Vegan Food Essentials

Vegan Pantry EssentialsA well-stocked pantry can help you whip up nutritious meals without sacrificing taste.  Below is a list of foods that provide you with the nutrients most vegans don’t get enough off and enough variety to keep meals interesting.

In order to keep the ingredient list to the minimum, foods are chosen which are close to their most natural state.  This also means, the food requires preparation and cooking time.  But with some careful planning, meals are a cinch. You can always add a few already prepared foods for those times you know you won’t have time to cook.

Black beans-for tacos, soups, nachos, burritos, dip

Garbanzo beans– dips, falafel, salads, stews, soups

Firm Tofu– sandwiches, stir fry, patties

Silken Tofu– desserts, smoothies

Tempeh-sandwiches, salads

Soy milk– beverage, smoothies, oatmeal,baking

Veggie Burgers-great when you don’t have time to cook


Unsweetened Soy milk-contains protein, more calcium than regular milk, B12 (important for vegans) and many other vitamins and minerals

Almond milk– high in vitamin E but low in protein;  smoothies, oatmeal, baking

Nuts (almond, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts and cashews)-snack, dessert, salads

Flaxseeds-high in omega 3 fats, grind for smoothies, baking

Chia seeds-high in omega 3 fats and fiber, smoothies, cereal, yogurt, baking

Nutritional Yeast-Great B12 source. Sprinkle on any savory dishes for a cheese-like flavor


Whole Grain Cereal-breakfast, snack

Whole Wheat Bread-sandwiches

Whole wheat pita bread-sandwiches, chips

Brown rice-risotto, pilaf, side dish, rice pudding

Whole wheat couscous-salad, side

Quinoa-high in protein, side, salad, baking

Corn or Whole Wheat tortillas-burrito, taco, chips

Whole grain pasta-salad, pasta


Seasonal fresh veggies-such as kale, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocados-  salads, casseroles, sandwiches, dips, pasta, snacks, stir fry

Frozen veggies– stir fry, casseroles, pastas

Canned crushed tomatoes-pasta, curry, soups, lasagna


Seasonal fresh fruits– smoothies, salads, snacks, baking

Frozen fruits-smoothies, dessert, baking

Dried fruits- such as figs, dates, cranberries, raisins-snacks, baking, salads

Unsweetened Applesauce-baking, snack


Vegan Mayo

Earth Balance nondairy spread

Peanut butter or other nut butter

Flaxseed oil– high in omega 3’s

Canola oil

Olive oil


Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base




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