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The Vegan Pantry (Items We Cannot Live Without)

I wish!

I wish!

Feeding a family of six on an entirely vegan diet is not as difficult as it sounds as long as you keep the pantry stocked with these must have ingredients.

  • Bragg Liquid Aminos – We use this as a salt substitute in many dishes.  If Nahum were stuck on a deserted island, his only requests would be a bottle of Braggs and ESPN
  • Pasta – We generally have 4 to 6 pounds of pasta on hand throughout the month for a quick and easy meal
  • Canned Unsalted Whole Tomatoes – We make our own sauce for pasta and pizza.
  • Nutritional Yeast – I can’t imagine being vegan without Nutritional Yeast.  I can’t imagine life without Nutritional Yeast!  This stuff certainly does add a cheesy flavor to your meal.  We use it on vegetables, in pasta dishes and to make cheese.
  • Cous Cous – Talk about quick and easy.  With a quick soak in the boiling hot water, you’ve got a delicious grain to add to supper.
  • Vegenaise – This is the vegan version of Hellman’s, it’s just that good.  Have you ever met a mayonnaise that will totally transform your sandwich for you?
  • Sesame Seeds – I make milk from these practically every day.  Sesame Seeds are high in calcium and the calcium is far more easily absorbed than that glue (cows milk) you buy from the local grocery store.
  • Legumes – Beans, Peas, Lentils, we consume it all and we usually cook our Legumes nice and slow in the crock-pot.  I have two words for you, “orange lentil.”
  • Sesame Oil – This oil adds a delicious something, something to your cooking.  Of course it is a staple in Asian cooking, so just keep some around.  Most self respecting vegans know how to make at least one vegan Asian dish.
  • Olive Oil – Nothing really needs to be said, except don’t skimp.  Get the good stuff.  Cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil.
  • Tofu – There are so many ways to prepare tofu.  The opportunities are endless.
  • Tempeh – I know there are just as many ways to make tempeh however I only request it one way and the consistency is kinda like a chunky tuna salad the way hubby makes it.  Sooooo good.
  • Coconut Milk – Coconut milk adds a new dimension to creamed spinach.  Instead of using fatty pus filled cow’s milk try coconut milk.  You won’t be disappointed.
  • Curry – To change the dish above to a Thai inspired dish, try adding some curry to the spice mix.  Amazing.
  • Basmati Rice – Fragrant, flavorful and delightful.  This rice is a must have to keep around the house and it cooks quickly too!
  • Agave Nectar – I use this as a sweetener in smoothies or for tea.
  • Turbinado Sugar – I use this as a sweetener for baking in place of refined white sugar.  For recipes that call for brown sugar I mix up to a tablespoon of molasses per cup of sugar.
  • Bread Flour – Well this is my list, and we make fresh bread around here often.  I am talking about three times per week often.  Once you get bitten by the fresh bread bug, there’s no turning back.
  • Unbleached All Purpose  Flour- Gravies, biscuits, baking cookies and cakes.  Got to have it.
  • Peanut Butter – It’s a staple.  With three growing boys roaming around the house, it’s just necessary.  Quick lunches snacks, even smeared on sliced apples or bananas for breakfast.  We do it for the kids.
  • Dried Fruit – Raisins, Dates, Pineapple, Mangoes  Children like to snack and there is no candy to be found in my house.  To be truthful I don’t even consider cany a snack.  Why would I when dried fruit is nature’s concentrated sweetness.
  • Fresh Fruit – (Strictly speaking, fresh fruit doesn’t go in the pantry…)Whatever is in season, go and buy it.  Your children will eat it.  Mine do.  They don’t have a choice.  They don’t have jobs either.  Fruit, it’s what’s for breakfast.
  • Raw Thick Cut Oatmeal – I am not referring to those quick cooking packets full of sugar.  When I refer to oatmeal I am talking about the stuff you get from the bulk section in Whole Foods or any natural foods store.  When you buy it this way, the world is your oyster.  You can pour hot soy or almond milk over them with cinnamon, agave and raisins for a quick and easy breakfast or use them in baking.  The options are endless.
  • Apple Sauce – The all natural unsweetened kind.  Keep a couple jars around.  It’s useful in vegan baking and when you’re at a loss for what to do for the kids lunch.  It’s also a healthier late night snack than that entire pint of ice cream.
  • Soy Milk - We make cheese with it, soy butter, we make sauces with it.  We pour it on cereal when we run out of Almond milk…
  • Almond Milk – Just one word, cereal. When I get lazy and don’t make sesame seed milk every day, my toddler will drink this by the cupful.

I started this list on a whim and I am sure I am forgetting something.  What food items can’t you live without?

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6 comments to The Vegan Pantry (Items We Cannot Live Without)

  • kim

    My pantry looks a lot like your pantry! Mine has lots of tins of Thai curry pastes and packets of rice noodles! I also have lots of quinoa and bulgur. And cartons of fortified rice milk. I love rice milk.

  • laviyah

    curry yum!

  • LOVE the photo–a true dream. Glad to see that my pantry is stocked with vegan staples. I often stare it (them, since we have 3 cabinets throughout our tiny house serving as pantries) and wonder what to cook. Thanks for posting your list.

  • Cecilia

    Our kitchen is stocked similarly. We always have an abundance of rice for meals and for making rice milk, garlic to add to EVERYTHING, and bananas for smoothies. We also go through a lot of chipotle peppers, avacados, flax seeds, whole wheat flour (I bake wayyy too often), oats for making granola, onions, and water chestnuts. We’re likely to have red or romaine lettuce on hand at any point as well, if not, then we have spinach. We’ve always had tofu and veganaise on hand (I use the latter to make ranch dressing) but every since I tried your “egg salad” recipe I can’t go without a few blocks of tofu in the freezer at all times. My husband will sit and eat a whole bowl of it with a spoon if I don’t watch him. =D

  • laviyah

    Cecilia,
    Do tell us about your creations that require water chestnuts. I am intrigued. Gosh, I can’t believe I forgot to add avocados! Isn’t that egg salad delish? Tell your hubby that I feel the same way about MY hubby’s tempeh salad. ;-)

  • […] my pantry post, I highlighted what I generally have in my pantry on a regular basis. The list is long and varied. […]

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