How to Stock a Vegan or Vegetarian Kitchen

by in The Veggie Table, April 1, 2013

frozen vegetables
Perhaps you’ve seen this quote floating around on Facebook or Pinterest boards: “If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.” –Erick McAdams.

I couldn’t agree more. I always say a healthy diet starts in the grocery store, where you get to choose the foods that will feed you and your family. If you don’t have nutritious foods that can be combined to make a well-balanced meal, you may find it easier to order pizza delivery or grab takeout on the way home from work. Having a well-stocked kitchen means you can get creative in the kitchen, even if you haven’t been to the grocery store recently. Here are my kitchen staples to help you get started:

Whole grains: I love that lesser-known whole grains are gaining popularity, like farro, buckwheat, bulgur, wheat berries and quinoa (which is technically a seed, but fits within the whole grain category). If you can boil water for rice or pasta, you can successfully make any of these whole grains, which adds a new taste and texture to basic dishes. If there’s a new-to-me whole grain I want to try, I typically head to a health food store’s bulk bin aisle so I can sample a little bit before deciding if it’s a staple I want to keep in my kitchen. Buying a small amount from the bulk bins is usually less expensive than purchasing a large bag or box of something.

Canned or dry beans: I’ll admit I rely on BPA-free canned beans (like Eden Organic) over dry beans, since you can’t beat their convenience and cost. And to reduce some of that added sodium, I make sure to thoroughly rinse off all canned beans before eating. If I forgot to pick up tofu or tempeh for the protein part of a meal, I know I always have a can of beans that can be added to a recipe instantly for a protein punch. Or, a quick blend of canned chickpeas or cannellini beans with lemon juice and tahini results in fresh homemade hummus.

Frozen produce: What’s more convenient than produce that has already been peeled, cut, washed and cooked? I keep several bags of frozen berries, mixed veggies, peas and peeled bananas in my freezer at all times, and typically use them at the end of the week when I always seem to run out of fresh produce. Frozen veggies can be added to a soup or stir fry, while frozen berries are great mixed into oatmeal or blended into a smoothie. With frozen veggies, canned beans and whole grains in your kitchen, you’ll always be able to whip up a balanced meal in a pinch.

Condiments, oils, herbs and spices: I’m a bit of a condiment and spice junkie and have a fridge lined with a wide variety of mustards, hot sauces, and marinades, and an entire cabinet of herbs and spices. But making your own sauces and dressings from scratch is simple, as long as you have the basics on hand. Make sure your kitchen is stocked with a variety of oils (I love olive and coconut oil), spices, herbs, garlic, and vinegars. These can add a variety of flavors to an otherwise bland dish. Some of my favorites include pear vinegar to make a fruity dressing, and truffle oil, which is amazing drizzled over popcorn.

Other: This category is the most fun, because it lends to the most creativity for me in the kitchen. When I have a random can of coconut milk lying around, I’ll Google curry recipes. Or when I have a massive bag of quinoa flour I bought on a whim, I’ll figure out how to make quinoa pita. A variety of flours, canned pumpkin, dried fruit, vegetable stock, and mixed nuts may help spark your culinary creativity too.

TELL US: What kitchen staples can’t you live without?

Janel Funk, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Eat Well with Janel, and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel. Catch up on her previous posts here.

More posts from .

Similar Posts

Vegan Peppermint-Cookie Ice Cream

‘Tis the season for all things peppermint! This festive vegan ice cream is rich and creamy (thanks to coconut milk) yet refreshingly cool from t...

Comments (229)

  1. more info says:

    […]please go to the internet sites we follow, such as this one particular, because it represents our picks from the web[…]…

  2. Links…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  3. Websites worth visiting…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

  4. more info says:

    […]usually posts some extremely interesting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]…

  5. Websites you should visit…

    […]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[…]……

  6. Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    […]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]……

  7. I’ve recently started a blog, the info you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  8. oakley 偽物…

    There are certainly a number of details like that to take into consideration. That is a nice point to convey up. I provide the ideas above as basic inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you bring up the place crucial thing will …

  9. Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  10. Good submit even so , I used to be asking in the event you might write a new litte read more about this particular subject matter? I become quite pleased in case you might intricate more. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>