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Stocking Your Kitchen

for Health

There are many ways to help your children eat a healthy diet. But I have found it to be easiest and most effective to simply fill my kitchen with ONLY the foods that I would like them to eat, and set the example of eating only these foods myself! By orchestrating your environment to give your children the structure you would like, then YOU don't have to be endlessly correcting and disciplining in order to guide your children to eat the way that you believe is in their best interest. (At least at home.) And you will have the necessary ingredients on hand to make a wide variety of delicious and healthy meals without any additional planning or trips to the store.

Begin by going through your cupboards, and refridgerator. Read all ingredient labels and throw out or give away all foods that list the following on their ingredient labels: Partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils (contain trans fatty acids) artificial colors and flavors, casein, whey, nonfat milk powder, cottonseed oil (tends to be high in pesticide residues, white flour, enriched flour, and of course any other ingredients that are obviously meat, dairy or egg based.

If your pantry is bare, you are probably wondering..."What do I fill it with?" The following is a list of the staples I always have on hand, that let me prepare a wide variety of recipes without ever having to make a special trip to the store. If you are not ready to make such a huge investment initially, the * starred items are the really really important stuff to have on hand just to make simple wholesome foods. So you could get just those items to begin. In some instances I have found that particular brands are especially good and so I have listed them as well.

  • *Non-aluminum baking powder (Rumford or Featherweight)
  • Baking Soda
  • Natural vanilla extract
  • Stevia -- in liquid form (its a sweetener)
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Agar flakes (Eden)
  • Miso -- white or light yellow
  • *Nutritional yeast flakes (do not confuse with brewer's yeast!)
  • Carob Powder
  • tahini
  • Nori sheets
  • *Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • *Oat flour
  • *raw almonds
  • raw cashews
  • raw sunflower seeds
  • Whole wheat bread flour
  • Wheat Gluten (powder)
  • Succanat (or Cajun crystals -- a type of minimally processed sugar)
  • *real maple syrup
  • *Olive oil vegetable spray (Spectrum)
  • *organic extra virgin olive oil
  • *organic canola oil
  • *organic flax oil
  • *rolled oats
  • *green or brown lentils
  • red lentils (cooks really quickly)
  • *brown rice
  • millet
  • *Barbara's Potato Flakes
  • raw wheat germ (keep in freezer)
  • Dried Shitake Mushrooms
  • *plain popping corn (organic!!)
  • rice vinegar
  • Salsa -- (Muir Glen is especially good)
  • *lemon juice or fresh lemons
  • *balsamic vinegar
  • *dijon mustard
  • *apple cider vinegar
  • Mirin (Eden)
  • *Soymilk -- B-12 and calcium fortified and organic (Edensoy Extra)
  • *Ricemilk B-12 and calcium fortified (Rice Dream Enriched)
  • *Waterpacked organic tofu- hard style (White Wave)
  • aseptic tofu (organic) I use Mori Nu -- which although not organic, this company has assured me they DO NOT use genetically engineered soy beens.
  • *Shoyu -- like soy sauce -- organic! (San-J)
  • Frozen berries -- strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • Frozen Corn (organic only!)
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Raspberry Juice concentrate
  • *Frozen Chapatis (like burrito shells)
  • Frozen Seitan (Wheat Meat--chicken style)
  • Frozen Tempeh
  • Canned Black Beans (Eden or Westbrae)
  • *Canned Garbanzo Beans (Eden or Westbrae)
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes (Muir Glen)
  • *Raw onions
  • *Raw garlic
  • fresh basil (this is so easy to grow on a windowsill)
  • *Carrots
  • *Celery
  • *Apples
  • *Bananas
  • *Romaine Lettuce
  • *Red Cabbage
  • *Broccoli
  • *Sweet Potatoes
  • *Baking Potatoes
  • *Creamy Italian organic soy based Vegi-dressing (Nasoya)
  • Frozen raspberry juice concentrate (Cascadian Farms)
  • Vegan cheese alternatives Cheddar and Mozzerella style (Soymage or Veggiekass)
  • Cucumbers
  • Scalions
  • Green Peppers
  • Kalamata Olives
  • *Yellow Mustard
  • Bragg's Aminos
  • Kelp Powder
  • White Miso (Cold Mountain)
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • *Plain rice crackers (Edwards and Sons) or rice cakes
AND a good assortment of dried herbs like, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Marjoram, Cayenne, Turmeric, Dill Weed, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, and Dried Mustard.

Olive oil, canola oil and flax oil are the only oils/fats that we use in our house. (never ever buy margarine or butter!) Even if you generally do not buy or feel you can't afford organic versions of most foods it is worth the extra cost to use organic versions on these, since many pesticide residues and other endocrine disurpting chemicals are fat soluble and more likely to concentrate in fatty products. With the exception of flax oil, you should only use tiny amounts of oil in food preparation anyway, so they should last a long time.

Olive oil can be used for absolutely everything except sweet dishes where the flavor would be overpowering, then I use canola oil. For salad dressings we use flax oil, which is an excellent source of omega three fatty acids -- never use flax oil in hot dishes, because it is rapidly damaged by heat and light and becomes much less healthy!

A note about soy products and corn products -- I Always buy organic on these products too, since the use of genetically engineered corn and soy is now quite common. Organic soy and corn are not genetically engineered.

So what are some of the things you can serve -- just by having the above starred items on hand?

  • fresh fruit
  • carrot and celery sticks dipped in dressing
  • chedda popcorn
  • broiled (low-fat) "French fries"
  • baked potato and tofu sour cream
  • Tossed Salad
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Tofu and veggie stir-fry over rice
  • Chapati Roll-ups
  • lentils and rice
  • oatmeal
  • smoothies
  • fried rice
  • black-been spread on rice crackers
  • steamed vegetables

By having the entire list, you will have all necessary ingredients on hand to make most of the recipes listed in Compassionate Souls--Raising the Next Generation to Change the World, as well as those listed on this site. (And most of the recipes in any vegan cookbooks too!)

Now pick up a few vegan cookbooks and get started. Three of my favorites, which are good for beginners too are:

  • The High Road to Health by Linsay Wagner and Ariane Spade
  • The Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak
  • Recipes from and Ecological Kitchen by Lorna J. Sass

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