The Daily Beet

26 Jun Guest Post by Lindsay Nixon Plus a Giveaway!

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Today, Lindsay from Happy Herbivore talks about her must-haves in the kitchen!

When I first starting eating a plant-based diet, I had no idea what to buy at the store. I started off by buying items called for in recipes, but I’m not the best planner, and I have trouble sticking to a schedule — I wanted to have a variety of options on hand so I could make something I felt like eating that night.

Over the years I’ve found I more or less use the same ingredients and I had the same shopping list time and time again — the same core staples with a mix of seasonal fruits and vegetables added in.

Here’s my basic pantry and fridge list. With this list you can make pretty much any of my recipes (on the blog or in my cookbooks) or those recipes in The Engine 2 Diet.

Canned Goods:beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and corn.

Dry Goods & Grains:brown rice, split peas, oats, lentils, dry beans and quinoa.

Baking: baking soda, baking powder, raw sugar, brown sugar,  agave nectar, pure maple syrup, corn meal, white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, gluten-free flour (optional), chickpea flouer, unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened cocoa, vanilla extract, and vital wheat gluten.

Condiments: balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, marinara sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, salsa, peanut butter, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce (or tamari), steak sauce, and miso.

Spices: chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground ginger, oregano, cinnamon, onion powder (granulated), garlic powder (granulated), thyme, fennel seeds, garam masala, nutmeg, Italian seasoning,curry powder, paprika, pumpkin pie spice, red pepper flakes (or cayenne), rubbed sage, turmeric, and nutritional yeast.

Produce & Herbs: garlic, onion, potatoes, ginger, carrots, celery, spinach, lettuce, greens, tomatoes, seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, bananas, lemons, limes, apples, and out-of-season frozen fruits and frozen vegetables.

Other: tofu, vegetable broth, non-dairy milk such as soy milk or almond milk, and vegan substitutes (optional).

-Lindsay Nixon

What are your kitchen-must-haves? Enter a comment below and you can win a copy of Lindsay’s first book, Happy Herbivore!

Thanks to everyone of facebook yesterday who got in a 5 minute or more workout, we reached our goal of 500 people!

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Lindsay Nixon
Lindsay Nixon

Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. She is the author of two bestselling cookbooks, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and Everyday Happy Herbivore. Her third book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, will be released in December 2012. Learn more about Nixon and try some of her recipes at happyherbivore.com.

  • Andi
    Posted at 09:40h, 26 June

    BEANS!! I absolutely LOVE cooking with beans of all kinds and could definitely eat them everyday!! 🙂

  • Candyce
    Posted at 10:03h, 26 June

    My kitchen must-haves are nutritional yeast, tofu, tempeh, dried beans, sriracha, Braggs, kale, avocados, bananas, soy milk, flax meal, and everything else is negotiable. 🙂

  • Sharon
    Posted at 10:32h, 26 June

    After being plant based for a couple months now, our pantry looks similar. I also keep Bragg’s Liquid Aminos – we’ve come to like that better than lower sodium soy sauce. I also keep a little bit of dried fruits like currants or raisins to throw in with Rip’s Not Quite As Big Bowl at our house. And lastly, I keep some frozen cubes of garlic from Trader Joe’s in the freezer for when I’m really in a hurry. Other places are starting to see them now too along with other herb cubes – basil, etc.

  • Charity
    Posted at 10:34h, 26 June

    My kitchen must haves are nutritional yeast, and whole wheat pastas. With whatever veggies I happen to have on hand I can always create a fast and delicious meal that any guest (or fiancé) will love.

  • Rachael Ann
    Posted at 10:34h, 26 June

    I have to get my butt to the store the moment I get low on fresh veggies! I try to use them as the “meat” of my meals with grains/beans as side dishes.

  • Melanie B
    Posted at 10:34h, 26 June

    We’ve been dabbling for a few months in Clean and vegan eating though we didn’t have horrible diets before. We’ve used Nutritional Yeast for years, nuts, beans & Date Honey! YUM. We found it through the Daniel Fast. Very good way to sweeten a treat or piece of toast.

  • Mia
    Posted at 10:36h, 26 June

    I have two kitchen must haves that we always use; tomatos and avocados!! We find keeping it simple works best for us and these two can compliment just about any dish.

  • Renae Al-Fdeilat
    Posted at 10:37h, 26 June

    Organic canned beans, as many varieties as I can get, canned tomatoes, crushed and whole, onions, and garlic and brown rice… with these base ingredients I can make just about anything! Oh, don’t forget the internet for some great recipe ideas!

  • Beth
    Posted at 10:40h, 26 June

    My must-haves are garbanzo beans, salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning, almond butter, and hummus. Those are the four items that I always have in the house and usually always have a back-up for as well. (Can’t risk running out mid-week!)

  • Gayle P
    Posted at 10:41h, 26 June

    Fresh fruits and veggies…Ezekiel wraps, buns, breads and nutritional yeast.

