Today I wanted to do something a little bit different. Today I wanted to share with you a number of items that can’t miss in any pantry, whether your vegan or not. Not everyone might be able to eat all of these because of allergies or digestive issues, but if you can they’re absolute must-haves. Nothing fancy, but definitely needed basics. In my opinion at least. If I don’t have any one of these items around there’s probably something wrong.
Yes, really. Rice. Rice may seem a little obvious, but sometimes it seems to be so obvious it makes it’s way under the radar. Honestly, rice does not get enough credit in my opinion. There’s so little needed to make a bowl of rice into a nice meal. Perfect if you’re on a tight budget. And if you think rice is boring, I recommend trying out some different varieties. My personal favourites are Thai jasmin rice and Japanese short grain rice.
Another item that seems rather boring, but is very versatile. Honestly, homemade bread is so much better than store bought. And way cheaper too. Sure, it may take a little practice, but trust me, it’s worth it. And of course plain bread is not the only thing that can made with flour, how about pizza, pie crust and numerous sweet treats. You can even go as far as making your own pasta and noodles. But if baking simply isn’t an option for you then a bunch of bread in the freezer will do just fine.
3: Wheat gluten
Gluten? Yes. Also known as vital wheat gluten this is an amazing option to make your own meat substitutes. Obviously not everyone can eat this, but if you can, check it out! If you’re a meat eater and have no interest in ditching it, this might not be for you, but I’ve noticed many vegetarians have never heard of it, so if you’re one of those people be sure to give it a try. Add plenty of spices though.
4: Soy sauce
I use soy sauce to flavour so many foods. Anything from classic Asian dishes to homemade meat substitutes. Whenever it suits a dish I use it instead of salt because it has so much more flavour. This one also usually contains gluten, but gluten free options do exist.
Miso is another great staple to add flavour to dishes. Besides soups and sauces this is also a great ingredient to add umami flavour to vegan meat alternatives.
While we’re on things with great flavour, garlic can’t miss. I think this one goes without explanation though.
7: Hot sauce
I think this one goes without an explanation too. My personal favourites are sriracha and sambal. Although sambal can contain fish or shrimp (trassi!) so be sure to check the ingredients, but there’s a great variety of sambal and plenty are vegan.
8: Corn starch
Moving on from flavour we get texture. Corn starch may be tasteless, but it still can lift your dishes so much. I mostly use this for two things. The first is to coat tofu for frying. This gives the tofu an amazing crispy layer. It does have to fried unfortunately, not baked. The second is to thicken sauces. I used to buy pre-made stir fry sauces, but learning this trick has change my life. Making your own stir fry sauces is so much cheaper and tastes so much better. Once you’ve tried it there’s no going back, honestly.
9: Fermented and pickled vegetables
I’ve talked a lot about taste and texture so far, but of course some nutritional value in our staples is important too. I love having fermented and pickled vegetables on hand. Specially homemade ones. Making your own kimchi or sauerkraut may take about an afternoon of work, but then you have convenient and tasty veggies on hand for weeks. Of course frozen veggies are great too, but a huge plus of fermented and pickled veggies is that you don’t have to cook them, which means you can even use them as condiments.
10: Sprouting seeds
I love sprouts for the same reasons as the fermented veggies. These too are incredibly nutritious and tasty and also great as a condiment. Sprouts are fantastic if you like growing your own food but don’t really have the space. Plus, if you grow them yourself it’s super easy to always have them on hand and it’s way cheaper than buying them. Lately I’ve even started growing my own bean sprouts. Yum!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into my kitchen and cooking methods. Stay tuned if you want to read more kitchen hacks, recipes, what I eat posts, life updates and more. See you next time!