As you begin to transition to a plant based diet, there are some staples you need in your pantry. Having the basics really makes meal preparation simple. So, here are a few items I recommend for your shopping list.

Beans and bean products

Milk Substitutes

Rice, Almond or Coconut milk

Fortified non-dairy milk

Butter Substitues

Earth Balance makes lots of vegan butter options and they are all delicious

Cheese Substitutes

Vegan Cheddar & Mozzarella (I like Daiya; it’s soy and gluten free and it has a consistency very much like regular cheese)

Nutritional yeast (has the same salty, nutty taste as parmesan and delicious sprinkled on popcorn)

Meat Substitues – I personally don’t eat many faux meats, but I have a couple that I really enjoy: Gardein products and Amy’s. Both of these brands primarily consist of vegetable ingredients and no soy.


Truvia (stevia for coffee and tea)


Honey (it’s not considered vegan, but I eat honey. I especially like the raw varieties, even though they are a bit more expensive)


Nuts are high in protein and can be added to almost any meal. I like slivered almonds and walnuts on salads and in my oatmeal or just for snacks.

I also love almond butter and peanut butter. Kroger has a really good natural brand of peanut butter that is inexpensive and doesn’t contain any added sugars. It’s just peanuts and salt. Please read the labels on your nut butters, many of them have added sugars.


Vegetables – any and all fresh in season organic vegetables (more reasonably priced when in season) Eat as many vegetables as you like, especially leafy greens. My favorites are Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Asparagus, Cabbage, & Collards.


Fruit – any and all fresh in season fruits (when possible, purchase organic – especially the dirty dozen.)

Organic Vegetable Broth 

Whole Foods, Imagine Foods or Pacific Natural make organic veggie broth, can be used to sauté and to steam veggies.

Whole Grains –

Brown rice

Quinoa – (I like to make a batch to add to salads, beans, and stir-fry veggies) The best thing about Quinoa is it’s a complete protein.



Tempeh – love the marinated Maple smoked bacon tempeh at Whole Foods. Perfect for a vegan BLT. (I recommend eating only in moderation)

Protein Powder – Plant-based protein powders mixed in smoothies made of almond milk and fruit.  I love Vega products which are sold at Whole Foods.

 Soba Noodles

Cook them in a broth and top with veggies

Beans – High source of protein!

Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc