What to use?
This is an essential component of vegan and vegetarian cooking. You can make your own (lots of recipes on the internet) and freeze it or you can buy it. This is one area that I really recommend being choosy. As it is an extremely concentrated product, I think an organic option is a good one and I generally use Rapunzel, Marigold (v expensive) or Vecon. These are usually available in health food shops. Most supermarkets stock Massel stock which is MSG free and can sometimes be found in the “reduced salt” version, which is excellent. (This means you can adjust the salt yourself). I often use this brand, for cost saving and if I’m away. Avoid the popular, cheaper brands as they are mostly salt and MSG and often contain chicken, wheat flour or whey!
The recipes on this website are a mixture of stock cubes or teaspoons. Obviously this depends on what you have to hand. Probably 1 cube is equal to 1 teaspoon of the loose stock, but sometimes the cubes are more concentrated. Start with less than you think – you can always add more. If you use too much and it’s too salty it’s very difficult to rescue!
It’s very hard to rescue a dish if it’s too salty, so always err on the side of caution. People can add salt at the table if they really want and we are aiming for low salt food for good health. However, if disaster has struck and your dish is too salty you can try the following:
1. Dilute – add more water. This may reduce other flavours so you may need more herbs etc.
2. Add different acid flavouring such as lemon juice. Keep tasting so you don’t overdo it! If the dish is quite acidic, you can add a teaspoon or two of sugar (yes, plain old white sugar!!) This will help a lot and not cause any sugar cravings!
3. Add starch:
Add some root vegetable – finely chopped. Potato is probably best, but any will do. These will soak up the salt as they cook.
Add some massoor (red) or mung (yellow) split lentils – again, they will soak up the salt.
Add some quinoa or wholewheat couscous or bulgur wheat – they will cook in 10-15 mins and soak up the flavours.
Add some barley, brown rice etc – these will take 45-60 mins to cook in a soup or stew so not ideal if you are in a panic, but great if you have more time!
4. Add cream – such as coconut milk – don’t use too much as you are simply adding fat!!