The Vegetarian Pantry

I want to share a list of pantry staples that will make preparing vegetarian meals easier. One thing I hear quite often is that there is lots of prep required to follow a vegetarian diet. While yes there may be some chopping, dicing or soaking required but if you include these tasks when taking into consideration your meal prep time then it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

Here are some items to have on-hand at all times:

Dairy Substitutes
Non-dairy beverages: almond, soy, rice, oat or hemp milk
. A few tips about non-dairy beverages – look for unsweetened refrigerated or shelf table are both good
Butter-like spread: Look for non-hydrogenated versions like Earth Balance
Dairy-free cheese: Daiya
Non-dairy yogurt: So Delicious, Yoso
Ice cream: So Delicious, Coconut Bliss and now even Ben and Jerry’s has non dairy flavours.

Protein Sources
Tofu: choose extra firm, medium firm or soft
Peas: fresh or frozen are best
Beans: dried and/or canned – kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, lima beans, chickpeas.
. If using canned beans look for those packed in BPA free cans and those with no salt added
Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flax and chia or seed butters
Nuts: Almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios or nut butters
Lentils: Red, brown and green – buy these dry as they cook quickly
Tempeh: Similar to tofu in that it is made from fermented soy beans. Firmer than tofu with a stronger flavour, best if marinated or steamed for optimal flavour and texture.

Grains
Brown or wild rice
Quinoa: Great source of protein
Oats and millet: both are hearty breakfast options
Whole-wheat couscous
Pasta: choose from whole wheat, chickpea, quinoa or riced pastas also available
Bread and tortillas: choose whole grain, sprouted or gluten-free
Polenta/corn meal: use as a base for pizza

Cooking Items
Nutritional yeast: Cheesy flavoured sprinkle usually rich in Vitamin B12.
Vegetable stock: Cubes or powder, look for low sodium options.
Tomato paste/puree/canned tomatoes – look for low sodium options
Canned coconut  milk: look for brands with just coconuts and water
Miso: Eat as soup or use as a flavoring in stews or salad dressings
Tamari soy sauce: Japanese soy sauce less salty than traditional Chinese soy sauce

Baking Items
Ground flax or chia: 
1 tablespoon plus 3 tablespoons of water equals 1 egg
Coconut oil: can replace butter
Maple syrup: good substitute for honey
Blackstrap molasses: good sweetener option
How many of these things do you already have in your pantry? Let us know over in the Facebook group.

List adapted from: https://veganuary.com/us/starter-kit/vegan-food-essentials/