Stockpile Empathy: Vegan Food Guide to Get You Through Self-Isolation

 

The world might feel like a lonely place right now, but we’re here to remind you that we’re all in this together.

While everything seems to be changing by the minute in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), altering what we’ve come to know as normal, it’s no surprise that we may feel a bit overwhelmed. But we can make the most of this stay-at-home situation and find happiness in a pantry full of good vegan food.

Here’s what you need to have in stock in times of self-isolation:

Vegan Milk

Unlike most pus-filled cows’ milk, milks made from plants typically have long shelf lives – plus, there are lots to choose from. Whether you’re making a nutrient-rich curry, upping your caffeine intake for extra energy, or baking away the boredom, there’s a vegan milk for everything:

Nuts, Nuts, Nuts

Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews are great sources of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins. Tiny but mighty, nuts are a staple in any pantry. Unshelled almonds can be kept in a cool, dry place for years. In the freezer, pistachios keep for about six months and cashews for up to a year. Walnuts – if refrigerated in an airtight container – can last for about a year.

Fancy some protein-packed vegan nut cheese? Check out this recipe for Rosemary-Baked Almond Cream Cheese.

Chocolate

End of the world or not, chocolate is there for us. On average, dark chocolate keeps for two years from the day it was made or about one year from the time you open it – but it depends on the chocolate, so always check the expiry date. And don’t forget dreamy, creamy vegan milk chocolate.

Not sure which vegan chocolate to get? We’ve got you covered:

Grain Products

Pasta and rice can be stored for a long time in the cupboard, but there are more grain products to explore when the time comes to get creative in the kitchen, including oats, barley, buckwheat, couscous, bulgur, spelt, and quinoa – which isn’t technically a grain but works like one in many recipes and is a great source of protein.

Ready to Eat

There’s lots of delicious non-perishable vegan food to stock up on at UK supermarkets. Perhaps grab a few Fray Bentos Vegetable Balti pies, packs of Kings Veggie Jerky, Itsu’s vegan Chilli Chicken Rice Noodles, canned vegan tuna from Loma Linda, and some Violife vegan cheese.

Tofu

You can marinate it, sauté it, grill it, mash it, scramble it, bake it, and even blend it. Does it blend? Yes, it does. Tofu is made of soya beans and is extremely versatile – after all, it’s been enjoyed for thousands of years. It keeps for several months if unopened and can also be frozen.

Tofu will absorb any flavour you put on it, which makes it suitable for countless recipes. Add it to your favourite sandwich, stir-fry, or curry, or make a burger with it. You can also use silken tofu to make sauces, creams, or smoothies – the possibilities are endless!

Tempeh

Keep tempeh in the freezer and it’ll last about 10 months. It’s made of fermented soya beans and, like tofu, can absorb all sorts of flavours. You can enjoy it deep-fried, baked, sautéed, or grilled in a variety of recipes. We recommend trying it in a pasta dish, sandwich, taco, or chilli.

Beans and Pulses

Black beans, kidney beans, butter beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas are all fantastic goods to keep in the house at all times. They’re versatile, good for you, protein-packed, and easy to store. Also, you won’t have to worry about the “use by” date, which is ideal.

To level up your meals made with beans and pulses, be sure to have spices handy. We recommend curry powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, and paprika.

Vegan Meats

From THIS to Oumph! to Beyond Meat, there are plenty of tasty flesh-free meats on the market – and many are sold frozen or are suitable for home freezing. Add them to burgers, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and whatever else you fancy having on a Skype dinner date during lockdown. Here are some of our favourites:

Vegetables

Get your five a day with some tinned or frozen veg. Tomatoes, mushrooms, sweetcorn, spinach, sprouts, kale, carrots – if you can name it, there’s probably a tinned or frozen version of it.

You can prepare your own frozen veg by buying fresh ones in season, chopping them up, and storing them in the freezer to use in sauces, soups, and more.

*****

While you’ll need to buy vegan food essentials, we urge you to be mindful of others and not to panic- or bulk-buy. It’s a challenging time, but we can make it better by looking out for each other and choosing foods that are good for us, for the planet, and for animals.

A great way to protect vulnerable individuals in our society – animals exploited for experiments, for entertainment, or for their flesh, fur, or skin – all year round is to take action for them. Luckily, that’s something we can do from the comfort of our own home. Just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you can’t be an activist – in fact, we’ve got the full lowdown on online animal advocacy here:

Now you know what you might want to fill your cupboard, fridge, and freezer with, you’re probably wondering what to do with it. Our Recipes section is full of delicious, protein-packed, easy-to-make dishes: