In order to have a well-stocked vegan kitchen, you do not have to have large quantities of most things. Some of the items come in pretty much one size, such as umeboshi vinegar or miso, but the grains and dry beans can be purchased in bulk, allowing for purchasing less than one pound at a time. Below is a beginning list of things that every vegan kitchen should have. Many of the items I use are from a macrobiotic background to ensure vegan and nutritional constancy.
Miso paste for making soups & dressings – (dark varieties like barley miso are good for Autumn and Winter, while lighter ones like chickpea are good for Spring and Summer, but they can be used interchangeably)
Tamarai soy sauce or Shoyu (gluten-free soy sauce)
Dark Sesame oil
Light sesame oil
Brown rice vinegar (without sugar)
You can buy small quantities of all of these and don’t need everything to get started.
• Beans & legumes – black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, great northern, red beans, lentils
(all 3 colors are fine), split peas
• Grains – short grain brown rice, long grain brown rice, sweet rice, barley, millet, oat groats, steel-cut
oats, rolled oats, quinoa, amaranth
• Other dry ingredients: Flax seed, whole & ground, as an egg replacement in baking and to sprinkle on other grains;
• Spices – Sea salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic (dry minced & fresh), dry minced onions, chili powder, celery salt
• Condiments – prepared mustard, gomasio (roasted, ground seasme seeds)
• Flours – Wheat (unless you are gluten-free), brown rice, almond,
• Tofu – one 8 oz. package of extra firm and one package of soft
• Tempeh – a soy bean cake that can be sliced into various forms and sautéed, baked,broiled or boiled.
Very high in protein & versatile. (Tempeh bacon is very satisfying, for instance)
• Seitan (unless you are gluten free) this is pure wheat gluten, separated from the bran by rinsing wheat flour under cold water over & over until only the doughy gluten remains. Serves as a visual meat replacement, as it can be cut into cubes to resemble stew beef. It has almost no taste of its own and is easily flavored using minced onions, for instance.
Optional items: Sea Vegetables – Nori (vegan sushi rolls), Wakame, Arame and others.
These lend exotic flavor and nutritional value to soups and grain dishes.
Then you go out and buy your vegetables.
• Vegetables – brown onions, red onions, green onions, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, cilantro (dried and fresh), brussel sprouts, greens – collard, kale, mustard, swiss chard, celery,