Vegan Shopping List

January 3, 2013


Vegan Shopping List

I once read a truly inspiring book called “Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind”. I strongly identified with its concept of a “beginner's mind”,  and the possibilities it would open for creative growth.

The author explains it as “to have a simple, pure mind, open to possibilities.

It is the kind of open mindedness that allows you to learn, experience and savor the world around you. Your days are filled with wonder, curiosity, excitement and passion.

Sound good? Of course, it does. I bring this up because when I became vegan, I developed a “beginner's mind”.

Eating a plant-based diet is physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healing. It opens up dormant regions of human potential and consciousness. I can honestly say, you will see life differently.

If you landed on this blog by accident, maybe the universe is trying to tell you something.

If you are here because you want to consider eating a plant-based diet, congratulations. You are showing the most important person in the world (you) compassion, and that compassion and empathy will seep into everything you do in life. I am here to help you, so lets get started. First up, a grocery shopping list.

Since I became vegan, I have learned a lot about plant-based shopping and cooking. Many hits and many misses. Hopefully, this list will help you avoid the mistakes I made.

My best advice would be to keep it simple, and always have some cooked whole-grains, veggies and beans on hand for easy and delicious meals. I try to stay away from all processed foods, but when I can't avoid it, I read the ingredients carefully.

It may say “natural” on the front,  but that doesn't mean it's organic or non-GMO. It is particularly important that you avoid all GMO products which are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants or animals.

A growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers' and consumers' rights. In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food, and there are no laws in place to inform the consumer that the food they are purchasing contains GMOs.

In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European union have restrictions or outright bans on the production and sales of GMO modified food. To learn more about gut health and GMOs, click here.

While this food list offers substitutes for everything you eat on a standard American diet, I don't recommend eating a lot of processed food.

But often people need substitutes to help them transition, and there is nothing wrong with putting a little vegan butter on whole-grain toast or mixing some vegan mayo with some mashed chickpeas for a sandwich.

Also, I am not being compensated for recommending these brands. It is just my personal preference after experimenting with hundreds of products. So let's get started on the ultimate vegan shopping list.

Milk Substitutes 

Any unsweetened organic, non-dairy milk like rice, almond, hemp, cashew, oat or soy milk. I like almond and soy milk the best.

Hemp milk is a complete protein meaning that it contains all of the amino acids necessary for optimal health. A single serving of hemp milk provides an entire day's recommended intake of omega 3 fats. It has a nice, light taste and can be added to cereals, oatmeal, smoothies or to drink on its own.

Soy milk has a nutrition profile most similar to dairy milk. It is the highest in protein providing between 8 and 11 grams of protein per cup. Tastes great in coffee and dissolves well.

Almond milk tends to be lower in calories and sugar than most non-dairy milk. It also contains monounsaturated fats, which are heart healthy fats. Almond milk tends to separate when heated so it may separate in coffee.

Cashew milk is the new kid on the block. It is creamy and sweet but can be high in sugar. Make sure you go for unsweetened.

Rice milk is non-allergenic. However, it is the lowest in protein and tends to be higher in sugar and calories. Always use unsweetened.

Oat milk provides fiber as well as protein about 4 grams per serving. However, it is on the higher end in terms of sugar and calories.

Almond, hemp, soy, coconut and rice milk can easily be used in baked goods.

All non-dairy milk are vegan and lactose-free.

**There are brands of non-dairy milk that incorporate added fats and sweeteners including cane juice and brown rice syrup. I would avoid these and stick with brands that are unsweetened and include only a few simple ingredients**

**Some non-dairy milk are fortified with B12. Check the label if you are looking for B12 fortified. It is usually not on the label.**

Butter Substitutes 

Earth Balance is popular and makes lots of vegan butter options. Please use in moderation because part of enjoying a healthy, plant-based diet is letting go of excessive oil.

All oil and vegan butter are processed foods. They are pure fat, and most of the great nutrients and properties of the whole food are extracted in the process of making a whole food an oil.

If you have or worry about heart disease, I would recommend no oil at all. Learn more about oil and degenerative disease from heart specialists, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn or Dr. John McDougall on youtube.

Cheese Substitutes

There are many vegan cheese substitutes on the market but always remember these are processed foods. I prefer nut and homemade vegan cheese. Also, just because it is in the vegan cheese section, don't assume it is vegan. Many rice and soy cheese makers add casein (from cow’s) to help the cheese melt.

If you like cheese on popcorn, I highly recommend nutritional yeast. It has a similar salty, nutty taste like parmesan and is delicious sprinkled on popcorn. It is also a great cheese replacement for baked macaroni and cheese.

For pasta, I like to grind up some pine nuts and sprinkle them on top. It adds a creamy and salty taste much like parmesan cheese.

On the commercial side, I think Chao cheese slices by Field Roast taste the best. I also like Miyoko’s Kitchen vegan mozzarella.

Egg Substitutes

There are many commercial egg substitutes on the market. I use Bob's Red Mill. I mainly use egg substitutes for baking. I have tried every vegan egg binder imaginable, and I still haven’t found one that can hold a vegan burger together perfectly.

Ground flax seed eggs – My favorite. Makes two eggs – Whisk two tablespoons of ground flax seed with six tablespoons of water until fluffy – put the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to thicken.

Chia Seed Eggs – Makes one egg – Whisk one tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water – mix & let sit for fifteen minutes

Cornstarch Eggs – Makes one egg – Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water

Arrowroot Eggs – Makes one egg – Combine two tablespoons of Arrowroot with three tablespoons of water

Chickpea Flour Eggs – Makes one egg – Whisk three tablespoons of Chickpea flour with three tablespoons of water

Applesauce and Bananas – For 2 eggs – Smash up or blend about a half a banana or 1/4 cup applesauce to use as an egg replacer in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes or yeast-free quick breads.

Tofu -For two eggs – blend 1/4 cup silken tofu until tofu is smooth and creamy.

Aquafaba – Aquafaba is the liquid from cooked chickpeas. Three tablespoons equals 1 egg white. Two tablespoons of aquafaba equals one egg as a binder.

Meat Substitutes 

I don't eat many faux meats, but I have tried the following and they may help you with your transition but remember the best food you can eat are whole, plant-based foods like grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado.

Beyond Meat is a popular meat substitute. It is non-GMO, organic and made from plants, not soy. They make vegan chicken, crumbles and veggie burgers among other things.

Gardein Fresh & Frozen Products – I particularly like the vegan turkey cutlets with gravy, and they also have beef strips which work nicely marinated for tacos.

Field Roast Sausages – If you are craving a frankfurter or sausage, I think Field Roast tastes the best.

Sweet Earth makes a variety of faux meats including vegan bacon. Their ingredients are mainly vegetables and non-GMO.


**Please note all white processed cane sugar is whitened with animal bone char and isn't vegan – see this link for more information**

Unprocessed Stevia for coffee and tea – check and make sure there is only one ingredient on the label and no dextrose.

100% Organic Maple Syrup (my favorite sweetener for recipes)

Blackstrap Molasses – Has a low glycemic index and is high in iron and magnesium content.

Zulka – 100% Vegan Sugar – The only sugar with the label “no bone char” and available in most grocery stores.


Vegan Mayonnaise – There are many manufacturers of vegan mayonnaise. Once again, use sparingly, it is a processed oil based food.

Non-GMO Ketchup, Mustard – Hundreds of brands. Make sure your ketchup doesn’t include high-fructose corn syrup

Nuts, Seeds & Dried Fruits

Nuts are high in protein and can be added to almost any meal. I like slivered almonds on salads, oatmeal or just for snacking.

Seeds and dried fruits make a wonderful toppings for oatmeal and salads.

