one green planet
one green planet

A huge part of the plant-based vegan diet is beans and leafy greens, which are excellent to learn about before Veganuary. Veganuary is a monthly event where participants go vegan for the month of January. Whether you’re participating or not, this guide is perfect for those who are new to plant-based cooking and making food at home. These are some of the most popular items to fill your pantry this Veganuary and are excellent to have on hand for a quick meal.

Here, we’re focusing on protein and greens. These are powerhouses when it comes to giving you steady energy to get through your day. Adding whole grains to these meals will round them out (think brown rice or pasta, or even naan or homemade rolls). However, remember to listen to your body and feed it what it needs.

If you’re looking for another guide to how to incorporate more whole foods in your diet, this guide goes over ways to do just that!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 20,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives

This week, we’re bringing delicious, fully vegan, and plant-based ways to build your vegan pantry!

Plant-Based Protein:

Vegan Peppered Tofu Steaks

Source: Peppered Tofu Steaks

There are so many ways to enjoy vegan proteins and the main ways are with tofu and tempeh. Both are made from soy and pack in lots of protein in one serving. With tofu’s varied textures (from soft to firm tofu), you can create a variety of dishes with tofu. and  With tempeh, you can create tempeh bacon, use it on sandwiches, and even use it


Tofu is a wonderful source of protein and because of its varied texture (from soft to firm tofu), you can create a variety of dishes with tofu such as spring rolls and katsu!  With silken tofu, you can use it in a smoothie or make mousse, and with firm tofu, you can bake it to make it flavorful and crispy!


Tempeh is perfect to marinate and then sautee up to serve! Like tofu, tempeh is also soy based. You can use tempeh to make bacon, add them in sandwiches, mix them into burgers.

Beans and Lentils:

Vegan Easy Black Bean Burger

Source: Easy Black Bean Burger

Beans are a wonderful addition to your Veganuary pantry! You can either buy beans canned or dry, depending on how you want to make your beans. Beans are easy to cook and an excellent choice to start making homemade. Canned beans are perfect for when you’re in a pinch and don’t have beans already prepped. Plus there are so many varieties of beans to explore including white beans (cannellini), kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and many, many more!


Lentils are a great little bean! They’re incredibly versatile and cook up well into lentil dahls and curries. You can also use them to make sloppy joes, and even nuggets!

Black Beans:

You can use black beans in so many recipes and they are a great flavor and protein to add to your meal.  You can mix them into rice, make refried beans or cook them into desserts. The most common recipe where black beans shine is in black bean burgers. You can even make black bean meatballs, as well!


Chickpeas are wonderful to use as hummus, but you can also roast them or sautee them for a crispy texture. Crispy chickpeas are excellent on top of salads or even added to wraps, but you can also just snack on them once they cool. But, there’s a whole world to explore with chickpeas, including adding them to desserts for a high protein kick and even using their brine to create meringue or mousse.

Dark Leafy Greens:

Collard Greens

Source: Collard Greens

The best addition to your Veganaury is dark leafy greens. Not only do they offer a multitude of health benefits, but they’re amazing to add for another texture and flavor to the dishes you create. Plus, you can enjoy dark leafy greens cooked or raw! Here are a few dark leafy greens and how to use them in two recipes!

Collard Greens:

Collard greens are a wonderfully hearty green and are wonderful to use to create collard wraps. Or, you can slice it up and sautee it to make a delicious side dish.


The best thing to do with lettuce makes a colorful salad. Plus, the more veggies, protein, and dressing you add, the more filling the salad becomes. This winter salad is perfect to start making and adding to your meal routine! If you’re not super into salads, try using lettuce to make lettuce wraps or use it in pitas and sandwiches.


Kale is another hearty green and is wonderful in both salads and wraps, but also in breads, pasta, and just as a side. Kale is versatile and tastes amazing raw or cooked. If you’re going to eat it raw, remember to massage it so it’s a bit softer; this makes it easier to digest, as well.

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!

Lead Image: Lentil, Rice and Bok Choy Soup by Julie Zimmer

Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.