The Ingredients Tabitha Brown Always Has In Her Kitchen - Exclusive

TikTok influencer, actress, and author Tabitha Brown's journey to veganism was apparently so smooth that the casual observer might find themselves under the impression that going vegan is "no big thing." Indeed, modern humans evolved into omnivorous eaters from largely vegetarian ancestors, according to Scientific American; but there is also evidence that beginning to eat meat was at least partially responsible for humans evolving into who and what we are today (via Time and Nature). In other words, while plant-based eating is both natural and healthy, it's not necessarily intuitive. Accordingly, Tabitha Brown deserves credit for making going vegan look so easy. However, during an exclusive interview with Mashed, Brown shared that veganism might have come somewhat easily to her because her body seemed to really need it. 

Brown had been moving in the direction of veganism since the age of 15, when she became a vegetarian for five straight years. Although she began eating fish and poultry again at age 20 (before moving to her current, fully vegan diet), she's never eaten red meat or pork since. The upshot of this experience being that Brown has many years of knowledge about stocking a kitchen that both supports plant-based eating and elevates it to exciting gastronomical heights. Now you can benefit from that experience too, as Brown has given Mashed a run down of all the ingredients she keeps in her vegan kitchen.

These are the meat-alternatives that Tabitha Brown always has on hand

"When you go vegan, unless you're born vegan and it's been your whole life, you have cravings," Tabitha Brown told Mashed during an exclusive interview. To address those cravings, which do come and go over time, as well as to never feel deprived, Brown makes certain to always keep at least some meat-alternative or another on hand in her refrigerator. While "your leafy greens, your beans, your seeds, your nuts, things like that" are Brown's primary sources of protein (being the most wholesome and least expensive choices), "when those cravings hit and you still want a burger or you still want a sausage or something like that, you have these options." 

Brown's favorite choice for vegan meat alternatives is Greenleaf Foods' Field Roast and Lightlife lines, and in particular, Field Roast's wide variety of sausages. "I've been working with them for a very long time, and I've had the privilege of going into the facility and [seeing] it being done from start to finish. And they use real ingredients, real food, real vegetables, real fruit, which is what I love about them," said Brown. In other words, although any alternative meat is going to come to you processed to some degree, the vegan influencer feels confident from what she's observed with her own two eyes that the GreenLeaf products are as close to "whole" as you're going to find in faux meats. 

Other ingredients Tabitha Brown always has in her kitchen.

As much as they may figure into Tabitha Brown's popular TikTok cooking videos, meat-alternatives aren't the mainstay of Brown's 100% vegan diet. Rather, they serve almost the same role as what she has in her spice cabinet, in that they can enhance the flavors and textures of whatever it is she's cooking. And speaking of spices, Tabitha Brown always has a ton of spices in her kitchen. "My seasonings are stacked to the gods," she told Mashed. "They can call me Tabitha 'McCormick' Brown. ... So many seasonings from McCormick!" As for which ones you'll always find in Brown's kitchen, there's multiple types of garlic, dried onion, rosemary, sage, parsley, cumin, and thyme, as well as spice combos like McCormick's Grill-Mates. Although she doesn't use a ton of salt, when she does, it's Himalayan sea salt

And then, of course, there's all the whole fruits and veggies that Tabitha Brown can't do without, not the least of which is avocado. "I'm a big avocado person," the star told Mashed. "I keep avocados all the time," as well as Sriracha, which she loves to use as an avocado-topper. Brown also always keeps fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion on hand for salads and wraps, which she likes to serve with vegan mayo. Finally, she could never do without rice and beans, which she points out are "plentiful and will keep you full."

For more Tabitha Brown, follow her on TikTok and pre-order her book "Feeding the Soul" before its release in September 2021.