In this video, I am interviewing Stephanie about pantry vegan staples and our tips and tricks. Our goal was to help you put to use the tips and tricks that we provide to eat your healthiest, most delicious meals. We live full lives, and this video is going to help you implement easy practices so that you are set up for success with the food already in your kitchen, particularly the staples in your pantry and fridge.
If you have ever wondered what you would find in Stephanie’s or my pantry, what vegan staples we can’t live without, or what tips we have surrounding how to stock your pantry, fridge, or freezer with staples, then this episode is for you.
I love how Stephanie organizes the grocery list for our Vegan Life Coach Academy members. On one side, she puts the pantry list, and on the other side, the produce. Both can be staples, but one can be stocked ahead of time and the other, we have to get fresh every week. Organizing the list in this way allows us to think about what we need to keep in the kitchen and pantry, or the refrigerator every week.
Stephanie always picks a few meals that she is going to have throughout the week, and she chooses them in a way that she can repurpose them, but there are certain vegan foods that she always has on hand … the staples. So when she organizes her grocery list, she organizes it just that way. She puts them in terms of produce and the things she knows she’s going to have to restock because they don’t keep. And then on the other side, she puts her pantry list and those are usually the staples that she knows that she is going to need.
Then she goes into her pantry area and looks for them. She buys lots of items, like chickpeas and quinoa, in bulk. And then she checks each week to make sure that she doesn’t need to replenish them. She notes not to forget spices. And that’s the way she does it. Genius, right?
There are certain non-perishables that I eat every week and it’s so much easier when I buy in bulk too, even though it’s just Christian and I. I know I’m going to eat chickpeas and black beans, all the different legumes. When I purchase those items in bulk, my weekly grocery list is so much smaller. It just makes things so much easier. I definitely recommend stocking up on the non-perishables that you know you’ll be consuming each week.
The way I organize my list, and the way we have our staples list for Vegan Life Coach Academy is by category. We have our nuts, seeds, and berries as one category now; frozen foods is another one. However, you can only go as big as your freezer allows. That’s the only problem there. We usually have more cabinet space or use a storage space, but the freezer is a fantastic place to keep berries. I think sometimes frozen food gets a bad rap, but frozen veggies and fruits are really great staples to keep on hand.
That is how we organize our staples, now let’s move on to some tips surrounding them.
Ella, Tip #1:
Organize your fridge so that when you open the door, you see the things that you want to choose first that are the healthiest food.
Refrigerators are set up to put unhealthy foods in front of us because we have the drawers, the crisper, where you want to put the produce, and then they are hidden away in the drawer. Well, forget all of that. I want all my whole foods at eye level. I want to see the celery, the lettuce, the avocados, and the tomatoes, I want to see all the whole foods right when I open the door. Then, I want to slip in those drawers things like vegan cheeses, vegan Mayo, vegan meats, beyond meat, those sorts of things. Anything that I would consider a treat. I want to put those away, where I have to work a little harder to get to them.
Stephanie, Tip #1:
My tip for people who are transitioning to vegan with families that are not transitioning with them is to do a similar thing. Put those foods away into places where you don’t necessarily see them. My kids are vegan at home, but I don’t restrict them out and I do not ban people from bringing food in. So those items always go into the bottom drawer along with those things that I don’t necessarily want to eat all the time that they do. For example: we have almonds and chocolate pudding right now. Those go into a drawer because if I see that first thing, I am definitely going to want that before the broccoli.
Ella, Tip #2:
My second tip is to cut vegetables right away. I love to bring home different dips and hummus but if I bring a big thing of celery and I put the celery whole into the refrigerator, the chance of that getting eaten when I’m in a hurry and I just need a quick snack is going to be slim. I’m not going to take the celery out, wash it, cut it. I’m going to probably choose something else. So my trick is, when I get home from the grocery store with celery, and I’m just using that as one example, I immediately just go ahead and cut it, wash it. I put it in a big Tupperware with water. It seems to stay really well there.
Stephanie, Tip #2:
My biggest time-saver is to decide how much time you want to spend meal-prepping and really give yourself that permission to say, “I really only want to spend 30 minutes meal-prepping.” Or “I really only want to spend an hour meal-prepping.” When you box yourself into meal-prepping, it becomes drudgery, and eventually, you’re going to give it up. My biggest time-savers are those vegan foods that take a lot of time to cook. I cook beans, quinoa, and do some veggie prep on the weekends and that’s it. I don’t do anything else.
We hope this episode and the tips we shared save you time as you stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with staples so that you can eat healthy, delicious, and nutritious meals conveniently.