  • Allison
    Posted at 10:42h, 26 June

    I always have ingredients for making salsa: fresh tomato, cucumber, cilantro from my garden, jalapeño. And for fruit salsa: pinneapple, mango, habenero, and limes. Quick go-to meal is beans and rice with fresh salsa.

  • Kimberly Louis-Jean
    Posted at 10:43h, 26 June

    My kitchen is always stocked with nutritional yeast, Bragg’s liquid aminos, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, jalapeños, almond/coconut blend milk, bananas, oats, watermelon (in season), sweet potatoes, collard greens, raw cashews and dates to name just a few. They are must haves for sure.

  • Molly
    Posted at 10:46h, 26 June

    A must have in our kitchen is Fresh veggies & fruit, hummus, salsa, garbanzo beans, and brown rice! 🙂

  • Janet Washburn
    Posted at 10:46h, 26 June

    need cereal makings for Rips Big Bowl!…then I’d say bananas, apples, and oranges…good fast food for the kiddos!

  • Eloise
    Posted at 10:46h, 26 June

    I can make anything if I have my vitamix! If I need to pick a food it would be beans, kale, avocados!

  • Alexis McConnell
    Posted at 10:47h, 26 June

    Everything you mentioned, since I use a lot of your recipes …. yet added to the list is kale, kale, kale and sprouts!

  • Alison Chu
    Posted at 10:48h, 26 June

    My kitchen must haves are canned beans, oatmeal, salad, hot sauce, potatoes, lots of frozen veges.

  • chickpeafreak
    Posted at 10:48h, 26 June

    Definitely nutritional yeast, brown rice, and hummus! With those, we can make a meal out of any veggies we have on-hand! =)

  • Ann
    Posted at 10:53h, 26 June

    Can live with out beans, brown rice and diced tomatoes, a must have for a quick meal!

  • Deb
    Posted at 10:53h, 26 June

    Kitchen must haves are good cookbooks like Lindsey’s and also Engine 2.

  • Margie Whitling
    Posted at 10:54h, 26 June

    Beans, beans and more beans….

  • Jen Tolnay
    Posted at 10:55h, 26 June

    Chickpeas! Make a big batch every week. They’re my go-to protein source.

  • cyndi
    Posted at 10:59h, 26 June

    Variety of dried beans and lentils. They are cheap, healthy, and a snap to make (especially with a pressure cooker for beans).

  • Darelle
    Posted at 11:01h, 26 June

    fresh fruit and grape nuts!

  • Xtine
    Posted at 11:01h, 26 June

    I have to have tortillas on hand! I can make a burrito/wrap out of just about anything!!

  • Kathy Grant
    Posted at 11:03h, 26 June

    An excellent list, Lindsay! My must haves include a variety of beans and grains. I love fresh greens and, since I can’t eat them all at one sitting, I will freeze the rest so I can just warm them up in a flash.

  • Vickie
    Posted at 11:03h, 26 June

    Bought my first 4 cans of beans and Black rice along with my Chard, Kale and other oraganics yesterday!!! SO EXCITING!! I am just crazy about this website and the fabulous inspiration I am gleaming from Rip, and all of the bloggers. You are Awesome!!

  • Pamela
    Posted at 11:04h, 26 June

    Beans, brown rice, lentils (red, brown, green), oatmeal, canned diced tomatoes.

  • Anna Norris
    Posted at 11:05h, 26 June

    Nutritional yeast, tomato sauce,beans, hummus, artisan breads and fresh greens. I like to keep a tomato on hand but risk disappointment w/fake tomatoes out of season.

  • Alex Nolen
    Posted at 11:08h, 26 June

    Chickpeas and Quinoa are my favorite foods in the world!! (:

  • Donnalyn
    Posted at 11:08h, 26 June

    It’s time to go to the store for me when I am out of lemons, bananas, avocados or dark green leafys. Other things I can work around but lacking any of these stresses me out, 🙂 ! Thanks for asking and have a great day!

  • Kelly Binkoski
    Posted at 11:09h, 26 June

    Huge Linsay Nixon fan! Learned of her through Dr. McDougall. Her quick black bean burgers are a favorite! So our kitchen must haves are black beans, quick and rolled oats, organic ketchup, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, partchment paper, potatoes, lots of farmer’s market fruits and veggies and whole wheat buns!
    Love the basic fridge and pantry list! Much like ours…would love to try more recipes!!! : )

  • Jennifer Edwards
    Posted at 11:11h, 26 June

    For breakfast: oats, a breakfast fruit
    Lunch: walnuts, dried mangoes, whole wheat pita, celery, carrots, broccoli, apples

    For dinner and all the time: dark leafy greens, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta/gnocci, canned veggies of all sorts, mushrooms, tomato, tomatillo salsa, garlic, basil, pepper, red pepper flakes.

