yes, we have two: A Dyson small ball (the big ones are way too heavy for me to vacuum with comfortably, and was definitely too heavy for me to carry up and down the stairs when we lived in a two-story house) and a cordless that was a (requested) Mother's Day present that has for real changed my everyday life.

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Everyone always dreams of having a fairy godmother in the kitchen: A gentle, smiling woman who shows you the perfect way to roast a turkey or decorate your dinner table for a party. Thankfully, we don't need to dream, because we have one, and her name is Ina Garten. Her show Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro has delivered cooking tips for the past two seasons that could bail out even the most amateur home cook. And guess what? A third season of the show is in the works, because Ina would never abandon us.

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If you've been to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in midtown Manhattan, you've probably marveled at its permanent collection, which includes some of the most iconic and immediately recognizable works, ever — there's the melting clocks of Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory, the soft-focus pastels of Claude Monet's massive Water Lilies triptych, and everyone's go-to poster from their freshman year, Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night.

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We often tout the benefits and virtues of frozen vegetables, but totally side-eye the other wondrous prepared vegetables sitting, ready to go, in the canned goods aisle. Even worse, canned vegetables are usually looked down on for the very trait that makes them inherently good: They are often cooked in the can in a sodium-rich broth, which makes them incredibly tender but also satisfyingly briny.

There's actually a lot to love about canned vegetables. For one, they are fully cooked and can be served at room temperature — right out of the can. This fact alone makes our favorite canned vegetable feel more like a guilty pleasure than the virtuous green vegetable that it is.

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There's a place on the internet that is entirely wholesome and happy. In this magical secret spot, people post their fall decorations and cute babies dressed up as pumpkins. Everyone supports one another and is kind and thoughtful. It's basically the opposite of Twitter.

Welcome to Starbucks' Leaf Rakers Society. This not-so-secret Facebook group is a gathering of people who love fall and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. And while many people do talk at length about the PSL, there are also plenty of variations on the cult-classic drink that get passed around. One recently caught our eye that subbed some of the pumpkin with white mocha. It has been dubbed the "Cinderella" latte, and obviously we had to try it.

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One of the easiest ways to eat a healthful diet is to consume more fruits and vegetables. That sounds fine on the surface, but how do you actually do it? Making salads for lunch every day is an easy way to start, but that can get boring fast. Luckily, there are lots of tricks to squeezing a few more wholesome fruits and vegetables into breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even incorporating them into snacks and desserts. Let me show you how.

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Fall, more than any other season, seems to have the most iconic foods. The pumpkins! The apples! The caramel! You get the point. And if any grocer leans into this the most, it's Trader Joe's.

Year after year, the chain brings back and adds new festive foods to get us all in the mood for sweaters and hay rides. Honestly, it's kind of working! We took a stroll through the store to find the most over-the-top fall-themed items and now all we want to do is cozy up with a mug of hot apple cider.

Take a look.

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What's that? You don't have unlimited free weekends to spend updating your kitchen? What do you know? Most of us don't! But a select few of us have figured out that there are a few small, one-off changes that can be done in a single weekend.

Whether you want to do a bigger renovation piece by piece over the course of several weekends, or you just want to do one quick fix to fall in love with the space, there are all sorts of things you can do.

So, don't quit your day job or clear your calendar for 2019. Here are eight kitchen renovation projects that can be done in a weekend.

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