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.) Pasta Marinara 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