  • urbanakate
    Posted at 11:11h, 26 June

    Most of the above but I’d add corn tortillas. And whole wheat pita and the makings of hummus (or store bought). Yummy!

  • Yvette
    Posted at 11:13h, 26 June

    Being latina…any kind of rice, beans and avocados with roasted garlic onion and tomatoes. Thats my quick fix for a meal.

  • Robert Kalik
    Posted at 11:15h, 26 June

    Edamame- Such an easy quick snack!!!!! Great article and great list!

  • Jennifer Cochran
    Posted at 11:15h, 26 June

    Don’t forget tahini for making yummy dressings and hummus. I’ve been loving beet hummus lately which has all the same ingredient as regular hummus except with beets as a base instead of chickpeas. I just harvested a few beets so I have to decide what to make: hummus, borscht, red flannel hash…so many options.

  • Jenniffer from Cup a Dee Cakes
    Posted at 11:18h, 26 June

    Chickpeas and Kale, definitely! Two things we never ate before we adopted a plant-based lifestyle!

  • Mark F
    Posted at 11:23h, 26 June

    Our kitchen must-have: A loving Wife, who willingly threw out the old recipe file and started from scratch to improve our health, who is taking the time to learn a new lifestyle, and is putting forth a tremendous effort to make ours a plant-based diet. I love you honey! You’re the best!

  • Kathrine Higley
    Posted at 11:25h, 26 June

    We have to have Hummus, liquid braggs, black beans, and lots of veggies!

  • Holly
    Posted at 11:29h, 26 June

    I also keep light coconut milk for adding extra dimension of flavor to dishes every so often. For example, grilled kale that’s been marinated in coconut milk and cayenne pepper is OUT OF THIS WORLD 🙂

  • Sandra Parrish
    Posted at 11:33h, 26 June

    My kitchen must haves are nutritional yeast, tofu, tempeh, seitan, dried beans, quinoa, brown rice, mushrooms, lots of fresh vegetables & fruits. One item that i just love is Better Than Bouillon vegan chicken & vegan beef flavor bases. I use them to season quinoa,brown rice, pasta & veggies…etc. 😛

  • Outfit31
    Posted at 11:34h, 26 June

    Natural peanut butter for a quick sandwich to go, when I don’t feel like cooking and fast food would have be a temptation for me!

  • Girl's Goin' Green
    Posted at 11:41h, 26 June

    My mom’s vegan cookies that she makes from your recipe!!! YUM!

  • Nikki Ortiz
    Posted at 11:41h, 26 June

    My spices, such as paprika, turmeric, cumin and red chili pepper. I have always been into flavor and ever since adopting the whole foods, plant based diet, spices especially have been my saving grace. 😉

  • Rebecca Unger
    Posted at 11:41h, 26 June

    Quinoa sweet with raisins & nuts or salty with veggies, brown rice with coconut milk, grilled veggies, & black bean burgers!

  • Sally Drinnon
    Posted at 11:42h, 26 June

    Our must have includes Rotel type tomatoes, black beans, & pinto beans. I think we flavor just about everything with Rotel. LOL!

  • Joy Jerauld
    Posted at 11:42h, 26 June

    I pretty much stick to Lindsay’s list…I do keep flax seeds around for baking and frozen brown rice packets for when I really don’t feel like cooking.

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 11:43h, 26 June

    I always have salad fixin’s around, canned beans, petite diced cut tomatoes (with jalapenos for an extra zing!), BBQ sauce, cut carrots, celery, snap peas, cucumbers and hummus for dipping or making wraps with lavash bread. I make big batches of lentil soup, bean soup and veggie chili and freeze it. That way, when I am in a rush or need something for lunch at work, I can pop one out of the freezer and have it over brown rice, quinoa or potato.

  • Nancy Ann
    Posted at 11:45h, 26 June

    My must have is anything to make a home-made Italian sauce (onions,garlic, sauce, paste, diced tomato) I add whatever fresh veggies I have. LOVE eggplant, zuchini, or squash. I make a big enough pot of sauce to use during the week for other meals such as pizza, chili.

  • Carla
    Posted at 11:50h, 26 June

    Number 1 must have in my kitchen is Chick Peas. I love beans of all kinds, but chick peas are the tops! I make hummus, toss them in salads or with pasta and cook them in soup. I even make a chick pea salad spread for sandwiches; my husband loves it!

  • Laura
    Posted at 11:55h, 26 June

    Just bought The Happy Herbivore! I know I am going to like it!

  • Lynnette
    Posted at 11:56h, 26 June

    Love the lists, and for the most part that agrees with our staples. I also must have oatmeal. Canned beans are great for a quick meal. I like to make large batches of brown rice and keep some prepared in the refrigerator.

  • Buffy
    Posted at 11:57h, 26 June

    I keep several different types of beans in the freezer like butter and lime beans and blackeyed peas. Today my lunch is speckled butter beans and brown basmati rice and a nice salad. YUM!

