Thursday, June 22, 2023


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 These individual cakes usually have a soft center of chocolate fudge that erupts in a rich, dark puddle from the cakes.  This recipe is an easier version of the cake that some of you might have seen before, though it is not in any of my books or newsletters.  But I decided to try a caramelly hazelnut praline filling.  It was a big hit with my guests. 
Originally, lava cakes were flourless cakes with a batter based on eggs that formed a molten center when the cakes were baked.  More often than not these days, a rich cake batter containing flour is used and a frozen chocolate mixture is placed between layers of batter before baking.  This is the type that I started with to make a vegan version of this cake.  This batter has very little fat in it, yet is rich, moist, tender and chocolatey.  The hazelnut filling tastes rich enough that half a cake is plenty for a serving, along with a scoop of vegan vanilla "ice cream".

NOTE ON BAKING VESSELS: Use ramekins, bowls, little soufflé dishes, giant muffin tins, ceramic coffee cups-- anything that holds about 1 cup (8 oz.).  I prefer bowls with a rounded bottom, but have used a variety of vessels successfully.  They should be generously greased with vegan margarine and placed on two cookie sheets.

1/4 cup Earth Balance, or other good-tasting vegan margarine
7/8 cup hazelnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs soy creamer, such as Silk brand, or nut creme
2 Tbs. vegan white sugar


Wet Mix:
1 cup (8 ounces) firm SILKEN tofu OR medium-firm regular tofu
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups strong liquid coffee or espresso
2 Tbs. oil
4 tsp Ener-G or Orgran Egg Replacer powder
1 Tbs. vinegar
1 Tbs. vanilla OR chocolate, coffee or hazelnut liqueur

Dry Mix:
1 1/4 cups pastry flour (you can even use whole wheat pastry flour with the rough bran sifted out)
1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup Earth Balance, or other good-tasting vegan margarine
7/8 cup hazelnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs soy creamer, such as Silk brand, or nut creme
2 Tbs vegan white sugar

Place the Earth Balance in a medium microwave-safe bowl or pitcher and microwave until melted, about 2 minutes.  (Or melt in a medium saucepan over medium heart on the stovetop.)  

Add the remaining ingredients and microwave on full power (or boil n the stovetop) for 3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a flat baking pan lined with parchment and place in the freezer to cool until you can handle it like candy.  Divide into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.  Place, not touching, on the parchment and place in the freezer while you make the cake batter.


Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.

Have the 8 cups or ramekins for the cakes prepared as above under NOTE.

Mix the Wet mix ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. 
Whisk together the Dry Mix ingredients in a medium bowl.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk briefly to make a smooth batter.

Divide the half of the batter evenly into the prepared cups or ramekins.  

Gently place one of the hazelnut praline balls in the center of each and gently press down a tiny bit, and then top evenly with the remaining batter.  Place the filled cups (or whatever you are using) in a large baking pan or on a cookie sheet with a rim.

Bake in the center of the oven until the cakes are  puffy and set, about 35 minutes.  Test on the side of one of the cakes with a cake tester or toothpick.  

Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then loosen carefully and invert onto parchment-lined plates or pans.
Cut each cake in half.  Serve each half on a small dessert plate, still warm, with a scoop of vegan vanilla "ice cream", such as Soy Delicious, Soy Dream, or Tofutti.

NOTE: Leftovers can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic wrap, and then reheated, uncovered in the microwave for a minute, or in a 350°F oven, covered loosely with foil, for about 10 minutes.

Serves 16
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 330.4 calories; 34% calories from fat; 13.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 202.8mg sodium; 400.3mg potassium; 52.2g

Monday, February 13, 2023


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 I apologize for not blogging for SO long!  I hope to be back more often from now on!

I love mayonnaise, but I am trying to eat less fat. Not "no-fat", but pretty "low-fat".  I wanted to make an oil-free version of my older homemade vegan mayonnaise recipe. This is the first recipe I devised, and it turned out to be a winner! If you try the recipe, let me know what you think of it. PS: it's also very inexpensive!


(This recipe makes a bit over 2 cups & is only 12 calories per tablespoon. In contrast, standard mayonnaise contains 94 calories per tablespoon.)

Mix A:
1 cup plain soymilk
3 T. cider vinegar
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes and drained well.
OPTIONAL: add 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 cup + 2 T. cold water
1/2 tsp. agar powder (do NOT use agar agar flakes!)
4 T. cornstarch

Cooking instructions:

1.) Place all of the Mix A ingredients into a blender. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.

2.) Microwave option for Mix B (my preference):  Mix together the water and agar from Mix B in a 2-to-3 cup microwave-proof bowl, and let sit for a few of minutes. Add the cornstarch and whisk well. 

     Microwave the mixture on High for 30 seconds. Whisk briefly. (I  switch to a silicone spatula after 2 turns in the microwave). Repeat this about three times, or until thick and translucent-- even if this takes more than four 30-second intervals in your microwave. (The microwave method works well with starch mixtures.) 

