In The Pantry

As you may imagine, most vegans learn how to cook at some point so as to remain fed. Whether you’re a teenager terrified that your mother will slip meat or dairy into your food (hi, Mom!), a college student just striking out on your own, a yuppie putting together your first place, or a head of household who wants to make more conscientious culinary decisions, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s what I think that no pantry (vegan or not) should be without. The culinary permutations of these ingredients are as infinite as your imagination allows. (If you have a question about an item, then may I redirect you to the Glossary?)

Here are just some of the dishes that can be thrown together in minutes with the ingredients below:

  • Pasta, with either red or cream sauce (think Vegan Macaroni and Cheese!)
  • Channa masala or dal
  • Dumpling soup
  • Thai curry (grab some vegetables)
  • A mean rice and beans
  • Seitan nuggets

Basic Pantry Staples:

  • Organic, unbleached or whole wheat flour (or gluten-free equivalent)
  • Vegan sugar
  • Earth Balance
  • Olive oil
  • Non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, homemade whatever)
  • Pasta, any fun shapes (I like fusilli and farfale)
  • Rice (long-grain brown, basmati, and jasmine to start)
  • Lentils
  • Extra-firm tofu
  • Salt, peppercorns in a grinder, and your favourite spices
  • Onions, shallots, garlic, potatoes, and any other vegetables that store well and are used often

A Little Bit Louder, Now:

  • Soy sauce
  • Nutch
  • Seitan (or vital wheat gluten flour to make your own seitan)
  • Vegetable broth cubes (make broth, freeze it in cubes, and store it in a bag in the freezer) or vegetable bouillon
  • Miso (white or red)
  • Hummus or tahini
  • Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and other nuts
  • Lemons, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and/or distilled white vinegar
  • Cans of whole, unpeeled tomatoes (extra points for self-canned!)
  • Canned or dired beans (black, pinto, and garbanzo to start)
  • Coconut milk
  • Curry powder
  • Garam masala