Before becoming a pescatarian, I felt as though something was missing on my plate if it didn't have a piece of meat on it. To be honest, I never really enjoyed cooking. It wasn't until I cut meat out of my meals and adopted a more plant-based lifestyle that I did because it allowed me to get creative in the kitchen. I had chosen to just work with what falls under a plant-based or pescatarian lifestyle, in my case, but I wasn't really sure what that entailed at first. If you're a newcomer then you may feel limited starting off but soon enough you'll realize that the options are surprisingly endless. Stocking your refrigerator and pantry with these kitchen staples will make cooking and actually enjoying meatless meals easier.
Rice, Pasta, and Potatoes
Keep a good supply of different rice options like brown, basmati, and jasmine. Other grains like quinoa and couscous are also good to have on hand as an easy to make and filling base for any dish. I also like to have a variety of different pasta shapes and sizes. Potatoes make a great addition to meals, especially because of the different kinds and ways they can be cooked.
Sandwich bread, Naan, and Corn Tortillas are all such simple items but so much can be done with them. You can get really creative with a sandwich if you wanted to. As for Naan, I make my daughter "Pizza Lunchables" out of it. I personally enjoy it toasted with fresh avocado spread over it for breakfast or a snack. Corn tortillas are a healthier alternative to flour tortillas, they work wonders with wraps (as long as you don't over stuff them) and tacos.
Whether your choice of beans comes dry or in a can, I'm sure that we can agree that making beans is so easy. They can be eaten whole, puréed, or even baked into treats (and you wouldn't even be able to tell!) It's such a versatile pantry staple that you'll never get sick of because there are just so many different types of beans and ways to incorporate them in a meal.
Oats (Quick, rolled, or steel-cut)
There are always oats in my pantry. Whether it's to make oatmeal for breakfast, home-made energy balls, granola bars, or an additive to smoothies.
Nuts, Nut butter, and seeds
Nuts and seeds provide healthy plant oils and protein. You can make milk, cheese, sour cream, dressings, and pasta sauce for a Fettuccine Alfredo dish for example from a variety of different nuts and seeds. You can also make your smooth and creamy nut butter.
I like to use Coconut oil as a base to cook with and to bake. Check out a previous blog post HERE on how I use Coconut oil in my beauty and wellness routine too.
Bragg Nutritional yeast
This seasoning is a must-have! It gives food a cheesy flavor when sprinkled on most foods, especially salads, vegetables and pasta. It's low-sodium, cholesterol-free, and healthy addition to many recipes.
Bragg Amino Acid liquid
I use this seasoning as a replacement to soy sauce. It's great for stir-fry, lo mein, on veggies and in home-made sauces.
I have two favorite brands I use for egg replacement. To make scrambled eggs or an omelette, I use Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs. As for baking, I use Bob Red Mills Egg Replacer.
There’s a variety of brands and products that make meatless meats and even seafood such as fish sticks and crab cakes. My family and I started trying something new each time we went grocery shopping. This allowed us to narrow down our likes and dislikes. My favorite brands are Gardein and Morningstar. Meatless products serve as a sustainable protein that have the texture and nutrition of meat with less fat and calories.
Plant-based milk and yogurt
I don't really have a favorite brand for plant-based milk but Almond milk is by far my favorite nut milk. It goes in everything- my cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, and baked goods. Lately, I've been really into yogurts too. My two favorite brands are Silk and So Delicious. They are both so smooth and natural tasting.
Vegan Mayo and Butter
There are mayo and butter alternatives that not only look but taste like the egg-based and mayo and dairy-based butter. I like the brands Just Mayo as well as I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
Fruits and Vegetables
The possibilities go on and on with fruits and veggies. They can be used to make natural juices and smoothies, which is an easy way to sneak in any that your little one may not want to eat otherwise. Fruits and veggies make a healthy and satisfying main entree, side, or snack. The best part is that you can buy them fresh or frozen and since there's so many uses for them it doesn't matter how much you buy because you'll always find a way to incorporate them in your drinks and meals.
*Remember to always read the labels. I only recommend products I use personally and/or believe will add value to readers.