3.) Stovetop instructions for Mix B: In a small saucepan, mix together the water and agar from Mix B, and let sit for a few of minutes. Add the cornstarch and whisk well. 

On the stovetop, stir the mixture constantly over high heat until thick and translucent-- not white (you might have to switch to a silicone spatula halfway through). 

To Finish: Add the cooked Mix B (either stovetop or microwave version) to the Mix A ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth and starting to thicken.  Scoop into a 3 cup jar and refrigerate. It will thicken up nicely in a few hours.


Friday, April 23, 2021


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This is a new and improved version of the vegan"parm" recipe I posted in November of 2019. 

I've been a bit fed up lately with cashews, cashews, cashews when it comes to vegan cheese!  For one thing, they are expensive, especially the fair trade, organic variety.  For another, they can be ethically compromised (See for more on these issues.)  My aim for some time has been to make vegan cheese that is delicious, easy to make, inexpensive and made with easily-obtained ingredients, and without the need for cashews or culturing.

Some time ago I ran across Martine's groundbreaking recipe for Vegan Steamed Rice Cheese at  I tried it right away-- it was easy to make and tasty!

BUT, it was made with white rice flour, which is not particularly low-glycemic (and I have to eat low-glycemic). So, back in 2019, I got a notion to use some sort of bean flour instead, along with some high-resistant-starch potato starch, and it worked beautifully. I added more nutritional yeast, along with some miso (for a fermented flavor), and onion powder and garlic granules. Even better!

My far-away Australian Facebook friend Fran P. was also working on such things and we shared our successes and failures. I hoped (and still hope) to make a cheese that melted, but I'm still working on that. But, in any case, one day I got the idea to grate this very firm, tasty cheese and it seemed to me to be a delicious and much less expensive alternative to commercial vegan "parmesan" products.

In this latest version, I boosted some of the flavor components, and it's even better! My husband was even slicing it and eating it out of hand!  

I'm working on some other versions of this type of cheese, but I wanted to share this one with you right now because we're so pleased with it.  Let me know what you think!

Printable Recipe

(Low-glycemic, high in protein and fiber, nut-free, soy-free) April 23, 2021   

**Makes enough to fill at least two 142g shaker jars.

Low-Fat Option: I have made this cheese with NO OIL, using 1 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsps. water and it turned out just fine, but may not melt as well.

This very tasty cheese is high in protein from bean flour, and is low-glycemic. It's also a great source of resistant starch (which acts as a soluble fiber). Potato starch [not the same thing as potato flour, BTW] is also very high in resistant starch and makes for a VERY firm cheese, suitable for grating or pulsing in a food processor. 

(See for info on resistant starch, which improves insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduces appetite and has various benefits for digestion.)


    • 1 1/3 cup/124 g  chickpea flour (NOTE: I've tried several bean flours and this works best.)

    • 1/4 cup/ 41 g  slightly packed-down potato starch (NOT potato flour) 

    • 1 cup water

    • 1/4 cup melted refined coconut oil (preferably Fair Trade, organic)

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    • 1 1/2 tsp salt

    • 1 tablespoon dark miso 

NOTE: dark miso gives a more fermented flavor than the white variety.

    • 1 1/2 tsp. smooth Dijon mustard

    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice OR sauerkraut juice

    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

    • 1 tsp. onion powder

    • 1 tsp. garlic granules


1. Pour 2 cups of water into your steamer pot, InstantPot or pressure cooker, equipped with a flat steamer basket in the bottom.  2.Place all the ingredients into the jar of your blender, and blend until it forms a completely smooth, milky mixture, without lumps or visible oil droplets.

This is the Pyrex mold that I use, lined with cooking parchment

3. Pour the cheese mixture into a greased or parchment-lined Pyrex, metal or ceramicmold. Choose a mold that will hold 2 cups, with about 1/2 inch of “head room”. 

      Place the mold onto the steamer basket.  I fold a long piece of aluminium foil lengthwise into a wide strip and use  it to lower the mold onto the steamer basket. This makes it easier to remove the hot mold from its close quarters after it's cooked, too!

4. Steam the cheese for about 45 minutes (or 25 minutes on Steam function in Instant Pot, or pressure cooker).  Release pressure in the InstantPot or pressure cooker after cooling down for about 20 minutes. 

Use the aluminum foil to lift the hot mold out of the pot onto a cooling rack.

After the steaming, the cheese will still be a bit soft. Don't worry, it will firm up once it cools. If a thin layer of water dripped onto the cheese from the pot's lid-- drain this off carefully. Let the cheese cool to room temperature and then cover it and put it into the fridge overnight to firm up.

Once it is firm, you can release it from the mold and store it in a lidded container for a week or so, or you can freeze half of it, well-wrapped. The cheese tastes best if you leave it to firm and develop flavor for a day or two before eating.  You can grate the cheese on a box grater, if you wish, but I use a food processor. I cut the block into small squares and place them in a food processor.

