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Culinary Tips #1 - Better Than Bouillon

June 02, 2019

Today we thought we'd switch it up, and rather than post about a specific recipe or topic related to veganism, start a new series that gives quick cooking-related tips.

Our first post of the new series deals with stocks.  We're all for creating your own stock, but what do you do when one of your favorite dishes calls for chicken stock or beef stock?  When one first starts to make the transition form a standard American diet to a vegan lifestyle, it's easy to see vegan cooking as "limiting".

"I can't have beef chili anymore..."
"I can't have chicken noodle soup anymore..."
"I can't have creamy beef stroganoff anymore..."

And then there are recipes out there that traditionally use animal-based stocks (but are less obvious), such as Mexican rice (which uses chicken stock).

There are so many dishes where you can't simply substitute for vegetable stock due to the huge difference in flavor profiles.  Because of this fact, it's easy to feel overwhelmed or even depressed when it comes to cooking (for someone who is transitioning).  Comfort foods that we might have grown up with are no longer an option, so a connection with cooking and food gets lost.

As you might have guessed, there's no need to fear!

There ARE options out there, and the folks at Better Than Bouillon have done an amazing job creating flavorful bases that can allow us to cook all of our favorite dishes that we might have grown up on.  There are four flavors that are vegan-friendly:

  1. seasoned vegetable base
  2. roasted garlic base
  3. no chicken base
  4. no beef base
Images used from https://www.betterthanbouillon.com
[Side note:  Although the brand refers to these as vegetarian, all four flavors come with the certified vegan logo on the container].  
When it comes to cost too, they come out on top.  Of course every supermarket will have different prices, but on average, ours sells 8 ounce jars for roughly $4.  Since each jar has enough base to make 38 cups, that translates to about $0.10 per cup of stock.  With many quart (4-cup) containers of vegetable stock selling for $4, there's no comparison when it comes to price.

We'd love to hear about your experiences.  Has anyone heard of or used any of these flavors before?  What recipes have you made, and what recipes would you like us to tackle in the future?

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