  • Rick
    Posted at 12:09h, 26 June

    My kitchen must haves are pretty simple: success brown rice, whole wheat noodles, canned beans, tomatoes, and lots of frozen veggies and fruit in the freezer. I make little ice cube trays of frozen garlic to store in the freezer. For spices: powdered garlic, basil, italian spices, cayenne and pepper. I always have shredded wheat, uncle sams and coconut milk on hand too.

  • Jeremy
    Posted at 12:17h, 26 June

    I’m trying to make everything we eat from scratch, so ingredients for these items are becoming more and more important! Instead of spending five bucks on a loaf of bread that we either have to eat or freeze right away, I can spend five bucks on a huge bag of whole-grain flour and make six loaves of bread. Making bread for us is becoming a fun hobby and I hope to have a recipe perfected in time to give loaves out in December as holiday gifts. I also recently made my own seitan (very easy! just vital wheat gluten, water and your choice of seasonings depending on what you want it to taste like or go with) and I’ll never buy packaged, processed seitan again. I’m going to try and make our own pasta from scratch soon, as well. Whole grains are a huge staple of our kitchen!

    • Martha
      Posted at 12:33h, 26 June

      Would love to have your bread recipe. I’ve been trying to perfect a whole wheat/grain bread with no oil or salt, for my bread machine. No great success yet!

    • Kris
      Posted at 20:05h, 26 June

      I too would love the bread recipe for my bread machine!! Thanks!!

  • Suefro
    Posted at 12:19h, 26 June

    Ezekiel wraps, chick peas, tahini, Braggs, kale, avacado, cucumber, lemon, beans, tofu, garlic and more garlic

  • Lauren Stewart
    Posted at 12:19h, 26 June

    Definitely always need beans, oats, and spices, and then potatoes or sweet potatoes. I love to make burger patties and fries! I also always have some raw veggies for snacks and salads.

    I love Happy Herbivore and Engine 2 — you guys are all my heroes!

  • Ann
    Posted at 12:22h, 26 June

    I cook along the lines of Jeff Novick. Fast and easy so my kitchen staples are a variety of canned beans, canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables and Success Brown rice, pasta and sweet potatoes. Mexican and Italian spices.

  • Terri
    Posted at 12:25h, 26 June

    My must haves are black pepper, ginger, tumeric, curry, garlic, dry beans/rice, good quality knife, cutting boards and GREENS!!

  • Martha
    Posted at 12:31h, 26 June

    I always have cooked beans in the freezer (cook them in my crockpot overnight). I HAVE to have frozen corn! Love it. And potatoes, brown rice, romaine, red bell peppers.

  • Kristina
    Posted at 12:36h, 26 June

    If I don’t have a can of black beans and a jar of dijon mustard in the house I am lost.

  • Cynthia
    Posted at 12:36h, 26 June


  • Ed F.
    Posted at 12:39h, 26 June

    All of the above + more room.

  • MikeR
    Posted at 12:40h, 26 June

    Canned tomatoes. I use them constantly, particularly in the winter. I make soup, shepherd’s pie, curries — just about anything — with canned tomatoes.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 12:42h, 26 June

    My kitchen must haves are garlic, soy sauce or Bragg’s, tofu, and black pepper. #1 is definitely garlic!

  • Sheila
    Posted at 12:43h, 26 June

    I always have brown rice and pasta which enable me to make three or four make-ahead meals at a time with what ever veggies and condiments I have on hand.

  • Johanna
    Posted at 13:00h, 26 June

    I’ve learned to make beans a staple in our house. I used to only buy them when making chili, but have since learned to like them with many other things!

  • Cathy Lewis
    Posted at 13:06h, 26 June

    Grains, Beans, Spices and whatever fruits and veggies are in season! I can do anything if I have the basics!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 13:09h, 26 June

    Beans, oats, potatoes (regular and sweet), bananas, apples, pastas, quinoa, brown rice, garlic, Braggs, Ezekiel. I usually have canned tomatoes, but now that it is in season, I run out to the garden for tomatoes, kale, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, basil, peppers. I always have ginger root in the fridge for tea or to put into a butternut squash soup. YUM!

  • Kara
    Posted at 13:22h, 26 June

    kale, spinach, pico de gallo, berries, bananas, black beans, chickpeas, brown rice, quinoa, almond milk, coconut milk, portobello mushrooms

  • Ashley
    Posted at 13:23h, 26 June

    Chickpeas, black beans, quinoa, nutritional yeast, garlic, Braggs, peanut butter, baby carrots, baby spinach leaves, oats, bananas (fresh and frozen), and almond milk!

  • Sherry
    Posted at 13:40h, 26 June

    Must haves are the same as buy constantly I guess so……..kale, chard, spinach,garlic, potatoes white and sweet, broccoli. Garbanzos, garlic, bananas, frozen fruit, tomatoes, aduki beans, garlic, onions. Pineapple, oats, rice, quinoa, garlic, oranges, flax seed…did I mention garlic?