Pulse until they are chopped and then process until it looks like commercial grated parmesan. Scoop the resulting "granules" into two shaker bottles-- I have used two 142g Earth Island/FollowYourHeart Vegan Grated Parmesan-Style Cheese shakers, but you can just use some clean, dry  jars and scoop it out. Or, if you prefer, cut the block in half,  process one half, and freeze on half, well wrapped, for grating later.

PS: I keep most of  my grated "Parm" in the freezer, only leaving a small amount in a jar in the refrigerator and refilling as needed.


Monday, February 15, 2021


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It's been a long, long time since I posted!!  I've mostly been cooking from my own books and files, as well as some old favorites on my bookshelves. And, as those of you who still follow me may know, I've been altering my diet to according the vicissitudes of  aging.

I love Asian cooking, but I am following a lower-sodium diet, as well as a low-glycemic one (very little sugar, and only low-glycemic carbohydrates-- you can check out some of my past posts on this subject).  Checking out sodium and sugar content on the labels of the bottles of soy sauce and other commercial Asian sauces readily available in supermarkets and specialty stores was quite a shock!

My first challenge was soy sauce. I have used Kikkoman soy sauce for years, but, at 960mg of sodium per tablespoon, I knew that I would have to make a change.  Soy sauce is one of the oldest condiments in the world, originating in China. It has a meaty, rich flavor which adds body to many Western meatless recipes. It is an essential for meatless cooking. Kikkoman makes a variety called “Less Sodium Soy Sauce”, which contains 40% less salt than ordinary soy sauce, with no loss in flavor, and it is widely available in grocery stores.

I love Asian cooking, but I am following a lower-sodium diet, as well as a low-glycemic one (very little sugar, and only low-glycemic carbohydrates-- you can check out some of my past posts on this subject). Checking out sodium and sugar content on the labels of the bottles of soy sauce and other commercial Asian sauces readily available in supermarkets and specialty stores was quite a shock!

I figured that I could make my own low-sodium soy sauce, since the small bottles of Kikkoman Less-Sodium Soy sauce are expensive, and I can't find larger bottles in my area. I figured that I could somehow make my own and, low and behold, I found an easy recipe online at, and had all the makings for it. 
PS: For your information:
Many folks use a product called Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce, mistakenly believing that it contains less sodium than ordinary soy sauce (or tamari or shoyu, other terms for soy sauce).
BUT, the truth is that Bragg’s actually has the same amount of sodium *per tablespoon* as ordinary soy sauce!
And, since Bragg's not a fermented product, it has a less complex flavor, so you often use more of it.
The serving size for the Bragg's product is only HALF A TEASPOON, containing 160 mg of sodium.
The serving size listed on the Kikkoman Soy Sauce bottle is 960 mg for 1 tablespoon, and 6 half-teaspoons of Bragg's makes 1 tablespoon, so it's the same amount of sodium with less flavor.


Mix 1/2 cup regular soy sauce, 1/2 cup Chinese dark soy sauce (which I happened to have in my cupboard), and 1 cup water-- that's it!  (Makes 2 cups) Regular Kikkoman soy sauce contains 960 mg sodium per tablespoon, and dark soy sauce contains 870 mg per tablespoon. 

By mixing these two soy sauces with the water, you have a full-bodied, tasty, and very inexpensive lower-sodium soy sauce  at 457 mg sodium per tablespoon!


The second sauce that I attempted was Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.  We don't use it as often as soy sauce, of course, but it's great to have around to serve with my Thai-Style Corn Fritters, Shallow-Fried or Baked. It's also good for dipping chunks of crispy chunks fried or air-fried tofu, SoyCurls, seitan, vegetables, etc., or for adding to many types of Asian stir-fries that call for some sweetness and chili heat.

There are many homemade versions of this delicious, spicy sauce online, but I put together a quick and easy mixture, using agave syrup for the sweetener because it is much lower on the glycemic index than sugar (though, you should not overdo any type of sugar).

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

Mix together in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup UN-salted rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup agave nectar
3 tablespoons Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Bring this to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.
Then stir in 1 Tablespoon potato starch mixed with 1 tablespoon COLD water. This will thicken the mixture quickly. Store in a jar or bottle in the refrigerator. 


The third sauce that I made this morning is a version of Chinese Vegan Stir-Fry Sauce. This is not the same product as  Chinese Vegetarian "Oyster" Sauce or Chinese "Mushroom" Stir-Fry Sauce. (I plan to work on that one soon.) But just a little bit can add good flavor to a marinade or veggie stir-fry.

Males 1 1/4 cups

Whisk in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup lower-sodium soy sauce (see above)
1/2 cup low-sodium vegan "chikn" broth or veggie broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon agave nectar or your favorite sugar sub
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or a bit of ground ginger)
a good dash of garlic granules
1 tablespoon of dark Chinese (toasted) sesame oil
1 tsp UN-salted rice vinegar

Bring to a low boil, then turn down to a low simmer and cook until thickened. Allow to cool off, then store in a tightly covered jar or bottle in the refrigerated.


