One of the most intimidating things about changing your diet can be restocking your pantry. How are you supposed to reorganize your routines to fit your new plant-based kitchen?
If can feel daunting to remove some of the things that you’re used to eating every day and to try to integrate new and (seemingly) strange ingredients into your repertoire. Obviously your list of must-have ingredients will vary depending on your culture, personal tastes, budget, and any additional dietary restrictions, but sometimes it’s nice to have some tried and true suggestions to get you started when it’s all new and intimidating!
So here it is – A Rooted Kitchen’s Plant-Based Kitchen Essentials List
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2. Balsamic Vinegar
3. Vegetable Bouillon Cubes (Rapunzel makes my favorite!)
4. Sea Salt (as opposed to iodized table salt)
5. Whole Black Pepper in a Grinder!
6. Ground Cumin
7. Ground Coriander
9. Garam Masala
10. Flour or Gluten-Free Corn Tortillas
11. Flour (White Whole Wheat, Oat, or your favorite GF Blend)
12. Baking Powder
13. Vanilla Extract
14. Maple Syrup (Grade B is the best, but harder to find than Grade A!)
15. Soy Sauce, Tamari (GF soy sauce), or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
16. Dijon Mustard
17. Tomato Paste
18. Nutritional Yeast (NOT the same as baking or brewers yeast!!)
19. Tofu or Tempeh
21. Black Beans
23. Brown Rice
25. Rolled Oats
26. Sweet Potatoes
27. Onions & Garlic (fine, these are technically two items, but they belong together!)
31. Broccoli (fresh or frozen are both fine!))
33. Leafy greens (my favorites are kale, spinach, & spring mix)
34. Spring Mix
36. Non-Dairy Milk (Rice, Soy, Almond, Coconut, Hemp… whatever you like best!)
If you were to dig through my kitchen at any given moment, you’d absolutely find all of these items around. Some of the items – particularly spices – can be a little spendy up front but a bottle will last you a while so it ends up being pretty economical per dish. Check your local natural foods store for bulk buying options! Most people think of bulk bins only as a place to buy large quantities of something, but one of the best things about the bulk section for me is that I can buy 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder (for example) for a recipe if I don’t think it’s something I’ll use often.
This list allows me to make a wide variety of dishes – salads, soups, stir-fries, juices, smoothies, and more – from breakfast to dessert, and from American to Indian.
Are there lots of other items I love to cook and eat? Of course!. But this is a great jumping off point for a well-stocked kitchen.
What did I miss? What ingredients is your plant-based kitchen incomplete without?