Do you want to be prepared with vegan staples that you need in case of an emergency or mandatory quarantines? Well, you don't just have to live on beans and rice. Let me show you some easy ways that you can make things like butter, cheese, mayo, sour cream, yogurt, and vegan meats from self-stable items. You can stock up on these ingredients and easily make your own staples as needed.
With the current world pandemic, the talk of prepping is everywhere. I was taking a walk with a friend a few days ago and we started talking about what food we should have on hand if quarantines are put in place. I realized that my family won't have to rely on only pasta and canned foods for weeks on end since I already make most of my own vegan staples like butter, cheese, yogurt, and vegan meats from shelf-stable ingredients.
I recently wrote a cookbook "The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Staples" which includes over 40 recipes for nearly every type of everyday dairy-free staples. Twenty years ago when I went vegan, there weren't many vegan items at the grocery stores, so I learned how to make my own at home. These recipes taste better and are significantly cheaper than store-bought vegan items, so I wrote the cookbook to share these recipes with people who were interested in that - never thinking that they would be useful for prepping too. Somehow it never occurred to me before, but nearly every recipe in the book can be made from shelf-stable ingredients! As long as I have those shelf-stable items, I can make anything my family needs from a few basic ingredients!
These recipes are great for people who live far away from stores or those who want to be prepared in case of a shortage or emergency.
*If you are interested in my Ultimate Guide to Vegan Staples cookbook (that contains all of my homemade vegan staples that can be made from shelf-stable ingredients), I will have the cookbook on sale from now until the coronavirus threat is over. The eBook will be sent to you immediately after purchase. If you want the printed copy, but are worried that it won't arrive in time for you to prepare, email me and I will send you an electronic version to get you through until your printed copy arrives.
- Vegan Butter - made from coconut oil, canola oil, soy milk, lemon juice, salt, and soy lecithin.
- Vegan Cheese - made from coconut milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and agar-agar.
- Smoked Gouda - made from coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt, agar-agar, and liquid smoke.
- Pepper Jack - made from coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt, agar-agar, and peppers.
- Cheddar - made from soy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, turmeric, and agar-agar.
- Garlic Herb - made from coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt, agar-agar, garlic, and herbs.
- Melty Vegan Mozarella Cheese - made from coconut milk, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, salt, and agar-agar.
- Vegan Mayo - made with soy milk, oil, salt, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice.
- Homemade Vegan Coffee Creamer - made from plant-based milk, sugar, and tapioca starch
- Vegan Sour Cream - made from tofu (you can use the shelf-stable silken tofu) oil, salt, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Soy Yogurt - made from shelf-stable soy milk and probiotic.
- Coconut Alfredo Sauce - made from canned coconut milk, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and salt.
- Nacho Cheese Sauce - made from plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and salt.
- Canned Coconut Milk - Full fat coconut milk or coconut cream that comes in cans can be used to make vegan cheese, cheese sauces like coconut alfredo, or even meals like my Coconut Curry Soup or Thai Coconut Rice.
- Nutritional Yeast - Aka Nooch, is a yellow flaky powder that has a cheesy umami flavor. You can use it to make vegan cheese, cheese sauces, or sprinkle it on popcorn. You find it in most major grocery stores, health food stores, or you can easily order nutritional yeast. Note: It is not the same as regular yeast or brewers yeast. It must say nutritional yeast.
- Tapioca Starch - This is a flour made from tapioca that is usually sold in most grocery stores near gluten-free flour. It gives my vegan cheeses and sauces a stretchy melty consistency.
- Agar-Agar Powder - This is powdered vegan gelatin made from seaweed. This will firm up your cheese and make it set. (Powder works better than agar agar flakes.)
- Refined Coconut Oil - As a base to make my Vegan Butter.
- Shelf Stable Soy Milk - This is the soymilk that they sell on the shelves of your grocery stores, not the type that is sold in the refrigerated section. You can use this to make nearly everything that you would make with milk. You can also use it to make Vegan Ranch Dressing, Vegan Ceasar Dressing, Vegan Mayonnaise, and Vegan Butter.
- Lemon Juice - you can use bottles of shelf-stable lemon juice.
- Probiotic - to make your own soy yogurt.
- Chickpea Omelets - a high protein egg-like omelet made from chickpea flour.
- Vegan Meatballs - made from TVP, oats, spices, and flax meal.
- Sausage Links - made from TVP, spices, oats, and flax meal.
- Vegan Taco Meat - made from TVP and taco seasoning.
- Vegan Fried "Chicken"- made from Butler Soy Curls and chicken-flavored vegan broth. You can toss this in pasta dishes
- Vegan Buffalo Chicken - made with Butler Soy Curls, chicken-flavored vegan broth, and vegan buffalo sauce.
- Soy Chorizo - made from TVP and spices.
- Vegan Pulled Pork -made with Butler Soy Curls, flavored vegan broth, and barbeque sauce.