    • Stacey Morton-Cohen
      Posted at 13:53h, 26 June

      I always keep a couple of different salsas around as well as zero fat hummus, black beans, or lentils and plenty of fruit (frozen and fresh), greens and veggies. High quality bread (like Ezekial or Alvarado) and healthy tortillas are must haves as well.

  • Chuck
    Posted at 13:57h, 26 June

    Seasonal friuts and vegatables, frozen bleberries, lots of avacados, rocket and baby spinach for salads, and everything for the Big Bowl of cereal for breakfast!!!

  • Ellery
    Posted at 14:16h, 26 June

    Brown rice and whole grain pasta! I make those all the time using different vegetables, beans, potatoes, and sauces to spice it up!

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 14:16h, 26 June

    I think I’ve had a good handle on the dry goods I need to keep around – canned beans, dry lentils, at least three different kinds of rice, etc. We’re slowly learning which fresh produce we can’t go without, though. We pretty much always have a big bag of organic apples in the refrigerator now, along with lots of leafy greens – both salad greens and greens for cooking. I like to keep fresh ginger root on hand, and I don’t know how I’d cook anything if I ran out of onions, carrots and celery.

  • Janet
    Posted at 14:36h, 26 June

    “Must haves” include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, walnuts, lentils, split peas, dry beans, canned beans, canned diced tomatoes, frozen berries, frozen mixed veggies, & fresh apples, bananas, greens, onions,& garlic & whatever else I can find in season!

  • Emily K
    Posted at 14:42h, 26 June

    I cannot live without seasonal fruits & veggies from the farmer’s market! Delicious, healthy and colorful!

  • Courtney
    Posted at 14:42h, 26 June

    Definitely beans and rice!

  • Dominick Byron
    Posted at 14:43h, 26 June

    I made your Tofu scramble the other day and it was great!

  • Tracy
    Posted at 14:46h, 26 June

    my biggest must haves are beans, tomatoes and bananas

  • Dave
    Posted at 15:06h, 26 June

    Bananas, Spinach and Flat Whole Grain High Fiber Wraps. For the first time in my life, I’m strongly considering a plant-based diet.

  • Carol Belshe
    Posted at 15:14h, 26 June

    Just started the Engine2Diet and my kitchen is getting overhauled. My husband made hummus for the first time and it is delicious. At this point all plant based food is my friend and making its way into my kitchen!

  • steph
    Posted at 15:54h, 26 June

    I have a 25lb bag of chickpeas that I’m going through, plus huge containers of quinoa and pinto beans. I also like to always have a large supply of honey to sweeten my coffee.

  • andrea
    Posted at 15:58h, 26 June

    black beans, chick peas (or store bought hummus), salad greens, carrots, other fruits and veggies, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, crushed tomatoes, almond/peanut butter, all-fruit jam, oatmeal, dried fruits & veggies

    and my top non-food kitchen must have? food processor!

  • Andrea
    Posted at 16:11h, 26 June

    If it was an appliance, it would be my blender or crockpot. Since you are talking food, I use lentils and chickpeas all the time. They make everything from salad toppings, soups, bean salads, veggie burgers to hummus.

  • Jeanne Endsley
    Posted at 16:23h, 26 June

    Beans, whole grains and a variety of spices… Add this to fruits and
    veggies that are in season and I am a happy vegan.

  • Kathy Goughenour
    Posted at 16:40h, 26 June

    Thanks for the all-encompassing list! It’s going to be very helpful because I’m new to plant based eating.

  • Marianne
    Posted at 16:52h, 26 June

    Beans, Quinoa, Bragg’s Aminos and vinegar, nutritional yeast, Mori-Nu Tofu, balsamic vinegar, brown mustard , agave. And your books of course!!

  • Susan H
    Posted at 17:13h, 26 June

    I keep Uncle Sam’s Original cereal and bananas on hand. I mash a banana and mix in Uncle Sam’s cereal and eat it that way.

    Dried legumes, corn tortillas, oats and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the other items I always keep on hand.

  • Mike Basehart
    Posted at 17:42h, 26 June

    I would add sunflower, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts and cashews to Lindsays list.

  • BH
    Posted at 18:09h, 26 June

    All my loot is already listed, but, I’ll add parchment paper, especially this foil lined one:
    It enables me to roast vegs in the oven w/o Alzheimer’s inducing aluminum touching my food.

  • Jude
    Posted at 19:01h, 26 June

    Seriously, you can ditto Lindsey’s list here. Pintos, black beans, chickpeas, low/no salt tomatoes/sauce, mandrin oranges & pinapple, 10 min. brown rice, quinoa, couscous, ww noodles, veg. broth, garlic & onion powder, cumin, cayenne and much much more!

