When you first go vegan, plant-based or even vegetarian it can be difficult to know what foods you should be stocking up your fridge and pantry with. The key to having a successful plant-based lifestyle is all in the preparation. When you make sure your kitchen is full of easy and nutritious food, it makes your life a whole lot easier. Plus, once you have a good idea of your staples, your shops will become cheaper as you can meal prep and bulk buy!
It’s easy to think about meals when they roll around, but you’ll probably end up buying expensive pre-made dinners, fake meats and sugary snacks. We’re here to help you make your simple shopping list, so you have everything you need in your own home.
Rice and Pasta
Lucky you! Who doesn’t like pasta? The great thing about living plant-based is that you can whip up some cheap and delicious dinners that require minimal ingredients. If you have rice or pasta sitting in your pantry, you already have the most important part. As well as this, you can buy your pasta and rice in bulk, which eventually turns out cheaper and is also usually zero waste! Bring your own bag to your local bulk food store and you’re good to go.
Tofu is a great source of protein and can be used in replacement of meat. When you’ve cooked your veggies, it can be hard to figure out what to fill up the rest of your plate with. Try tofu! We’ll be honest, it might take you a few tries to perfect the cooking, but once you do, you’ll never go back. Tofu is great in stir fries and can even be marinated in satay sauce for some delicious skewers for dinner.
We recommend trying firm tofu as this is the easiest to cook on your first go, if you’re already a pro, then stock up on whichever is your favourite! Tofu lasts about a week in the fridge, so buy tofu with the intention of cooking it within the next couple of days.
If you feel as though you're still struggling to get in an adequate amount of protein, consider storing vegan protein powders in your pantry. Protein powders can be a great addition to many recipes and are a great source of nutrients!
Dairy Free Milks
Whether you’re a coffee drinker or a tea drinker, you’ll probably need a plant-based milk at least once a day. Besides using them in drinks, many recipes call for milks as well. Most notably, oats! An easy, nutritious and delicious breakfast is classic oats. Grab your almond or soy milk, add it to your oats and you have a great breakfast to start your day. Dairy free alternatives such as almond or soy have a long shelf life before being opened. This is amazing as you can grab them when they’re on special and store them in your pantry for when you need them!
Speaking of oats, you should definitely stock up on these as well. We don’t want to predict the future, but it’s highly likely that oats in the morning will become a new favourite of yours. Many plant-based people swear by oats in the morning as it’s a super simple breakfast that can be changed to suit what you’re craving. Add in your favourite fruits, some vegan protein and you’ve got a nutrient dense meal to kickstart your day. Definitely put these on your grocery list!
Fruits and Vegetables
Of course, we had to put these in here. If you don’t already have an entire fruit bowl full of bananas and kiwis, what are you doing? Jokes aside, it’s important to make sure you’re getting in your fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to snack on Pringles and vegan ice cream but providing your body with essential nutrients is so important.
If you find that you’re buying a bunch of vegetables and they end up going bad because you don’t use them, try buying them frozen! You can stock up on these and use them whenever you feel like cooking up a storm. Pro tip: Keep your fruits where you can see them, and you’ll be more likely to pick them up as a snack.
Amongst the delicious vegan snacks you’ve been purchasing, you should reserve some room in your pantry for these staples. Once you have your staples ready and waiting in your kitchen, living a plant based lifestyle will become a whole lot easier.