Friday, October 9, 2020


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UPDATE: Last night I noticed that I had mistakenly typed the number of pancakes in the recipe as 14. That should have been 24!  I have since corrected this mistake in the recipe and also posted a new Nutrition Facts label below the recipe.  Sorry for any confusion!

Yikes!  It's been 5 months since I last blogged!  You might have thought that I'd be posting like mad during this pandemic time, when we're pretty much isolating here in the woods. It's not as though I'm not cooking!  I cook quite a bit. But I've been mostly revisiting recipes from my own cookbooks and cooking notes, re-discovering (and sometimes improving on)  dishes that I developed many years ago.  Which has been fun, I must say.  But I haven't been inventing new recipes very often, I confess. So, it feels good to post again, with a recipe that I'm quite proud of.  

I've been making buckwheat pancakes for weekend breakfasts quite frequently these days.  They are delicious (I'll post the recipe another day), but one day I wanted to try making pancakes more similar to the common white flour pancakes most of us in North America grew up with, but utilizing a combination of some of the healthful whole grain low-glycemic flours that I've been experimenting with lately.

The following combination of flours turned out to be a winner!  We were so pleasantly surprised with the wonderful flavor of the pancakes, even without syrup. I don't think I've ever had such tasty pancakes!  They are very simple to make-- I hope that you will enjoy them as much as we do.

Makes about 24 pancakes (
3 to 4-inch size)      

NOTE: Nutrition facts below recipe


Whisk together in a dry mixing bowl:

1 cup whole grain spelt flour
1 cup oat flour
***(I blend rolled oats in a dry blender to make oat flour.)
1/2 cup bean flour
***(You can use soy, yellow pea, white bean or chana dal flour.)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
***(I blend dry sorghum grains in a dry blender to make sorghum flour.)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or equivalent of your favorite sugar sub
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine in a 4-cup pitcher:

6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ground flax (brown or golden)

After 10 minutes, add and whisk:

1 cup soy milk or plain hemp milk
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Add the Wet Mix to the bowl with the Dry Mix.  Combine briefly with a large spoon, medium-sized whisk or a Danish dough whisk.

Cook as for any pancakes-- I make them about 3 inches across.  I like to use my old rectangular electric skillet at 400°F (205°C). It will cook 5 to 6 pancakes at a time just perfectly.  But a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat (heat up for about 10 minutes before cooking) is excellent, as well. Either way, wipe the pan with a bit of oil before heating. Cook the pancakes for about 3 minutes on the first side and about 2 minutes on the second side. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.

NOTE: For a low-glycemic syrup, I use low-sugar jam mixed with some water to make a syrup.

© 2020 Bryanna Clark Grogan. All Rights Reserved.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 pancake
Servings: 24
Amount per serving 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.9g2%
Saturated Fat 0.3g1%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 109mg5%
Total Carbohydrate 6.7g2%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g3%
Total Sugars 1.5g 
Protein 2.1g 
Vitamin D 0mcg0%
Calcium 37mg3%
Iron 1mg4%
Potassium 143mg3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by 


Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Best Blog Tips

Yesterday I needed to make a quick soup for lunch, but couldn't decide on any of my own recipes. Flipping through various cookbooks for ideas, I ran across a recipe in Deborah Madison's tome, "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone", for a Tunisian chickpea soup called "Leblebi".  It sounded simple, tasty and nourishing, with ingredients that I had in the house.

Of course, I couldn't resist checking out a few other cookbooks, and found that there are various versions of this dish across the Middle East, some of which are more like a stew. So I wrote down the basic ingredients and the spices and herbs that appealed to me.
BTW-- if you don't have any of the Harissa I call for (it's a very hot North African red pepper paste-- see picture below for the brand I see most often where I live and which I use) there are many homemade recipes and commercial brands available online. And here is a link to an article about possible substitutes.

So, without further ado, here is my version of the Turkish version (called Zetinyagli Nohut Yemegi) of this deliciously simple spicy chickpea and tomato stew or soup. I can't think of a more satisfying meal (and my husband loved it, too)!

Serves 4 to 6, depending on appetites

STEP #1:
2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)-- I don't soak them.
6 cups light vegetarian broth
1 small onion, peeled and left whole
1/2 tsp. salt

Place all of the ingredients in the insert of your Instant Pot, lock the lid and push the steam release handle toward the back, into "sealing" position. Set on "Manual" for 30 minutes. When the float valve sinks down all the way, open the pot, carefully remove the onion and discard it. 
(If you use a stovetop pressure cooker, follow the directions for your pot and cook for 30 minutes. Then let the pressure come down. If you cook them in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, remove any foam, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. )

1 T. olive oil
4 fair-sized cloves of garlic, minced 
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin 
(It's best if you can grind cumin seed in a little electric spice mill just before using)
1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh or canned diced or crushed tomatoes
1-2 T. harissa (see above for info and subs, if necessary)-- according to your tolerance for hot stuff!
In a small skillet over medium-high heat, saute the garlic and onion until they begin to turn  golden. Add the bay leaves and cumin, and then the tomatoes.  Stir-cook for a couple of minutes, then add cooked chickpeas and broth. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, adding salt if needed, and more harissa (or sub), if you like. If it's too "stew-like" for you, add another cup or so of vegetarian broth.
Other additions, according to your taste:
lemon or lime juice
chopped parsley
chili flakes
chopped green onions or chives