  • Kris
    Posted at 20:00h, 26 June

    Thank you for this info!!! I am thrilled with this list!! I just printed it!! I am very, very new to the plant based eating though we have been eating “whole foods” due to severe food allergies in our family for years. So this is perfect timing!! I just went today and began filling my fridge and my pantry to eat plant based…only!! And as a girl who grew up with family ranches-beef and a sweet hubby who raises poultry is different…so the journey begins. 🙂 I am in but not sure the family is there yet. But hopefully the food will draw them in!! And more importantly my better health will keep them in!! 🙂 Thanks again!!!

  • Debi Marrs
    Posted at 20:01h, 26 June

    I love a plant based diet! I, like you, need to keep basic ingredients on hand so I can make what the mood seems to require. We drink a lot of green smoothies here, so I am always stocking kale, spinach, etc…plus some yummy fruit for the final touch!

  • Dixter
    Posted at 20:06h, 26 June

    Beans, beans, beans. And more beans.

  • Susan Eagan
    Posted at 20:25h, 26 June

    We like to keep lots of fruits and vegetables on hand from our local farmers market.

  • Cathy
    Posted at 20:28h, 26 June

    LOVE, LOVE LOVE any fruit!

  • Rileen
    Posted at 21:23h, 26 June

    Beans, Oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, lentils, brown rice, spinach, spices.

  • Christine
    Posted at 22:34h, 26 June

    Salsa, rice & black beans

  • Walt Huntsman
    Posted at 23:21h, 26 June

    We always make sure we have beans on hand, especially garbanzo beans as I love my hummus. Also, brown rice, soy milk, bananas, and kale.

  • Kristin
    Posted at 00:13h, 27 June

    Black beans for sure! And nuts and dried fruit make an excellent snack. I’m partial to the combination of walnuts and dates.

  • Jodie
    Posted at 00:49h, 27 June

    Pomi tomatoes, rice, almond milk, oatmeal, beans, potatoes, and lots of frozen fruits and veggies are the staples in my house.

  • jacky brown
    Posted at 03:25h, 27 June

    Kale and sweet potatoes and black beans :-), with some almond milk on the side!!

  • Barbara P.
    Posted at 03:26h, 27 June


  • Marsha Fischer
    Posted at 03:45h, 27 June

    Fresh veggies, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, spices

  • Renee
    Posted at 04:31h, 27 June

    My kitchen must haves are red, yellow an orange peppers, garlic, onion, beans, all fresh veggies and fruits in season.

  • javier
    Posted at 09:17h, 27 June

    Beans, cous cous, quinoa & brown rice. With those three, you can never go wrong! :O)

  • Bree
    Posted at 09:35h, 27 June

    My must haves:
    in the pantry are dried beans/legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, black eyed-peas, lentils- red and green, lima beans, pinto beans and navy beans), brown rice, whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached whole white flour, oat flour, spelt flour, raw sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, raw cocoa powder, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and sobe noodles…whew!
    refrigerator is produce, produce, produce! We don’t use a lot of condiments and the few we use we make ourselves 🙂

  • Nancy J.
    Posted at 10:04h, 27 June

    In the pantry – lentils of every color, Braggs Liquid Aminos (great for roasting veggies), minced garlic, many jars of salsa, brown and wild rice, balsamic vinegar, almond milk, veggie broth, diced tomatoes, marinara saunce, yukon and new potatoes, sweet potatoes, japanese sweet potatoes. In the fridge…. tons of fresh produce – co op and farmers market are my favorite places to shop – homemade hummus, individual servings of already cooked steel cut oats. In the freezer individual servings of homemade soups and cooked rice, frozen fruits and frozen veggies. Key to my success so far is definitely in the planning and preparation.

  • Erin
    Posted at 11:35h, 27 June

    Your list is great! What I would add for me- cashews for making cashew sauce (it’s similar to a cheese sauce but much lower in fat and calories and vegan), cornstarch, and fruit canned in its own juice- I generally have peaches, pears, mandarin oranges, and pineapple.

  • Jason Robinson
    Posted at 17:31h, 27 June

    Bragg’s and Chia Seeds are a must in my house!

  • Tiana
    Posted at 17:41h, 27 June

    What a great post. I love Happy Herbivore and Engine2Diet’s sites! My must-haves are applesauce, lots of non-dairy milk (soy, coconut, and almond are my faves to mix it up), and lots of fresh and frozen fruit for smoothies!

  • Ashley
    Posted at 17:41h, 27 June

    Must haves in my kitchen are beans, nuts, and a variety of fruit and veggies for snacking.

  • Holly Caster
    Posted at 17:48h, 27 June

    I have nutritional yeast on my popcorn every night. I also keep a few vegan frozen prepared meals in case I haven’t planned, or am too lazy to cook!

  • Debbie
    Posted at 17:53h, 27 June

    I can’t pick just one essential, but at the top of my list are brown rice, canned tomatoes, and black beans. Plus oatmeal for breakfast! I need to eat more veggies, though!