Hemp seeds, ground flax seeds and chia seeds contain a great balance of omega-6 and omega-3s

Have two tablespoons of hemp, ground flax seeds, or chia seeds every day. Always buy ground flaxseeds since this particular seed has a hard outer cover, making it more difficult to digest. That only applies to flaxseeds.


Buy any and all fresh in-season organic vegetables (more reasonably priced when in season) Eat as many vegetables as you like!

Keep a lot of lemons on hand to squeeze over vegetables and greens.

Buy fresh parsley, cilantro, garlic, ginger and mint when possible for additional flavoring.


Lentils, Tofu, Beans, Quinoa, Soy, Chick Peas, Green Peas, Artichokes, Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds, Oatmeal, Pumpkin Seeds, Hemp Milk, Edamame, Spinach, Black Eyed Peas, Broccoli, Asparagus, Green Beans, Almonds, Spirulina, Tahini, Nutritional Yeast, Peanut Butter, and Amaranth all have high amounts of protein.

Plant-Based Meat Substitutes 

Tempeh Tempeh is made from soy. It is created by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into cake form. The chewy consistency makes it a great vegetable protein to use as a mock meat substitute, especially in stews and chili.

There are a number of pre-made tempeh products on the market.

Seitan also called “wheat meat” is derived from the protein portion of wheat. It stands in for meat in many recipes and works so well that some vegans avoid it because the texture is too “meaty.”

You can buy various pre-made seitan products. It comes cubed for stews or kabobs or as vegan bacon.

Chickpeas – Although not a meat substitute, chickpeas are definitely a protein substitute and my number one protein.

Mash them up with a little vegan mayo and sun-dried tomatoes and put them on sliced bread with avocado and sprouts. Add them to soups and salads.

Roast them with a little cayenne pepper as an appetizer. Chickpeas are one of the most versatile plant-based foods you can consume.Chickpeas are one of the most versatile proteins in the plant-based world.

Organic non-GMO tofu – The typical tofu textures are Silken (soft), soft, medium, firm and extra-firm. You can add tofu to pretty much anything. It takes on the flavor you cook it with.

 Whole Grains    

Grain is considered to be a whole grain as long as all three original parts – the bran, germ, and endosperm are present in the same proportions as when the grain was growing in the field. My favorite whole grains are quinoa, brown rice, farro, and bulgur.


Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It is pronounced KEEN-wah. It is basically a “seed” which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.  There are three types: white, red and black. It has a rich nutrient profile, and one one cup has 8 grams of protein, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, folate, zinc and copper. Quinoa is gluten-free and usually grown organically. Make sure you purchase non-GMO quinoa. One cup of cooked chickpeas contains 15 grams of protein.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is better for you than white. White rice is refined. Brown rice, unlike white rice, still has the side hull and bran. The side hulls and brans are rich in protein, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, selenium, fiber and potassium. There are 5 grams of protein in once cup of cooked brown rice.


Farro is a healthy whole grain that Italians have been eating for years. Farro is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron. It has a nutty, chewy flavor and can serve as the bed for any dish. I also love warm farro with non-dairy milk, a few nuts and drizzled with maple syrup.

A cup of farro has about 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup dry. This is greater than either quinoa or brown rice. Although not gluten-free, farro has significantly less gluten than wheat.


Bulgur also contains resistant starch. Resistant starch has been called nature’s fat-burning breakthrough because resistant starch is bulky, so it takes up space in your digestive system. Because you can’t digest it or absorb it, the starch never enters your bloodstream. That means it avoids the issue of some carbs which can get socked away as body fat when you eat more than you burn. I recommend a cup of bulgur or barley every day for weight loss.

Barley, Millet, Teff, Wild Rice, Wheat, Buckwheat, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Kamut, Oats, Freekeh, and Spelt are also considered whole grains.


Lentils & Beans are a high source of protein! Try to include them in your diet every day. They are also high in fiber, calcium, and iron.

Don’t believe everything you read about gas and beans. There are many things you can do like soaking the beans with a little baking soda and throwing away the soaking liquid.

Another tip, cook a whole peeled potato with the beans. Do not eat the potato and discard before serving.

Digestion shouldn’t be a problem once you’ve adapted to the dietary fiber increase.

Also, there should be no problem with lentils and chickpeas aka garbanzo beans.

For the cupboard & refrigerator

Nutritional Yeast

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Liquid Smoke adds a smokey barbecue flavor

Cartons of low-sodium Chickpeas, Cannellini Beans, and Black Beans

Grains like quinoa and brown rice

Sun-dried Tomatoes


Roasted red peppers in the jar

Cartons of kitchen ready low-salt organic ground tomatoes Whole-wheat flour

Artichokes in water in a jar

Chickpea Flour

Seasonings are a vegan's best friend! 

Red Pepper flakes
Sriracha (hot sauce)
Low-sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
Rice Vinegar
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Dried Rosemary
Dried Thyme
Ground Chipotle
Chili Powder
Onion Powder
Ground Ginger


Any and all fresh in-season organic fruits. Frozen fruit is also available year-round, and in some cases cheaper than fresh fruit. It also has the same nutritional value.

Fruits like lemons, limes, cranberries, pomegranates, grapefruit, kiwis, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, and blackcurrants are very low in sugar. Combine them with seeds or a sprinkle of nuts.

**If you have digestive issues, try a cup of warm lemon water when you wake up in the morning or a half hour before eating**


Any non-dairy yogurt including soy, almond or coconut. I prefer almond. Watch the sweet yogurts for too much sugar. Some yogurts can have over 20 grams of sugar which is not ideal for weight-loss. It also raises your blood sugar too fast. I like to keep the sugar number well below 10 grams.

Cream Cheese 

You don't have to give up your bagels. Most bagels should be vegan, as the traditional recipe is simply a bread dough that is boiled and baked. Make sure they don't put an egg wash on it to make it shiny. Also ask if they have added any egg, honey or whey to it. A real plain bagel shouldn't have any added ingredients.

There are many vegan cream cheese manufacturers. Check the labels and make sure there isn't too much fat, sodium, and sugar. Remember this is a processed food, so please use sparingly.

Organic Vegetable Broth 

I like to use vegetable broth for sautéing instead of added oil. Stock up on organic vegetable broth because you will be using it for many of your soups and stews.

Pasta & Noodles 

Whole-wheat pasta is easy to prepare. Serve with some sautéed chopped tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil.

Soba Noodles – cook them in a vegetable broth and top with vegetables.

“On the go” Breakfast and Cereal 

Natures Path Frozen Waffles (gluten-free, original and flax-plus)

Barbara's organic breakfast cereal (shredded wheat/multi-grain/whole wheat flakes)

Instant steel-cut oats (serve with slivered almonds and berries)

Instant Oatmeal

Scottish Oats

Warm farro with organic maple syrup (high-protein)

Almond yogurt (serve with slivered almonds and fruit for a high-protein breakfast)

Warm Quinoa with almond milk, raisins, and chopped fruit

Snack Foods 

Hummus is an excellent high-protein meal. Serve with carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes or spread some inside some whole wheat pita bread and top with cucumbers & sprouts.

Whole grain fig bars. Barbara's Raspberry Fig Bars have zero fat.

Whole Wheat Pita Chips -Cut whole wheat pita bread into triangles and put on a cookie sheet. Roast at 400 until crispy. Serve with salsa or hummus.

Baked sweet potato – Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene. Beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.

Wash your sweet potato, poke some holes in it and bake until tender. Drizzle some maple syrup on top.

Cheesy tasting popcorn – Pop popcorn kernels in an air popper. Transfer popcorn to a large bowl. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and mix evenly. Nutritional yeast adds a cheese-like flavor and keeps the crunch of popcorn. Red Star makes a nutritional yeast with a B12 supplement.

