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Foods to keep on hand for VEGANS
(or anyone else for that matter)


Here I have a list of basic foods that you will almost always find in any vegan/vegetarian cooks home, and most, probably in yours as well. They are common, easily found items that are good to keep on hand. A few items might be new to you, yet are easy to find and a staple in most vegetarian/vegan kitchens.

You don't have to go out and buy special foods unless you feel so inclined. As I mentioned before the easiest way to feed a vegan, or vegetarian for that matter, is just to serve them more of the regular "side dishes" .... potatoes, rice, vegetables, salad, etc..... It would actually even be healthier for everyone to give up the "meat" and just have the "side dishes"!

But when keeping a vegan/vegetarian home, or you want to make the feel more at home with you..... most of these items will be appreciated. These are also the basic ingredients found in my recipe section. (I am not including everything on the list.. items like salt, pepper, flour, corn starch etc... I would assume most homes would have them.)

This ist is a good basic list. There you will see easily found basic foods, as I said, just to keep on hand. You can also find hundreds of vegan ready prepared foods, canned, frozen, boxed, etc... and other options at health food stores, etc... that anyone would love, that I don't have listed as basic...

I don't say "vegan" before every item, yet it is assumed that it is. What I mean is... a lot of these items can be found to contain meat or animal products, whether it is a spaghetti sauce, margarine, or even vegetarian sausage. Labels generally need to be read, no matter what the item is, to be sure it does not contain a non-vegan ingredient.

On the
"substitutions page" I have noted my personal recomendations for brands to buy.

What do vegans really eat?
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"Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."

Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)

"People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times."

 Isaac Bashevis Singer

"Since an animal's natural life is a gift from God, it follows that God's right is violated when the natural life of his creatures is perverted. Those who, in contrast, opt for the welfarist approach to intensive farming are inevitably involved in speculating how far such and such may or may not suffer in what are plainly unnatural conditions. But unless animals are judged to have some right to their natural life, from what standpoint can we judge abnormalities, mutilations or adjustments? Confining a de-beaked hen in a battery cage is more than a moral crime; it is a living sign of our failure to recognize the blessing of God in creation."

-Rev. Dr. Andrew Linzey from Christianity and the Rights of Animals, 1988

A few ITEMS to really watch out for :

 Besides the obvious "milk", "butter", "chicken broth"&.,
that find there way into many products, common animal ingredients include
"casein", "gelatin", "lard", "lanolin", "rennet", "whey"&
.. Most contain whey
Pasta&. Some contain egg.
Soy cheese sometimes has dairy rennet.
Mayonnaise& most contain egg

Check the NON-VEGAN  INGREDIENTS for a more extensive list.

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Other reasons and issues to think about when purchasing any product whether for vegans or not...
  • That it is organically grown.
  • Made using the most environmentally sound agricultural methods possible.
  • That employs fair labor practices.
  • Locally grown has presidence over items shipped in.
  • Avoid packaged foods, plastics, artificial ingredients, G.M.O.s...
  • What political associations does this food product represent? Example: Canada supporting the seal hunt...
  • etc...
A lot of vegans consider these factors heavily too when buying anything, so it, of course, is always appreciated to find out what else is really important to a vegan or anyone else for that matter, if you really want to be considerate of their ideals.

Nutritional Yeast
Fortified Yeast is considered by many to be the most valuable supplement available. It is a complete protein and contains more protein than meat. Yeast is an excellent source of B-vitamins including B12 and it contains the glucose tolerance factor that helps in the regulation of blood sugar. It is a single-celled fungi present in the air around us and on fruits and grains - it converts various types of sugar to alcohol. The earliest recorded use was in 1550 BC in Egypt.

Nutritional yeast is grown on mineral enriched molasses. At the end of the growth period, the culture is pasteurized to kill the yeast. You never want to use a live yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because the live yeast continues to grow in the intestine and actually uses up the vitamin B in the body instead of replenishing the supply. (Brewer's yeast is nutritionally the same but as a by-product of the beer-brewing industry it has a characteristic bitter hops flavor.)

Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12.

One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.


Easy to find Food ITEMS to KEEP ON HAND

This of course is just a very
basic vegan list...

Agave Nectar (Much like Honey)

Bacos (or other bacon like bits)

Balsamic vinegar (great for a salad dressing)

Braggs Liquid Aminos (Made from soybeans, a concentrated protein, flavor enhancer, great for salads, sauces, etc...found in small bottles at health food stores)

Bread. Sandwich bread / French Bread...

Canned or dried Beans/ garbonzo, kidney, black, red...

Canned spaghetti sauce

Canned vegetarian/vegan Baked beans and refried beans

Canola oil

Fruits: Fresh / Dried


Garlic salt

Jam/ Jelly


Lemon juice

Meat analogs and alternatives:... burger, tofurky, Seitan, tempeh...


Nutritional Yeast (A MAJOR product for vegans and vegetarians. A nutty/cheesy flavor Sprinkle on salads, popcorn, casseroles, pizza, sauces.... Makes into a great vegan cheese alternative! Found in all health food stores, bulk section) (NOT BREWERS YEAST!) (See side bar for more information)


Olive Oil (For basic cooking and salads)


Peanut Butter



Ramin soup (Nissin brand, oriental flavor)


Salad makings

Soy Milk (sweetened for cereals and plain for sauces) See side for more information.
or other

Soy Sauce


Spike or Vegit type seasoned salt

VEGAN Sugar (unrefined) Like "Sugar in the Raw", Turbinado, or a brown rice syrup, unbleached cane sugar, etc....