To serve with this dish:
Pita or other flatbread (toasted or not)
your favorite crusty bread, in chunks


Friday, March 27, 2020


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There's no need to hoard food in an emergency situation. And there's also no need to purchase everything on this list! I live on an island in the country, so I keep more in my pantry than I probably would if I lived in a city. Buy only what you like, need and expect that you can use up. If there are things on the list that you don't like, substitute what you do like.  Keep a shopping list going while you isolate, adding to the list goods that you need to replace when you can make a foray to the stores. 

If you have some vegan staples in your freezer, refrigerator, pantry shelves, kitchen cupboards, or even in a closet, you'll be fine.
 While we still have the privilege of going to a grocery store these days, even with restrictions, it might be helpful to make a list of what you have on hand and another list of what you may need to add to your next shopping list.

I made a few lists myself. I must admit that my lists might be longer than yours because 1.) I cook from scratch most of the time; 2.) I live on an island and can't just run to the store whenever I need something (though our little local general store has a pretty good selection!); and 3.) we like variety, but live on a fairly strict budget.

A friend asked me to share my lists with you, so I went into the pantry and peered into  kitchen drawers with pen and notebook one morning, scribbling down names of beans, grains, flours, flours, condiments, etc., and then peered into the refrigerator and the (fortunately newly-defrosted!) freezer to list cold storage items. 

Obviously, you don't need to have everything that I suggest. We all have our own likes and dislikes, allergies, etc. We shouldn't have items that we aren't sure we will use, especially if space is an issue-- and we want to avoid waste, too. We should carefully store leftovers and use them in the next day or two. This is a good time to practice old-fashioned frugality!

I am well-aware of the fact that those of us who can have full pantries, cupboards, fridges and freezers are privileged-- even seniors like my husband and I, who live on a pretty low income. People in our position can still afford to donate some dried, canned, packaged and/or jarred foodstuffs to organizations who help feed those who are struggling.

So, here we go!

It's a good idea to store the following items in glass jars (which you can often find at thrift stores, or you can reuse cleaned and dried jars from storebought items), or in metal containers with lids, or rigid heavy-duty plastic boxes or containers with tight lids, so that pests don't get into them.

                                           BEANS & LENTILS!

Dried legumes (beans, lentils, dried peas, dal, etc.) are essential for vegans, providing  excellent protein, fiber and other nutrients, as well as tasty comfort food! It's handy to have some canned beans on hand, but I prefer to rely on dried legumes.  They are cheap, and they last a long time when stored properly. 

1 pound of dried beans makes up to 6 cups of beans! 1 cup of dried beans makes up to 3 cups of cooked beans. Dried beans are always available in grocery stores and bulk buying stores-- even in dollar stores.

Here are beans and other dried legumes that I always have on hand:

pinto beans
small red beans
kidney beans
Great Northern beans (or other small white beans)
Black beans

blackeyed peas
yellow split peas
green split peas
whole yellow dried peas
green or brown lentils
Gigante beans (large lima beans), if I can find some!
soybeans, to make my own soymilk

***In addition, you might like to have some Indian pulses and dal on hand. The following  article is a good place to start: And there are many, many excellent blogs and pages online to consult for making Indian pulse dishes-- just Google "vegan Indian food blogs". 

PS: You'll find many delicious bean and pulse dishes on my Recipe Links page. Scroll down to "
BEAN AND LENTIL (LEGUME) DISHES".  The picture below is of my Spicy Vegan Basque Chickpea & Sausage Stew.


nutritional yeast flakes
sprouted grain breads (See my recipe for making your own at home.)

textured soy protein (TVP)-- granules, chunks or slices that can be rehydrated in broth.

Here's my recipe for making 
burgers, burger crumbles or "meatballs" with TVP. And here's another vegan "meatball" recipe made with TVP that can be made in quantity and frozen. (They are purposely dry, so that you can cook them in a sauce or broth, where they "plump up" nicely.) 

Butler Soy Curls (Used instead of meat or chicken. I rehydrate Soy Curls in a hot vegan broth before using.) List of Soy Curls Recipes and Soy Curls Info

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu in asceptic (UHT) boxes (firm, medium-firm, and extra-firm)
(Unfortunately not available in Canada anymore!)

Here are some tofu, tempeh, and simple seitan recipes I developed for Alive magazine.

soymilk or other vegan milks in 1 quart or 1 Litre asceptic or UHT (ultra heat treated) boxes. 
"How long does unopened shelf-stable soy milk last at room temperature? Properly stored, unopened shelf-stable soy milk will generally stay at best quality for about 3 to 4 weeks after the date on the package when stored at room temperature."  
(NOTE: Soymilk contains far more protein than almost all other plant-based milks, except pea milk-- see

One more:
Vital Wheat Gluten: This is what you need to make seitan or "wheat meat". Do not make the mistake of buying something called "Gluten flour".  It sometimes is the same as vital wheat gluten, but sometimes it is gluten flour mixed with ordinary wheat flour.)

