vegetarian shopping list

Discussion in 'So you want to be a Vegetarian?' started by moonshyne, May 20, 2007.

  1. moonshyne

    moonshyne Approved by the FDA

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    I googled and didn't get the results I wanted. I also looked here and didn't find anything, so if this ends up being a repost I'm sorry!

    Let's pretend for just a moment that the pantry monster has raided your kitchen and devoured every single edible substance in there. After punishing said monster, you need to go to the grocery store and restock. What are you gonna buy?

    (Really, I'd like to know because I've been living off of junk and prepackaged foods, and I'd like to have something do that, I gotta know where to start. Thanks!)
  2. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

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    Well my pantry monster is shaped like an 11 year old boy & I still haven't caught onto his food-swings yet... so I have to do this more often than you'd think ;)

    After running through the produce department for salad/munching veggies & raw fruit snacks, the first things I make sure to toss into my grocery cart are:

    pasta - several shapes
    brown rice
    veggie-friendly bouillon

    canned spaghetti sauce (make sure you've got spices at home for extra "oomph")
    black olives
    black beans

    a baggie of sunflower seeds, almonds or soy nuts
    some sort of granola-y bar (for in-the-car munchies)
    and corn thins (like a rice cake, but thinner & less crumbly - can use for sandwiches!)

    My grocery list changes a TON from week to week - but these are the things that are on nearly every single list!
  3. WalkerInTheWoods

    WalkerInTheWoods Member

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    If the kitchen was completely bare I would buy, off the top of my head:

    Spices (including but not limited to) oregano, basil, chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, cumin, paprika, curry powder, rosemary, thyme, ground coriander, all spice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, red pepper flakes, cinnamon

    Spices can be expensive so buy them as needed instead of all at once.

    Any vegetables that look good at the time, but typically (organic if available and not terribly expensive):

    Green bell peppers



    Mixed greens

    Jalapeno peppers


    Sweet potatoes or yams




    Black olives

    Corn (usually frozen)

    Peas (frozen)

    Broccoli (fresh if it looks good, otherwise frozen)

    Tomatoes (usually canned as they taste better than those in the produce section, I grow my own for fresh)

    Fresh cilantro






    Any other fruit that might spark the interest at the time

    Rice (brown, wild, and/or mixed)


    Beans (dried and/or canned, specifically baked, pinto, red, black and garbanzo beans (chick pea))

    Whole wheat flour

    White flour


    Whole flaxseed

    Untoasted wheat germ

    Organic blue corn chips

    Peanut butter

    Fruit spread/jelly

    Rice milk

    Green tea

    Black tea

    Lemon juice

    Lime juice


    Tabasco sauce


    White vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    Baking soda

    Baking powder

    Olive Oil


    Maple Syrup


    Organic dark chocolate :)

    Most things we try to make from scratch.
  4. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

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    Moonshyne - just a thought, but if we had an idea of what you liked to eat it might be easier to suggest things to fill YOUR pantry with. See, I like a lot of Italian & Mexican foods with a little Asian every once in awhile. What I would put in my kitchen might not appeal to you at all.

    Also, it would be easier to suggest quickie meals & recipes then too! ;)
  5. moonshyne

    moonshyne Approved by the FDA

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    I like mega carbs! I like things that have a lot of texture, I'm not a big fan of soups or curry. see, my problem isn't not knowing what I like, it's just that I don't know where to start. I don't want all this processed stuff anymore. it's expensive, and I've got 4 youngin's to feed. I would like to create my own dinners, but the problem with that it all these recipes I've been looking up require a little of this and that...the thing with that is I don't wanna go buy a certain flour or other stuff, and only use it once in a while (like, less than once a week or two). To me, that's a waste of money. My grand idea was to find out what everyone else thought of as basic staples and elements of food....practical stuff you would need to buy if, oh, say the pantry monster came calling. I've got this giant container of flaxseed, 10 bucks for that mess and the only thing I'm using it on is my peanut butter. I'm just looking to avoid that sort of mistake again.
  6. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

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    lol... I make everything from scratch and have 7 different types of flour in my freezer. But I do know what you mean!

