Vegan Starter Kit

Vegan Starter Kit: The Basics of a Plant-Based Diet

Adjusting to a plant-based lifestyle may not always be the easiest thing. If you’ve spent your whole life consuming animal products and have decided to make the switch to veganism, we feel you. Foodies all over the world avoid going vegan in fear of missing out on their delectable feasts and sweet treats. Many people never take the leap because they’re unsure where to even begin. A full meal is typically a side of meat with a couple sides of veggies, right? Not right, absolutely incorrect, false. There are plenty of ways to make a full course meal from entirely plant-based products! 

If you’re wary of making this significant lifestyle change, we’re here to lend a helping hand. It’s always nice to have a starting point, so we’ve composed this simple vegan starter kit to lead you in the right direction. 

H2: Plant-Based Shopping List for Beginners

Oats

Aside from a delicious Small Seed Bar, oats are one of the best go-to meals for breakfast. Oats have a well-balanced nutritional composition and are a great source of fiber, protein, and carbs. Pure oats are also gluten-free, making them another great choice for your morning energy. 

We know what you’re thinking: 

“Oatmeal gets boring way too fast.”

But there are so many ways to mix up your oatmeal recipes! Have you tried mixing chia seeds, bananas, blueberries and almond butter? What about raspberries, shredded coconut, and honey? Almond butter, nuts, and cacao nibs? The options are unlimited- just get creative with it!

And who said you’re only limited to oatmeal? There are so many other delicious recipes you can make with oats. Take your oats to the next level by making granola bars, pancakes, and even breakfast cookies! 

Rice and/or Quinoa

Rice is a great foundation for many delicious lunches and dinners. Sprouted brown rice is your best option for health benefits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix in white rice every now and then too. Sprouted brown rice is full of important nutrients like B-vitamins, phosphorous, and magnesium. It also has the most nutrients of any type of rice due to the way it is produced. The germination process encourages the rice to start growing into a plant, therefore increasing its overall nutritional value. 

It’s so easy to create a variety of flavorful dishes with rice. There are so many different vegetable and spice combinations you can whip up to pair with a bed of rice. Pilaf, curry, biryani, jambalaya, the list goes on and on. Quinoa is also an excellent option to switch it up every now and then. Quinoa is full of fiber, protein, and all nine essential amino acids. Just sub the rice you’d normally use in your recipes with quinoa and it’s almost an entirely different dish! 

Beans

Beans are the perfect choice to create a filling and satisfying meal. They are flavorful, super simple to make, and very cheap! The best part? Beans come in a wide range of varieties so they can be a staple in your diet without ever becoming monotonous. Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and B-vitamins. Our top choices for cooking plant-based meals include:

  • Black beans

  • Chickpeas

  • Kidney beans

  • Lentils

Craving some chili? Whip up a bangin’ sauce, mix in some beans and veggies, and you’re good to go! Trying to find an easy recipe to make on a cold day? Beans go great with soup! Beans can even be smashed up to make delicious and nutritious veggie patties.  

Dark Green Veggies

Greens should always be a priority on your shopping list, but we’re not just talking any greens. The best greens for you are dark, leafy greens. Leafy green vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet because they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but are low in calories. Some of our favorite dark green veggies include:

  • Broccoli

  • Bok Choy

  • Kale

  • Spinach

  • Swiss Chard

Salads are usually the go-to for a quick and tasty meal, but there are plenty of diverse ways to cook with leafy greens. Broccoli and sautéed spinach are a delicious side for any meal. Bok choy can be added to soups for a bit more flavor and texture. Kale and swiss chard can even be baked into delicious, crispy chips when you’re craving that crunch. As always, all you have to do is get creative. And if you’re ever stuck, the internet is a treasure trove of new and exciting recipes. 

Now that you have a general foundation for kickstarting your transition to a plant-based diet, there’s nothing holding you back! So, what’s stopping you?! It’s really not as hard as you might imagine, and it’s all to the benefit of your health, our furry friends, and the planet. 

Want to share your journey to help inspire others? Tell us your story (email: hello@smallseedbar.com) for a chance to be featured in our weekly newsletters! 😊 


By: Sydney Daly-Weber

Holly MacKinnon