Avocado on Whole Wheat Toast
Slice half an avocado and layer on toast. I like to add a little lemon juice, a touch of salt and sprouts.

Edamame – 6 cups water, 1 pound edamame – Bring water to a boil in large pot. Add soybeans return to boil. Cook approximately 10 minutes. Or get the shelled frozen.

Homemade trail mix – Could include raisins, dates, walnuts, almonds and oats. Top with some almond milk for a quick and easy high protein snack.

Cereal and fruit – Have a bowl of healthy vegan cereal and top it with your favorite berries.

Peanut Butter sandwich with sliced banana.


My favorite dessert is a homemade soft whip banana ice-cream, and it is so simple to prepare:

Take two ripe bananas, slice them and put them in the freezer for at least three hours. Then add the frozen banana slices to a food processor with a few cashew nuts, and blend until smooth. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and a few chopped walnut pieces.

You can also buy commercial vegan ice cream like:

So Delicious Dairy Free Ice Cream, Purely Decadent Ice Cream and Ben & Jerry’s just came out with a vegan ice cream that is delicious.

An ounce of two of 72% dark or bittersweet chocolate (any chocolate marked over 70% should be non-dairy but check the ingredients)

Almond pudding cups

Baked fruit with cinnamon and drizzled with maple syrup.

Kid Friendly Vegan Foods

Non-Dairy Yogurt

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

Bean and Rice Burritos

Frozen waffles

Whole Wheat Pasta with tomato sauce and ground pine nuts.

Guacamole & Salsa

Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Mac n Cheese with nutritional yeast

Faux chicken fingers with breaded tofu


Beware of the ingredients in any processed food especially hot dogs. Check the sodium content and make sure the number representing sodium is lower than the number representing calories.

If I had to choose one I think Field Roast Hotdogs taste the best.

Healthiest Packaged Foods:

The healthiest foods are the foods that come straight out of the garden and are consumed in their natural form or as simply prepared as possible. These foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, legumes, and intact whole grains and should be the focus of any healthy diet.

Packaged and processed foods are usually loaded with fats, free oils, salt, refined sugars/sweeteners and refined carbohydrates/grains, They are also almost always calorie dense.

However, there are some packaged and processed foods that can be included as part of a healthy diet. And in fact, keeping some of them around and on hand, can make following a healthy diet, easier.

1. Organic Frozen Vegetables

2. Organic Frozen Fruits

3. Quick Cooking Brown Rice

4. No Salt added Organic Canned Beans (I like Eden)

5. No Salt added Organic Kitchen-Ready Tomatoes

6. Intact Whole Grains (Oatmeal, buckwheat, barley, brown rice, cracked wheat, quinoa, and millet)

7. Whole Grain Pasta

8. Organic Dried Fruit

9. Unsalted Raw Nuts/Seeds & Nut/Seed Butter

10.Salt-Free Spices/Seasoning & Herbs

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85 thoughts on “Vegan Shopping List

  1. This is SO helpful!!! I am new to vegan-ism and this list is extremely helpful to myself and finding things that may help switch the bf over too! Thank you 🙂

    1. I really wanna become a vegan.please help me out I start my workouts this Sunday.And I am on a serious mission not only to lose weight but to live healthy forever

      1. Congratulations on your new compassionate diet Paul! Take it one day at a time and keep it simple. Grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and small sides of healthy fats like nuts and seeds. You might want to begin listening to my podcasts called Ordinary Vegan available on iTunes or Spotify and on this web site. I think they can help you with your plant-based journey.

    1. Thank you so much for this help,i must admit I was feeling lost abit but your knowledge and advice is helpdul to say the least.

      1. Truvia is made by Coca Cola and kills fruit flies in studies so it’s VERY bad for you! I use NOW brand Stevia in the uk which I buy from the US 🙂

      2. Tru via is made by Coca Cola and kills fruit flies in clinical studies so it’s VERY bad for you if you look at the ingredients it’s not pure stevia – in fact very little!! I use NOW brand Stevia in the uk which I buy from the US 🙂

  2. Hi thanks for putting this together. I love the layout and your writing style is easy to follow. As I was reading I noticed a huge inaccuracy about GMOs. Sure there may be reasons to avoid them buy the reason I out list “packed with pesticides” is most certainly not one. The main reason GMOs were developed was to make the plant or fruit more resistant to disease and or being eaten by insects. The goal was to reduce and eliminate the need for pesticides. Other effects of GMO consumption haven’t been proven out, so yeah it’s a good idea to avoid if possible.

    1. Thanks for the heads up Stef. That definitely needed a re-write and it is taken care of. Thanks for the kind words and for being part of our community! I always appreciate the feedback.

    2. One of the main reasons for GMO’s is to create crops which are immune to herbicides which are sprayed on entire fields to eliminate weeds…you’ve heard of the nicotinoid called Roundup. These herbicides can remain in the plants for over two years and are one of the major reasons for the destruction of honey bees, by destroying their homing abilities.

    3. Before you edit your GMO information, more research is needed. is a reputable source of current information.
      Unfortunately, the PR we have been given over the years about GMOs is spin. The independent studies have shown them not to be safe. The combination of GMOs (which now include “gene editing”) and glyphosate and other pesticides/herbicides, is not what we are meant to eat. .1 ppm of glyphosate alone has been shown to cause cancer in animals. Yikes! Getting back to real food without chemicals is so important for the good health of all.
      In my practice as a certified traditional naturopath, I see most health issues stemming from eating processed food and food grown in an unhealthy way.
      I love your website. So helpful.

    4. GMO plants are bred to resist pesticides and they are liberally doused in them. Many of the plants have the gene inserted into the plant itself, so you can’t wash it off. That pesticide ends up in your stomach. I wouldn’t eat any GMO products at all. Ever. Like eating poison.

  3. Five weeks since I made the change and my body is loving it. Forks over Knives changed my way of thinking. Thanks for this website!

  4. I recently bought some nonGMO sugar from the dollar store. It is called Zulka. Any thoughts? It says it is a unrefined GMO free cane sugar

  5. This was SO helpful. I literally just decided today I want to go vegan, been going back and forth all day about what I wasn’t sure I could give up and this was SO helpful in me realizing I may not need to give up as much as I think (cheese, meat lol) with all of the heathy subs and my kids may not even notice the difference hopefully and I don’t have to buy them separate things which makes things easier on me too. You covered everything! Thanks a ton!!

  6. I decided I wanted to go vegan last night (after seeing some really disturbing videos of factory farms) and I found this article earlier today. It has helped me so much. Are there any tips you can give me on making the change from omnivore to vegan? Thanks so much for making this list.

    1. Hi Myki- welcome to our healthy community. I have lots of tips, grocery lists etc and below are some links. I am very excited for you and I know it will be a very rewarding journey. Remember take it one day at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. I would also suggest keeping it simple starting out. View your plate cut in fourths. One fourth grains, one fourth vegetables, one fourth legumes and one fourth fruit. Have a small side dish with healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocado. Leafy greens everyday! Wishing you the best and thanks for being part of our community.

      Getting started on a vegan diet
      Vegan Shopping List

  7. I am thinking about going vegan and this article helped a lot, however I’m still in school and have some concerns about school lunch and what would be easy to make every morning. Also, although they aren’t “healthy” are oreos vegan?

