This is a list of things I keep on hand at all times in order to be able to easily and quickly prepare a delicious, nutritious and cruelty free vegan meal any time I need to! Yes, there are many things listed here and you may feel like you don’t need this much variety or you may choose to leave some out (or add others) due to tastes or cultural habits, but I think this is a good place to start!
I bet you’re probably thinking, “Holy WHAT?! That’s a million things.” And I agree. I’m an artist at heart and my favorite medium is food. Shopping for ingredients is my idea of a good time and I love trying new things.
But guess what? For the most part, I keep all of this and more in my 200 sq. ft. tiny house. I have an outside freezer because I prefer to freeze my garden produce over canning it and I prefer to have a lot of prepared meals on hand. As someone with a diagnosis of mental illness, my motivation can vary greatly from day to day.
What do you think your pantry will look like once you’re a vegan pro? Will you have fewer or more ingredients? Will you collect rare vinegars or eat the same things every day? You get to choose!
Bread (whole grain)
Pasta/Noodles (some type of small Italian pasta like spaghetti or rotini, lasagna sheets, rice noodles, ramen)
Flatbreads: Pitas (Greek)/Naan (Indian)
Tortillas – corn and whole wheat flour (masa harina if you want to make tamales or tortillas from scratch)
Polenta/Grits/Stone Ground cornmeal
Rice (brown, Arborio, basmati, wild, black)
Oats (steel cut and rolled)
Crackers (whole grain only)
Pizza dough – whole grain
The following items are occasional use for me. I don’t always keep these items stocked, but will buy or make them every so often for variety. What would you add to this list?
*Egg roll or wonton wrappers (usually not whole grain)
* Couscous (regular and “pearl”)
* Rice paper
I also count “spiralized” vegetables like zucchini as a “carb” when planning meals.
Great northern beans
Small red beans
Lentils (black, green, red)
Split peas (yellow or green)
Vinegars (apple cider, rice wine, red wine, white wine, balsamic)
Hot Sauce (Sriracha, Tabasco)
Soy Sauce or Tamari
Worcestershire sauce (most are not vegan, check labels)
Olives (black, green, kalamata)
Sugar (can be coconut sugar, but I keep regular organic sugar on hand)
Panko bread crumbs
Coconut oil – I don’t cook with oils on a daily basis, but I have some on hand for special occasions/recipes
Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin)
Nuts (pecan, walnut, cashew, peanut, pistachio, macadamia, pine)
Peanut (or other nut) butter
Canned tomatoes (diced, sauce, paste)
Chipotle peppers in adobo
Canned or jarred green chilis
Sun dried tomatoes
Vital Wheat Gluten (for making seitan)
Whole wheat flour
Red pepper flakes
Paprika (smoked and regular)
Fresh cilantro and basil
Non dairy Butter (not for daily use)
Mustard (yellow and dijon)
Sweet chili sauce
Chili garlic sauce
Tofu – I buy medium firm and extra firm, for different applications. Sometimes I get smoked tofu, it’s great in sushi
Seitan – I prefer homemade and will almost always have some in my fridge and freezer
Vegetable stock paste or cubes (also not chicken or not beef bouillon is handy to have)
Lettuce for salads/sandwiches/wraps
Greens (spinach, kale, mustard, collard, beet)
Squash (zucchini, yellow, acorn, butternut, spaghetti)
Other seasonal vegetables as available : asparagus, corn, green beans, eggplant, cauliflower, leeks, bok choy, parsnips, etc. Buy what’s in season and what’s on sale!
Other seasonal fruits as available or use frozen fruit in smoothies and cooked preparations.
Spinach or other greens
Bananas for smoothies
Fruits (mostly for use during fall/winter)
Vegetable Stock (can be boxed and in the pantry instead of the freezer)
Veggie Burgers – other mock meats too, I don’t use them very quickly so I keep them in the freezer
This list is what I call “flavor bombs”…items that you should always have on hand in order to take any meal to the next level.
citrus juices (lemon, lime, orange…can be frozen)
roasted red peppers
curry paste (red, green, yellow)
Sun dried tomatoes