It’s really difficult to think about where I even want to begin with this post. I have not left my home in days, save to walk a very grumbly dog. The thread of COVID-19 is very present in our home, as my husband is a healthcare worker out on the front lines of fighting this virus. Yeesh. I go back and forth between feeling like I am over panicking and then not panicking enough, and my brain has been firing on all cylinders. An overactive brain can be problematic when your home is 400 square feet. Where can I send all that energy. What do I do? What can I do? It is difficult, feeling like you have an abundance of time and an overwhelming lack of resources. To answer that question, I have compiled a free, downloadable plant-based pantry stock up list.
I sat down at my computer and I began to think about what a chronic planner like me would do given more warning in a scenario like this one. How can I prepare for next time (oh good God, will there be a next time? This is where my brain begins to spiral out of control before I snap it back to reality. To focus on the task at hand.) I understand that this is a little late and that most of us are already isolating or outright quarantining. That a trip to the grocery store is no longer the casual thing that it was just a month ago. That said, better late than never, right?
It is all the things that I currently have in my pantry: these are my must-haves. I have broken the list down into several, easy to follow categories, should you find yourself able to get back to the store or place an order of food online. Maybe you are looking at this list and thinking that you already have quite a few of these items. Fantastic! If you’re looking at it and thinking to yourself, “well, shoot,” that is also okay.
I understand you might also look at this and think that there are things missing, like frozen vegan mock meats and bread (who doesn’t buy bread?) My storage space is very limited and my freezer is tiny. So when we are talking about preparing for a long-term stay at home or stocking up for a future emergency, I don’t have a place to freeze tons of bread or keep a lot of Gardein products. I need to be judicious with what I keep and where I can store those things. Instead of bread, I store homemade soups. Instead of frozen mock meats, I have smoothie packs for a quick serving of greens and protein.
My goal over the next…however long this lasts, is to show you how to cook from a plant-based pantry. That big flavors can come from a small pantry. That limitations foster creativity! That eating a lot of beans does not have to get boring. I promise. So, print the list, comb over your pantry, see what you’ve got, and join me on this culinary adventure.