NOTE: Most vegans make use of tofu and seitan (made from high-protein vital wheat gluten), as well as beans and grains, but there are many more vegan sources of protein. Here's a good link: 

                                            WHOLE GRAINS

To go along with your vegan proteins, for breakfast, or to add to soups, some of the best staples are whole grains, which are generally inexpensive. Here is a list of the ones I keep in my pantry:

rolled oats (These are the most versatile, but you may prefer quick oats or Scotch oats for a hot cereal. All can be ground into flour in a dry blender.)
cornmeal;  corn grits; Italian polenta

bulgur wheat (medium is the most versatile)
pearl barley, which is quick-cooking, and/or pot barley, which takes longer 
(Barley is great in soups and can be ground into a flour in your blender.)

Various kinds of rice are a must in my house:

converted (parboiled) rice, (Here's an article about the health benefits of converted rice.)
Basmati rice (you may be able to find a converted variety, as well, which is very good.)
Brown rice-- short grain, long grain, Jasmine and Basmati

A few more specialty rice varieties for the gourmet in you:

If you like making risotto, you'll need some Arborio rice or 
Carnaroli rice
Jasmine rice-- a fragrant white long-grain Thai variety
Red rice (See for all the varieties of this healthful rice.)
Black rice--"There are various varieties and names for this medium-grain rice, including forbidden rice, Thai black rice, Nerone black rice and Venere black rice. All are high in fibre and have a mild, nutty taste. The grains are very high in antioxidants, containing as much or more than the levels found in blueberries..." From:
Japanese short-grain glutinous rice or sweet rice, or "Sushi rice" 

Thai or Chinese glutinous rice or "Thai sticky rice"

Other grain possibilities: 
(P.S: you can easily grind any of these 3 into flour in a dry blender.)


masa harina (special fine cornmeal for making tortillas) 

quinoa (I just keep the white variety most of the time, but red and black versions are available.) 
Note: Quinoa (technically a seed) is expensive, but is very nutritious and high in protein. 
I like to cook it 1/2 & 1/2 with medium bulgur wheat. (1 cup of each with 3 cups of vegan broth-- bring to a boil, turn down to Low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Leftovers can be frozen in portions for future meals.)

For extra nutrition and fiber, you might like to keep the following for adding to hot cereals, muffins, etc.:

oat bran
wheat bran
wheat germ

If you like to make your own flour and have a home flour mill or heavy-duty blender for grinding, stock up on:
whole hard wheat kernels

spelt kernels


Pasta made with Durham Semolina (whether it is whole grain or not) is not only vegan (no eggs!), but is high in protein. It is essential in our household!
1 cup of cooked durham semolina pasta contains 6 to 7 grams protein and 2 grams of fiber. So, if your main dish consists of 2 cups cooked durham semolina pasta mixed with vegetables and a light sauce, you have an inexpensive and protein-rich  full-meal-deal.

See for the most comprehensive photo gallery of Italian dried pasta shapes I've ever seen!  Pick your faves and always keep a few packages in your pantry for quick vegan meals. Here is the proper way to cook dry Italian pasta:

And, by the way: "The way the carbohydrates and protein in pasta are bound means that pasta has a lower glycemic index, or GI, meaning it is digested more slowly than other refined carbohydrates, according to researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of Toronto. Therefore, it might keep you full and release blood sugar (glucose) into your body more gradually, which could help with weight loss. Cold pasta is also a source of resistant starch, which may also help you lose weight." From

What about Asian noodles?  By all means, if you are a fan, keep some dried Asian noodles on hand for quick and tasty meals, especially when mixed with stir-fried vegetables and some vegan protein, such as grilled or fried tofu. But not all are winners in the nutrition department.  Read this article for the characteristics, uses, and nutrition facts for 6 types of Asian noodles:

                                                NUTS & SEEDS

Nuts and seeds are very nutritious-- full of protein, fiber and healthy fats.  But they can be expensive. Vegans should have a few varieties of nuts & seeds in the freezer and eat a couple of tablespoons a day, if possible. (Those 2 tablespoons can be mixed in with other foods, or used in recipes.)

If money is tight, your best bet is to look for bargains in bulk buy stores, big box stores, co-op stores, discount stores and even dollar stores, and then store your purchases in jars in your refrigerator or freezer. Here is a good article on the pluses and minuses, and the dollars and cents of nuts and seeds!

Here is one quote:
"Enjoy peanuts and sunflower seeds if you like them. I think people tend to look down on them because they’re commonly available and typically less expensive (under a dollar per 100g at nearly every store I checked). But peanuts have been linked to the same heart and longevity benefits as pricer nuts and sunflower seeds are a good source of antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium. They’re a veritable heart health bargain."

