From how to navigate the grocery store to what to keep in your pantry, Plant-Based Eating can be overwhelming at first.
I hope that you made it through the menu planning page in Try It and have identified several meals that you will prepare for the week ahead.
Eating a plant-based diet does not have to be complicated. The simpler the better. The next step will be to evaluate what you have in your kitchen and what you will need to buy at the grocery store.
Plant-Based Grocery Shopping
Develop your shopping list from the list of ingredients for your meal plan. Determine what you have and what you do not. At first your shopping list will be crowded with items that you either do not have on hand or are unfamiliar with. That is okay. It will get easier as time goes on and you continue on this path of healthy living. I have prepared a top 15 list of ingredients that will make your initial foray a little bit easier. You don’t need to invest your dollars in a ton of fresh fruits and veggies at first. Frozen varieties do just fine when you are starting out. You can throw in some bananas, grapes and apples on your first grocery trip if you enjoy eating these fresh. The ingredients listed here are versatile enough that you can prepare a bunch of meals just with these combinations. Pick a couple from each group for your first foray.
The Right Food
#1: Spices. Pick a few of the basics: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, smoky paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, mild curry powder, mustard, ginger
#2: Flavorings. Including low sodium soy sauce or tamari, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup
#3: Condiments. Ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce (just watch the ingredients for hidden substances)
#4: Fresh minced garlic. – not packed in oil
#5: Plant-based milk. There are many to choose from soy, almond, oat, hemp, etc.
#6: Frozen veggies. Including chopped broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, chopped onions, corn, blackened corn, peas
#7: Frozen Breads. Whole wheat, whole grain bread, pitas, and/or corn tortillas
#8: Pasta. Whole wheat and whole grain, examples include spaghetti, linguini, soba, elbows
#9: Canned Goods. Beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, white)
#10: Dried Goods: Whole wheat flour, corn meal, brown rice, quinoa
#11: Vegetable Broth. Low sodium
#12: Baking Powder.
#13: Nutritional Yeast. A deactivated yeast product that has a strong nutty or cheesy flavor and is used as a cheese substitute in many plant-based recipes
#14: Potatoes. Red, Yukon, Russet – pick your favorite
#15: Cacao. One of the rawest forms of chocolate made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans
The Right Equipment
For kitchen utensils and equipment you don’t have to go out and buy anything right away. You can make do with a sharp knife and a can opener if you want to really keep it simple. However, I have provided you a list that you can either gather from your kitchen or add to it on your visits to the grocery store or order from Amazon.
My top favorite kitchen equipment and utensils for the beginner include:
#1: High speed blender – Vitamix is the king but there are others that do a very good job like the Ninja Professional Blender and don’t cost a small fortune
#2: Food processor – My personal favorite is the Breville Sous Chef food processor, although there are lots of choices.
#3: Electric pressure cooker and/or Slow cooker – I have a Fagor Pressure Cooker which is my all time most used appliance and saves me hours of cooking time each week
#4: Paring knife and chef’s knife – try the Westhof for your Chef’s prep knife or I have heard great things about ceramic knives from Cuisinart
#5: Hand-held can opener – For back to basics you can try the Kuhn Ricon Safety can opener, a handheld non electronic opener
#6: Vegetable peeler – any peeler will do
#7: Colander – I have six of them since I am always rinsing and draining something
#8: Non-stick cookware – I recommend Calphalon nonstick pans
#9: Measuring cups and spoons – You can never have too many sets
#10: Cutting boards – try a variety of sizes
Resources, Information & Support
We all need support! This site is designed to share lots of resources with you.
Not only that, we’d love it if you joined our local group of Plant-Based foodies in our exclusive Facebook group!
Ready to Get Started?
Let’s work together on your healthy future!
Feel free to email me directly if you have questions about beginning your personal nutritional journey.
Disclaimer: I am a Nutritional Coach and Culinary Instructor and I have a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies via e-Cornell and a Plant-Based teaching certificate from Dr. Neal Barnard’s Physicans Committee For Responsible Medicine. In addition, I have a plant-based culinary certificate from the Rouxbe Culinary Institute. I stand behind all recipes, recommendations and nutrition information provided. Please read my full Legal and Affiliate Disclaimer for more information.