My Top Essential Vegan Foods

It has been over a year since I decided to go “vegan.” I say that in quotations because I really only became so due to my lactose intolerance. It has only been since recently that I decided to make a conscious effort to eat completely Vegan both for my health and welfare of animals. I plan on writing an article on the reasons why everyone should go vegan, but that’s for a later time.

I’m here to tell you about my staples as a vegan. The foods I need to have in my house at any given time.

  1. Frozen Vegetables. I find frozen veggies are the best way to get your full helping of veggies a day because they are so easy to dump in your lunch and go. Or if you don’t feel like creating an elaborate spread for dinner, just steam these suckers and BAM, side dish! I buy my bulk sized frozen veggies from Costco. At $6 a 6lb bag… that’s a steal! That’s about $1 a pound, where most frozen veggies from normal grocery stores are $3-$5 a pound bag. I usually get the normandy blend which has a nice mix of broccoli, carrots, yellow stone carrots and cauliflower. Basically it can go with anything.
  2. Tofu. As a newly converted vegan, I still have yet to master the several ways of cooking tofu. I have fried it, marinated it, and souped it. I haven’t ventured into uncharted tofu-territory yet. I have accumulated several recipes that involves cooking tofu a little bit different than what I am used to. Now with my own house, I will have the freedom to experiment to my vegan hearts desire! Tofu is one of the cheapest “easy” vegan proteins I buy. One $1.99 block will usually last me 3/4 of the week. If I only eat tofu with my meals (lunch and dinner) I feel its also the most versatile protein out there (in my opinion) because it can act like chicken on a BBQ pizza or rice and veggie dish. It can be a noodle substitute for stew and soups. It can be a creamy alternative in smoothies. Or my favorite EGGS! It has the same consistency as scrambled eggs, perfect for a Sunday morning homemade brunch with the boyfriend.
  3. Brown Rice. Richer in fiber and a great way to fill up on carbs, brown rice is the right rice! Without breaking the bank rice is a great item to stock up on. Again, my 20lb bag of brown rice is from Costco, and they are never overpRICED! I love making rice in big batches so I can scoop some with my lunch for the next couple days. My go-to quick, easy, simple lunch is Rice and Veggie Tofu bowls. Just sprinkle some soy sauce and  I have a yummy and filling lunch that has all the nutrition to keep me happy and healthy! I will say, I have had to convert Ryan from a life of over processed white rice because I ain’t about that life! We’re only going to eat the least processed kinds of food in my household!
  4. Oatmeal. Another easy food that can be souped-up! I love having oatmeal for breakfast! I will usually do something a little different each day with my oats but even just plain is good if you’re on a tight budget. I will usually put chia seeds and honey in mine for a basic oatmeal breakfast. But if I’m feeling fancy I will go balls-to-the-wall and but chia seeds, honey, walnuts, berries, and granola in it! (can we just talk about the literally shits though! so much fiber to keep you regular!) I have also discovered homemade oat flour so of course you best believe I buy this in bulk!! I have made the most amazing and delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies using my homemade oat flour and I cant get enough! Thank god Ryan has an heavy duty Blendtec blander! That thing gets shit done!
  5. Fresh Fruit. I have always loved fresh fruit, whether it be in smoothies, in oatmeal, in salads, or even by themselves as a snack. I love fruit. Its naturally sweet for those sweet-p.m.s.-tooth-cravings! I love making fruit salads in the summer time, and sometimes instead of oatmeal for breakfast, I’ll make myself a smoothie. Apples, bananas, and oranges are my favorite all year long. But in the summer there is a magical fruit that takes all the happiness and shoves it into a spherical ball of deliciousness. Watermelon is my all time favorite food. Not fruit, FOOD! I could eat it all day everyday! I guess strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and black berries are good too. But WATERMELON THOUGH! I have one in my fridge as I write this! I can’t wait to eat it!!

What are your staples as a vegan/vegetarian?? Everyone is a little different but I’m sure you all have some foods you just can’t live without!