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Anyone who follows a vegan diet knows how important it is to have those go-to vegan staples stocked in the kitchen. Here at Tacoma Boys, we recognize various dietary needs and the importance of vegan staples. From fresh produce to dairy free milks, nuts and seeds, legumes, grains, and other necessities and specialities such as tofu. For those who don’t know, a vegan diet refrains from consumption of animal products. This includes meat, dairy, eggs, and any foods containing these ingredients.
Tacoma Boys’ Favorite Vegan Staples
Tacoma Boys has a wide variety of essentials to a vegan diet, but a few stick out as go-to favorites. Whether you’re looking for fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes or grains, you’ll find what you need for a well-rounded vegan diet. Even those that do not follow a vegan diet will be tempted to mix up their shopping list with a spread of these plant-based foods!
Fruits And Vegetables
Though necessary for any diet, the vegan diet relies heavily on fruits and vegetables for fiber and protein, which generally make up the bulk of a day’s eating. Vegetables like broccoli and spinach contain more protein than most people realize! Also, mushrooms tend to be included more in plant-based diets because of their rich, umami, almost “meaty” taste and texture. Mushrooms are great meat substitutes for meals that typically use beef!
- Ponderosa Dried Mushrooms including Chanterelle, Morel, Oyster, Portabella, and a few more varieties.
- White Mushrooms, Brown Crimini Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushrooms
Other Go To Produce
- Leafy Greens like Kale
- Brussels Sprouts
When possible, buy locally grown produce.
Dairy Free Milks
Tacoma Boys is proud to offer a vast selection of dairy free “milks” made from nuts but also from many other foods like coconut and oats.
Find a couple different kinds in the refrigerated section, like Califia Farms Oatmilk and Mooala Plant-Based Creamer for coffee. A few more are shelf-stable like Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk, So Delicious Coconut Milk, Milkadamia Macadamia Milk, Pacific Foods Hemp, Hazelnut, Almond, Soy, and Coconut Milk, and much more to choose from.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are another essential vegan staple and source of protein and fiber.
Along with Northwest Delights Roasted Cashews and Almonds, vegans can enjoy dozens of nut and seed butters, from the traditional Field Day Organic Natural Peanut Butter, to SunButter Sunflower Butter, or Justin’s Almond Butter.
Legumes And Grains
The duo is often a backbone of a vegan diet because of the complete proteins. Whole grains with legumes deliver necessary amino acids that come together to create “complete protein,” which the body then uses for energy. In a vegan diet, this is important because complete proteins are mainly found in animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy. Read up more on plant-based and complete proteins here.
- Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand among vegans because of its wide variety of whole grains and legumes, including Rolled Oats, Quinoa, Lentils, Cannellini Beans, Cracked Freekeh, and much more
- Farmer Direct Organics Black Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas or Split Green Peas
Other Vegan Staples
Everyone has a few go-to ingredients they like to use in their day-to-day cooking, vegans included! Here are some of our favorite specialty ingredients made from plants:
- Mori-Nu Silken and Extra Firm Tofu
- Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt Tzatziki Dip
- Follow Your Heart has a long line of vegan salad dressings and dips in variations like Caesar, Vegan Mayonnaise, and Thousand Island
- Good Planet Foods Plant-Based Cheese comes in flavors like Garlic & Herb, Cheddar, and Smoked Provolone
All you need is a few vegan staples and a bit of creativity to create delicious vegan recipes and meals. These vegan recipe ideas can get you started.
- This list of vegan recipes utilizing mushrooms is far from comprehensive, but a good look at how versatile the “meaty” vegetable is
- Blend So Delicious Coconut Milk with Frozen Berries found in the freezer section for a refreshing smoothie.
- Northwest Delights Cashews can be incorporated into several vegan recipes because they are super smooth and creamy when blended. You can easily make sweet or savory cream, use them in an alfredo sauce, or thicken up soups with blended cashews. The Vegan Alfredo Sauce by Nora Cooks is a delicious example on how you can transform cashews.
- This Lentil Rice Soup by Veggie Inspired is a great way to enjoy legumes and grains.
- Pan-fry pressed firm tofu with spices for a crispy source of protein.
