Every week our household makes a general menu of the meals we plan to make that week. Since doing so, we have come to realize some of the most essential items/ingredients we need to have on hand each week so we can easily make almost any meal! Not only does it make cooking easier, but it also makes our grocery trips a lot faster and simpler too!
Nuts and Seeds
Whether you’re using nuts and seeds as a baking ingredient or to add some crunch to your meal, I always have some on hand.
Chia seeds: A great egg replacement in baking cookies or pancakes for saturday breakfast. Chia seeds are also great for chia pudding, adding texture to yogurt or even smoothies! whether we’re using it as an egg replacement for pancakes, making chia pudding, or using it to add some texture to our yogurt!
Hemp Seeds: Not only are they healthy, hemp seeds can be added to any meal for texture such as yogurt, salads, smoothies or even extra flavor to cereal! Their flavor is so subtle even the pickiest eater won’t have a fuss!
Cashews: Cashews can be a delicious snack on their own, added to trail mix, or soaked and blended into many different vegan cheeses and sauces!
Beans, dry or canned have a long shelf life, which is why they are essential in our household. I love to have a variety in the pantry each week so I can quickly whip up a healthy, protein filled meal!
Black Beans: Black beans can be used in any dish, they can be made into black bean and corn tacos, chili, as a side dish, or even mashed and filled into a baked tortilla for a delicious snack!
Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a delicious addition to salad, soups, mashed on a sandwich or blended into hummus! I love to mash chickpeas with a bit of lemon juice and mayo to put on a sandwich!
Sauces & Vinegars
Maple Syrup: I can’t tell you how often we use maple syrup in our house! Some of our favorite things to do with it is adding it to smoothies, topping our yogurts for a delicious parfait, glazing some carrots, tempeh strips, creating a maple-tahini dressing for our salad or dips!
Tahini: Before I was vegan, I never ate tahini. I thought it was too sticky and dry honestly. But now I love to use it to make dressing and dips for my family. Mixed with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and a bit of lemon juice, tahini makes a delicious creamy dressing!
Apple Cider Vinegar: Although I don’t use it in many dishes, I love adding ACV to my tahini dressing, or onto a sandwich. You either love vinegar, or you don’t and I’m definitely one of those who LOVES vinegar!
Pasta sauce: A weekly staple in our house is always spaghetti or some type of pasta. I love to have a basic pasta sauce in the pantry, usually I use it for spaghetti as is, or mix it with some blended soaked cashews to create a creamy sauce, and occasionally I use it as a dip for my yummy pizza roll-ups.
Soy Sauce: I love to add soy sauce to a lot of dishes; soups, sauces, dips. I use low-sodium soy sauce to add flavor to our favorite stir-fry, ramen and even to my green bean casserole!
Let’s be real, who doesn’t love carbs? We always have a variety of grains in the pantry to help make a meal more complete.
Rice: Whatever kind of rice you prefer, I love to have rice on hand to help bulk up any meal that isn’t filling on its own. Oftentimes we make a bowl of rice, top it with veggies and tofu and some type of sauce. It’s quick, cheap and filling!
Pasta noodles: like rice pasta noodles are cheap and help to make a dish more filling. We often have guests over on a whim, and having extra pasta noodles in the pantry helps me to make a quick and filling meal for everyone.
Bread: Not every meal needs to be elaborate. I love to keep bread on hand for sandwiches or avocado toast. Although it is a pantry item, I usually stock up and store it in the freezer until I need it so that I don’t have to run to the store as often.
In the words of my husband, spices tend to make or break the food. Therefore, spices is #5 on my list of vegan pantry essentials!
Garlic Powder: Fresh garlic is always my go to, but sometimes that’s not practical. I love to have garlic powder in my pantry to add flavor to any meal.
Onion Powder: Like garlic, I prefer to have fresh onion as my flavoring but sometimes that doesn’t work. Onion powder tastes great added to dishes or even in homemade dressings.
Salt & Pepper: Duh…
Taco Seasoning: Like I’ve said, we make tacos every week. That’s why I have a giant bottle of taco seasoning right by the stove!
What are some of your favorite pantry essentials? We definitely use a lot more in our week, but I’ve found that these are the top five I use most! Let me know in the comments below!