I don’t know about you, but I have been cooking a lot lately. The COVID-19 pandemic means I have been spending most of my time indoors in self-isolation. Instead of preparing one or two meals a day, I’m cooking up to three meals a day plus snack options for those times in between.
The act of cooking is what has punctuated much of my home life. Furthermore, cooking has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I am grateful for those in my immediate life who showed me the basics and taught me this lifetime skill. The act of cooking has the ability to bring us all together because we all have one essential need in common – food!
Childhood Cooking with my Dad
When I was growing up, I was lucky to have family members who taught me how to cook. My dad was a professional chef, so I spent many hours helping him in the kitchen by ‘prepping’ his ingredients. I watched intently as he manoeuvred between multiple pans frying away while pots were bursting with bubbling sauces and stews. He taught me the not-so-precise measurements of a ‘dash’ here and a ‘pinch’ there. He taught me how to taste ingredients so I could work out what went together and what was missing. Basically, he taught me how to ‘freestyle it’ in the kitchen.
Also, there were the women in my life
I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mum and nanna. Both women taught me cooking and baking basics and how to stretch the same ingredients across multiple recipes to make different meals. Economy is vital when you’re cooking for more than one. What’s more, they taught me how to hunt down a cracking recipe and replicate it as best as I could by measuring out exact amounts of flour, sugar, milk and spices.
So, how can we learn to cook if we don’t have a role model?
Overall, all three family members taught me cooking basics and those basics are very easy to learn. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can adapt them to a vegan lifestyle. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a chef in the family. Instead, we have the luxury of the internet so we can find video tutorials to teach us those cooking basics. Plus, we can search for any recipe we please.
YouTube has been the dream ingredient for all of us during self-isolation and all you need is search on ‘vegan cooking tutorials’. There’s no doubt we’ll all emerge with the most useful thing we can ever learn. We can teach ourselves how to cook and it is possible to learn despite age or experience.
Here are some of the vegan resources I highly recommend. There is a mix of recipes and resources as well as cooking techniques and tutorials from vegan creators:
Natural, pure and honest vegan Thai cooking
A resource that brings mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and environmental aspects of well-being together
Australia’s go-to guide for those wanting to embrace these values by adopting a plant-based lifestyle (in print and digital format)
A platform for the growing compassionate and eco-conscious generation
A sustainable, compassionate, and plant-based lifestyle website
A retro-inspired vegan baker who creates recipes, baking tutorials, helpful baking resources and more
The friendly, radical, vegan arm to the Medium
Melbourne cookbook author and vegan Italian expert
The biggest UK site for all the latest vegan news and product information
An ultimate source for all things vegan
We can all teach ourselves how to cook
All it takes is equal measures of initiative, hunger, rational thinking and calm. Confidence is then the finished product, all crispy and warm straight from the oven. You’ll be surprised what you can teach yourself and how your kitchen can be your most useful asset.
So, do you cook vegan? How did you learn your skills? What resources do you use? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!