TASTE

Vegetarian Cooking Hacks Every Herbivore Should Know

02/10/2015 07:45 am ET | Updated Feb 10, 2015

If you're a fan of cooking hacks, chances are you've come across all the best ones. From the right way to eat a cupcake to how to get the best sear on your steak, the hacks are many and varied. If you're a vegetarian, not many of them will pertain to you -- chances are you'll probably never need to know how to eat chicken wings like a lady. But there are a good deal of those hacks that could make your meat-free life easier, like how to slice vegetables faster, peel bananas smarter, and even figure out how to make tofu really soak up flavor.

To help you sift through the best vegetarian cooking hacks the internet has to offer, we've put together a list of all the best ones a vegetarian could use -- because we like you.

  • 1 Make your own steaming basket with a plate and aluminum foil.
    James Ransom/Food52
    The folks at Food52 shared this great trick. Ball up some foil, and put it in the bottom of a pot with water. Gently place a heat-safe plate on top of the foil. Load up the veggies, crank up the heat with the lid on, and steam.
  • 2 Core a head of lettuce quickly with ninja-like skills.
    Saveur
    If you have a whole head of lettuce you can easily core it by smashing the hard root down on a cutting board -- it'll dislodge it from the leaves.
  • 3 For better tofu, freeze it.
    Jessica Boone via Getty Images
    The water in tofu forms crystals when freezing making it chewier, firmer and far spongier . This will change your tofu game by 1,000 percent.
  • 4 Never run the risk of eating an un-fresh egg again.
    I love analógica cameras like a fat boy who loves chocolate via Getty Images
    Test for freshness -- it's easy. Simply place eggs in a bowl of water. If they sink, they're okay to eat. If they float, they have seen better days.
  • 5 Cut a whole box of cherry tomatoes in one single slice.
    DavidHax/YouTube
  • 6 Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that never get soggy.
    Steve Ross via Getty Images
    Put peanut butter on both slices of bread and it'll keep the jelly's moisture from making the bread soggy. So simple, it's genius. See how it's done here.
  • 7 Soak your beans in just one hour.
    goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento)/Flickr
    Most dried beans require an overnight soak to rehydrate, but not many of us remember to prep our beans the night before. No worries -- if you soak them in boiling hot water for just one hour it'll have the same effect.
  • 8 Seed squash more easily with an ice cream scoop.
    Rita Maas via Getty Images
    And then use it to serve yourself a bowl of ice cream -- you know, to reward yourself for your ingenuity.
  • 9 To peel a banana, do it from the bottom.
    YouTube: CHOW
  • 10 To grate cheese, spray cooking oil on the cheese grater.
    Dave Bradley Photography via Getty Images
    It'll stop the cheese from sticking, catching and breaking off into big chunks making your life feel impossible when all you want to do is grate some cheese.
  • 11 Upgrade the veggie burger.
    (c) K. Miller Photographs via Getty Images
    Okay, this one is less of a hack and more just a piece of advice. Most veggie burgers suck, but they don't have to. Just upgrade them.

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