What Do Vegans Eat? A Peek Into My Families Vegan Kitchen

Since the way that vegans eat (and survive) is such a mystery to so many people, I decided to give you all a peek into my kitchen and the food that our family eats. I am going to show you what the staple foods are that we always have around. I don’t buy much in the way of snack foods or any packaged goods and mostly all of the food I buy is waste-free like fruits or vegetables or grains, nuts and seeds bought in bulk (we reuse the plastic bags) or comes in recyclable packaging (like cans, PB jars or our milk cartons). I guess I am a freak like that!

I am always careful to read the ingredients on everything that I buy or better yet, buy food that doesn’t come with an ingredients list! I avoid refined flour (white flour) and sugar (corn syrup, white sugar, glucose-fructose etc.) and fast foods at all costs. I try to focus on whole, natural and unprocessed foods. Usually, one or two syllable ingredient are best (apple, kale, rice), foods that contain ingredients with more than four or five syllables (disodium ribonucleotides 5, dodecyl gallate) or an ingredient list that is super long should probably never be put into your body.

Ready or not here we go!


On this shelf we have:

  • garlic
  • adzuki beans
  • raw sunflower seeds
  • quinoa flakes (in a bag)
  • sesame seeds
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • split peas
  • red lentils
  • wild rice blend
  • quinoa
  • long grain brown rice
  • chickpeas
  • oat groats
  • black-eyed peas
  • goji berries
  • millet

I like to buy these in bulk and put them into containers when I get home. Everything looks so neat and wholesome.

On the opposite side we have:

  • quick-cooking oats
  • old-fashioned large flake oats
  • wheat berries and
  • even more long grain brown rice

Next we have the canned goods

Left to right:

  • original rice cakes
  • natural peanut butter (never without this)
  • tomato sauce and tomato paste
  • diced tomatoes and
  • lima beans
  • red kidney beans
  • chickpeas

Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

We have quite a variety of pasta all of the time because it is quick and kids always love it. I buy whole wheat and spelt most often and occasionally brown rice or soba noodles as well. Usually I just fry up some veggies to have with it, open a jar of pasta sauce and top with vegan parmesan cheese for a quick and healthy meal. Also shown wasa crisps.


  • nutritional yeast
  • organic vegetable bouillon powder
  • lemon juice

Moving on to vinegars, oils and sauces:

  • hickory liquid smoke (for tofu bacon!)
  • braggs
  • apple cider vinegar
  • rice vinegar
  • aged red wine vinegar

  • balsamic vinegar
  • mirin
  • ume plum vinegar
  • brown rice vinegar
  • cold-pressed sesame oil


For snacks we usually have nuts and seeds, dried fruit, or rice cakes. Here we have:

  • roasted almonds
  • banana chips (Kesa’s favorite)
  • organic red flame raisins (the best raisins)
  • mixture of dried apricots, peaches, pears and prunes
  • dried cranberries

We also often buy raw cashews, walnuts, pecans and pitted or medjool dates.

Some more snacks:

  • popcorn
  • mary’s crackers (if you haven’t tried them you should)
  • kamut puffs (our favorite cereal, I throw dried cranberries or raisins in with a bit of almond milk)
  • organic corn chips (always have these)

Other snack foods include pretzels and unsweetened applesauce. Autumn takes that in her lunch a lot. Other cereals we buy are mesa sunrise, optimum blueberry cinnamon or rice crispies.

Sweeteners and vegan baking ingredients:

  • tapioca starch
  • black strap molasses
  • pure maple syrup
  • brown rice syrup and
  • ground flax-seed

Not shown, I also have whole wheat flour, spelt flour, teff flour, brown rice flour, cacao powder, canola oil and canned coconut milk.

My Crazy Love For Fruit

Lately, I have been eating mostly fruit all day, to cleanse my system. Here we have:

  • organic golden delicious apples
  • gala apples
  • tons of bananas
  • pineapple
  • navel oranges
  • honeydew melon
  • lemons (for lemon water)

I also have frozen blueberries and strawberries in the freezer and often buy red grapes, kiwi, cantelope and red grapefruit.


  • spinach
  • cauliflower
  • corn on the cob
  • ginger root
  • red, yellow and green peppers
  • baby carrots
  • zucchini
  • kale

Also cucumbers, tomatoes, green, yellow and red onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes.


  • apple butter
  • silk (the girls milk)
  • unsweetened almond breeze (my milk)
  • guacamole
  • almond butter


  • shoyu
  • margarine
  • miso
  • pasta sauce
  • dijon mustard
  • Vlassic kosher dill pickles


  • firm and soft tofu

I usually only get organic soy products, but sometimes you gotta get what you can get.


It is most often Ezekiel sprouted grain breads for me and my hubby. Everyone also loves manna bread (made from sprouted grains, nuts, fruit and seeds). The other bread we buy is whole wheat or flax or I make my own bread. I also often eat the Ezekiel  cinnamon raisin English muffins with natural PB and apple butter. My latest pregnancy love.