Tahini (sesame seed paste) Used to make hummus, a great bread spread! or just buy some hummus....)

Tofu Firm and silken (See side for more information)
Check out:



Vegan bread (Most authentic / old fashioned French/Italian bread is vegan..) (Avoid honey as an ingredient.)

Vegan Margarine

Vegetable Broth powder

Vegetables: Potatoes, Mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, spinach, kale, etc& Edamame (soybeans)

Vegemite or Marmite:It’s a food spread extracted from brewers yeast that has a very unique hard-to-describe flavor. Frequently used as a topping on bread or toast, it has a salty taste that is quite strong, so – “spread thinly”Also adds flavor to soups, and gravies"

White Vinegar

vegan balsalmic vinigar

vegan braggs

vegan beans

vegan meats

vegan olive oil

vegan soup

vegan soy milk 


vegan sugar

vegan tahini

vegan tofu

vegan tofu



 Soy Milk

is made by soaking soybeans, cooking and blending the soybeans, and finally straining off the soy milk.

Soy milk can be used for drink, on cereal, and in cooking.

There are several options for "milk" substitutes, including Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Almond Milk, etc... Some are sweetened and some are plain, some are chocolate, vanilla etc... so personal tastes and preferences are the main key for choosing a milk alternative.

Don't expect it to taste like cows milk. It is a product that can be used in places some people traditionally use cows milk, It is not made to taste like it.

If you don't know which one to choose, when cooking use the plain unsweetened, where there is ONLY soybeans and water on the ingredients. Any other ingredients, even when it says unsweetend, can alter the taste in the final product.

Nutritional Value of Soymilk

Plain, unfortified soymilk is an excellent source of high-quality protein, B-vitamins and iron. Some brands of soymilk are fortified with vitamins and minerals and are good sources of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12. Soymilk is free of the milk sugar lactose and is a good choice for people who are lactose intolerant. Also, it is a good alternative for those who are allergic to cow's milk. Children can enjoy homemade or commercially prepared soymilk after the age of 1 year. Infants under 1 year of age should be fed breast milk, commercially prepared infant formula or commercial soymilk infant formula.


READYMADE vegan food
Food to keep on hand
Ingredients to avoid
VEGAN recipes
Choosing a SOYMILK
VEGAN menu ideas
In the NEWS
FAMOUS Vegans & Vegetarians
Vegan Shopping
Great Links

Notes from the Author


vegan wolf animation

vegan firm tofu

also known as soybean curd, is a soft, cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant. Traditionally, the curdling agent used to make tofu is nigari, a compound found in natural ocean water, or calcium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral. Curds also can be produced by acidic foods like lemon juice or vinegar. The curds then are generally pressed into a solid block.

In recipes, tofu acts like a sponge and has the miraculous ability to soak up any flavor that is added to it.

Types of Tofu

Three main types of tofu are available in American grocery stores.

Firm/ extra firm tofu is dense and solid and holds up well in stir fry dishes, soups, or on the grill... anywhere that you want the tofu to maintain its shape. Firm tofu also is higher in protein, fat and calcium than other forms of tofu. Usually found in water, in a plastic bag or carton in the refrigerated section.

Soft tofu is a good choice for recipes that call for blended tofu.

Silken tofu is made by a slightly different process that results in a creamy, custard-like product. Silken tofu works well in pureed or blended dishes, or beverages. Usually found in aseptic (cardboard-like) packages on shelves.

TOFU TIP: For Stir frying or baking PRESS the firm extra firm tofu before using. Place tofu betweeen a cotton cloth and put something heavy on top of it for an hour or longer.

Another TOFU TIP: FREEZE tofu, then thaw before cooking for a slightly chewier texture.

Tofu Nutrition Facts

Tofu is rich in high-quality protein. It is also a good source of B-vitamins and iron. When the curdling agent used to make tofu is calcium salt, the tofu is an excellent source of calcium. While 50 percent of the calories in tofu come from fat, a 4-ounce serving of tofu contains just 6 grams of fat. It is low in saturated fat and contains no cholesterol. Generally, the softer the tofu, the lower the fat content. Tofu is also very low in sodium, making it a perfect food for people on sodium-restricted diets.



A "green vegetable" soy bean, Served either in the pod or shelled.

The word edamame means "Beans on Branches'

 The pods are lightly boiled in salted water then the seeds are pushed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers, or lightly strained through the teeth.

Very much like eating Pea Pods, but you don't eat the shell.



 About half of the sugar produced is cane sugar, the other half is beet sugar. There is virtually no difference between them besides originating from different plants, although cane sugar is, in about half of the processors, is bleached using bone char, charcoal made form the bones of animals.

There are many "sugars" on the market. "Sugar in the Raw", Turbinado, or a brown rice syrup, unbleached cane sugar, etc....that can be easily used in place of regular sugar, and most likely have a better nutritional analysys, and environmental impact.


vegan wolf

Vegan Home
vegan foods
keep on hand
to avoid
VEGAN Recipes
Vegan Cooking Tips
Choosing a SOYMILK
Meatless Meats
In the NEWS
Famous Vegetarians
Vegan Shopping
Great Links
Authors Notes.