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The Vegan Society of Aotearoa Starter Guide contains food ideas, recipes, vegan food pyramid, nutritional information, reading recommendations, website links and more. Get your copy below.

Suggestions for stocking your pantry and fridge:

You don’t have to go out and buy everything on this list, simply select what you fancy trying from each section. You’ll find your own favourites and what pops up in the foods you like.

  • Fruit and vegetables – stock up on lots! You could try a local farmers market for good value.
  • Grains – pasta and noodles (check they don’t contain egg), try edamame or black bean noodles, or wholegrain pasta, rice (brown rice is healthier and you can buy quick cook sachets), cous cous, quinoa, bulghar wheat, millet.
    A base to many meals, a perfect nutrition match for beans and lentils and a must for the pantry.
  • Nuts and seeds – cashews, almonds, walnuts (good for your omega-3), raw peanuts, brazil plus pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
    Nuts and seeds are little powerhouses of goodness!
  • Beans / lentils – tinned for convenience or get dried beans and soak overnight. Kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, cannellini. Baked beans for breakfasts.  Dried lentils are about as quick to cook as rice – brown, puy or red.
  • Condiments and extras – herbs and spices – regulars in many vegan recipes include cumin, coriander, paprika, smoked paprika, turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cardamom, chilli flakes.
    To discover: nutritional yeast, liquid smoke (amazing additions to your vegan pantry – wait til you see what you can do with them!)  Olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce (tamari for gluten free soy)
  • Tinned/shelf foods – chopped tomatoes, lentils, sweet corn, coconut cream (for use in curries), curry pastes, peanut or almond butter, tahini, vegan hunny, agave, rice syrup or maple syrup
  • Chilled foods – tofu, tempeh, vegan sausages and burgers, falafel mix, dairy free yoghurt, dairy free margarine or vegan butter, plant milk, vegan cheese, vegan spreads – hummus or pesto (or super quick and cheap to make your own).
  • Frozen foods – meat, chicken or fish alternatives from brands like Sunfed, Beyond or Gardein, Peas and edamame beans, blueberries (amazing little anti-oxidants!), vegan ice creams for a sweet treat, vegan pastry (New Way or Homebrand).
  • Breakfast cereals/oats – check labels as some cereals do contain milk or honey.
    Wholegrain oats are a great base for a healthy porridge breakfast.
  • Bread/pita/crackers/wraps – great for lunches with hummus
  • Treats – check ingredients but dark chocolate is often vegan. Whittakers if over 50% Cocoa (except caramel), very dark Lindt and many other speciality brands.  Oreos are vegan.  Many supermarkets do vegan cake and brownie choices.
  • Toiletries and household products – many products are vegan friendly in supermarkets, always check for a cruelty free label and ingredients as some things can even contain milk!

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