Utensil Redemption: the grater

November 26, 2010

This is a new series we’re going to visit from time to time – you know how when you went vegan, you had to learn some new kitchen techniques?  What about the old stuff you knew from your animal-product days, and specifically, the equipment?

Don’t throw it all out yet, because it turns out there are vegan-friendly uses for most of it.  Here’s what to do with your (formerly) cheese grater:

By the way, Amazon tells me that I’m using a Progressive International Folding Grater and they’ve got it for 11 bucks or so [affiliate link]. It folds flat for storage but stands like a triangle when you use it – way better than the box-style grater I used to use that would rip my knuckles apart when I cleaned it.

I’ve got other segments planned, but feel free to add spoilers in the comments: what kitchen gadget have you managed to repurpose from a previous animal-product use, and how?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin November 26, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I grate lots of veggies too!

George Foreman Grill. It was a gift that we used to use for fish and chicken, but even back then it often was filled with veggies. Grilled veggies in the middle of winter seem like such a treat!

Then I realized that I could grill tofu and it’s so great. Usually when I try to put tofu on a real grill, it ends up breaking up or sticking, but the nonstick surface on the grill makes it easy to remove the tofu from and get those cute little grill marks.

One of my favorite Thai dishes is a stir fry that uses tofu and eggplant that are both grilled mixed in with stir fry onions, basil and garlic with a sweet Hoisin sauce. Sooooo good.

Jason November 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Crap, I haven’t even thought about the George Foreman Grill! I used to use one, but it was pretty small, and a royal pain to clean, if I recall, but I don’t think I ever tried tofu on it. Now I want to science me up some.

By the way, did you know that guy used to box? Crazy eh?

Mirkat November 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

I use a grater like that for carrots. 🙂

Amanda November 27, 2010 at 10:58 am

My meat tenderizer is now used to mash up nuts and seeds for pad thai. and baked veggie pies. I actually use it more often now than when I ate meat.

supercarrot November 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

i use my box grater only for block cheezes. soft stuff.
(if i need grated veggies, i’ll use my food processor. :-p but if i didn’t have my food processor, i’d probably use the box grater. i do also have an oxo mandoline, so if i need skinny square strips of veggies, like for miso soup, i’ll use that.)

i use my egg slicer for mushrooms.

Jason November 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Mirkat: this is why I love comments – I don’t use a lot of carrots in my cooking, so it wouldn’t have occurred to me to suggest that, thanks!

Amanda: same thing but different – I don’t know if I’ve ever used a meat tenderizer for anything, but now I kinda want to. Thanks!

Supercarrot (if that is your REAL name…): mandolins rule! We use ours all the time (some German model, V blade, can’t remember the name but there are some videos on the site that use it…) Thanks!

Amanda November 27, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Oh and Jason, it’s a good way to let out pent-up aggression…LET THE FURY FLY!!

Emily January 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Balloon whisk? or any whisk? I used to think they were just for eggs and cream, and actually chucked my original when I went vegan, but I got a new one when I started making a lot of chickpea flour omlettes, and also discovered how great they are for making frothy hot cocoa, soya milk custards and so forth. Maybe it’s only me who was that narrow-minded about whisks to begin with though 🙂

Jason January 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

I never really used a whisk until after I went vegan, and it’s never been my go-to utensil but it’s been handy from time to time (usually when making sauces.) Pro tip: cleaning them can be a hassle, but the trick is to just whisk them in some water – the crud will fall right off the wires.

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