Veganuary Guide: 6 Vegan Pantry Staples To Help You Survive Sans Meat This Jan

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Signed up to Veganuary to try eating vegan for 31 days (and hopefully for longer)? A bit confused about how to whip up quick and easy meals on your new diet? Don’t fret, we at Green Queen are here to help with 6 must-haves to stock your pantry with to survive this January.

1. Miso Paste

Source: Shutterstock

Miso paste! Miso paste isn’t just full of great probiotics (the good stuff for your gut bacteria), it tastes amazing to help sauce up your stir fries, mixed into salad dressings, marinades, the list goes on. Of course, it’s also super handy to have in your kitchen for a quick miso soup with kombu seaweed (plant-based omega-3 alert) and tofu cubes. 

2. Nutritional Yeast

Source: Running On Real Food

What is this, you ask? These yellow flakes might seem obscure to those unfamiliar to a plant-based diet, but it’s pretty common in a herbivore’s kitchen. Slightly nutty, savoury and cheesy tasting – and nutritionally packed full of vitamin B12 – nutritional yeast is a perfect substitute as a sprinkle of “parmesan” on pastas and salads, or just a kick of seasoning on your plant-iful dish. 

3. Mushroom Powder

Source: OpenFit

Described as “vegan crack” by those in the know, mushroom powder is pretty much the cheat code to add the “wow” factor in any soup, stew, or plant-based meat patty. Add it to vegetable broth for your vegan dumplings, dash some in your butternut squash and pumpkin soup, even sprinkle in pasta sauces for an added depth of umami. It packs loads of vitamin D too.

4. Tofu

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Okay, we know that tofu is pretty much a staple in every Asian pantry, whether you’re a vegan or not. But here’s the thing – it’s a great replacement for most of your meat-based protein sources in many dishes. You can marinate it and sear tofu “steak”, or crumble it up on the pan with some turmeric powder, salt and spices of your choice to make a tofu “scrambled egg”. 

5. Maple Syrup

Source: Whoop Wellness

Honey isn’t vegan – so make sure to have maple syrup (or date or agave) stocked in your cupboard for whenever you feel like a dollop on your warm bowl of porridge in the morning, on your vegan waffles or pancakes, or stirred into some herbal tea for a hearty cuppa. 

6. Chia Seeds

Source: Flickr

Chia, what would we do without you! Perhaps any vegan’s favourite way to spruce up their oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies is a healthy dose of chia seeds! Not only are they packed full of omega-3 fats and plant-based protein, they are a super useful substitute for eggs in most baking recipes, can be used to add a healthy kick in your granola bars, and you can even make vegan pudding out of these tiny seeds!

Lead image courtesy of Health Designs.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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