I always keep the following in my refrigerator or freezer-- most are reasonably affordable:

shelled raw sunflower seeds
shelled raw pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
poppy seeds
flax seeds (brown and golden)-- 1 T. ground mixed with 3 T. water makes a great egg sub in baking.
Other options:
chia seeds

I wrote this blog post on replacing expensive nuts, and nuts that are not eco-friendly (or not animal-friendly):

So, how can you make rich-tasting, creamy vegan dishes even on a tight budget and while trying your best to avoid humanitarian and ecological pitfalls? Peanuts and seeds!  They are inexpensive, easy to find, grown in North America, and chock full of nutrition and good fats. 

My three staples, often used in combination, to replace nuts (especially cashews) in cooking are:
raw hulled white sesame seeds
shelled raw sunflower seeds
unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

Nut and seed butters, such as peanut butter, and tahini, are also staples that can be stored for quite a long time and I always have them in my kitchen. (Yes, I know that peanuts are actually legumes, but they are used like nuts!) 

Besides peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter can be used in delicious spicy vegan West African stews and soups. (Just Google it and lots of recipes will come up. If necessary, you can substitute non-dairy milks for the dairy version, vegan broth for the other kind, and  seitan strips or Soy Curls™ instead of meat or chicken.)  (PS: I rehydrate Soy Curls in a hot vegan broth before using.)

Tahini (sesame seed paste) is, of course, used in hummus, but also in Middle Eastern sauces and in salad dressings. See this link for lots of ideas:  (The list is not for vegans only, but you can ignore the non-vegan recipes [or "veganize" them!] and there will still be plenty to tempt you.)

                                         FLOURS & STARCHES:

unbleached white flour
whole wheat flour
spelt flour (both whole grain and "white" or "light")
(You may also want to have some ordinary cake flour, pastry flour and bread flour.)
chickpea flour (high protein and GF)

yellow pea flour (high protein and GF)
potato flour (GF) (NOT to be confused with potato starch!)
coconut flour (use carefully-- it absorbs liquid quickly)

As I mentioned above, you can grind some of your own flours from other nutritious and inexpensive grains, such as oats, millet, buckwheat, and sorghum, as well as quinoa (more expensive) (all GF), and from seeds, in a good blender, which will save both money and freshness. 
For those of you who need to eat a gluten-free diet, or a low-glycemic diet (or both), you don't have to depend on starchy white GF flour mixes. I bake muffins, cakes and quick breads with a combination of 2/3rds oat flour and 1/3 chickpea flour, with good results.

Starches (GF) for thickening:
tapioca starch (Note: If you are diabetic, note that this is very high-glycemic)
wheat starch
arrowroot flour
potato starch (NOT to be confused with potato flour! Potato starch, BTW, contains resistant starch, which can help lower blood sugar, but potato starch does not. See: )


instant baking yeast
baking powder
baking soda
salt (table salt and kosher salt)
guar gum and/or xanthan gum
agar agar powder
powdered egg replacer (Orgran "No-Egg" or Ener-G Egg Replacer)
(Here's a recipe for crispy meringues made with powdered egg replacer.)

psyllium husk (Can be used in vegan cheeses, smoothies and to thicken salad dressings.)
***See this article for how to use high-fiber psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder in cooking and baking:

Olive oil
Chinese (dark) sesame oil (a little goes a long way-- has a smoky flavor)
your favorite vegetable oil for cooking 
coconut oil (use sparingly, as it is high in saturated fat, but is essential when you need a more solid fat)

Good brand of soy sauce or tamari
Chinese mushroom soy sauce
Vegan broth paste, powder, and/or cubes
Marmite (adds  "beefy" taste to stews, soups, etc.)
vegan gravy browner (for color)
dried mushrooms
liquid smoke
lemon and lime juice in bottles
Japanese rice vinegar
cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar (Kirkland brand from Costco is by far the best affordable brand!)

canned tomatoes (whole, diced, pureed)
canned tomato paste
canned beans of your choice
canned pumpkin
canned fruit of your choice (pineapple comes in handy for baking)
unsweetened applesauce
sauerkraut in jars


shredded coconut
panko breadcrumbs
dried dulse flakes
sheets of Japanese nori seaweed

sugars and/or other sweeteners of your choice
maple syrup
agave nectar (dark and light)
molasses (both "fancy" and blackstrap)
brown rice syrup

dark cocoa powder for baking
dairy-free chocolate chips

dark baking chocolate
dried fruits, such as dates, prunes, raisin, cranberries, apricots, apples, figs, etc.
vanilla extract
lemon and other extracts of your choice

Herbs & spices of your choice
chilies and chili flakes
garlic granules (better than the powdered version)
onion flakes (These can be ground in a small electric spice/coffee grinder to make onion powder-- it's much tastier than buying stale old commercial onion powder!)

teas and coffee

Not essential, but helpful for tasty vegan meals:
canned jackfruit
canned vegetables of your choice
canned and packaged soups of your choice

canned Chinese vegetarian "Peking Roast Duck" (Mun-Cha'i-Ya)
canned Chinese fried gluten pieces ("Braised Gluten Tidbits" or Cha'i-Pow-Yu)
(The 2 items just above, usually available as  
Companion brand, are widely available in Asian markets and in many large North American supermarkets. They are delicious!)

