Cupboard heroes for Vegans

If I received a chocolate bar for everytime people said to me, “I wish I could be vegan. I just wouldn’t know what to eat” then I’d be swimming in a lake of melted goodness in Charlie’s factory by now. Admittingly, I struggled to always find daily creative recipes that were tasty when I started my plant-based journey three years ago. Overtime, I’ve found most of my meals come from statement ingredients in my cupboard. If you're going Vegan this January, don’t settle for beans on toast or chips and ketchup. You should feel proud you're helping to save our planet so get your nose into your online shopping, and get these in the basket to make some delicious recipes for Veganuary.

NUMBER ONE

This is the breakfast, afternoon, and dinner superhero. Vegan recipes are always throwing a tablespoon of this goodness into the mix. Dribble Mayle Syrup inbetween pancakes, cake it over tofu for bacon pieces, use it for peanut butter cookies or Asian stir fry sauces; this mighty bottle makes you give the bee’s back their sticky honey and fall in love with sweet, reduced sugar, dishes.

NUMBER TWO

When I visited Sri Lanka, I was amazed at how many variations of Lentils there are in the world. Red, Green, Black, Yellow; you could have a rainbow plate with these meals. Lentils can be used in a variety of your vegan dishes, from curries to stuffed peppers, spicy sides to flavorsome soups, they fill you up with rich goodness, high in protein and low in fat, which makes them a healthy substitute for meat. If you’re a newbie, then start off with the cans in water as they are easy to use in the pan. The more experimental you get down the line means you can start buying different colours to soak overnight.

NUMBER 3

I was transformed by this cupboard god. Jackfruit seemed like such an odd ingredient for me when I started getting fed up with vegetables some days, as my dad would say, ‘Sorry, but you want me to put a lump of fruit in my dinner.” But it’s flavour and texture is so succulent that it’s incredibly tender in a variety of ways. Used for barbeque shredded tacos, quinoa bowls, stews, and chili’s, you can achieve countless ideas with the little tine found in most supermarkets.

NUMBER 4

I vividly remember glaring at this product and thinking, “…that looks like the blandest tasteless block of soy I’ve ever seen.” Tofu has expanded hugely across the UK, with the firm and silken products meaning you can expand out your dishes with spices and sauces. Use paprika or soy sauce to soak the ingredients to knock in some taste. I’ve made some of my best recipes from this little king. Use if for vegan scrambled eggs, blend it for cheesecakes, fry cubes for stir fry, and even bread them for Captain Birdseye fish fingers. It’s the artist within the pack, helping you never miss the slaughtered animals you once craved.

NUMBER FIVE

Anyone that knows me understands that before going vegan, I always had sachets of almonds and peanuts in my kitchen. Nuts pack a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E. They can also be used for a variety of sauces, like blending cashews for pasta dishes, crushing walnuts for carrot cakes, mixing in with granola, or grinding in with noodle bowls. They add a crunch to most vegan dishes that leaves you giddy for more.

Film Critic, Film Writer, Film Journalist. HI. www.itsnotthatboring.com