KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

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I am hoping this will be helpful to new vegans and/or new cooks. Based on the things that I always have on hand & so based on the meals that I usually cook, here is what I think make for kitchen essentials

Herbs/spices/condiments/sauces

  • Hot sauce
  • Ketchup
  • BBQ
  • Mayo – preferably Vegenaise  and not the soy free version
  • Pink salt (aka Himalayan pink salt. It’s like when I was trying to talk my friend Eszter into watching BBC’s Night Manager. I told her Tom Hiddleston was in it. I then wanted to go on and on about how good it was; it’s slick, intense, beautiful, cool etc but she was just like stop. I’ll watch it. You had me at Tom Hiddleston. And I’m like that with pink salt. It has so many additional health benefits than using regular white salt but I don’t really know what they are because I was like guys stop. It’s pink! I’m already buying shares)
  • Lemon pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Sage
  • Curry powder
  • Garam masala
  • Chilli powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Apple sauce
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Mustard
  • Bouillon
  • Olive oil/coconut oil/veg oil – I mainly use coconut oil when frying (I don’t think it tastes like coconut, but some people do), veg oil for baking/roasting and olive oil for fresh
  • Tomato purée – I love adding this to chilli, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, homemade hot sauce
  • Tahini – a sesame seed pasted I use for hummus and for adding to salad dressings
  • Engevita yeast flakes – I use this in pasta sauce, as a sprinkle on top of pasta and in my cheese sauces

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Fridge Classics

  • Almond Milk – is my preference. Soy is OK but I prefer the taste of almond milk and I’ve not tried any oat or rice milk yet
  • Butter – I like vitalite the best
  • Silken tofu – cooking with tofu frightened me for absolutely ages. If we were ever having it it would have to be on one of the nights that Tom was cooking as he is the King of Tofu, The Tofu Whisperer etc. But recently I have conquered my fear of cooking with it. Basically I just don’t bother draining it any more. Obviously I pour out the excess liquid that it’s packed in but I no longer spend ages stacking a load of pans and thick books on top to get out the excess liquid because it’s just not a necessary step in my opinion. I love to just slice it up into cubes or steaks and fry it. I love that tofu will soak up every flavour you throw at it. If you think tofu is bland then you’re just not spicing it well enough. Don’t like the texture of tofu? Cook it differently! Shallow Frying, deep frying, baking… Getting firm tofu instead of silken… There will be a tofu you like and that’s the tofu guarantee
  • Gin – oops how did that get on this list

Fresh Fruit

  • Bananas – I don’t much like bananas but you can’t argue with how perfect they are to have around. A fruit in its own little house. Amazing. Also, you can’t make a smoothie without a banana. That’s just science
  • Limes – used as a dressing for most meals, added to gin, squeezed on avocados. Lush!

Favourite fresh veggies – for me it’s the following

  • Courgettes
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Avocado
  • Spring onion
  • Garlic – to prove you’re not a vampire

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Frozen Food – 

  • Peas – you can throw peas in pretty much ANY dish ever and they are so cheap
  • Cauliflower – we are obsessed with making cauliflower wings (I will put this recipe up soon)
  • Kale/pineapple – my smoothie staples along with bananas, fresh spinach, water/ice, flaxseed. I’ll do a separate post about my smoothie staples
  • Sausages/nuggets/burgers – I adore tofu sausages and everything from Fry’s Family. So great to have handy in the freezer for very quick dinners or snacks

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Pantry

  • Dried beans/pulses – my favourites are chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, black eye beans. Plus emergency tinned versions of the dried stuff which is ready to go without having to have planned ahead
  • Cashews – for making macaroni cheese sauce. You’ll want to soak the cashews in water in the fridge for at least half an hour but ideally a bit longer before using them
  • Bread or bagels – keep them in the fridge or freezer if you only eat them toasted.
  • Taco shells – or tortilla wraps. I buy my soft taco shells here
  • Peanut butter / Marmite – for toast, yo
  • Pickled Jalapeños – for adding on/in chilli, tacos, burritos, tofu scramble, taquitos, Mac n cheese, salsa & my version of baba ganoush. I also use the pickle water as it is ace
  • Sundried tomatoes – chopped up into sauces or by themselves in a big veg bowl
  • Brown rice, White rice, Quinoa and/or Pasta – yum

Canned Food – 

  • Chopped tomatoes – always
  • Baked beans – always
  • Coconut milk – to use in soups, pastas, curries
  • Sweetcorn – one of my favourite vegetables. So handy to have around either tinned or frozen

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Snacks

  • Energy bars – For when you get hangry. My favourite brand is Clif (I buy mine from Wiggle), but I also love Trek & Nakd. My motto is chocolate and crisps are for treats and energy bars are for when you are actually hungry
  • Your favourite treats – maybe set up a treat tin for your favourite biscuits/chocolates, have a stash of crisps, your favourite drinks – for me this is fizzy pop, Apple juice & rice cakes with chocolate spread. I’m not allowed to keep crisps in the house as I’d eat them all at once

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So there are mine. Yeah, I like spicy food! What are your kitchen essentials?

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