Must haves in my kitchen...

One of my friends asked me to write a blog post on what I can't live without in my kitchen. Food I always have that is easy to build several meals from. I won't mention where I shop for everything as much since everyone lives in different areas and even different countries.

You can figure out which stores sell most of what you need but you may need to hit more than one store to get all of your ingredients. Here is a list of foods that I always have on hand:
Vegan cheese: Daiya or Trader Joe's brand, both mozzerella and cheddar (TJ's only sells mozz).
Vanilla unsweetened almond milk. Shop around and try a few different brands.
Whole grains (choose your favorites, buy a few): brown rice, barley, rolled oats, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), tempah

Proteins: beans, any kind, quinoa, tofu, flavored protein powder, fake meats that are soy based such as tofurkey turkey slices. I get the smoked hickory flavor, so delicious for a panini with cheese! Boca has a vegan veggie burger, make sure it says vegan. Or you can make your own by following my veggie burger recipes :) There are also brands that sell fake ground meat, vegan cream cheese (tofutti brand), and Tofurkey sells a Thanksgiving feast for vegans.

Veggies: expand your pallet! My favs are kale, spinach, daikon (pronounce die-con), radish, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, avocado etc etc, try to buy organic from small local growers
Fruit: again, buy fruit you've never had before. I love strawberries, blueberries, papaya, mangos, pears, red apples, peaches, also buy organic.

When you're following a cleanse or detoxing, avoid the fake meats. Or just eat them one day a week. Eat fruits and veggies and whole grain if you are doing a strong cleanse and don't eat anything processed. If your newly vegan or trying to be vegan, rely on the fake meats to ease you into it. A tofurkey and cheese panini with tomato tastes exactly the same to me as real turkey would. Slowly add the fruits, veggies and whole grains into your diet more and more.

So go forth and be veg as much as you can!! Don't let your kitchen lack any of the above staple foods. If you have nothing else in the house, brown rice and barley with veggies is a filling, nutritious dinner. Add tofu to it.