***I always have wine in the cupboard, even though drinking alcohol gives me a headache!  But, I grew up in a California winery and my mom was a genius at cooking with wine.  Just a little wine can boost some recipes from the "good" to the "great"!  




Fresh fruits and vegetables are important for a healthy diet, but, for storage purposes, you need to rely on produce that will not deteriorate in a short time.

***This is a great article help you store your produce more efficiently:
Fruits and veggies can rot quickly because of a pesky gas called ethylene. Here are the items you should never store together."
***Here is another excellent article about produce storage from Cook's Illustrated magazine:

***NOTE about celery: Celery is a must-have in the kitchen, adding flavor to broths, soups and stews (the leaves are particularly flavorful), and used raw for dipping or for filling with spreads. I have just discovered that the best way to store celery for a longer time is to simply wrap it tightly in aluminum foil! Evidently, when you store celery this way, it will stay crisp for over a month. 
See this article
From the article: "Aluminum foil isn’t the most eco-friendly way to store produce, but it might be worth it in the name of preventing food waste. Plus, the aluminum foil could be reused multiple times to store a few rounds of celery if you’re carefully wrapping and unwrapping it. Then, once it starts to shred too much for wrapping celery, you can either recycle it or put it to use elsewhere, like cleaning your grill for winter storage."

Refrigerated items to eat first:

green onions
tender greens such as spinach and chard

bean sprouts
snow peas

Later, eat these:
("Ripening of the avocado is slowed down greatly by refrigeration, so it is usually a good idea to let the avocado ripen fully at room temperature. Once it is ripe, it can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week. This way, it is ready to use whenever you want it. See
Bell peppers
fresh mushrooms
Brussels sprouts
green beans
cabbage (green, red and Savoy)
celery (see Note about celery above)
apples (See  )
 for how to store apples and which varieties are suited to longer storage.)

Longer storage produce:
sundried tomatoes
cucumbers (unlike most veggies, they will actually rot faster in the fridge)

sweet potatoes (these can be orange or purple)
winter squash and pumpkin

turnips and rutabagas
Jerusalem artichokes
yams (the flesh of these is usually whitish)

apples (See  )
 for how to store apples and which varieties are suited to longer storage.)oranges

                                             FROZEN FOODS:

homemade & commercial vegan meat alternatives (vegan burgers, frankfurters, sausages, cutlets)
frozen corn
frozen green beans
frozen peas and/or peas and carrots
frozen edamame (green soybeans), both shelled and in the pods
frozen spinach and other greens
frozen berries and other favorite fruits

your favorite breads, buns, rolls, etc., storebought and/or homemade  (sprouted grain breads are excellent)
tortillas and flatbreads (wheat, sprouted grain, ancient grains, and/or corn)
cooked grains and beans

homemade soups and broths
frozen cubes of aquafaba (chickpea broth) for baking and cooking-- See:

frozen cubes of cooked, pureed yellow split peas for use in baking as a fat substitute-- See


homemade and commercial vegan meat alternatives
soymilk (which contains far more protein than almost all other plant-based milks, except pea milk-- see
other preferred plant-based milks

vegan cheeses and spreads
vegan butter substitute of your choice
(If you want to make your own vegan butter, try this easy and delicious recipe .

vegan mayonnaise (here's my favorite homemade recipe-- low in fat!)
vegan yogurt (Here's my homemade soy yogurt InstantPot recipe.)
Your favorite tofu and tofu products
Packaged Asian deep-fried tofu squares (Great for quick stir-fries and can be frozen, and they actually are very low in fat!)

marinated artichoke hearts

Miso-- see varieties here
NOTE: If you are looking for a vegan alternative to anchovies or anchovy paste in Italian recipes, or the fish sauce in many Asian recipes, light miso is an excellent substitute! You can add dulse or nori seaweed flakes for more flavor, too.

hot sauces (such as Sriracha, or see  this link for info on hot sauces world wide:
jams and jellies of your choice
pickles of your choice
barbecue sauces
A1 Steak Sauce (It's vegan! This flavorful sauce contains tomato purée, raisin paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, orange purée, and a blend of spices. Try it on grilled veggies.)salad dressings (storebought and/or homemade)
sweet Thai chili sauce

Gochujang (Korean sweet red chile paste)-- Google "vegan gochujang recipes" for ideas.

Chinese cooking sauces and condiments:(See more at )
Hoisin sauce
Chinese chili oil

Chinese vegetarian "oyster" sauce (made from mushrooms)
Chinese fermented black beans (Dou-chi)
Chinese black bean paste or sauce (Here's a homemade recipe:
Chinese broad bean paste (
Chinese brown bean paste

vegan Chinese "fish" sauce"-- See this recipe for a homemade version:
P.S.: I use a medium sherry in place of Chinese cooking wine.

That's all, Folks!

All the best during this trying time!