Congrats! You’ve decided to go vegan and never support any animal-abusing industry again!

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Now what? First things first, if your pantry looks like this:

Vienna Sausages

The best thing to do with your unwanted food is to donate it to your local homeless shelter or food bank, where it will be appreciated. ATTENTION: Your trash can will NOT appreciate these items. Don’t waste—donate!

Once your pantry is cleared of the nasty stuff, take a deep breath and savor the moment. Your pantry has just gone vegan. Traces of death will no longer litter your kitchen and weigh upon your conscience.

Get Down to Basics

BEANS

Beans are everything, people. Talk about some plant-based protein! One can of black beans has 18 grams of protein, zero cholesterol, and zero guilt. Plus, there are so many different varieties of beans that you’ll never get bored. Stock up on vegetarian refried beans (hola, bean dip!), black beans, garbanzo beans (did someone say homemade hummus?), kidney beans, and more. So many beans—get them all!

bean cheese waffleYou can make some #basic rice and beans or effin’ bean and vegan cheese waffles, or straight up eat them out of the can. #LibraryFood #ExamWeekStruggs

RICE banner

Get this ish in bulk. Rice can be the base of so many delish meals. You could make your own sushi, a variety of bomb burritos, pumpkin curry, rice pudding, and many other meals. Do I really need to explain the importance of rice?

flour banner

OK—if you don’t have a sweet tooth, move on, friend. As for the rest of you—you are my people. If you’re not opposed to eating gluten, check out the One-Minute Brownie Sundae and Ariana-esque Snickerdoodles or build your very own vegan gingerbread house!

PEANUT BUTTER banner

You may remember this item from your childhood—or five minutes ago when you ate it off a spoon. My advice: Eat it off a spoon. Or step it up and make vegan pad Thai, PB ice cream, the classic PB&J, chocolate peanut butter cups, or DIY vegan ramen. I’ve said my piece. You can continue licking that spoon.

BREAD banner

You can use bread for everything. Have avocado toast for breakfast, PB&J for lunch, and a Mediterranean Artichoke Bean Sammie for dinner.

Oats

Oats just aren’t what they used to be. They’re SO MUCH BETTER. Spice up an otherwise lame breakfast with Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal or Banana Breakfast Bars, or add some extra protein to your Berry Power Smoothie! Or straight up put them on your face for a DIY face mask. Yeah. I went there.

VEGETABLE BROTH banner

You won’t regret having vegetable broth on hand, especially at the end of a wintry day while snow piles up outside, igloo-style. Soup broth is especially handy when you’ve overstocked on veggies. Just toss those into your broth, spice it up, and simmer. Soups are IN!

Pasta banner

This is a #brokeass basic that will get you through the coldest and darkest of times—it’s the cure to a winter storm. Who really cares what’s going on outside if you have a classy bowl of spaghetti primavera or Spinach-Avocado Pasta warming your lap? Not to mention the possibility of mac ‘n’ cheese. #DinnerInBed

TORTILLA CHIPS
Nachos | Christian Schnettelker | CC BY 2.0 

How else are you going to eat all that bean dip and salsa? Also, NACHOS.

Get Saucy

Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is an Italian classic and a must-have for any pantry, really. Douse your pasta, spaghetti squash, zoodles, or homemade English Muffin Pizza for some saucy satisfaction.

SALSA banner

Delicious Salsa | Ginny | CC BY-SA 2.0 

You never know when you’re going to need a hot-salsa fix. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so stock up on these bad boys for all your eating needs.
Soy Sauce

There’s basically no point to any of this without soy sauce. You could throw a bag of your least fave veggie in a pan, douse it in soy sauce, and feel like a master chef. It tastes that good. We hope never to find out what Avocado Sushi or 60-Second Tofu Scramble taste like without a li’l soy sauce.

HOT SAUCE
Siracha Hot Sauce | Austin Kirk | CC by 2.0 

OK, if you weren’t using hot sauces before, you were doing life wrong. Tapatío, Sriracha, and Cholula are life essentials.

pad thai, tofu fail

Now you know.

Get Fancy

Ramen

Because that is how basic we are. Sometimes, ya just need a self-contained microwavable meal to feel like an accomplished broke-ass vegan. Don’t worry—here comes the fancy part. RAMEN FOOD HACKS!

NUTRITIONAL YEAST
Hefeflocken Naturata | Alex Ex | CC BY-SA 3.0 

I cannot image that #VeganLife without the cheesy goodness of nutritional yeast (aka “nooch”) on EVERYTHING. Literally, put it on popcorn and in cheezy broccoli soups, tofu scrambles, and so much more. Although it’s available at most grocery stores, it has “fancy” status because you might have to hit up a health-food store or order it on Amazon to taste the joy. #Exclusive

CASHEWS
Cashews | Bethan 

These li’l guys seem so innocent and plain, but they’re the secret ingredient to anything you want to be rich and creamy. Seriously, just toss these into a soup broth to get some creaminess. You can also use them to make No-Bake Cookie ‘Cheesecake’ Cupcakes, Cashew Mac and Cheese, and smoothies!

TURMERIC banner
Turmeric | Steven Jackson | CC by 2.0 

Why am I telling you to buy turmeric?! Well, first of all, it’s so super-healthy for you (it may even prevent some types of cancer), and it adds a great yellow/orange color to your foods. You can find it in the spices section of most grocery stores! Let’s be real—a block of tofu only looks like this if you add a li’l something extra:

tofu egg salad

You’ve made it! Your pantry is officially stocked with cruelty-free foods that will actually make you want to roll out of bed in the morning. If you need help with the grocery shopping itself, check this out.

If you’re still lost in the woods, you can text peta2 staffer Emily, and she’ll be able to help you out with all your questions:

Emily Rohr Boards Pic

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