    1. Hi Katherine and welcome to the Ordinary Vegan community. I am excited that you are considering a plant-based diet. The most important advice I would have for you is to keep it simple. Stay away from a lot of processed foods like vegan cheese and oreos. If you need a little of that stuff to transition, thats ok but don’t overdo it. You can be an unhealthy vegan if you fill up on processed foods like Oreos even if they are vegan. Think of your body like a machine. Fill it with vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits and healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds. When you start experiencing the energy, lightness and brightness – you won’t want to fill your body with body clogging foods. Give yourself a month to really feel it. Also, make sure you get a blood test after a month to make sure you are getting enough B12 and D. As far as school goes, I recommend making your lunches the night before. Also, the best thing you can do is learn how to cook and prepare all of this yourself so you are not relying on eating out or other people. It should also be a fun experience for you to share healthy meals with your family. You could be the inspiration for everyone to get healthier. Hope all this helps. Following are my suggestions. Don’t get overwhelmed – just take what you need. Good luck and we are here for you!

      I recommend that you have 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed, hemp seeds or chia seeds a day for yourOmega 3s. The ground flax can be mixed with soups, oatmeal etc. The hemp and chia seeds can be put on top of salads, greens, and practically anything since they have a mild good taste. It is essential that he have leafy greens every day for calcium. You can’t eat too many leafy greens. I make greens a staple at dinner time always having big batch of spinach, swiss chard or kale simply steamed with fresh lemon juice and some hemp seeds on top.

      Whole grains are very important every day. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, barley, brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, barley, and oats are a few options.

      Every meal should contain whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits and healthy fats. I highly recommend red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits like peppers, raspberries, tomatoes,yellow apples, yellow squash, corn, asparagus, avocados, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts and edamame.

      Nuts are a rich source of healthy fats. I wouldn’t overdo them but, they would make an excellent snack.

      Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can consume. I recommend baking a few for the week and warming up before serving. I like to drizzle it with some maple syrup.

      I know it gets crazy in the morning but make sure you eat a big breakfast to start your day. You can make some easy french toast with some chickpea flour for protein. (recipe below) Or bake some oatmeal the night before and heat up. (recipe below) Chia pudding with fruit is also a healthy, easy to prepare the night before option. (recipe below)

      Packing vegan lunches:
      With every lunch, pack small containers with fruit, nuts or roasted chickpeas (recipe below), a grain salad, edamame and sliced vegetables. I also recommend making big batches of power bars, muffins or banana bread. (recipes below) Freeze individual slices and include one in every school lunch for snacking. I would include a small box of Silk almond milk. They make a delicious chocolate one. Also, almond milk yogurt with cocoa nibs would be a delicious snack.

      Here are some easy, quick main meal lunch ideas:
      Peanut butter sandwich topped with sliced bananas and strawberries.
      Mash some chickpeas with some ground flax seed or hemp seeds, sundried tomatoes – add some veganaise. Put on vegan bread topped with spinach leaves or lettuce, tomato.
      Wraps are easy for kids to eat and can be filled with all of your favorite ingredients. Beans, corn, whole grains, and vegetables.
      Cold pasta or quinoa bowls with black beans, corn, sliced avocado, and seeds on top.
      Pasta salad with vegetables and protein (recipe below)
      Black Bean Tacos with carrots, lettuce, salsa, and avocado.
      Cold sesame salad with cucumber, sesame seeds, tomatoes and carrots. (recipe below)
      Avocado sandwich – Mash 1 avocado with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt and smear on toasted bread – top with sliced tomatoes and lettuce and sprouts.

      Prepare the night before main meal lunch ideas:
      Avocado and chickpea hummus (stuff it in pita bread lots of vegetables) recipe below
      Asian pasta salad (recipe below)
      Baby Jackfruit Barbecue Sandwich (recipe below)
      Cannellini Bean Salad (recipe below)
      Chickpea Salad (recipe below)
      Edamame Pasta (recipe below)

      Some sides
      Roasted chickpeas (recipe below)
      Brown rice with corn and salsa
      Yogurt with granola on top
      Chia pudding (recipe below)
      Banana chips
      Fruit kebabs with almond yogurt dipping sauce
      Zen almond pudding cups
      Roasted nuts and coconut chips (preheat oven to 350 degrees – place nuts and coconut chip on a baking sheet – bake 5 minutes or until a share or two darker – Roasting adds deeper flavor and crispness.
      Vegan bacon (recipe below)
      Sugar Snap Peas with mint, lemon juice and a handful of pistachios
      Dates, tangerines and almonds

      Roasted Garbanzo Beans

      • 2 cans garbanzo beans (washed)
      • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
      • ½ tsp salt
      • 1 tsp of crushed black pepper
      • juice of 2 large lemons

      1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
      2 In large bowl, combine cayenne, salt, pepper and lemon.
      3 Toss in garbanzo beans and mix.
      4 Place on lightly greased pan and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until crispy golden brown.
      5 Be careful not to burn and rotate the beans for even cooking.
      6 Allow to cool and serve in a bowl.
      7 Squeeze some lemon on top and some fresh chopped cilantro.

      Sesame Noodle Salad
      ▪ 1/2 a 240 g box (4 oz) soba noodles
      ▪ 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
      ▪ 1/4 cup rice vinegar
      ▪ 2 teaspoons molasses
      ▪ 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
      ▪ 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
      ▪ 1/2 a long English cucumber, diced
      ▪ 1 red bell pepper, diced
      ▪ 4 scallions, thinly sliced
      ▪ 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

      ▪ Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta as directed, 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sesame dressing by whisking together the toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, molasses and maple syrup. Add the veggies to a large bowl along with the dressing. Drain the pasta and run under cold water to cool. Add the noodles to the veggie/dressing mixture and toss to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve or refrigerate for later. The longer the salad marinates the more flavors will absorb.

      Avocado Toast
      ▪ 4 slices favorite bread, toasted
      ▪ 1 small ripe avocado
      ▪ 1 teaspoon lemon juice
      ▪ pinch of salt
      ▪ 1. In a small bowl mash together avocado, lemon juice and salt.
      ▪ 2. Spread over toast and top with optional accompaniments.

      Macaroni Salad
      1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
      2 cups cooked pasta
      1/4 cup chopped celery
      1/4 cup chopped carrots
      1/8 cup diced pickles or relish (optional)
      1 cup of protein like cooked beans, garbanzos, or grilled tofu

      Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

      Chia Pudding
      1/4 cup chia seeds
      1 cup non-dairy milk (like light coconut milk)
      1/2 tablespoon honey
      Mix chia seeds, coconut milk and honey together in a small glass mason jar. Let it set in refrigerator overnight. Remove from the fridge and top with fruit and nuts.

      Serves: 4-6

      • 2 limes, juiced
      • ¼ cup organic pure maple syrup
      • 4 Tablespoons organic canola oil
      • 5 Tablespoons soy sauce
      • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
      • 1 Tablespoon of chili oil (I recommend adding a teaspoon at a time depending on heat of chili oil) Or you can use sesame oil
      • 2 inches of Fresh Ginger, chopped or grated (grated brings out more of the flavor)
      • 1 Fresno chili, chopped (or more to taste)
      • ½ Jalapeno, chopped (or more to taste)
      • 2 Cloves of garlic, chopped
      • ¼ chopped fresh cilantro
      • 1 16-ounce package of whole-wheat linguine noodles, cooked and rinsed (or any noodles you prefer)
      • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
      • 2 cups of kale or spinach, cut into ribbons
      • 1 cup purple cabbage grated (0r napa cabbage) (or more to taste)
      • 8 asparagus spears, cut into 1½ inch chunks, steamed al dente
      • ½ – ¾ lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and steamed al dente
      • 4 green onions, chopped
      • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
      • Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
      • ¼ cup sliced almonds, optional

      Pasta, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Peas
      1 Cook pasta according to cooking instructions.
      2 Place the sugar snap peas and asparagus in a steamer over the boiling pasta water. Steam for 2-3 minutes keeping them crisp and green.
      1 Whisk together all the ingredients and set aside.
      1 Combine salad ingredients. Add cooked pasta. Whisk the salad dressing and pour over the salad a couple of spoonfuls at a time so you don’t overdress. Taste and add ground black pepper to taste.
      2 Garnish with fresh cilantro and nuts if desired. Serve with some extra dressing on the side.

