Kate Friedman is a vegan food blogger behind the Herbivore’s Kitchen. A food science “nerd,” she loves food styling (“I actually have a color wheel so that the color of my napkins complements my food,” she says) and is learning more and more about food photography every day. Her decision to change to a plant-based diet started out for health reasons, but it’s now largely fueled by environmental concerns. As an avid hiker, skier and biker living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with her husband, kids and beloved dog, Tig, Kate is a huge fan of spending time outdoors. “It only makes sense that I make decisions that reflect that. Did you know that eating plant-based is one of the easiest ways to make a big difference?” she says.
1. Coconut oil has a wonderful flavor and a low smoke point. An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to break down. This occurs at 350°F (175°C) for coconut oil. When cooking with it, be sure to monitor the heat of the pan to prevent the oil from smoking.
2. Two large cloves of garlic are about equal to 1 tablespoon (9 g) of minced garlic.
3. I simmer mushrooms in water before sautéing them in oil. Why? This extra step causes the internal structure of the mushrooms to collapse. When oil is added later, the mushrooms will cook more quickly and absorb less of the oil.