My Kitchen Cupboard Essentials

I think most people would agree that grocery shopping is a pain in the butt. Everyone say, “I.” It’s even worse when you spend a bagillion dollars and you don’t even have what you need to make a few meals. Two days later you find yourself hungrily wandering the aisles, buying more than you need and spending more than you should.

This is why I’ve worked on nailing down my essentials. No more ordering takeout or skipping out on nutritious meals… ok takeout is still fun sometimes.


The produce.

Sweet potatoes are a staple in our house. Easy, nutritious, yummy, and filling, these guys are great on their own or make a nice side. You just can’t beat that resume.

Bananas are another staple for me. I freeze them for smoothies or “nice cream” and I eat them them with sunbutter for a snack. They’re portable, easy to digest, and also delicious.

Frozen fruit is great to have around for smoothies or to add some extra flavour to oatmeal and pancakes. My favourite is strawberries but I like to have blueberries and sometimes mango too. Anything but but blackberries! Oh how I hate those seeds!

Spinach is great for adding extra nutrients to smoothies, stir fries, and sauces. Fun fact, it also freezes well so I never have to worry about using it before it becomes a squigy mess.

Medjool dates are a deliciously sweet snack to curb a craving or to savour after dinner. They’re also filling and make a great addition to smoothies.

Grapefruits are an excellent breakfast or snack for the road-just make sure there’s a sink nearby to wash up! I also like to squeeze them into a litre of water in the morning as a refreshing start to my day.

Lemons are useful to have around for squeezing into water or flavouring meals in a simple, healthy way.


Grains and legumes.

Pasta is essential for easy meals. With so many options for sauces and toppings, pasta just never gets old.

Chick peas and pinto beans are great to have around for making humus, refried beans, chilli, soups, and all kinds of yummy hearty dishes. Throw in a tin of diced tomatoes and you’re halfway to a meal already!

Rice is a newer staple for me because I was never much of a fan. Now I try to have it a couple times a week as a side or a snack. I like it a lot on Nouri paper with soy sauce. Yum!

Sunbutter is a life or death matter in our house. Mostly because Tyler is allergic to nuts. No I really wasn’t kidding; it’s life or death. Sun butter makes for a great breakfast on toast, a quick lunch on a sandwich, and on bananas for a snack. We buy unsweetened but there is a sweetened option as well.

Lastly are chia seeds and hemp hearts. I throw these in everything! Smoothies, sauces, oatmeal, granola, you name it. Super foods!



Vanilla protein powder is essential for meals on the go, smoothies, and post-workout recovery. Arbonne is my favourite because it’s vegan, naturally sweetened, and contains branched chain amino acids, making it easily absorbed by your body.

Bolthouse Farms “Green Goodness.” I was first introduced to this as a kid by my late uncle and at the time I couldn’t get past the colour. Sorry I didn’t share your enthusiasm at the time, Uncle Darren! Fast forward a few years and I’m completely addicted. Seriously. Tyler and I found it down in Arizona and I immediately drank a litre. And the coolest part is it’s made here in Nova Scotia!

Coconut yogurt, vegan Parmesan, and Lara bars are all essential for helping me manage dairy cravings and keep to a mostly plant-based diet. I do this because I feel my best when I eat this way but if I get too hungry my resolve weakens and I want to reach for those high fat foods like dairy.

Lastly is my peppermint tea. I enjoy a hot mug of peppermint tea every night after supper and it makes me feel cozy and helps me relax after the day. Deep breath in….. now let go… zzz


What are your kitchen cupboard essentials? Would you recommend anything else for a plant-based diet?

Photos by Erin Bulger


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Protein powder


Vegan Parmesan

Coconut Yogurt

Green Juice


Ceramic mug

Sweater: (old) Club Monaco


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