Shopping for Plant Based Alternatives
It doesn’t have to be difficult to find vegan staples and plant based alternatives to common foods at Tacoma Boys. You can even get a hold of pre made Vegan Desserts, many of which are locally produced! If you need help finding your favorite vegan staple or plant based alternatives, just ask and we will be happy to point you in the right direction. And to stay up to date on insider deals and specials, sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
Meal prepping is a great way to save time during busy workdays and get a head start on healthy eating. By planning a bit ahead of time and even cooking ahead of time, you can enjoy healthy, satisfying meals without the exhausting effort each and every night. Because of meal prepping, you can simplify your cooking and eating habits and spend less time cooking and cleaning up every night. Plus this helps with saving money by avoiding eating out.
What is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping simply means to plan, prepare, and sometimes cook what you’re going to eat ahead of time. This can be a week ahead of time or even the night before. Although it’s considered a trendy idea, it’s quite a basic process that people have been doing for decades and centuries. There are many different ways you can meal prep – some more simple than others!
Purchasing prepared foods to eat later for low effort meals
A popular favorite is Rill Foods’ prepared soup mixes like Tacoma Tortilla, Columbia River Corn Chowder, or Miners Minestrone. These products are already set to go with pre-measured ingredients and instructions.
Preparing an entire week’s worth of meals for quick and easy dinners
Simply cook and prepare your meals on a Sunday and store in tupperware! This allows you to reheat accordingly during the week, saving you time and cleanup. Make sure to label the tupperware with the date it was made and enjoy the meal before it goes bad. Check out this guide for a reference on how to safely store and reheat “leftovers” by the USDA.
Many people who practice meal prepping choose to do most of the planning, grocery shopping, and prepping or cooking on the weekends so they have a week’s worth of food ready to go when they’re busy on workdays. At Tacoma Boys, a wide selection of kitchen staples and speciality foods will keep you stocked with whatever you need every day of the week.
How to Meal Prep
Learn how to meal prep with a few simple steps.
- You’ll need basic healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, seasonings, proteins, and whole grains to get started
- Once you’re home with your ingredients, get to prepping!
- Pre cut your vegetables and store them in an airtight container, mix seasonings, and trim and marinade meat, until you’re ready to use it all
- Prepare the entire meal and cook all of the meal’s components. Protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains like Ancient Harvest Quinoa or a starch like Baby Red and Gold Potatoes, can all be cooked at once. Just store it in a tupperware and reheat it when you’re ready for a satisfying meal.
Variety is Key
Some people learn how to meal prep by cooking a large batch of something that is good for multiple meals (like a big pot of hearty soup) and dividing that into several containers. This leaves you with several servings ready to go for meals throughout the week. But if you’re one to get tired of the same old thing every day, mix it up a bit. Try preparing two or three meals and alternating throughout the week. To get you started, try one of Tacoma Boys’ various organic dried pastas like Scialateilli’s Gentile or Montebello’s Farfalle paired simply with jarred tomato sauce and fresh Portobello, Crimini, or Shitake Mushrooms. Then, consider something with different flavors like this simple Vegetable Stir Fry recipe by Once Upon a Chef.
Meal Prep Ideas
- Overnight oats in a jar, breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, scrambles
- Salad in a jar, classic protein & veggies, sandwiches, turkey roll ups, stir fry
- Marinated protein, burrito bowls, meatballs, enchiladas, pasta sauces
- Protein or bliss balls, pre-cut veggies and hummus, pre-cut fruit, chia seed pudding
Local Seasonal Produce for Meal Prep
Grocery shopping is the first step after deciding what you’d like to eat during the week. Tacoma Boys’ variety of local fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season for the winter include fresh Fuji and Honeycrisp Apples, Roma Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and much more! Local, in-season produce stays fresh for longer and tends to be a notch or two less expensive than foods that have had to travel to get here. But no matter what you crave this week, Tacoma Boys is sure to quickly stock the freshest nonlocal produce from regions where it is fresh and seasonal. Learn more about shopping and eating local, seasonal produce at Tacoma Boys here.
Grocery Shopping for the Week at Tacoma Boys
Meal prepping is an easy way to get ahead of the game and prepare yourself for a successful week with healthy meals and time saved. With just a little bit of planning and a lot of cooking at once, you can eat your favorite healthy recipes without the last-minute stress. Cooking and eating should be enjoyable and rewarding, so have fun with it! Keep the momentum going with regular grocery shopping and get creative with new recipes. To stay up-to-date on the latest insider deals and specials, including seasonal produce, sign up for Tacoma Boys text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
This year, Valentine’s dinner celebrations may look a little different. Many couples and families who traditionally go out to eat or do other activities must look forward to another way to observe the holiday. And if the quickest way to one’s heart is through their stomach, cooking your significant other something special is one of the best ways to express your love. Create a delicious Valentine’s dinner for two with a few steps to set the mood, prepare a homemade meal, and enjoy quality time together. Read on for some tips on how to craft the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner for two.