      Baby Jackfruit Barbecue Sandwich

      Serves: 2
      • 4 cloves garlic, minced
      • 2 tsp grated ginger root
      • ¼ cup veggie broth
      • 15 ounce can green jackfruit (In brine or water) drained and rinsed well, squeezed of extra water
      • couple of pinches of ground chipotle pepper
      • ¼ tsp liquid smoke
      • ½ tsp salt
      • ½ cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
      • ¼ cup water

      1 Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
      2 Add garlic, ginger and veggie broth and saute for 1-2 minutes until liquid evaporates.
      3 Add the jackfruit, chipotle, liquid smoke and salt.
      4 Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes longer.
      5 Transfer the pan mixture to a slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce and water, toss well.
      6 Cook on HI for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes and adding more water as needed.
      7 The jackfruit should be fork tender.
      8 Take the jackfruit out of the cooker and shred.
      9 Serve or transfer to a container and allow to sit in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.
      10 I like to serve it topped with a kale cole-slaw

      Banana Bread with Walnuts
      • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
      • ¼ cup all purpose flour
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • ½ tsp baking soda
      • ¼ tsp salt
      • 2 ripe bananas – sliced and then mashed
      • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp coconut milk (or any unsweetened non-dairy milk)
      • ½ cup maple syrup
      • 3 tablespoons of apple sauce
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
      • ½ cup walnuts, toasted, cooled and chopped (I didn’t toast mine and they were still delicious)

      1 Preheat oven to 375. Oil 8½ x 4½ loaf pan.
      2 Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl – using a sifter or strainer. stir with a whisk.
      3 Combine bananas and all wet ingredients into a separate bowl. (I used a food processor)
      4 Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until smooth. Add the walnuts and stir.
      5 Pour into baking pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
      6 Cool before serving.

      Baked Oatmeal with Raspberries & Pistachios

      Recipe type: Breakfast & Snacks
      Serves: 8
      • 3 cups quick cooking oats
      • 3 cups non-dairy milk (or half water/half milk)
      • ¼ cup maple syrup
      • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      • 1-2 cups of fruit
      • ¼ cup nuts, any type

      1 Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
      2 In a large mixing bowl, combine all the above. Pour into a casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 18 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until all the liquid is visibly gone and the edges start to brown.
      3 Let cool 5 minutes. Serve with a splash of plant milk. Garnish with a drizzle of maple syrup.

      Brown Rice and Beans with Ginger Lime Chile Salsa
      Serves: 4
      • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
      • 1 medium onion, chopped, divided
      • 1 cup of brown rice
      • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
      • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
      • 1 tsp. ground coriander
      • 1 tsp. ground cumin
      • 2 15-0z cans black beans, rinsed (or freshly made)
      • 1 cup low-sodium organic vegetable broth
      • 2 red Jalapenos or fresno chiles, stemmed, halved and seeded
      • 1 garlic clove
      • 1 Tbsp. chopped peeled ginger
      • 1 Tbsp. finely grated lime zest
      • 1 tsp. maple syrup
      • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
      • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, chopped
      • ½ cup fresh tomatoes, chopped

      1 Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ¼ of chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
      2 Add rice and stir to coat.
      3 Add 2 cups water and season with salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is just tender.
      4 Remove rice from heat. Let stand, covered for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and fold in ¼ cup cilantro: season with salt and pepper.
      5 While rice is cooking, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ⅔ of remaining onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
      6 Add coriander and cumin; stir 1 minute.
      7 Add beans and broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
      8 Pulse chiles, garlic, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, remaining onion and maple syrup in a blender until a chunky sauce forms. Season salsa with salt.
      9 Serve rice with beans: top with salsa, avocado, tomatoes, ¼ cup cilantro and lime wedges.

      Chinese Fried Cauliflower & Brown Rice with Vegetables
      Serves: 4
      • 1 small head of cauliflower
      • ½ cup brown rice
      • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed (or fresh)
      • ½ cup frozen organic corn, thawed (or fresh)
      • 1 small white onion, chopped or half of large onion, chopped
      • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
      • 1 fresno chili, chopped (optional)
      • 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce (to taste)
      • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
      • couple drops of sesame oil
      • salt and pepper to taste

      1 Rinse brown rice and add to one cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked. Keeping a careful eye on it.
      2 Remove outer leaves of cauliflower. Soak and rinse cauliflower. Drain and dry. Grate the head of cauliflower over the course side of a large grater. This should yield about 2½ cups of rice like cauliflower.
      3 Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the onions and fresno chili and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
      4 Add the riced cauliflower and soy sauce and cook for three minutes. Add the cooked brown rice, corn, peas and sesame oil and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
      5 Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a leafy green or green beans.

      Cannellini Beans & Radicchio Salad with Pine Nuts

      • 1 15-ounce carton cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
      • 1 small head of radicchio, cored and leaves torn
      • 2 celery stalks, sliced
      • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
      • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
      • ¼ cup pinenuts, toasted for a minute or two
      • Salt & Pepper to taste
      Parsley Vinaigrette
      • 1 cup of chopped parsley
      • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
      • 1 garlic clove, chopped
      • 2 tablespoons water (or more for thinning)
      • ½ tablespoon organic maple syrup
      • 1 tablespoons chopped chives (or more to taste)
      • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
      • Salt & fresh ground black pepper

      1 Place all vinaigrette ingredients into food processor and pulse until well blended. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Add another tablespoon of water if the consistency is too thick. It should be on the thinner side.
      2 Put radicchio in a large bowl; drizzle with 1½ tablespoons of parsley vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season radicchio with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter.
      3 In the same bowl, combine the beans, sliced celery, pine nuts and 1½ tablespoons of parsley vinaigrette.
      4 Toss to coat. Season to taste with a little salt and ground black pepper.
      5 Arrange bean mixture on top of radicchio. Garnish with chopped chives and chopped parsley.
      6 Drizzle a little more vinaigrette over it.

      Chickpea Summer Salad with Tomatoes and Cilantro

      2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed
      1 pint cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom while they last), halved
      ½ bunch cilantro, chopped (or more to taste)
      5 green onions, sliced

      Dressing (If you like a heavier dressing – just make more. I usually keep mine light)
      2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
      3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      Pinch of red pepper flakes (to taste)
      Salt & Pepper (to taste)
      Mix oil, lemon juice, chili flakes together
      Mexican inspired Alternative Dressing with Lime
      2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
      3 tablespoons lime juice
      ¼ tsp ground Chipotle chile powder (or hot sauce)
      ½ tsp milder chile powder
      ¼ tsp ground cumin
      Zest from lime
      Salt, Pepper, Red Chili flakes to taste

      Toss chickpeas, tomatoes, cilantro and green onions with dressing. Adjust seasonings

      Sun-dried tomato Chickpea Sandwich

      Serves: 2
      • 14-ounce carton chickpeas, drained and rinsed
      • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (either packed in oil and rinsed or dried tomatoes that have been soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes until soft)
      • ¼ cup vegetable broth
      • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
      • pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper
      • 1 garlic clove, chopped
      • ¼ cup basil, chopped
      • spinkle of fresh red chili flakes (optional)

      1 Place all the ingredients except the chickpeas in a food processor and process until smooth. Add more vegetable broth if needed.
      2 Add the chickpeas and process another 10-15 seconds. The chickpeas should still be lumpy, but somewhat mashed up.
      3 Stir to combine sun-dried tomato mixture and chickpeas.
      4 Toast your favorite vegan bread. Spread with the sun-dried tomato chickpea spread.
      5 Top with lettuce, sliced cucumber, avocado or your favorite sandwich toppings.
      6 Add extra vegan mayonnaise if desired.

      Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
      Serves: 6-8
      • ½ cup cooked quinoa
      • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax and 6 tbsp water)
      • 2 ripe medium bananas
      • ¼ cup raw cane sugar
      • 2 Tbsp Virgin Coconut oil
      • 1 tsp vanilla
      • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
      • ⅔ cup almond flour
      • ⅓ cup quinoa flakes
      • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
      • 1 tsp baking powder
      • ½ tsp baking soda
      • sea salt
      • 1 cup blueberries, frozen

      1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin.
      2 Whisk flax eggs and let sit 10 minutes to thicken.
      3 In a food processor or blender puree flax eggs, bananas, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Add cooked quinoa in small batches and blend another 30 seconds.
      4 Combine almond meal, quinoa flakes, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and ½ tsp sea salt. Add in wet ingredients and mix well. Add blueberries, combine all and spread evenly in greased muffin tins.
      5 Bake 30 minutes until tops are golden brown and springy. Let sit 5-10 minutes before removing and cool before eating.

      Golden Pumpkin Bread with Rolled Oats and Walnuts

      Serves: 8
      • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
      • ¾ tsp salt
      • 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon baking powder
      • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
      • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
      • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
      • 1 cup almond milk
      • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1½ cups canned pumpkin puree
      • ⅓ cup coconut oil (microwaved for 30 seconds to form a liquid)
      • ¾ tsp apple cider vinegar
      • ½ cup maple syrup
      • ½ tsp orange zest
      • ½ cup walnuts
      • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
      • 1 tablespoon sugar
      • ½ tsp or more fresh orange zest

      1 Preheat oven to 415 degrees F
      2 Grease a standard (9×5) loaf pan well using coconut oil.
      3 Combine the 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed with 6 tablespoons of water. Whisk together and put in refrigerator for ten minutes to thicken.
      4 Combine all your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
      5 Combine all wet ingredients together (including flax eggs) in a large mixing bowl. Make sure you soften your coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds to form a liquid.
      6 Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine until all the dry ingredients are absorbed.
      7 Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
      8 Combine sugar and oats and sprinkle on top. Top with organge zest.
      9 Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 395 degrees and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. Check to see if your bread is done by using a toothpick in the center and when removed make sure it is dry.
      10 Cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan.

      Heart Healthy, Cherry Dark Chocolate Almond Granola Bars
      : 12 bars
      4 ¾ cup slivered almonds
      5 ¾ cup dried tart cherries
      6 ½ cup almond flour
      7 ½ cup wheat germ
      8 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
      9 ⅓ cup vegan dark chocolate chips
      10 ½ teaspoon baking powder
      11 ¼ teaspoon salt
      12 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      13 ½ cup apple sauce
      14 ⅓ cup maple syrup
      17 Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
      18 In a food processor, combine the oats, flour, wheat germ, salt, vanilla, baking powder, apple sauce and maple syrup. Pulse until combined. Stir in almonds, cherries and dark-chocolate chips.
      19 Transfer the batter to a 9-inch square pan lined in parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil.
      20 Bake the bars for 40 minutes or until the center is firm when pressed with a fingertip and the edges begin to brown. Let cool.
      21 Using the parchment ends as handles, lift th bars from the pan and transfer to a board. Cut the square to form 12 bars.

      Edamame Pasta

      Steam a 1/2 cup of frozen shelled edamame, boil 3/4 cup whole wheat pasta, sauté a cup of cherry tomatoes halved with a clove of garlic and a handful of basil. Toss the cooked pasta, edamame, cooked cherry tomatoes and basil with a little of the pasta cooking water and voila – a fast, delicious, high protein lunch.

      Quinoa Muffins with Dried Cherries and Walnuts

      Author: Ordinary Vegan
      Recipe type: Breakfast
      • 1 tsp vegetable oil
      • ½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
      • ⅓ cup apple juice or water
      • 1½ cups flour
      • ½ cup plain cooked quinoa
      • ½ cup chopped walnuts
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • ½ tsp baking soda
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • ½ tsp kosher salt
      • 1 cup almond milk
      • ½ cup silken tofu
      • ¼ cup maple syrup
      • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
      • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
      • 1 ripe banana

      1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease a 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with vegetable oil
      2 Combine The dried cherries or cranberries and apple juice or water in a small bowl; soak for 10 minutes
      3 Combine the flour, cooked quinoa, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl – stir to blend
      4 Place the almond milk, silken tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, oil and banana into a blender or food processor fitted with metal blade: process until smooth
      5 With a spatula mix the soy milk/tofu batter into the dry ingredients. Add the soaked cherries or cranberries and the soaking liquid; mix to distribute evenly. Do not over mix
      6 Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cup, filling them about ⅔ full. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clear. Turn onto a wire rack; serve warm or let cool

      Vegan Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower Béchamel
      Serves: 4-6
      • 12 ounces of cooked pasta (4-5 cups cooked)
      • 1½ tablespoons vegan butter (+ 3 teaspoons for topping)
      • 1½ tablespoons flour
      • 1½ cups of non-dairy milk
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1½ tablespoons dry yellow mustard
      • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
      • ½ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
      • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
      • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
      • 1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
      • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
      • 5 slices of vegan bread, chopped
      • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
      • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

      Mexican Spaghetti Pie

      1 Cook pasta according to directions keeping it somewhat firm and not mushy.
      2 Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
      3 Spread cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet lined in parchment paper or aluminum foil.
      4 Place baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until soft and lightly brown, occasionally stirring. Put cooked cauliflower, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper into a food processor and process until the cauliflower becomes tiny crumbles. Set aside.
      5 Rinse and dry food processor and place cut bread and garlic into it and process until you have breadcrumbs. Set aside.
      6 Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat the flour and butter until smooth and bubbly but not brown.
      7 Slowly whisk in the non-dairy milk. Add the dry mustard and bay leaf. Continue whisking until it becomes a thick sauce. Remove from heat. Remove the bay leaf. Add the ground cauliflower, salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg and red cayenne to the béchamel.
      8 Combine cooked macaroni and béchamel sauce and stir until all the pasta is coated evenly.
      9 Put into a 9 x 9 casserole dish that has been lightly greased with vegan butter.
      10 Spread breadcrumbs over the top. Dot with 3 teaspoons of vegan butter.
      11 Cook for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley.

      Mexican Spaghetti Pie

      • 6-8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
      • 1½ tsp ener-g egg replacer combined with 2 tbsp warm water – whisked together well (or make flax eggs by combining 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed whisked together with 5 tablespoons of water – place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to thicken)
      • ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese (grated is best)
      • 1 8 ounce package of ground wheat Seitan
      • ½ cup chopped onion
      • 1 clove of garlic minced
      • 1 8 ounce can low salt tomato sauce
      • 1 4 ounce can chopped green chili peppers, drained
      • 2 tsp chili powder
      • ½ tsp sweet paprika
      • 1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce (optional)
      • dash of hot sauce
      • 1 small green pepper, cut into rings
      • 1 small sweet red pepper, cut into rings
      • ½ cup Daiya shredded cheddar cheese
      • salt & pepper to taste

      1 Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Stir in ener-g egg replacer and parmesan cheese.
      2 Form mixture into a crust in a 12-inch pizza pan sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray coating.
      3 In a skillet cook onion and garlic until translucent.
      4 Add Seitan and brown. Stir in tomato sauce, chili peppers, chili powder, vegan worcestershire, paprika, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
      5 Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Spread over spaghetti crust. Top with cheddar cheese and pepper rings.
      6 Bake, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until cheese melts. Serves 6

      Vegan Bacon

      • 3½ cups flaked coconut
      • 2 TBSP liquid smoke
      • 1½ TBSP Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce
      • 1 TBSP pure maple syrup
      • ½ TBSP water
      • 1 TSP freshly ground black pepper

      1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
      2 Combine liquid smoke, Braggs (or soy), maple syrup and water in a large mixing bowl.
      3 Pour in flaked coconut, using a wooden spoon to gently toss the coconut in the liquid mixture. Once the coconut is evenly coated, pour it onto a non-stick baking sheet and slide it into the oven.
      4 Bake for 20-25 minutes, using a spatula to flip the bacon about every 5 minutes so it cooks evenly. This will burn if you are not keeping an eye on it. Don’t make too dark. Remove when everything is a crispy brown (not dark brown). Coconut bacon can be stored in a sealed bag or container for up to a week, refrigerator optional.

