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  • Day 29: Stock Up for Continued Success
  • Daily Nugget: “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” -Arthur Ashe

    We’ve learned that vegans get all the protein, vitamins and nutrients necessary for optimal health. We’ve learned a bit about self control and are learning our way around the kitchen. Well, the only way to keep going is to continue preparing for success.

    Today, take the first step towards continued success: make a shopping list. Browse your favorite vegan blogs or flip through your cookbooks, targeting recipes you’d like to try. Here are a few items that might sound kooky now, but you’ll be loving them as soon as they hit your lips.

    • Nutritional yeast – not to be confused with brewer’s yeast or active dry yeast, nutritional yeast has mui importante B vitamins and is great for making cheesy sauces or sprinkling on popcorn. Braggs and Red Star Vegetarian Support are good brands. Whole Foods offers a big barrel that lasts me most of the year.
    • Miso – a healthy, fermented soy product that’s easily digested with immune-boosting properties that tastes great in a soup or pesto.
    • Agave nectar – lower glycemic index than sugar and has antibacterial properties; comes from the cactus plant and is often used in place of honey
    • Vegan worcestershire sauce this one is great for flavoring veggie burgers and other meat alternatives
    • Unbleached sea salt – contains key trace minerals such as iodine and selenium; just make sure it’s “real” unbleached sea salt, which will by slightly gray or pink in color (ex: Celtic sea salt or Himalayan sea salt)

    Here’s a list of pantry staples that includes more good ideas, including the following, which I’ve modified a little:

    • Dried and/or canned beans – kidney, chickpeas, lentils, pintos, etc. (Note: Eden Organic’s and Amy’s Organic’s cans aren’t lined with BPA, a toxin found in other cans)
    • Nondairy milk – soy, rice, oat, almond, etc.
    • Unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
    • Pasta and noodles – Italian whole wheat pasta, rice sticks, buckwheat soba, udon, etc. Just look out for egg – it’s often in fresh pastas.
    • Whole-grain cereals such as steel-ground oats, barley oat flakes, amaranth, etc.
    • Canned tomato products (diced, whole, puréed, paste)
    • Canned vegetables – artichokes, hearts of palm, roasted red peppers, etc. (Try to find low-sodium cans.)
    • Condiments – salsa, chutney, mustard, pickles, Vegenaise brand vegan mayonaise, etc.
    • Capers and olives
    • Soy sauces – tamari, nama shoyu, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, etc.
    • Dried fruits (sans preservatives)
    • Thickeners – cornstarch, arrowroot, kudzu
    • Egg-replacement powder (Ener-G Egg Replacer)
    • Vegetable broth (cubes, powder, canned) – preferably lower sodium and without MSG
    • Dried mushrooms, dried chilies, sun-dried tomatoes
    • Dried sea vegetables – nori, dulse, wakame, kelp granules, etc. contain important minerals such as iodin
    • Assorted vinegars – balsamic, red wine, apple cider, brown rice, umeboshi plum, etc.
    • Spicy stuff – chili paste, curry paste, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, wasabi powder, chili oil, etc.
    • Grains – brown, basmati, and jasmine rice; quinoa; millet; barley; bulgur; couscous rolled oats; popcorn, etc.
    • Tofu and tempeh – soy-based foods that can easily take the place of meat in many dishes
    • Seitan – wheat “meat”
    • Meat alternative convenience foods – veggie burgers, soy hot dogs, burger crumbles, veggie sausage, etc.
    • Dairy alternatives – Daiya cheese, Tofutti Sour Supreme and Better Than Cream Cheese, So Delicious or Whole Soy yogurt, Earth Balance butter, Parma!, etc.
    • Whole-grain flours, cornmeal, etc.
    • Bread products – whole-grain bread, tortillas, pita bread, etc.
    • Oils – olive, coconut, flaxseed, sesame, peanut, corn, hemp, etc.
    • Non-dairy butters – Earth Balance tastes the butteriest and is great for baking
    • Nut and seed butters – Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, macadamia nut butter, tahini (sesame seed butter), etc.
    • Real maple syrup and blackstrap molasses – nice for cooking and baking, with more nutrition than sugar (blackstrap molasses is a great source of calcium and iron)
    • Nondairy ice cream – from coconut milk, hemp milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc. So Delicious is our favorite!
    • Nuts – almonds (calcium), cashews, brazil nuts (selenium), pistachios, walnuts (omega 3’s), pecans, etc.
    • Seeds – sesame seeds (calcium), pumpkin seeds (zinc), hemp seeds and flaxseeds (omega 3s), etc.
    • Healthy crackers for dips – We love Mary’s Gone Crackers, which are healthy and full of flax seeds

    If you see anything on here that you’d like to get, whip out that shopping list so you don’t forget. You’ll be cooking more in no time.

    Related Reading: Great Ways to Get Cheap, Organic, Local Produce