Welcome to the home of the vegan larder! Here’s where we’ll give you a run down of the stuff we think are essential vegan must-haves to (try and) always have handy. Here is a list of things that I consider to be essentials and try not to do without or things I wish I always had stocked!
(Without these fella’s, my cupboards and meals would lack life!) Black pepper, cayenne, chilli powder, chinese five spice, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, ginger, nutmeg, paprika, tumeric. And here’s a spice I recently discovered: garam masala. Wonderful. Will be making this fella a staple in my diet of spices!
Bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, basil, parsley (any one remember parsley the lion from kids tv? He was my favourite! I wish I could have him in my cupboard but that would be cruel…).
Arborio rice (for risottos!), basmati rice, brown rice, couscous. And I know this is cheating but I like to keep my cupboards stocked with a couple of the Uncle Bens 3 minute microwaveable rices. They can be life savers when you don’t have the time!
- Dried foods;
Puy lentils, red lentils, soy mince (I like to use this when recipes ask for TVP or textured vegetable protein! Always comes in handy).
Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts (always nice to sprinkle on stir frys!).
- Canned goods&jars;
Chickpeas, butter beans, chopped tomatoes, sun-dried tomato paste, tomato purée, peanut butter (for the boyfriend!), your regular condiments such as mustard and ketchup and my personal favourite: brown sauce! I also find it handy to get jars of sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes, they make a great addition to soups, pasta sauces, and pizza toppings!
- Pasta and noddles;
Linguine, macaroni, rice noodles (I like to get the straight to wok noodles, they make stir fries even quicker and save on the washing up!), soba noodles.
- Frozen foods;
(I much prefer to buy my veggies fresh but I also like to keep some frozen veggies on hand just in case!) sweetcorn, edamame, peas, spinach, peppers, Linda Mccartney sausages and pies and Fry’s Schnitzels and chicken-style strips (essential for those times you just can’t be bothered to cook!).
- Fridge foods;
Tofu, rice milk, soy milk (I prefer to get my soy milk from the baking section of the supermarket where you’ll find the UHT milks, not only is it cheaper but you can buy a load and keep them in your cupboard and just transfer them to the fridge as and when you need them!), vegan mayonnaise,
- Oils and other essential liquids;
Cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, groundnut oil (perfect for those stir fries!), tamari (this is a darker soy sauce, I prefer this to regular soy sauce because it’s got a stronger flavour meaning you don’t need to use as much!), chilli sauce.
Other useful things for vegans to have include nutritional yeast, vital wheat gluten, and extra-firm silken tofu. However, these are always things that I find a little less easy to get hold of and so I am, personally, less likely to have these in my cupboard but if you can get hold of these I would highly recommend keeping them in stock!