Welcome to the Staples List. On this page I list what I count as absolute essentials for making your life/transitioning to veganism easier. This list just contains food but don’t worry, I’ll be making another post about switching over the other aspects in your life.
These are, (again) absolute essentials only – very, very basic ingredients. Some you may not even realize you need to replace. Others, are pretty basic ingredients to keep on hand (vegan or not), that just make cooking/finding something to make a hell of a lot easier with them always in stock.
Cause seriously, do you actually enjoy going to buy bread every week? (Fun fact: bread can keep in the freezer 3-6 months!)
- Margrine/Butter (I like Earth Balance and Becel Vegan Margarine)
- Non-Dairy Milk (Almond/Soy/Nut – I personally like Silk Almond)
- Sauces (Soy sauce, hot sauce, ketchup, salsa, salad dressing, etc.)
- Hemp Hearts (a great source of protein, and you can sprinkle them on practically anything!)
*Depending on how you cook, you’ll want to keep cuisine spices on hand (Chinese – ginger, seasame seeds, soy sauce, etc., Italian – garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, fennel, onion, parsely, etc.) I’d assume if you’ve ever done any cooking, you should already have some spices on hand, so you may not need to worry about that.
- Dried Rice (I like keeping brown rice over white, since it’s healthier)
- Dried Pasta (again, I keep whole wheat over regular)
- Peanut Butter (Kraft Unsweetened/Unsalted [dark blue label] is good)
- Mushroom/Vegetable Broth (some ‘veggie’ broths have fish/beef/chicken stock in them – be sure to read the label!)
- Canned Beans (black, chickpea, lentils, red/kidney)
- Canned Veggies
- Baking supplies (optional, but I recommend keeping at least flour, cornstarch, baking soda and [brown] sugar around)
- Frozen Veggies
- Fruit (if you make a lot of smoothies, also they keep longer when frozen)
- Vital Wheat Gluten
- Nutrional Yeast (referred to as ‘nooch’ – is a great source of B12)
- Tahini Paste
- Vegetable/Mushroom Broth
*Depending on what meat you’re trying to replicate, the spices you put in your seitan will change. If you make Chick’N Seitan, you’ll want to keep poultry seasoning or sage and thyme on hand to give it that distinctive flavour.
One of the easiest dishes to make out of the ingredients listed above is stir-fry. I highly suggest learning how to make stir-fry both with rice and pasta, that way there’s at least a bit of a difference when making it. It’ll definitely save your butt on those days when you don’t really feel like cooking and want something fast/easy, without ordering take-out, or having to buy all those pre-made meals. (Which I’ll cover later)
I hope this list of essentials helps you in stocking your newly vegan kitchen, and allows you to begin your journey with a bit more ease.
New here? Check out the Nutrient Collage series to ease your fears about dying of nutrient deficiency!