April 15th is creeping up. Have you filed your income taxes yet? If you’re lucky, you got a nice refund to play around with. Cha-ching!
While saving that money for a rainy day is probably the most responsible choice, there’s nothing wrong with allocating some of those funds towards a tax-time splurge. Whether you’re new to a plant-based diet or have been vegan for years, investing in a new kitchen gadget or experience will take your cooking skills and appreciation for plant-based food to the next level. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Enroll in a vegan cooking course
Earlier this year, I took a brief break from life to explore the culinary arts in Thailand where I studied the fundamentals of plant-based cooking. While it’s probably not realistic for every vegan to pick up and fly to Southeast Asia, Matthew Kenney Culinary also offers courses in Los Angeles, Miami and Maine. The instructors are inspiring, the food is fantastic, and the kitchen skills you’ll pick up are worth every penny.
Take yourself out to a fancy vegan dinner
These days, nearly every major city has dining options for the hungry vegan. Take a portion of your tax refund and treat yourself to dinner at a fancy, plant-based restaurant you wouldn’t normally go to. From Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles, to Green Zebra in Chicago, to 00 + Co. in New York City, you’ll notice a huge difference in the ingredient freshness, quality and taste.
Invest in a really nice food processor
If you don’t have a food processor in your kitchen, put this tax-time splurge at the top of your list. This handy gadget is essential for making sauces like vegan pesto and cashew cream, and is also useful for slicing veggies. With a food processor, your options for cooking plant-based meals expand significantly. Not to mention, it makes chopping onions way less of a chore.
Subscribe to your local CSA program
Community Supported Agriculture is a distribution model in which consumers buy shares from local farms at the beginning of the growing season. In exchange for their investment, subscribers receive weekly boxes of local, organic produce. It’s pretty fun to get a box of random fruits and veggies every week and make creative meals with them. Plus, you’re putting money back into the local economy.
Hire a personal chef
If you’re determined to stick to your vegan meal plan but can’t get into the idea of cooking, your tax-time splurge may be best spent on hiring a personal chef. Even if it’s only for a little while, not having to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner every day will feel like a true luxury. The American Personal & Private Chef Association has a handy search tool that allows you to find and hire a personal chef in your area.