I keep a lot of food around. I feed three people nearly everyday and often at least five on the weekends.
I use canola oil and olive oils for sauteeing, roasting and for oiling pans. I also have walnut oil, sesame oil and peanut oil for various dishes. I love vinegars in all flavors, but probably use balsamic the most. Rice vinegar is often called for in Asian recipes. (You do need to have some basic white vinegar and baking powder for baking.) Tamari or soy sauce is good to have on hand.
I always have Vegenaise and spicy dijon mustard in the fridge. I love interesting nut butters - almond is my favorite, but I enjoy cashew and soy nut butters, too. There are some very fancy vegan peanut butters at places like Whole foods, but I'm afraid I will become addicted!
Staples in the freezer - Food for Life breads - Bran for life, hamburger buns and English muffins. That way you are never out of vegan bread. I also always have various frozen veggies, frozen fruits, frozen French fries, and a selection of veggie burgers and chick*n patties. Also Earth Balance and EB shortening. And So Delicious non-dairy ice cream.
In the pantry I have canned and dried beans (mostly black and garbanzo), boxes of veggie broth, jars of marinara and plenty of whole wheat pasta and Asian noodles. I also keep a box or two of shelf stable soy milk and rice milk. I have cereal, oatmeal and Triscuits or Pita chips. I usually have a jar of salsa and some unusual jam or jelly. I have flour, whole wheat pastry flour, organic sugar, maple syrup, cocoa, raisins, and bags of walnuts, pecans and almonds. I keep my baking soda and my baking powder fresh. At the moment I have three bags of vegan chocolate chips. I think I need to get rid of at least one of those - they're probably getting old.
must have spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, cumin, cayenne, sea salt, bay leaves, basil, oregano and dill. Others are nice, but these are the ones I use the most.
My fridge always has bread, tortillas and bagels, smart life baked "ham", tofurky, baked tofu, Better Than Cream Cheese, Better then Sour Cream, lettuce, tomatos, a garlic head, a couple of onions and often fresh fruits and veggies. I also keep soy milk, soy creamer, rice milk, juice, wine and beer.
At any time, I can easily make bean burritos, spaghetti with marinara, veggie burgers and fries, a "ham" sandwich or wrap, bagels and cream cheese, and Asian noodles with peanut sauce and veggies. I could probably make vegetable soup at the drop of a hat.
That's a lot of food - and I know I'm forgetting stuff. But having a well-stocked pantry is important when you dont' want to have to eat out too often in this non-vegan world!!!