Starting a new way of life and health is like beginning a journey, so it’s helpful to have a map. This is a new adventure, and I was completely unprepared for all the changes when I began a few years ago, so I’m determined to make it easier for those who come after me.
If I could take each of you on a trip to your local grocery store and point out the most healthful products, I would. I actually do that locally, and it’s a very rewarding experience for me to share what I’ve learned with newbies. Since I can’t do that for most of you, the next best thing is for me to share this Beginner’s Guide to Plant-Based Shopping.
These are just some of your options. I believe this list will give you a good idea of how to get started.
NOTE: I do not keep all these varieties of veggies and fruit in my kitchen all the time. Who has that kind of room? I just want to give you an idea of what is available.
Keeping a well-stocked kitchen and planning meals ahead of time are two very important goals with this way of health.
- old fashion oats
- rice (brown, Jasmin, wild, etc.)
- bulgur (a wheat grain that is great for adding texture to meatless dishes)
- barley (I add to soups and stews)
- millet (I add to soups and stews)
- corn meal (for cornbread)
- unbleached flour (whole wheat, spelt, brown rice, barley, etc.)
- whole-wheat pastry flour
- pasta (whole wheat, spelt, artichoke, quinoa, etc.)
- bread (rye, pumpernickel, spelt, etc.)
- tortillas (corn & whole grain flour)
Every dried and canned variety you can think of including:
- kidney beans
- pinto beans
- white beans (navy, cannellini, great northern, etc.)
- black beans
- black-eyed peas
- green peas
- split peas
- edamame (soybean, fresh or frozen)
- lentils (red, green, brown, etc.)
- many, many more…
Here’s a picture of my cabinet and what I have on-hand right now.
There is no limit here. I do not keep all of these on-hand. This is just to make you aware of what is available:
- potatoes (red, Russet, Yukon gold, etc.)
- sweet potatoes
- lettuces (Romaine, endive, butter head, loose leaf, etc.)
- other greens (spinach, collards, etc.)
- cabbages (purple, green, Napa, Bok Choy, etc.)
- Brussels sprouts
- bean sprouts
- bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
- pepper (the hot ones)
- onions (purple, yellow, white, etc.)
- This is just a few…
Again, there is no limit.
- berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
- melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew, etc.)
- and many, many more
- balsamic vinegar
- apple cider vinegar
- rice vinegar
- red wine vinegar
- Bragg’s amino acids
- tahini (this is a sesame paste. Usually found in peanut butter section)
- maple syrup
- black strap molasses
- Dijon mustard
- yellow mustard
- soy sauce or tamari
- Worcester sauce (make sure it doesn’t have anchovies)
- vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce (click here to view on amazon)
- nutritional yeast (click here to view)
- sweetener such as sucanat or sugar (sucanat is a less refined sugar)
- baking powder
- baking soda
- corn starch or arrowroot powder (for thickening)
- vegan, low-fat soup cups (Dr. McDougall’s brand can be viewed on amazon by clicking here)
These are the McDougall cups I have in my pantry.
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- paprika and smoked paprika
- peppercorn mélange
- chili powder
- steak seasoning
- bay leaf
- red pepper flakes
- just to name a few…
I wrote an entire blog on spices, Top 15 Spices in My Plant-Based Kitchen.
- tomato paste
- tomato sauce
- artichoke hearts
- water chestnuts
- cream corn
- baby corn
- vegan low-fat soups
- veggie broth (Want to make your own veggie broth? Click here.)
- fire roasted tomatoes
- apple sauce
- plant-based milk (soy, almond, rice, etc.)
- tofu (firm, extra firm, silken)
- lemon juice
- flax meal
- Ezekiel breads (they are kept in the freezer section of many grocery stores)
- hash browns
- fruits (like berries, etc.)
- chopped spinach
- corn nibbles
- green peas
- mixed veggies
- stir fry veggies
- healthy plant-based pizza crusts
- whole grain bagels
- whole grain buns (for bean burgers and carrot hot dogs
You can take a peek into my own cabinets by checking out another blog I wrote, What’s in My Plant-Based Medicine Cabinet? I Mean Pantry!.
Now, to put all these items to use, please check out the recipe section of my blog. There are over 100 delicious recipes–everything from main dishes like Vegan Nacho Supreme to desserts like Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. There’s even a grilling section.
I hope this blog and site help get you started well on your new journey. It will be a wonderful adventure! Happy cooking and health everyone!
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