The vegan staple foods. The answer to the question “what do you eat?”

“What do you eat?” It’s a question we get a lot, and it’s hard to answer, we usually just say “I don’t know, many things. Almost everything except animal products”. So I sat down and made a list to give you an idea of what we have in the kitchen at almost any given time. But it’s not just what we eat, but also the frequency. Yes, I eat sweet potato but only about once a month. I have an avocado a week. But I eat nuts almost every day.

Newly vegan? Or just trying out Veganuary and you don't know what you should be stocking up with? Here's the list of vegan staple foods that you need. The ultimate vegan shopping list.

Vegan Staple Foods. Your vegan shopping list

Beans

  • Black beans
  • Butter beans
  • Whatever is on sale
  • Chickpeas

Our weekend breakfast is either hummus with veggies or beans with mushrooms, depending if we want something cold or warm. Beans and chickpeas are also great to add to salads for extra carbs, protein and that fullness sensation.

Grains

  • Wholegrain rice
  • Wholewheat flour
  • Wholewheat noodles
  • Oats
  • Bulgur wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Wholewheat pita
  • Wholewheat bread

We have oats for breakfast during the work week on most days. Rice, quinoa and bulgur make great lunches combined with all the veggies. We only eat pita/bread occasionally, when we crave a slice of bread with spread or something that looks like a conventional sandwich.

Pulses

  • Red lentils
  • Green lentils

Spicy red lentils soup is a great comfort food for when it’s cold outside or when you’re sick. We also add lentils to rice dishes to improve the protein intake. Green lentils are great for vegan spaghetti bolognese.

“Dairy”

  • Almond milk
  • Oat milk
  • Coconut and Almond milk
  • Soya yoghurt (plain, with almond or vanilla)
  • Violife cheese slices
  • Olive oil spread

We have milk every day in different ways – in the morning porridge, in smoothies and protein shakes or just as a drink. Soya yoghurt is excellent with fresh berries, nuts and seeds and we have that about twice a week. Violife is an occasional treat because the fat content is too much for our diets. Same goes for the spread.

Frozen

  • Berries
  • Veggie mixes (peas, broccoli, sweet potato, leeks, sprouts, etc.)

We always have frozen berries in our freezer, they are full of vitamins and antioxidants, and even though some are pretty expensive if you buy them fresh, the frozen option is budget-friendly, so you’re not missing out. We put them in the morning porridge or quinoa pudding. Frozen veggies work well for stews, rice dishes and soups.

Meat replacements

  • Firm tofu
  • Silken tofu
  • Tofurky slices
  • Linda McCartney sausages
  • Fry’s “chicken” nuggets
  • Soya chunks

We eat tofu and soya about 3-4 times a week, but the sausages and nuggets are only served about once a month because they are more processed and more expensive.

Fresh veggies (aka not frozen, not necessarily raw)

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Red and green peppers
  • White and red cabbage
  • Garlic and onions (red and shallots)
  • Aubergines
  • Courgettes
  • Broccoli
  • Potato (sweet or normal)
  • Avocado
  • Brussels sprouts

We eat fresh vegetables every single day, and we easily go past the recommended five portions a day, I’d say we probably have around eight servings. Some we eat raw, some we eat in a stir fry and some grilled. We love Brussels sprouts raw, in salads! Grilled aubergines are fantastic, and so are raw courgettes with garlic salads.

Greens

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic and onion when in season

Salads, salads everywhere!

Fresh fruit

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Berries on offer
  • Any fruit that’s in season
  • Plums
  • Peaches

We have fruit every single day. It’s our main source of sugar, and although we love the occasional dried fruit (Alin loves dates, I like prunes), we crave fresh juicy fruit.

Nuts and seeds

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Brazil
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Chia, flaxseeds, sesame, pumpkin seeds

Fresh fruit and nuts are our most significant shopping expenses when it comes to food. But they are full of vitamins, they are filling, and they make the best snack, so not going to give them up.

Spices and condiments

  • Extra virgin olive oil (for salads only)
  • Vinegar
  • Coconut oil
  • Mustard
  • Paprika
  • Powdered veggie stock
  • Dill and parsley
  • Cooking oil
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Tahini
  • Olive oil spread
  • Ginger

When it comes to spices, we keep it simple. Nutritional yeast is something that we’ve just recently discovered, and now we’re obsessed with it. It adds great taste to sauces, and it gives extra flavour to our evening veggie salad.

Mushrooms

  • All types
  • Fresh or dried

I know that are some vegans who consider mushrooms to be closer to animals than plants. We’re not among those people. We eat lots of mushrooms, and we prefer the dried ones because they take less space and come in bigger containers. We still get fresh ones, especially for baking or grilling.

When you don’t eat meat anymore, you start noticing more and more foods. For example, from the grains category, most people eat rice. But there are so many others! Hope you’ll try some of the foods on our list, and we’ll write more blog posts explaining how we eat some of these and sharing some of our regular meals.

 

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