    Mega carbs - sure, no problem! Definitely stock up on pastas, but “splurge” just a bit on things like whole wheat, corn, brown rice or quinoa pastas for just a bit more nutrition… the quinoa happens to have protein in it too, so it’s our favorite ;)

    Quick couple-ingredient meals you can make with pasta:
    * Macaroni & cheese – cheese, milk, flour & pasta; nothing’s simpler & your kids will love it. For a few colorful mix-ins, you could try cherry tomatoes, frozen peas or shredded carrot.
    * Spaghetti – cook up the noodles, and heat a can of Hunt’s spaghetti sauce up with some fresh basil & garlic for extra “zip.” That one’s easy AND cheap! Serve it with a green salad and/or some garlic breadsticks for a “fancy” dinner.
    * Taco-ghetti – this is my kids’ favorite – cook up your favorite shaped noodle, and dump in a 16oz jar of salsa. Toss with sliced black olives & salad onions, a can of black beans and a little shredded cheese… (or not) it is SOOO addictive! We like to eat this with cinnamon applesauce for “dessert.”

    And there’s your rice too.
    * Toss a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies (we like to mix a broccoli blend with a snow pea blend for extra variety) with some brown rice (healthier than white) & your favorite stir-fry sauce… homemade or off-the-shelf. If you get the “minute” brown rice, dinner can be ready in 15 minutes!
    * Rice pudding – okay, it’s supposed to be a dessert. But in our house it doubles as a yummy hot breakfast! Cook up your rice & add in ½ as much milk, (tastes great with soy & almond) a dash of vanilla extract and some cinnamon. Bake it for an hour at 325… YUMMY!
    * Broccoli/Cauliflower Rice – you have to be able to stomach wheat for this one, but it can even be done in the crockpot! (toss everything in after breakfast, and stir & serve for dinner) Cook up your rice, and dump in a package of frozen broccoli & cauliflower and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Stir everything together, and toss it into the oven for ½ hour at 325. Another kid-friendly quickie recipe.

    Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. But you CAN do cooked-at-home veggie meals… they CAN be kid-friendly, and they DON’T have to have a bazillion ingredients! :)
  7. WalkerInTheWoods

    WalkerInTheWoods Member

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    Flaxseed and flours can keep a long time, so if you eventually use all of it you didn't waste anything. If you want to make sure you use a certain ingredient then find several recipes that use it. If you like a few really well, then you are sure to use it up in no time.

    For your flaxseed, grind it up and start putting it in about everything. It goes great in breads, pancakes, muffins, etc. I put mine in my oatmeal every morning along with some wheat germ, molasses or maple syrup, and cinnamon. I can be nice sprinkled on salads. It can be used to replace eggs in recipes as well.

    I say just jump in there with those recipes that interest you and if you find you have ingredients that aren't being used you can look up things to do with them. After awhile of cooking with fresh ingredients you will learn what you like and what you use. Seeing what other people buy can give you ideas but it may not apply very well to you and your situation.
  8. lucyinthesky16

    lucyinthesky16 pirate wench

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    bird's eye microwave veggies
    so easy to make and so GOOD!
  9. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Lifetime Supporter

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    most veg cook books have a pantry section (since omnis forget that 70 percent of what they eat is really veg and freak during transition)
    If I had it all to do again with a magic wand, I'd have:
    brown rice- this is my staple
    pasta -in containers that held three weeks worth at least
    corn meal (I love corn bread from spicy to sweet)
    ww flour and ww pastry flour
    canned tomatoes and tomato paste
    beans- I have dry and canned. I buy four of each kind I like- black, chili, red, garbonzo- every grocery run.
    Once a year I get veggie baked beans in a case.
    dry lentils--I actually have three kinds
    TVP- I do get some mixes on sale like taco or sloppy joes, but I can do these from plain as well.

    corn tortillas- I snack on these, make enchiladas, soft tacos, K, SO? dillas/quesodillas (my continuing vegan experiment), fry to top soups
    I keep three blocks of veggie rennet cheese (Tillamook, usually.I don't know if these go east of the Rockies or not. see the CHEESE thread for a long list)
    red bell peppers (freeze as they come on sale- I can cook without them, but I'd rather not.)
    greens of a rotating sort: spinach, kale, collards
    citrus: lemons and limes for general cooking; oranges and grapefruit for juice, snacks and weird experimental dishes. Tangerines when on sale
    any other veggies and fruit you like.
    Earth or Smart Balance
    more tofu: for crumbly stuff
    whatever I have frozen

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