  • Karri
    Posted at 17:54h, 27 June

    Thanks for this! I try to always have black beans, leafy greens, quinoa, fruit, lemons or limes, and corn tortillas on hand.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 17:54h, 27 June

    my food processor!
    nutritional yeast

  • Kaye Kramer
    Posted at 18:00h, 27 June

    Rice vinegar, maple syrup for sweetening, and a food processor, crockpot and rice cooker. Most everything else has been mentioned in other posts.

  • Sonya
    Posted at 18:01h, 27 June

    Beans, oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes – and I am doing my best to break away from cooking anything with salt. Baby steps.
    I added a fancy shmancy rice cooker a few months ago and always have something brewing in there.

  • Olga
    Posted at 18:03h, 27 June

    My Vitamix blender
    Kale & sweet potatoes – yum
    as many fruits and veggies as I can!
    beans, esp black and garbanzo
    cereal and dried apricots for my “big bowl” 🙂
    ezekiel bread and wraps
    Braggs Liquid Aminos

  • Pat Barnes
    Posted at 18:07h, 27 June

    Definitely hummus, loads of tomatoes, some avocados and sweet potatoes!

  • Jean D.
    Posted at 18:13h, 27 June

    Your list is much like mine (probably because I use so many of your recipes). Today I bought miso paste for the first time, so I can make your chickpea noodle soup. But I always need to have sriracha sauce on the condiment shelf in my refrigerator.

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

  • Donna
    Posted at 18:15h, 27 June

    Just starting out here, today is my 6 th day of plant based eating. I do not have the energy that I thought I would, in fact I am exhausted.! At any rate I need to have Braggs liquid amino, fridge full of ready to eat veggies and fruit.

    • Karen Coghlan
      Posted at 23:03h, 27 June

      After 5 months of eating a plant based diet, I can tell you that when I don’t eat enough food, the next day I have less energy. I do best when I get my beans and plenty of them.

      • Donna
        Posted at 04:59h, 28 June

        I should be eating more beans but tend to shy away from them, because of the gas they give me.

  • Natasja Essed
    Posted at 18:25h, 27 June

    red lentils for dal and soup and chickpeas for hummus. Dried figs and raisins for my sweet tooth haha!

  • Julee
    Posted at 18:30h, 27 June

    Beans, onions and mushrooms! And Tofu…love my tofu stirfrys!

  • Angie
    Posted at 18:42h, 27 June

    Black beans! We eat them several times a week in several different ways.

  • Pam
    Posted at 18:50h, 27 June

    have to have oats, variety of beans – dry and canned, vegetable stew frozen in portions, E2 cauliflower soup frozen in portions, eat-your-green soup frozen in portions, frozen blueberries, flax seed stored in freezer (grind a bit once a week), giant mixed greens bag, variety of herbs and spices, vege broth, nutritional yeast… I think that about covers the basics. I add other fruits and veges seasonally that are fresh.

  • Jessica
    Posted at 18:54h, 27 June

    Must haves are items for Rips Big Bowl, beans, salsa and essentials to make HH Quick Queso!!

  • Janet
    Posted at 18:59h, 27 June

    This is a great list!
    My must haves: beans, artichokes, hummus, dried cranberries, nuts, oatmeal, chilis – and anything in season!

  • Karen
    Posted at 19:08h, 27 June

    Beans, brown rice, onions and peppers and tamari. quick, easy go to dinner.

  • Metal Mark
    Posted at 19:12h, 27 June

    Have not gone plant based yet, but am considering it. I try to keep brown rice, lots of beans, canned tomatoes, frozen berries, fresh fruits and berries that are in season on hand.

  • Trevor R
    Posted at 19:24h, 27 June

    Definitely tofu, soy milk, and carrots.

  • LDT
    Posted at 19:25h, 27 June

    I can’t survive without my blender (ice cream, hummus, dips, soups, etc.) and my air popper (popcorn with curry powder and jalapeno powder) and I always must have TONS of fresh veggies, fruit, canned and dried beans, almond milk, tofu and spices, spices, spices!

  • Michelle Hunsicker
    Posted at 19:34h, 27 June

    I absolutely cannot live without salsa! It seems strange, but it’s true! Salsa goes well with just about anything and it adds healthy tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and spices without adding a lot of calories, sugar, fat, or salt!

    Also, my food supply never lacks in fresh fruits and veggies; when I run low it’s a sign for me to make an emergency trip to the store to stock up!

  • Connie
    Posted at 19:47h, 27 June

    BEANS! I also keep the refrigerator stocked with fruits and veggies. We can lots of tomatoes and tomato juice from our garden each year.

  • Susan
    Posted at 19:56h, 27 June

    I must have popcorn, nutritional yeast, almond milk, collard greens and peanut butter.

