A Blog post by
Sweet Lancey

Vegan Shopping and Grocery Guide

February 19, 2016

I've met so many people over the years who have read about the benefits of veganism, attempted to cut out meat and dairy and subsequently gone back to their old ways. Perhaps surprisingly, it hasn't always been because they miss bacon - though I'm sure you've met as many 'but bacon tho' bros as me - often the issue has been not understanding how to develop a vegan meal.

Picture a standard meal, with a piece of meat, some boiled vegetables and a roasted potato. Now remove the meat from that picture, and consider how satisfied you'd feel after eating it. It's no wonder people complain of feeling hungry/bored/deficient on a vegan diet!

Vegan food can be so exciting, healthy, fulfilling and packed with flavour if you know how to prepare it. That, no doubt, starts with preparing a shopping list that will help you build a range of killer meals.

Before diving in, let's start with some simple tips to keep in mind:

  • Start in the fresh food section: you'll end up with a healthier selection of food and can then substitute what wasn't available with canned or frozen alternatives
  • Explore local markets and bulk food stores for fresh produce and a wider variety of specialty foods, in addition to your local supermarket
  • Bring reusable bags and jars where possible: many bulk food stores even offer discounts for bringing your own jars and bottles
  • Look up vegan recipes in advance: your list should guide you and if you go in with a plan, you'll avoid wasting food that goes uneaten. However, this list is a general plan, which is ideal if you'd prefer to explore as you go or buy food that's discounted.
  • Make a plan: you know your tastes and how you want to nourish your body, so stick with what you really want to be eating

Below is a list of some, but by no means all, of the vegan items you might find in your local supermarket. You'll find many of my favourites but you should make this list your own and explore what your region has to offer, particularly as the seasons change.

Please note: some of theses items, particularly under the grain and seeds headings, can fall into different categories. I've grouped them in a way that makes sense for creating a grocery list.

Vegetables

  • Salad mixes including cabbage, spinach, rocket, kale and lettuce
  • Tomato, cucumber, capsicum and carrot
  • Broccoli, cauliflower and green beans
  • White potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and pumpkin
  • Onion, spring onions and shallots
  • Eggplant, fennel and zucchini
  • Mushrooms, asparagus and Brussel sprouts
  • Avocado, olives, marinated artichoke and sundried tomatoes

Herbs and Spices (fresh and dried)

  • Basil, parsley, coriander, mint and dill
  • Rosemary, thyme, sage and tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic, ginger and chives
  • Chilli, turmeric, oregano, paprika, cumin
  • Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla beans
  • Blends, like dukkah,Italian herbs, Chinese five spice and all spice
Fresh and Dried Fruit
  • Bananas, mandarins, tangelos and oranges
  • Stawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
  • Watermelon, rockmelon and pineapple
  • Apples, pears and kiwi fruit
  • Peaches, nectarines and plums
  • Grapes, pomegranate and figs
  • Passionfruit, lemon and lime
  • Sultanas, dried apple and dried peaches

Grains, Beans and Legumes

  • Rice, barley, buckwheat and millet
  • Lentils, chickpeas, quinoa and corn
  • Broad beans, kidney beans, lima beans, cannellini beans and pinto beans
  • Rolled oats and cereal

Non-dairy Milk, Cheese and Other

  • Oat, soy, rice and nut milk
  • Vegan shredded, hard and cashew cheese
  • Vegan cream, coconut yoghurt

Protein

  • Tofu, soy and chickpea tempeh
  • Frozen and dried edamame beans
  • Falafels and veggie balls
  • Vegan burger patties and sausages
  • Beans and lentils (previously outlined)
  • Vegan protein powder

Condiments, Sauces and Spreads

  • Dips like hummus, baba ganoush and toum (garlic sauce)
  • Tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, relishes and chutneys
  • Peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter
  • Jam, Vegemite and vegan chocolate spread
  • Oils, vinegar, soy sauce and chilli oil
  • Sriracha, salsa, chimichurri and miso paste
  • Vegan mayonnaise, vegan pesto and mustard
  • Tomato paste, passata and gravy
  • Pre-made cooking sauces for stir-fries and pasta
  • Pre-made dressing like Italian and general vinaigrette

Nuts and Seeds

  • Cashews, almonds, pistachios, pecans and peanuts
  • Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and poppy seeds
  • Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds and lindseeds

Bread

  • Sourdough, ciabatta, Turkish and miche bread
  • Baguettes, white, multi-grain and wholewheat bread
  • Pumpernickel and rye bread
  • Corn tortillas, wheat tortillas, naan and pita bread
  • Bagels, English muffins and crumpets
  • Fruit and raisin bread
  • Gluten free bread

Baking Ingredients

  • Vegan butter, vegetable shortening and coconut oil
  • LSA meal, egg replacement powder
  • Maple syrup and apple sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Regular flour, cornflour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  • Nutritional yeast

Frozen Foods

  • Berries
  • Vegetables
  • Frozen meals

Vegan Treats

  • Dark chocolate (check the label before purchasing)
  • Biscuits like Leda Choc Chip Cookies and Lotus Biscoff
  • Chips, popcorn and savoury biscuits (check the label before purchasing)
  • Vegan ice-cream, like So Good, Tofutti and products from dairy-free ranges of non-vegan brands like Ben and Jerry's and Magnum

Now all that's left to do is start shopping! Check out my handy infographic below, and browse my full recipe range by exploring the Sweet Lancey categories for inspiration.