Here at REAL we’ve designated the 31 days of January as the month we get our kitchen and our bodies in shape, and ironically we do it by cooking and eating. Remember, when you’re cooking in the kitchen you’re moving your body and moving is a key ingredient to healthier happier you! It’s so easy to cook vegan and it’s so delicious and satisfying— especially if you have everything you need at your fingertips. Get your kitchen and your pantry plant-based ready with our REAL twelve step program. Then make some of our scrumptious January recipes!
1) VEGETABLE STOCK — Make a batch of our vegetable stock and freeze it. If you are like we are you like to cook so this first step will be a no-brainer to you. If you don’t like to cook this is the best and easiest way to start getting to know your kitchen while also getting in shape. You don’t need much— just a stainless steel stockpot and four essential ingredients: carrots, onions, celery and water. It’s so easy and the results are amazing. Follow our simple recipe or find one that you like.
2) TOMATO SAUCE — Keep some canned or jarred tomato products ready for pasta sauce and for adding to soups and stews. If you have a favorite marinara sauce recipe, make a big batch and freeze it in small containers. We have some great recipes for those of you who like to cook. If you don’t, we suggest this would be a great item to start to learn with. All it takes is a little patience and getting some good quality jarred sauces to keep on hand. A brand that we found to be really good is Bionaturae.
3) TOFU – Make a batch of our baked tofu; it’ll keep for a week covered in the refrigerator. This couldn’t be easier. We like to use the extra firm for this. All you need is three ingredients and a hot oven. If you don’t have these essentials, there are several brands of baked tofu out on the market.
4) TEMPEH – Use our REAL Marinade for your tempeh. It will keep covered in the refrigerator and it also freezes well. We use it in many recipes. Once again, this is so easy to do. But if you don’t have the time you can find flavored tempeh at your grocery store.
5) GREENS – Keep green in winter! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to do without greens! Local farmers will still be producing lots of organic kale, so do your research. For example, our source here in NYC is Go Organic NYC! Most places have one of these great local growers distributors. If not, buy organic frozen fruits and vegetables and keep them in your freezer! The three essential winter greens to have on hand are kale, collards, cabbages.
6) ROOTS — Root vegetables! Thanks to the farm to table trends going on here in the USA, root vegetable cellars are making a comeback. Keep stocked with potatoes, turnips, rutabagas and lots and lots of onions. Depending on where you live you may even find local celery and rhubarb.
7) FLOUR — Flour power! Keep stocked with plenty of organic flours both wheat and gluten-free like chickpea, buckwheat, sorghum, tapioca, potato, lentil, brown rice, millet, and oats! There are so many and we have recipes for all! Keep them in the refrigerator so they stay fresh.
8) GRAINS – Keep stocked with whole grains like brown rice, millet, corn and oats and pseudo grains like quinoa and buckwheat. Store them in a cool, dry place.
9) MISO – Keep miso on hand for quick soups and to add flavor in all sorts of dishes. There are many flavors to choose from. Our favorite brand is South River Miso.
10) DRIED GOODS — Have dried noodles on hand for pasta dishes and to add to soups like our featured healthy ramen recipes and pho. Today pasta isn’t just made from wheat, it comes made from quinoa, brown rice, beans or corn, in all shapes and sizes. Dried peppers, tomatoes, herbs and spices will add lots of flavor to your food.
11) NUTS AND SEEDS – Raw nuts and seeds are so good for you and an ounce or two a day will make salads and cereals tastier and keep you satisfied longer. Stock up on walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds. Keep them in the refrigerator or freezer to stay fresh.
12) LEGUMES, PULSES, BEANS – The most important ingredient of all — BEANS! Beans, beans, and nothing but beans. Keep your finger on the pulse by eating legumes every day. There are so many to choose from – black beans, pinto beans, kidney beas, black-eyed peas, lima beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, red lentils, brown lentils, green lentils, green split peas, yellow split beans, adzuki beans, mung beans, fava beans. There are about 40,000 bean varieties of beans! Keep them stored in a cool, dry, dark place.