How to add flavor to vegetarian cooking


Vegetarian cuisine is often associated with poor flavor dietary cuisine. But it would not have to happen, if with some foods, we can add a special touch when preparing our dishes. It is true that meat provides a taste in stews and stews that is difficult to find among vegetables and spices, but with a little imagination and getting used to our palate it is easy to forget that our stews and legume dishes do not contain meat.

There are many foods that already have particular colors and flavors and that when they are added to our basic dishes, these characteristics are even more accentuated. So if you follow a vegetarian diet or are getting used to it, you should have them at hand and as a pantry background, because they will be the ones that make your dishes go "straight to your palate".

  • We start with herbs and spices, such as curry, cumin, coriander, turmeric, tarragon or mint, either fresh, if you have the possibility to have them, or dried and powdered. Any of them offers a delicious flavor sprinkled on vegetables or quinoa dishes. Even more exotic spices such as the Moroccan Ras el Hanout blend, serve to add a dose of extra flavor to our legume dishes.
  • Seeds and nuts, rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Apart from being a source of beneficial properties, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame or pine nut seeds, whether raw or slightly toasted, add a crunchy touch to any salad. Also walnuts, apricots, plums, blueberries or raisins, which are mixed if you are not on a vegan diet, in a delicious way with any blue cheese, providing a spicy touch and creating a very interesting combination of flavors.

  • Vegetable oils, apart from the classic olive, look for them in different varieties, such as sesame, truffle, hazelnut or walnut, each one with its characteristics will serve to dress your salads, steamed vegetables, crudités and even risottos.
  • Vinegars, the same thing happens with oils. There are so many varieties that the choice is difficult. Balsamic vinegars, fruit such as raspberry and apple, cider, Jerez, all are ideal to enhance flavors in our vegetable carpaccios and salads. Or even lemon, orange or lime zest, to add a refreshing touch to mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, and even grilled aubergines and mushrooms.

  • But if you want to remember more traditional dishes, turn to paprika, which gives us a longing for meat, a smoked chorizo ​​flavor to our chickpeas, lentils, hummus and even vegetables. Or perhaps you would like more to season your food with sun-dried or semi-dried tomatoes in oil, which also add texture and flavor to our sauces and stews.
  • Soy sauce serves perfectly as a substitute for salt, adding flavor but also color to our vegetarian dishes and especially to tofu, with which it combines especially well. And it's easy to turn to pickles, too, easy to have on hand at home canned. Capers and olives are ideal to add to grilled vegetables, tomato sauces, to add flavor to hummus or salads and of course to our pasta preparations.

It is seen that it is not necessary to resort to meat to make our dishes tastier and we have in our pantry a great variety of products that add flavor, texture and color to vegetarian cuisine. Do not waste them and do not forget their great nutritional benefits.

Image | Lablasco | Steffenz
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