Vegan Kitchen Essentials: Easy Tips for Beginners - Coconut Whisk

Vegan Kitchen Essentials: Easy Tips for Beginners

Vegan Kitchen Essentials: Easy Tips for Beginners

With the start of a new year, new goals are often set and one of the more popular resolutions is going vegan. Whether you’re planning on changing your day-to-day lifestyle and become fully vegan or just aiming to cook more plant-based meals, there are endless ways to make your kitchen more vegan-friendly. 

It may seem overwhelming to know where to start your vegan journey. But don’t worry, we’ve got the answers. We’ve reached out to experts living in Dallas, TX to those in Portland, OR for their easiest tips for stocking and organizing your vegan kitchen. That way you’ll find switching to a more vegan lifestyle easier and more sustainable than ever before.

Make sure to stock your pantry

Stocking your pantry with nutritious and whole food vegan options can sound complicated – but it’s actually really simple. Great choices are dry or canned legumes (lentils and beans), bean-based pastas, and whole grains (quinoa and brown rice). To make delicious meals out of these, you can cook them in huge batches and add fresh chopped greens, vegetables, and delicious tahini or almond butter-based sauces for a complete, satisfying vegan meal. – Marina Yanay-Triner, plant based educator at Soul in the Raw

We recommend stocking staples in your pantry or kitchen. Items like canned beans, chickpeas, coconut milk, rolled oats (for making overnight oats), frozen wild blueberries (more nutrient dense than fresh), nutritional yeast, plant-based milk such as almond, oat, or soy, and tamari. – A Vegan Life

Always stock your pantry with a variety of beans and lentils, which are protein and fiber-rich, as well as very inexpensive. If you have an Instant Pot, cooking dried beans and lentils is super simple. Add water + salt + aromatics like fresh herbs, whole spices, or garlic, then set it and forget it. If you want to jazz up canned beans, pan fry them in a bit of olive oil and your favorite spice mix until they’re crispy and slightly blistered, then finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. – Nisha Vora, Rainbow Plant Life

Curating a robust line of herbs and spices will help for vegan meals. You can get really creative and your dishes will never be boring. – Coconut Whisk

Making the transition to a vegan-friendly home could not be easier–especially when it comes to your kitchen so let me give you a few tips on how to stock up. Canned beans, lentils, tempeh or tofu, quinoa, and even mock meats make great protein replacements in meals and often for a fraction of the price of meats. And since fruits and vegetables as we know are naturally vegan, consume a variety of them, in abundance in your meals to truly reap the benefits of what eating vegan has to offer. Start here and not only will you avoid overwhelm, but you’ll also make the transition that much easier. – Char McGhie

Keeping your vegan kitchen organized is key

A successful vegan-friendly home means keeping a fully stocked and organized kitchen. I line my pantry with labeled glass food containers for easy access to a variety of grains, seeds, and nuts. Having what you need, where you need it makes vegan eating easy, exciting, and accessible for the whole family. – Sarah McMinn, My Darling Vegan

Many people forget just how versatile a home freezer can be. Here are a few handy tips: Tofu – freezing/defrosting is a great way to get rid of the excess water and firm it up, and also means you can keep several blocks ready to use from your freezer.  Fresh herbs – chop them up, cram them into an ice cube tray, and cover with some olive oil for ready-made pockets of frozen flavor that can be grabbed to finish off dishes. Fruit – freeze bananas and berries for smoothies, and turn lemon and lime wedges into citrus ice cubes for your next drink. – Alistair Flood, The Pesky Vegan

When it comes to creating a more vegan-friendly home, start in your kitchen. Clean any products containing animal ingredients from your cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer. Watch out for animal ingredients such as whey, casein (caseinate), gelatin, albumin, rennet, lactose, and others that may be hidden in your food. – Heather Dahman, The Veg Academy

My top 3 vegan kitchen essentials are: 1) A good high speed blender to prepare vegan sauces/cheeses/dips made from nuts (e.g. cashews) and for smoothies, etc. 2) A food processor to prepare hummus, nut butters, etc. 3) An Instant Pot for cooking beans in under one hour and making all kinds of amazing vegan comfort meals in no time. – Ela, ElaVegan

Avoid the urge to buy a lot of vegan cookbooks right away. Save money by logging onto your local library’s website and reserving some of the many vegan cookbooks in their collection. This way you can look through them, and when you find a couple that you really like you can purchase those for your collection. – Jacqueline Bodnar, VegBlogger

Invest in alternatives to replace your favorites

Ditch the dairy. It’s so easy to find plant-based swaps for your favorite dairy products.  There are amazing vegan yogurts, cheeses, milks, and even ice cream.  Or, have some fun in the kitchen and whip up so Cashew “Parm”,  Banana “Nice” Cream, or Vegan Nacho “Geez!” Sauce. – Katie Simmons, Plants Rule

If going vegan has you missing the smell of mom’s homemade banana bread filling up the house, I’ve got great news for you. Making a vegan version of your favorite recipe is not only easy, but a perfect way to bring the joy and aroma from delicious food you love into your new vegan household. To do it, find suitable vegan substitutes, like a flax egg for a chicken egg, for all the non-vegan ingredients, then play around with different variations until it comes out just right. – Rachel, Powered By Mangos

Buy vegan versions of your favorite non-vegan ingredients you use now. There are so many delicious vegan meat substitutes on the market today. Some of the ones I use most frequently are Just Egg, Impossible Meat, Beyond Meat Spicy Italian Sausage, and Daring Foods Chicken. Most of them can be kept frozen so it makes it super easy to stock up the freezer and defrost as needed. – Valerie Libutti, Vegan Travel Eats

Aim for progress not perfection for your vegan kitchen

One of my best tips is to start your day vegan. A lot of people focus on dinner, but when you start your day plant-based, it sets the tone for the day. One of my favorite vegan breakfast recipes is my breakfast sandwich featuring avocado, vegan sausage, vegan cheese, greens, jam and even a layer of vegan egg. This recipe is a crowd pleaser because it is veganizing a classic recipe. Who doesn’t love a hearty breakfast sandwich and this meal energizes me for the day ahead. – Kathy Patalsky, Healthy Happy Life

Remember that meal prepping doesn’t have to mean eating the exact same thing every day. Instead I “food prep” which is simply making extras of the more time consuming foods I might make one night like rice or potatoes or homemade salad dressing. Food prep rather than meal prep makes for faster, easier meals throughout the week and it’s a lot more flexible and practical for a busy lifestyle. – Nicole, Nikki Vegan

The best advice I can give is to be gentle with yourself. It’s all about progress, not perfection. You can start with Meatless Monday or Vegan Before 6pm, and if you accidentally (or on purpose) mess up — that’s okay! Just choose plant-based for your next meal. – Toni Okamoto, Founder of Plant-Based on a Budget

Originally published by Redfin

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