Vegan Must-Have List 

The easiest way to keep eating vegan fun & easy is to have ready to go ingredients made & ready to put together. Having ingredients ready to go is also a great idea to make dinners quick & easy! 

Brown Rice & Quinoa - Making these easy grains in bulk is great to throw in salads or have with beans & salsa for a fiesta feel. I make both of these in the rice cooker with water & a bay leaf. 

Nuts - Chopped & Whole; Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios... They are great to snack on & awesome to throw on salads. 

Chopped Veggies - Keeping a small container of chopped cucumber, tomatoes & onions is super convenient for making salads on the go. 

Frozen Fruit - For smoothies! My favorites are Strawberries & Blueberries (Great Value makes a large bag NO ADDED SUGAR option). I also buy bananas & cut up the ones that are just about too ripe & freeze those for smoothies as well. 

Almond Milk - I love the ALMOND BREEZE unsweetened vanilla one best! Perfect for smooties, cereal, or as a pairing for cookies! Vegans can still have fun ;) 

Spring Mix / Spinach / Lettuce /Kale - Salads, wraps, veggie burgers... Types of lettuce in the house opens up a lot of possibilities. I don't enjoy the taste of kale really so I stick to throwing that in my morning smooties. 

Plant based Protein Powder - Protein Powder is a great thing to have on hand to add to baked goods & smoothies. Anywhere you can add some protein in via powder, I say go for it! My favs: VEGA Protein & Greens Vanilla; ORGAIN Organic Protein Creamy Chocolate Fudge. 

Easy & Quick Snacks - Something I have learned from becoming vegan is I digest faster & my body is far more effeciant however, I need to eat far more often & that is when super easy & ready to go snacks on hand. They are definitely higher in sugar then some other options but these are something I have on hand for those days when I just don't have time to make something & I need food NOW: THE COMPLETE COOKIE. There are tons of different flavors, they are fresh baked & delicious. They are great for a quick snack or added to some coconut milk ice cream to jazz up an awesome sweet treat! 

Dairy free Ice Cream - Craving sweets is when I am at my weakest, so I always have something on hand to satisfy that! I love the SOdelicious COCONUT MILK Vanilla No Sugar Added option! They also make Chocolate, Mint Chip & Butter Pecan in the No Sugar Added option which are also awesome! 

Tofutti Sour Cream & Cream Cheese - I have yet to find a vegan cheese that I can even stand but the Tofutti Sour Cream & Cream Cheese are amazing! My favorite thing to do is make ranch dip with the sour cream! (KROGER BRAND's ranch mix is the only dip mix I have found that doesn't have any milk products in it! WIN!) 

Pinto, Black & Garbanzo Beans - All excellent beans to have on hand for salads. I strongly suggest making beans yourself from bags of dry beans. It is a cheaper way to buy in bulk & will majorly cut down on sodium & preservatives. 

COOKING BEANS FROM SCRATCH 

  1. Rinse Beans well in strainer 
  2. Add beans & water to a pot & bring water to a boil then cover & let sit for at least 1 hour
    (If you have more time you can just let the beans soak overnight for this step)
  3. Drain & wash beans again 
  4. Add beans to new water & set stove top to Medium/High heat
  5. Bring to a boil then turn down to a low simmer boil to cook for 30 minutes 
  6. Check beans after 30-45 minutes for proper tenderness

**TIP: I like to cook these without adding any salt or spices so that I can season them for whatever meal I'm making at the moment & they work for everything. 
***Only make enough beans at one time to last 3-5 days. Without all the preservatives & added sodium beans go bad quickly after 5 or so days. 

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