A few other tips I have for you and your family:

  1. Bring your own food. When going in the car or away from home for a while, bring your own snacks or even meals. This is what we do anytime we go away from home for a long time. We pack things like nuts, seeds and fruit, rice cakes or crackers, PB sandwiches or leftovers from the night before.
  2. Purchase a stainless steel water bottle for all the members of your family. The girls and I each have a Klean Kanteen water bottle and Craig has a stainless steel coffee thermos.
  3. Eat smaller meals every few hours. In our house we let the kids snack when they want and really allow them to get in touch with their hunger and fullness cues. Part of why I grew up with an unhealthy relationship with food because of being told when I could and couldn’t eat and we always ate large meals. I didn’t know how to listen to my body. If you know that you are feeding your kids with healthy foods then you don’t have to feel bad giving them snacks all the time. Kesa snacks on fruit and nuts most of the day, which I feel good about. We always make dinner a priority though, where we sit down together and enjoy a meal. Dinner always has veggies.
  4. Make leftovers. I always double recipes when I make something. Always. That way there are always leftovers for a quick and easy lunch the next day. It is so much easier to pack Autumn’ s lunch and my hubby always has something to take with him to work. We also always have some kind of home baked good around too, banana bread, cookies, muffins or granola bars to snack on or add to lunches as well.

I hope that gives you an idea of what vegans eat and shows you that you can eat wholesomely and naturally, even if you have a family to feed. I know that it is tempting to buy packaged snack foods like puddings, chips or cookies for kids, but it is not healthy. Most food that comes in a box is laden with sugar or unhealthy fats and lacking in any real nutrition, leaving your body and the bodies of your children deprived of the nutrients that you need.

It is also so very convenient to just order fast food and not bother cooking at all. This is the worst thing you could do. Remember on Super Size Me when Morgan Spurlock asked dietitians how often one should eat fast food and most of them replied NEVER! It is so true. There is never a good reason to put that ‘food’ in our bodies, believe me I have eaten (and even been addicted to) a lot of fast food in my lifetime. It is so addictive and makes your taste buds unable to appreciate the taste of real, natural, good food when you constantly eat high amounts of sugar, salt and fat.

On a final note, I would like to leave you all with a link to a documentary that is worth checking out. We watched this one the other day called Processed People. It is very informative. Other documentaries I highly recommend are Food Matters, Super Size Me and Food Inc.

Wishing you all a happy and HEALTHY life! 🙂

17 thoughts on “What Do Vegans Eat? A Peek Into My Families Vegan Kitchen

  1. It was so cool to see what your staples are!! 🙂 I too avoid sugar, white flour and SUPER LONG WORD YOU CAN’T PRONOUNCE! 🙂

    I am such a snacker! I love that you teach your kids to listen to their bodies and eat when they’re hungry. 🙂

    I have seen Food Matters and Super Size Me. I haven’t seen Food Inc. yet though.


  2. Pingback: Cinnamon Maple Flax Cookies | Live. Learn. Love. Eat.

  3. Thanks for sharing Tiffany. I’m a new vegan – well trying it out at least 🙂 Do you have any great resources for what not to eat? I’m seeing so much conflicting info – particularly on sugar and flour. I know they aren’t great for you, but curious anyways. Would appreciate any advice to a new vegan!


    • Thanks for your comment Vanessa! 🙂 I cut out white flour and sugar from my diet because I don’t feel that it is healthy, but I guess a lot of vegans don’t eat white sugar because of the way it is processed through animal bone char and the white flour is said to be enriched with some animal additives. I don’t know what to say in terms of foods not to eat. I obviously stay away from any animal products, meat, milk, eggs and cheese and as a personal choice I avoid white sugar and white flour. I don’t like to have food rules for myself and becoming vegan for me was and is more apart of my spirituality with the health benefits as a little extra. I noticed after cutting out animal products and white flour and sugar that I just felt a whole lot better! I just eat as naturally as possible and when I am buying food ask myself how close to its natural state it is. I try not to eat anything too highly processed but this is just what works for me. You can still be a vegan and enjoy tofu dogs and other faux meats and cheeses that are processed, it really is how you feel about it. When reading labels be careful to look for whey which seems to be in a lot of things, even margarine and I have also seen casein listed on some soy cheeses. I found this list online of animal products that are in foods that vegans tend to avoid. http://library.thinkquest.org/C004833/avoid_en.shtml Just try not to go about it as though there are all of these rules to follow. Being vegan is a lifestyle change that will take some time to get used to. Focus on what makes you feel good and what works for you and don’t beat yourself up if you “fall off the wagon.” I hope that this was a bit helpful!


  4. Tiffany – first, I’m so sorry to only be thanking you now. I lost track of where I had posted this and just found it so apologies. I have since been doing a lot of research and am shocked white sugar is processed with animal bones. Thank you for the link – I’ve come across it before and agree it’s the most comprehensive list. Thank you so much for the feedback. When I wrote this I was really debating on whether or not to keep going and I’ve committed to myself to give it my best shot! Very helpful, thanks.


  5. tiffany: i’m a first time vegan i love you way of thinking! i had an unhealthy relationship with food throughout my younger years as well its good to know there are others in the world out there like me. thank you so much for sharing your pantry with us! you’ve inspired me to go and see if i can find some of the things you have there is a whole foods store not far from me as well as a bulk store and health food store so this should be really easy!

    p.s. do you have any recipes for wheat germ pancakes?


    • Thanks Shalia! I am glad that you find my blogging helpful to you. I don’t have any wheat germ pancake recipes, but all of my pancake recipes are made with whole wheat flour.


  6. finding this blog is a life-saver! I’ve been vegan for almost a year now 🙂 but I’m the only vegan in my family, and will be going to college soon, so having this wonderful glimpse into your cupboard was a huge help as to what I’m missing and what to look for when I go away 🙂 I buy most of my own food though, so any tips on how not to break my bank?


  7. Thank you for sharing your kitchen Tiffany. I always have to have snacks because of my busy work schedule. I usually bring organic cliff bars with me, i like the chocolate chip bars. I try to eat fruits and veggies when i can but some foods have become expensive. So i usually eat pinto beans,brown rice and tortillas as my meal everyday. Sometimes i eat pasta.


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