  • yvette
    Posted at 19:57h, 27 June

    I have to say that I have to have everything I get from my weekly share from the CSA I joined and also I love to shop at our local Co-op which puts up signs from advising the country of origin of the grains and other foods I purchase there. In the winter I have to have lots of Arugula,, it’s arugula part of my diet, LOL!

  • Heather B.
    Posted at 20:00h, 27 June

    Wow, so many great staples! One of my favorite must-haves when I make a curry is Patak’s mild curry paste! It provides a fantastic all-round curry flavor. Another favorite is chipotle powder—a great way to add some smoky kick to whatever you’re cooking. 🙂

  • Ninufar
    Posted at 20:13h, 27 June

    When I have a work assignment of at least 2 wks away from home, this is what I go get to settle in:

    1 bag each long and short grain brown rice (soak the short overnight!)
    1 bag GF rolled oats
    1 bag ea brn rice flour, teff flour, and some refined starch (e.g. tapioca)
    1 bowl or bag of just-microwave-it precooked rice

    dried beans etc:
    1 can ea chick peas and black beans
    1 bag ea kidney beans, grt northern beans, lentils
    1 box emergency tofu (I prefer fresh, but the tetra-pak stuff is handy!!!)

    fruit and veg:
    sw potatoes
    fair-trade bananas
    jar of good tomato sauce
    whatever veggies look good at the store!

    in freezer:
    1 bag froz broccoli
    1 box ea froz spinach, butternut squash, baby limas

    tahini (a little goes a long long way)
    toasted pumpkin seeds (ditto)
    sea salt
    bay leaves
    miso master red miso

  • Christie Markert
    Posted at 20:46h, 27 June

    Lots of dried beans, almond milk, nuts & seeds, veganaise, tahini, wheat tortillas, and lots and lots of fruits and vegies!

  • Ken
    Posted at 21:17h, 27 June

    Newb here. Thanks for all the ideas!

  • Jenn Dios
    Posted at 21:51h, 27 June

    I have to have Almond Milk, Beans, celery, hummus, green onion and a mix of nuts all the time, this is the short list! Mine looks much like Lyndsey’s above, being that I fallow her meal plans. Which are amazing. I would love to win the book! Good luck to all. =)

  • Amanda
    Posted at 22:21h, 27 June

    The foods I must always have on hand: chickpeas, black beans, almond milk, bananas, cocoa powder, bell peppers, mushrooms, oats, spelt flour, blueberries, canned tomatoes, kale, spinach, walnuts and flax seed.

  • Andrea
    Posted at 22:30h, 27 June

    Just getting started. Love the list and all the ideas! Planning ahead seems to be key for us right now.

  • Karen Coghlan
    Posted at 22:52h, 27 June

    Been eating a plant based diet for the past 5 months, and I need less than I thought at first. Money is tight right now, so this is what I used my weeks grocery money on: Oatmeal, Dry Black Beans, Dry Split Peas, Dry Pinto Beans, Brown Rice, Bananas, Watermelon, Onion, Garlic, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Broccoli, Romaine Lettuce, Kale, Raisins, Ketchup, Wheat Pasta, Roma Tomatoes, Celery, Carrots, Mushrooms, Cucumber, Potatoes, Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, Salsa, Demerara Sugar.

  • Jenny K.
    Posted at 22:58h, 27 June

    Organic spring mix salad greens. I can’t go more than a day without salad.

  • Julie Lindstrom
    Posted at 09:32h, 28 June

    Thank you so much for this list. It was great to see it and read everyone’s comments. I am recently new to the whole plant based diet after watching Forks Over Knives (3times!). I am type one diabetic and decided it was time for a change. Am so excited to get started!

  • Jenelle
    Posted at 09:44h, 28 June

    A variety of beans, grains (quinoa is my fave), vinegars, tomato paste, oats, dried fruits & nuts.

  • Dana
    Posted at 11:17h, 28 June

    Some of my favorites to have around my kitchen are: fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, oats, peanut butter, nutritional yeast, whole wheat pastas, brown rice and quinoa. I also love have chili powder and red pepper flakes around when I need something spicy.

  • Susan P
    Posted at 12:19h, 28 June

    Wide variety of beans and brown rice, quinoa and barley plus spinach, fresh fruits and veggies. People often ask how I could eat beans every day. Most people eat chicken everyday…and beans have much more variety, black, chickpea, pinto, kidney, etc.

  • Cindy Paulits
    Posted at 13:02h, 29 June

    For me, spices are what it is all about. It is easy to have meat-free dishes when the seasoning is bold and flavorful!

  • jwrensundance@gmail.com
    Posted at 23:15h, 01 October

    What EXACTLY is cocoa butter and is it something that we avoid? It is in chocolate bars… Thanks.

  • Betsy
    Posted at 11:08h, 19 December

    Like peanut butter on ww toast with unsweetened applesauce and oats on top for breakfast everyday. But is that too much peanut butter?

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