Ingredients for meaty vegan recipes
- Chickpea Flour - This is dry ground garbanzo beans. They sell it in the gluten-free section of most grocery stores. You can use this as an egg replacer in things like vegan french toast and it cooks up like eggs in a chickpea omelet.
- TVP - This stands for textured vegetable protein. It is made from dehydrated soy protein. When rehydrated, it takes the flavor of whatever broth you soak it in. I use it to make vegan taco meat, vegan tuna salad, vegan sausages crumbles, vegan sausage, and add it to soups like in this kale stew.
- Butler Soy Curls - These are larger chunks of soy protein that are similar to TVP, but are less processed. They also come dehydrated and are shelf-stable. I use soy curls to make vegan fried chicken, vegan chicken noodle soup, vegan pulled pork, vegan "chicken" pot pie, vegetarian fajitas, and vegan buffalo chicken sandwiches. You can also make a delicious vegan jerky with these that keep a long time and are packed with protein.
- Oats - this works as a binder in vegan sausages holding the TVP together.
- Broth - to rehydrate the TVP and/or Butler Soy Curls.
More ingredients to stock up on
- Pasta/ Rice Noodles - a few different shapes and sizes for noodle dishes and soups.
- Rice - white, brown, and arborio for rice dishes, adding to soups and adding to bean salads, and making risotto.
- Beans - to add to rice, make bean salads, use in tacos or burritos, or add to soup.
- Lentils - for lentil soups and lentil loaf
- Bullion or Vegetable Broth - to make soups, flavor your rice, or rehydrate vegan meat substitutes.
- Frozen Veggies - to add to rice, pasta dishes, and soups.
- Tofu - to add protein to meals. It keeps for a long time in the fridge and keeps for 3 months in the freezer.
- Flour - to make cookies, muffins, cakes, or other baked goods. (Gluten-free if necessary)
- Oats- to make homemade oat milk (recipe in my cookbook) or grind into your own all-purpose gluten-free flour mix.
- Flax Seed - to use as an egg replacer in baking.
- Nuts - to snack on or make into cashew cheese spread or vegan pate.
Canned or frozen foods
I started thinking about what recipes I can make with foods that I have in the pantry or freezer. There are a lot of recipes that you can swap out some canned or frozen veggies and make a delicious complete meal.
These are some basic meals that I know I will be able to make with canned and frozen foods:
- Vegan Pasta Primavera
- Thai Coconut Rice
- Pumpkin Bean Soup
- Vegan Lentil Loaf
- Southwest Bean Salad
- Alfredo Sauce Made with Coconut Milk
- Vegan Fried Rice
- Loaded Vegan Nachos
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Vegetarian Fajitas
- Tacos with refried beans or vegan taco meat.
I'm happy to know that my family can easily have a variety of vegan foods on hand if stores close or become low on staple items. With just a little preparation and the right recipes, you can too.
I hope this gives you some ideas of what to buy and what you can make with these pantry items. Stay safe and healthy!
📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!
Karen Hemberger says
Living in a rural part of Nebraska, I have not been able to find several of the items in your recipes. I have had to resort to ordering them through the mail. Because I make every attempt to reduce my carbon and environmental footprint this has become quite the conundrum for me. Do you have any suggestions?
I would just try to do a big order of everything that you need and have it delivered all at once. It is still a lot of energy for trucks to deliver to stores near you, then they have to heat and cool the stores while it sits on the shelves, and then you have to drive to them and home again.
Karen H says
Thank you for your response. I have tried making large orders and unfortunately the items rarely come in one box, especially with Amazon as many itmes as shipped from different locations. I will keep looking for a resolution.
I hate that about Amazon too! We used to order from Frontier Co-op before vegan items became more widely available. They are great. It's kind of like an on-line Co-op. Here is their website: https://wholesale.frontiercoop.com/
Sue Levy says
Here is a recipe I am happy to share with your readers.
I am on a low carb lifestyle and have been using almond milk for some time. It occurred to me that I am paying heaps for tasteless white water so I found a recipe to make my own almond milk. With some experimentation I am very happy with the result.
It goes like this:
You will need a cheesecloth bag, and I use my potato ricer to do the squeezing - a great boon for my elderly hands.
Soak 1 cup of almonds (Skins can stay on but I like the blanched shredded ones) in water overnight in the fridge. (I found they were fermenting at room temperature in our Australian summer!).
Rinse well and whiz with 2 cups of filtered water in the blender 1 minute or more if necessary. Use a little more water to rinse the rest out of the blender.
Pour into the cheesecloth bag which you have draped in the ricer which is resting over a big enough bowl. Twist the bag a bit to let some of the liquid through, then smooth it so the ricer will close.
Squeeze till the pulp forms a block.
You may have to do it in two batches.
Refrigerate the liquid in glass and spread the pulp in a baking dish. Dry it out in a low oven, tossing it with a fork occasionally. I left mine in the oven after turning it off, to finish drying out. A rolling pin will get rid of the remaining lumps. It can be used in baking.
Sue from Perth
Thanks for sharing your recipe Sue! I love how you use the pulp too! 🙂