Valentine’s Day is practically destined for home cooking. It’s a special day to show the one you love how much they mean to you. After all, cooking for a significant other conveys love and caring. It’s one of the best times to enjoy a hearty, homemade meal and bond over the stove. It doesn’t have to be a stressful experience because all you need is simple, fresh ingredients and a plan to build the Valentine’s Day dinner of your loved one’s dream! To top it off, you’re sure to warm their heart with a DIY gift like one of these inventive ideas by House Beautiful.
Set the Mood for Valentines Day at Home
Help set the stage for a romantic Valentine’s Day at home with elements that you know your partner will appreciate. To help set the mood, consider:
- Serving up the color of love via red wine like Megan Anne 2018 Black Love, a unique pinot noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley
- Setting the dinner table with a classic display of special votive candles and fine china
- Gifting a stunning assorted Bouquet Of Fresh Cut Flowers (to keep the flowers fresh for longer, check out Tacoma Boys guide to keeping plants and flowers fresh and longer-lasting here).
There’s nothing wrong with going the traditional route when planning for an intimate Valentine’s Day at home. And going the extra mile with little details will help show how much you care! For a few more ideas on decorating for a lovely Valentine’s Day at home, go here.
Romantic Dinner for Two Menu
This Valentine’s dinner menu will help you craft a romantic and delicious dinner for two, using just a few high quality ingredients. We also love Bruschetta Topped Chicken and Spaghetti as an alternative to this menu.
Creamy and rich, classic cheese fondue is one of the most popular Valentine’s Day appetizers- and for good reason. It’s fun to eat and simple to prepare with speciality cheeses, like Emmi Le Gruyére, plus fresh Fuji Apples and crusty sourdough bread for dipping.
Choose your favorite tasty dressing from Tacoma Boys’ large wall of salad dressings for the ultimate flavor boost. Start with Mixed Greens, Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Bel Gioioso Shaved Parmesan, and Fresh Gourmet Organic Seasoned Croutons. Finish with a drizzle of your go-to Tacoma Boys dressing and you’re set!
Tacoma Boys makes it easy to enjoy a gourmet meal with less prep time thanks to stuffed chicken breasts! These pre-made stuffed chicken breasts come in many variations with different ingredients. One of our favorites are Chicken Breast Stuffed With Mushrooms and Cheese and Wrapped in Bacon. Pair your juicy stuffed chicken breast with a large serving of vegetables, like steamed Broccoli, Carrots, or Asparagus. Round out the satisfying meal with scoops of creamy mashed Gold or Red Potatoes mixed with roasted Garlic.
Finish the meal with a refreshing pre-made Raspberry Tart and a couple glasses of the Chocolate Shop Chocolate Lovers Wine, which blends red wine with rich chocolate for a unique treat. Or, bake whatever your partner’s favorite dessert may be from a wide array of boxed Cake or Brownie Mix.
If you already have a menu for your homemade Valentine’s Day dinner for two, Tacoma Boys always has a well stocked selection of quality ingredients for you to choose from. Stop on by to see what’s new or for inspiration for your Valentine’s Day at home.
Stay up to date on insider deals and specials when you sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
Gluten Free – Butter Chicken With Cauliflower Rice
A tasty crowd-pleaser. This gluten free Chicken Recipe is even dairy-free. Try this tasty recipe tonight! (more…)
SHEET PANNED ITALIAN CHICKEN
In a sealable plastic bag add 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Then add some salt, olive oil and a quick pour of balsamic vinegar (⅓ cup). Add some Italian seasoning, pepper and garlic powder to your preference. (Some folks cheat and use a bottle of Italian dressing, but we think this version is much fresher). If you can refrigerate for 1 hour, that is ideal, but not necessary. (more…)
BRUSCHETTA-TOPPED CHICKEN AND SPAGHETTI
Have a craving for Italian food? Going out to eat at a restaurant is nice for a special occasion. But, with help from Tacoma Boys, you can make a quality Italian meal right at home! From artisan pastas and cheeses to the best quality meat, we have everything you need to turn your favorite Italian dishes into easy weeknight dinners. And, this delicious recipe is ready within 30 minutes!