THE BASICS – Stocking Up Your Pantry

Although it may seem overwhelming, preparing your kitchen for plant-based eating is easier than you might think.  As an added bonus, you just might find yourself saving money on your weekly food bill.  Staple foods such as beans (dried or canned), potatoes (white or sweet), squash and bags of brown rice have a low dollar to weight ratio that can more than offset the higher costs of seasonal vegetables and fruit.

Here is a list of food items that we try to keep on hand most of the time.  This is by no means an exhaustive list.  You may enjoy different plant-based foods than we do so feel free to personalize these suggestions.


Fresh vegetables:  Carrots, celery, greens (kale, spinach, arugula, chard, cilantro), sweet peppers, squash, onions, garlic, ginger, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, white potatoes, sweet potatoes

Frozen vegetables:  Peas, corn, green beans, edemame

Sun-dried tomatoes

Legumes (dried or canned):  Black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas

Grains:  Rolled oats, bulgar wheat, buckwheat, barley, brown rice, brown basmati rice, black rice, red rice, quinoa, cornmeal, whole grain pasta, whole-grain bread, whole-grain tortillas, whole-wheat flour or other whole-grain flour, chickpea flour

Fruit:  Fresh fruit is best, followed by frozen.  Eat canned fruit sparingly.

Fresh fruit:  Bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruits, pears

Frozen fruit:  Strawberries, blueberries, mangos

Canned fruit:  Peaches, pears, pineapples, fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, applesauce

Dried fruit:  Raisins, cranberries, dates, prunes

Seeds:  Flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds

Nuts (all unsalted):  Cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts

Peanut butter or other nut butter, honey, jam, hummus


Tofu – firm or silken (depending on your favourite recipes)

Non-dairy milk (soy, rice, almond, oat, etc)

Sauces:  Your favourite barbecue sauce, hot sauce, Salsa, tamari or soy sauce, mustard, low sodium/low fat pasta sauce

Vinegars:  cider, rice, balsamic, malt

Oil:  Canola oil

Lemon juice, lime juice

Nutritional yeast, cocoa powder

Canned diced tomatoes

A small amount of white sugar and brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, coconut extract, corn starch or other sauce thickener, vegetable broth powder or cubes

Tea:  Your favourites

A wide range of herbs and spices – important ones for us are basil, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, curry, curry paste, garlic powder, oregano, rosemary, thyme


Happy cooking!

Promoting a healthy adventurous lifestyle powered by plants and the strength of scientific evidence.

My name is Debra Harley (BScPhm) and I welcome you to my retirement project, this website. Over the course of a life many lessons are learned, altering deeply-rooted ideas and creating new passions.

Leave a Comment