      Vegan Potato Salad With Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

      Serves: 8-10
      • 3½-4 lbs red or gold potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into cubes
      • 3 cups chopped celery
      • 1 cup chopped red onions
      • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
      • ¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
      • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
      • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
      • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
      • 2 teaspoons salt
      • 1 teaspoon black pepper
      • Sprinkle of paprika for garnish
      • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise or more (optional)

      1 In a large saucepan, place potatoes in salted water. Bring to boil, cook just until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 or more minutes. Check often so they don’t get mushy.
      2 Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add warm potatoes, celery and red onion, herbs and toss. Cover and refrigerate. Before serving (optional) add the vegan mayonnaise. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and tarragon. I also like to garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.

      ***My Favorite quick high energy meal

      Hemp Seeds, Cannellini Beans and Greens
      Serves: 2
      • 5-10 ounces of chopped greens (spinach, kale or swiss chard or combination of all)
      • 1 15-ounce carton of cooked cannellini beans (or any white bean)
      • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
      • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
      • 1 tablespoon bean liquid
      • ¼ vegetable broth for sautéing plus ½ cup
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
      • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
      • Juice of one lemon

      1 Strain the cannellini beans reserving 1 tablespoon of the liquid. Rinse. Place on a large plate or bowl and smash half the beans and 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds with a potato masher.
      2 Heat ¼ vegetable broth in a large sauté pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 1-2 minutes or just enough for the aroma to shine through and the garlic softens. Never brown your garlic or it will turn bitter.
      3 Add the cannellini beans, bean liquid and cook for another minute. Add the greens and ½ cup of the vegetable broth. Cover and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the greens have softened a bit but are still shiny and green. Squeeze the lemon juice on top. Toss. Garnish with another 1-2 tablespoons of hemp seeds. If you like a little heat, add some red pepper flakes.

      French Toast
      6 slices of whole wheat bread slices
      1 cup non-dairy milk
      1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
      1/4 cup chickpea flour
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      1 teaspoon of real maple syrup
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

      Cut bread diagonally and set aside. Heat a non-stick griddle or frying pan. Whisk non-dairy milk with remaining ingredients. Dip a few bread slices into wet mixture and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.Garnish with fruit slices.


      Blueberry Cobbler
      Serves 4

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees

      2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
      1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      1 tablespoon vanilla
      2/3 cup almond milk
      3 tablespoons of maple syrup
      2 cups of blueberries (or any berry)

      Combine flour and baking powder in small bowl. Combine all wet ingredients (except blueberries) in a measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
      Pour the batter into a non-stick 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle the blueberries over the batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until browned.

      Veggie Pot Pie
      1 cup vegetable broth
      1 cup non-dairy unsweetened milk
      2 tablespoons cornstarch
      2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning
      2 1/2 cups of mixed frozen vegetables
      2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
      1/2 teaspoon onion powder
      1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      6 whole-wheat biscuits for serving

      In a medium saucepan whisk the cornstarch into broth until well combined. Add all the other ingredients except for the whole-wheat biscuits. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow sauce to thicken. Taste and add salt and pepper. Pour over biscuits and serve.

  8. Just an update, Justin’s dark chocolate peanut-butter cups aren’t vegan anymore. I checked when I was at the store. It has milk in it now. Total bummer! 🙁

    1. Thanks Emmy for the heads up. Here is the manufacturer’s statement on this product:
      ‘Although we do not use any milk ingredients in our Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, they are produced on machinery that also manufactures our Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, which do contain milk. We use the phrase “Contains Milk” as a precautionary measure for those who are sensitive to milk allergies. To minimize confusion with the milk allergen statement, we also removed the “Vegan” label that you may have seen on pack in the past.’
      This item is still a vegan product, just that the allergen notice is a bit confusing due to it saying “contains milk” (despite there being no milk in the ingredients) rather than “Made on equipement that also processes milk ingredients”.

  9. Thanks. Tons of good information here.
    Personally, non gmo and organic are infinitely less important than not consuming animal products. Is do not care whether what i eat is gmo or non organic. GMOs i do not think are bad. Like most everything, there are bad ways t use GMOs. But there are a lot of benefts to responsibe use of GMOs. And organic is an expensive label that a lot of truely organic farmers dont have time or money to get.

    So while i think it is a negative that you put organic and gmo free with everything, i think the vegan part is a big plus and i will be trying your ideas and recipes.

  10. Hi

    I’m catering for 300 kids at a camp, 3 of who are vegan and don’t have the resources to do more than provide raw ingredients for them to make their meals.

    Do I need a bread alternative and if so what do I use? They need to make their own sandwiches to take to off site activities

    I also can’t do nuts as I have other kids who have nut allergies so what alternatives do I have.

    I’ll be doing things like tofu koftas instead of a sausage is tofu considered vegan?

    I appreciate your assistance


    1. Hi Mel – Wow 300 kids – If I was you I would keep it simple if possible – rice, beans, salsa, tortillas, tacos, chili – a more Mexican food theme because most kids love Mexican food and it is easy to prepare vegan. Make sure you have a vegan cheese option for the tacos. As far as bread goes – most bread is dairy and egg-free but you have to check the packaging – I like Dave’s Killer Breads which are vegan – Hummus sandwiches with lots of veggies and avocado is always a good option for children on a vegan diet. Tofu is definitely considered vegan. If you want to really step it up – you could make them Baby Jackfruit Barbecue Sandwiches or Lentil Sloppy Joes – Good luck Mel and I hope that helps. Nancy

  11. this was so helpful , thank you . i wanna start a vegan diet because i really wanna change the way i eat . i want to be mentally, emotional & physically health . how i know what to get from the grocery store to start my vegan diet . if you have anymore information for me please email me !:)

    1. Hi Nancy – Congratulations on your new compassionate diet and thanks for being part of our health and wellness community. Always remember, with great health comes great happiness. I suggest that you begin to listen to my podcasts on plant-based nutrition. I really think they will help. Podcasts are like a radio show and you can just use this link and listen on your phone or computer. Start with #1 getting started on a plant-based diet. There are also more resources on my home page – Here is the link for the podcasts. Good luck and can’t wait for you to feel the amazing benefits of a plant-based diet! Happy New Year

  12. Wow! Thanks a lot for this useful resource. I found it really useful. I met with my cousin 3 months back and she told me she was vegan; that was the first time I truly came to understand what it meant. Seeing that she was really healthy and glowing, I decided to give it a try. Only God knows how many times I’ve consumed chicken and fish (my biggest struggles) behind closed doors while preaching to my friends that Vegan diet is doing the magic for me. Most of my friends have decided to join me next month but I can no longer continue cheating; I feel guilty. For once I want to be true to myself and be a 100% loyal Vegan but I have few reservations. I am skinny and weigh 136lb and scared that going complete vegan will reduce my weight and make me look so skinny. Are there any guide to gain healthy weight while on a vegan diet and how can I overcome my fish and chicken addiction…hopefully I can now do without dairy. Thanks so much for your support and your podcasts are amazing. You’re awesome.

