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Vegan Living

Stocking a Vegan Kitchen

Stocking a Vegan Kitchen
One of the biggest challenges many people face when moving away from animal products and toward veganism is that they are simply overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Nobody wants to start something and fail. Thinking of veganism as a radical restructuring of the kitchen leads many to over-thinking and overloading themselves with too much change, too soon, which is a recipe for disaster. Also, coming home hungry to an empty kitchen is when that frozen pizza or the to-go menus comes out. Regrets follow.

Take a deep breath.

By combining fresh foods with some pantry staples, you will not leave yourself in the lurch. Keeping a kitchen that is well-stocked is your best defense against grabbing food out of desperation and a fantastic tool for healthier (and more thrifty) living. Remember that this is highly adaptable to what your tastes are: we go through a ton of chickpeas here, not so many cans of tomato paste. Think to yourself: what is good to have on hand? What do I cook often? What are some items that are helpful for improvising a quick meal (for example, frozen peas and corn for making a soup)?

Here is a basic outline of a well-stocked vegan kitchen. Also keep in mind more perishable items that you go through frequently: for us, when we get low on bananas, I start getting twitchy. Think about your own home and add the items not listed that work for you.

Pantry Goods

Rice (basmati, brown, jasmine, etc.)
Quinoa and other grains (bulgur, couscous, barley, millet, quick-cooking oats, etc.)
Tomato Sauce/Purée/Paste
Asian rice noodles
Canned coconut milk
Canned beans (if you are more ambitious, keep dried beans and cook them from scratch)
Dried lentils
Nuts and Seeds
Olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil and any other oils you use often for cooking and baking
Vinegars (a good variety are apple cider vinegar, balsamic, rice vinegar and white or red wine vinegar)
Soy sauce or tamari
Silken tofu
Nutritional yeast
Favorite spices

Longer Lasting Produce
Sweet potatoes
Winter Squash

Frozen Goods
Corn Kernels
Any other frozen vegetables you use often
Berries or other frozen fruit
Bananas (it is a good idea to buy a lot of bananas, peel and freeze, also for shakes)

Refrigerated staple items
Non-Dairy Milk
Vegetable Stock
Condiments (mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, salsa, etc.)
Extra-firm tofu, tempeh and seitan

Natural peanut butter or other nut butters

Baking needs
Sweeteners (maple syrup, brown rice syrup, organic sugar, etc.)
Chocolate chips
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Flour or gluten-free flour blends
Flax seeds
Baking powder
Baking soda

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