When you first jump into implementing a plant-based lifestyle, one of the first things you’ll want to do is set up your plant-based kitchen for success.
And to help you do that, I’ve highlighted a few tips below that will make this transition much easier!
The first thing you’ll want to do is a kitchen reset/assessment. Turn on your favorite music (check out my Spotify Cooking Playlist for some ideas), and start organizing your kitchen and fridge to get ready for a more plant-based lifestyle. Go through cupboards, assess what you have, and get rid of (or give away) any processed foods that include dairy or meat.
If you live in a home where everyone is on board, it’s MUCH easier.
But what if you live with other meat-eaters who are not willing to embrace this lifestyle 100%? This discussion deserves a lot more attention (I’ll be posting another article about this later), but it can really vary depending on family dynamics, openness of others in the household, etc.
So if you live in a house where tossing meat or dairy is not an option, my best advice would be to section off areas of your fridge and pantry that are entirely dedicated to the food you’ll be eating.
Below is a photo of one of my cupboards to give you an idea of how I like to organize. I use Pop containers that I purchased at the Container Store. Keep in mind; it took 2 trips to the store, as well as a lot of measuring and planning (and $) to make this work. But it’s so worth it!
*Also note- not ALL my cupboards look like this. It’s a work-in-progress! =)
So bottom line, this new way of life starts in the kitchen, so it’s hands-down the best place to start getting organized.
The next logical place to look is the actual food you are eating. Below is a basic list to show you what I would recommend as a starting point for your plant-based kitchen.
- Essential Items
- Whole Grains
- Beans and Legumes (dried and canned)
- Condiments and Sauces (store-bought or make your own)
- Herbs and Spices
- Whole Food Fats
- Other (tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc.)
I’ve included some ideas in the chart below, but for a MUCH more detailed list, check out this article ‘Plant Based Grocery List‘ which includes a FREE downloadable Shopping List PDF + tons of ideas for foods you can keep in your kitchen.
Where to Shop
Since you are now plant-based, your current grocery store may or may not be the best place to find the best ingredients. You’ll be eating a lot of organic produce, so finding a grocery store with a lot of organic options will be important.
- Check out local farmer’s markets (the Agricultural Marketing Service has a helpful list of farmer’s markets in your area).
- Trader Joe’s is amazing (and generally affordable).
- Whole Foods has an incredible organic produce section and everything you could ever imagine (though generally pricy).
- Depending on where you live, you’ll find different options near you (such as King Soopers, Fresh Thyme, Fresh Approach, Ralphs, Giant Food, Shop Rite, Wegmans, Target, Fred Meyer, Publix, Aldi, Kroger, Safeway, Hy-Vee, Costco and more).
- Don’t feel like leaving the house? Thrive Market is an online store with tons of organic brands.
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
Lastly, it’s important to make sure you have the necessary tools & equipment needed to prep and prepare plant-based meals. I put together this list of my “20 Kitchen Tools & Equipment“.
This is a great list to see all of the things I use in my kitchen. But I wanted to also share a few things that are NOT on that list:
- Nut milk bags (necessary for making your own nut milk)
- Parchment paper (great for baking)
- Salad spinner (helps to keep your greens nice and dry after washing)
- Small coffee grinder (for grinding flax seeds, spices)
- Tofu press (for pressing out the moisture of your tofu blocks)
- Mortar and pestle (not necessary, but a fun tool for making guacamole or crushing spices)
I hope these tips will help you prepare better for your plant-based kitchen! For more support, check out these “Resources for Plant-Based Living” with over 150 suggestions of educational sites, books, documentaries, cookbooks, FB groups, apps, and much more!
And find even more helpful tips and tools on my “Veg Resources” page. =)