    1. Hi Pascal – First and foremost congratulations on your compassionate diet and for spreading the plant-based message. If you are experiencing too much weight loss you should definitely increase your calories – more grains – more legumes like beans and lentils and more healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocado. I would also add vegan smoothies throughout the day for weight gain. As far as getting over food like chicken – perhaps a chicken alternative like Beyond Meat grilled vegan chicken strips may do the trick or Gardein frozen vegan turkey cutlets. Although I don’t recommend a lot of processed food – these substitutes can help you get over the hump. I always tell people, it is not about the protein – it is about the flavors you use on the protein. For example, a grilled portobello mushroom with mashed cauliflower or potatoes smothered in gravy can satiate the same way a piece of meat can. I hope this information helps and I am proud of you for wanting to lead an honest compassionate life! Nancy

  13. Hi Nancy,

    Thank you so much for this article ! I have rewrite it all (with the deli recipe you have given to us) in my little booklet and will keep this advice in mind ! Can’t wait to go food shopping 😀
    I have discovered your blog by listening your podcast (I have very long journey to made every day by train or by car, thus your podcasts ” accompany me ” all along the way) and it is thanks to it that I decided to test to become vegan. I really want it, and I go to my rhythm. Here in Switzerland everything is dear, thus to eat vegan is economic, and I really want to lose weight healthily and to become “healthy”. Thank you very much for quite your advice(councils)!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Amelia and I love that you are listening all the way from Switzerland. My cousins live in Lausanne so I have visited a few times and love it there. Good luck and congratulations on your compassionate diet!

  14. tempeh isnt deepfryed soybean its unblended and fermented
    while tofu is blended drained and fermented. a texture and slight taste difference due to the beans form and have being strained in one form. Also was suprised to see maple syrup agave nectar and brown rice syrup on the list of sweeteners. seitan is available in many forms and is very easy to make if you dont want to buy processed meat subs

    1. Hi Ray – thanks for stopping by and for being part of our healthy community – I did change the wording of the tempeh description. I don’t have agave nectar and brown rice syrup on the list of sweeteners.

  15. So glad I came across this site! I am transitioning. As soon as all the meat products I have already bought are gone, I will no longer purchase meat products, at least for myself. I have been told I shouldn’t eat dairy for YEARS due to asthma, but it’s the hardest to get off of. I have let dairy milk go, found a good ice cream sub, So Delicious, but getting rid of cheese, butter, and sour cream is proving hard so far. I’m on my last stick of butter though, won’t purchase any more, and will continue to buy cheese for other household members. I have tended to not like healthy foods most of my life, but know that I will need to teach my self to eat for nourishment, not taste. I never knew there was non-dairy yogurt. I never like dairy yogurt, so hoping I will like vegan products better. Also, I had started making cupcakes and selling them. Going vegan will definitely change that. Can you direct me to vegan dessert recipes? I am excited to continue on this journey to veganism. Hopefully it will help me with weight loss. I have read how many people go vegetarian/vegan, but do not lose weight, and have learned what to do and not to do, so I feel pretty confident! This article has been very helpful, and I have just written my grocery list. Another question: How often do you shop for fresh foods, and how do you keep them fresh? THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    1. Hi Kenyatta and congratulations on wanting to take your health back. I know cheese is hard but you definitely need to listen to the interview I did with Dr. Neal Barnard, the author of The Cheese Trap. I think it might get you thinking twice about wanting cheese. I will supply the link. Non-dairy yogurt tastes pretty good as does vegan butter but you don’t want to eat too much of the processed food even if it is vegan. Try to vision your vegan plate as 1/4 of the plate – grains – 1/4 of the plate legumes like beans and lentils – 1/4 of the plate vegetables (load them on) and 1/4 of the plate fruits with healthy sides of nuts, seeds and avocado. This can be a soup, a stir fry or just a beautiful plate of food. I buy fresh vegetables a lot but I live in California and they are available most times of year. There is nothing wrong with using frozen vegetables if you can’t get fresh. I store my mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge, I always wash and dry my lettuce as soon as I get it and store it in a glass container with a couple of small sheets of paper towels. Always remember when storing fruit – not all fruit should be stored together in the same dish. Try to keep the same fruits in the same bowl. Each fruit emits certain gases that can make other fruits go bad. Hope all that helps and you are welcome. Sending you lots of compassion!

  16. Pretty much was vegan years ago for a few years where i ate basically lentils rice peas and fruit . I did have dairy abd a can of meat but considering I could not buy vegan it was difficult and expensive to buy i will say overall yes i was.
    Doing it again because now alternate version of milk and bread and protein are readily available.

  17. Hi
    I’m so happy I find this website cause I was over thinking about been vegan cause I can’t eat or go near me without having a sh*t feeling in my stomach so I tried to be vegan but my dad hated it so I tried to eat meat n I throw up so yh so I dicied to go back to vegan and this article is just what I needed to be vegan
    My reason is that I saw how people hurt and kill animals and I died so since then I can’t ever eat an animal I love them all
    So this helped me know what is non-animal products

    Thank you☺

    1. Hi Mikaela – so happy you found Ordinary Vegan and congratulations on your compassionate diet! Nancy

  18. I love this but I have a question. Apple Cider Vinegar. I can not do. I have tried for YEARS and it actually makes me sick. I can not stand the smell, the taste, anything about it yet a lot of recipes call for it. Is there a substitute for ACV?

    1. Hi Cara – I found this online – It should work – Substitutes: one tablespoon of lemon juice, or one tablespoon of lime juice or two tablespoons of white wine. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Hello,
    I am currently do not eat meat, but will eat fish, eggs and dairy. I would love to transition to a vegan diet, but other times I have tried I have a hard time with two things and I wondered if you have some good advice.
    1. My husband and daughter are meat eaters and unwilling to go vegetarian let alone vegan. They do like vegan meals when I make them, but not every day. My daughter loves tofu, so that’s no problem. I work full time and it is hard to make two dinners most nights.
    2. Eating out, there are seldom options for vegan meals unless you request special food. I really don’t like making a fuss when eating out.
    I would love to hear any advice. I feel that these 2 issues are the only thing keeping me from a vegan diet.
    Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Lisa – Thanks for reaching out and congratulations on your vegetarian diet. As far as your husband and daughter go, perhaps since you are doing all the work in the kitchen, they should adjust better to what you are cooking. The best way to show someone you love them is by cooking healthy meals. My best tip for keeping everyone happy is to create high satiating vegan comfort foods like chili, shepherds pie, vegan meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy etc. I will provide you with some links. You could make these over a weekend so you are not in the kitchen for hours after work. Also think about keeping it simple – a simple plate of food like grains, vegetables, legumes and some healthy fats. Fruit on the side. Then they can add their favorite animal protein on top. As far as eating out goes, I always recommend looking at the side dishes first. Often you can find a grain, a vegetables, sides of fruit and make your own plate of food. Also, lean towards Mexican and Mediterranean restaurants where it is easy to get vegetarian food. Hope that helps – sending you and your family my best and don’t forget to remind them – that you want them to eat less meat so they can live a long and healthy life. Good luck, Nancy

  20. Now this is what I call fine material. This lets you know that there are still good subject material publishers on the web. It’s the best vegan shopping list I’ve ever seen. It shows that vegan food is not boring, because for every non-vegan product there exist a natural substitute!

  21. Your tips are really the useful for me when i am looking for the vegan items for my Mom. Thank you so much for your creative and sharing. Hope to hear more new things from your site.

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