Meatless Monday: Reality Show Style Pantry Make Over!

By Chef Ayinde

The first thing new vegans usually ask me is what to stock in their pantry once they make the switch. So I looked around my own pantry and made a list of what I think is good to have on hand to make tasty dishes.

Proteins
Since I like having options, and don’t want to get bored, I like to diversify my proteins. Here is a list:

Quinoa (complex carbohydrate)
Short grain brown rice (complex carbohydrate)
Tofu (soy protein)
Tempeh (fermented soy protein)
Seitan (wheat protein)
Beans (all types including chickpeas, mung beans, etc. )
Nuts & Seeds
Nut & Seed butters
Sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, and pea shoots are the most popular for all the hardcore vegans)

Herbs and Spices
Nutritional yeast (a popular man-made flavoring agent give dishes an earthy/cheesy flavor, and many offer a kick of b12)
All purpose seasoning (pick a favorite one and keep it on hand)
Spice rack faves (dill, chives, white pepper, paprika, fennel, rosemary, sage, basil, thyme)
Curry (red and green paste, and indian curry powders are a must)

Quick flavors
These ingredients will add flavor to any dish easily:
Capers
Sun-dried tomatoes
Ginger
Garlic

Oils
Most people think cooking with olive oil is better, but actually it’s best to use safflower or canola oil for high heat cooking, and use olive oil as a finisher. Why? Because once you heat olive oil past its smoke point (when it starts smoking in the pan) its molecules start to form free radicals. Studies show these free radicals can lead to cancer. Other oils include:
Coconut oil (cooking, baking)
Flax seed oil (use for garnish)
Sesame oil (great to add flavor)

Vinegars
Acids are important for dressing and marinades!
Rice vinegar
Balsamic
Apple cider
Lemon juice

Cheese alternatives
Daiya
Teese
Tofutti (cream cheese, sour cream)

Meat Alternatives
Field Roast
Match meats
More info here.

Egg alternative
Ener-g Egg replacer
Flax Egg replacer

This should get you on the right path! Any questions? Just ask.

Ayinde

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