The Vegetarian Kitchen: Cooking with Creativity & Soul

When I first ventured into a plant-based diet, my daily menu consisted of brown rice, beans and vegetable stir-fry. Finding new animal-free meals to prepare was difficult after 22 years of eating chicken, pork, beef and fish. To get over this hump, I started to read cookbooks, magazines and food blogs for new ideas. In the long run, these resources helped me expand my thinking on what to eat and how to prepare it. Plant-based cooking can be and should be fun. In The Vegetarian Kitchen: Cooking with Creativity & Soul, I will share some of my favorite cookbooks, music, chefs, etc. with you to help spark new ideas and inspiration for the kitchen. Please note that not all post will include plant-based books and chefs. One of my favorite parts of plant-based cooking is “veganizing” recipes. Here’s to the first installment! Enjoy.

1. Blu & Excile- ‘Give Me Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them’: Drown out the sounds of a sizzling frying pan with Blue & Exile’s jazz and soul infused hip-hop album. Blu’s relaxed style eases the stresses of cooking. My favorite tracks are ‘Ease Your Mind’ and ‘Mask Your Soul’.

2. A good cutting board is a necessity in any kitchen, it also helps if the cutting board looks good! These Olive Wood Paddle Boards from West Elm range between $19-$39.

3. Homemade by Yvette van Boven: I received this cookbook as a gift last Christmas. Laced with meat and vegetable based recipes, Homemade serves as a perfect kitchen resource for any ameuter cooking looking to learn some basic “how-to’s” from jam-making, preserving vegetables to building an outdoor grill. Check out Yvette van Boven’s website for even more inspiration.

4. Chef Marcus Samuelsson, owner of Red Rooster in New York City, is one of my favorite celebrity chefs. At 24, Samuelsson became an executive chef, a position that many chefs won’t ever have an opportunity to have. His creativity, style and innovation are all truly inspiring to me.

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