Here are some basic recipes for the basic ingredients of vegan cooking. Some of them are not so easy to find in stores, at least not in my neck of the woods in Germany. For example, I was looking at a recipe that suggested store-bought vegan mayonnaise and I thought, great! But after looking in all of my usual stores, I found nothing that fits the vegan requirements. There was the possibility of ordering it online but then I thought, why not make it yourself? So I thought I would give it a try and the results were actually delicious! I don't think I will buy store-bought vegan mayonnaise even if I can find it!
Seitan is also something that is in many vegan recipes but the only seitan I found in a store here- a gluten based meat substitute - quite honestly didn't look edible. I think you are much better making it yourself. It isn't that hard and you can play with the spices and change the flavor to compliment the dish. See my recipe for Seitan.
There are other basic recipes that I want to try and I would like to create some vegan versions of old favorites. I have an old French Cookbook that has terrific recipes slathered in butter and cream - obviously not the way I want to eat anymore - but I think some of them would be possible to rewrite so to say and make a new animal free version like the fresh taste of homemade vegan Hollandaise Sauce.
Some basics of the vegan kitchen are good to have around all of the time:
Raw Cashews - raw cashews are great to have around as a staple. You can use them for Cashew Cheeseor add them to a salad or dish.
Hoisin Sauce - sometimes called duck sauce, is a pungent, sweet and salty sauce that is used in asian cooking. You can usually find it in asian markets but if you can't, I have basic recipe for the sauce here.
Miso - is a thick paste made from fermented grain and soy bean product which is often used as a flavor enhancer for soups or sauces. It is very high in protein, vitamins and minerals. There are white, red or mixed miso pastes although the color of the paste itself varies only slightly. It is good to have handy because it isn't always easy to find if you don't live near an asian market.
Seitan - is available already prepared in natural food stores or you can make it yourself. Here is the recipe. Seitan is a gluten protein that can replace meat in standard recipes. The texture and flavor vary alot so you have to see what is available or how you want to make it.
Soy Sauce - most people know soy sauce but did you know there are light and dark soy sauces? There are slight differences in the fermentation of the sauces or sometimes there are extra flavors added like garlic or chili. The dark soy sauce is a real basic and good to have handy.
Tofu - is fermented soy bean curd and comes in a firm and in a soft texture. If you press out the fluid that the tofu comes in by pressing it between two paper towels with a pan, the tofu will take over the flavors that you cook it in. The firm texture is good for dishes where you want dish to have chunks and the soft texture is good for creamier dishes.