Grocery Shopping!

One of the questions I get asked most often as a vegan is, What do you EAT? Although things are beginning to change, and vegan restaurants are becoming more and more common/popular, I find that most people still misunderstand the basics of a vegan diet. Part of my mission in beginning this blog was to show the world that veganism isn’t about deprivation- it’s about inclusion! I eat a wider variety of foods now than I ever have, and some of my favorite foods are things I would have totally overlooked had I never made the switch to a plant-based lifestyle. Veganism promotes nourishment, vitality, and creativity.

Last night I realized we were running low on a few staples, and so I thought I’d give you all a rundown of what our basic shopping trips look like. Keep in mind, this is a low-impact trip, and several items that are usually on our weekly list were left off because we haven’t run out of them yet. Also, we only shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (but mostly at TJ’s), so expect to see plenty of the same brand.

First, and most importantly: VEGGIES!

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  • 2 bags of organic power greens
  • 1 bag of organic baby spinach
  • 2 bags of organic broccoli florets
  • 1 bag of Southern Greens
  • 2 organic eggplant
  • 1 bag organic wax beans
  • 2 bags organic carrots
  • 1 bag organic sweet potatoes
  • 1 container Asian veggie mix

Most weeks, we’d have another few bags of greens tossed in, as well as a head of cauliflower, some celery, bok choy, and a mess of frozen veggies, but like I said- we didn’t have a serious need for all of that. Here’s how we’ll handle the loot: the greens are split between smoothies and salads, the broccoli will probably be roasted, the Southern Greens do well in a one-pot meal with quinoa, the eggplant are as yet undecided, the wax beans are for searing and laying over salads, the carrots are for smoothies, juice, and carrot sticks, the sweet potatoes will be roasted and topped with miso-tahini sauce, and the Asian veggies are destined for sweet chili stir-fry! My fridge looks like a bunny’s dream…

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Next up: fruit! We have a basket full of apples, oranges, mandarins, and lemons, so all of that was left off, leaving us with a simple handful of items:

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  • frozen mango chunks
  • frozen organic raspberries
  • frozen organic wild blueberries
  • frozen organic mixed berries
  • organic avocados
  • 12 bananas

The frozen fruit is mostly for smoothies, although sometimes I like to have a bowl of frozen blueberries topped with almond milk while I work at night. The avocados will be smeared on sandwiches, in wraps, over salads, and into pasta sauce. The bananas are for smoothies, snacking, and baking.

Next: misc. canned goods and starches.

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  • Habanero lime tortillas
  • organic brown jasmine rice
  • dolmas (because I’m mad for them)
  • organic tempeh
  • 1 can lentil soup
  • 1 can organic veggie chili

The tortillas were a total splurge, but I was in the mood for something fun and flavorful. The jasmine rice is a definite staple- we cook up a pot of it at least twice a week, paired with stir-frys, curries, or just tossed onto salads. The tempeh I just like to have around- it does well seared and coated in BBQ sauce, and stuffed into a sandwich with some avo. The canned soups I buy for those nights when I just don’t have time to get a whole meal together- usually Wednesdays, when I’m at class until 10 and the kids are in jeopardy of eating gross cheese pizza for dinner. The chili is soooo good! Usually we have a bunch of canned beans and tomatoes mixed in here, but I’m already stocking plenty.

Baking/snacking:

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  • almond meal
  • raw almonds
  • bourbon vanilla extract
  • dried mango
  • organic green tea

The almond meal is for gluten free baking, the almonds are for almond milk, the dried mango is for snacking to/from/during school, and the green tea is for everything 🙂 Ordinarily we’d have a bit more dried fruit thrown in here, for oatmeal toppings and such.

Sauces and spreads:

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  • sunbutter
  • garlic hummus
  • organic applesauce

This is the most misleading category- usually there are a few oils thrown in here (coconut, sesame, sunflower), some sauces (Marsala simmer sauce, sweet chili sauce), and a jar of almond butter. I am a total dope for sunbutter, but it’s made with extra stuff like cane sugar and palm oil- nothing nutritionally compromising, but still, extra stuff.

Finally, I made a stop off at Whole Foods for some last-minute extras:

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  • Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn
  • cacao powder
  • Zico coconut water
  • Method ginger dish soap
  • a pineapple
  • chocolate almond milk I forgot to include in the earlier photos- whoops!
  • a packet of cashew butter
  • greek yogurt
  • Hail Merry key lime tart
  • Coconut Bliss dark chocolate ice cream

I picked up the popcorn because when I was in NY at the clothing swap, we had laughed over the strange and silly name of the popcorn Katie had been serving- Boom Chicka Pop! I couldn’t resist. The cacao powder is for baking and making chocolate sauces. Also, I mix it with my hemp protein powder for smoothies. The coconut water usually comes free from Luis’ work, but I’m running low and I went for it. Hello, ultra-hydrating coconut-chia water! I had a coupon for Method, and I love their products (and their prices!). The pineapple was on sale, hurrah! The cashew butter will keep me sane on days when I feel like I’m losing steam. The greek yogurt is a special treat for the kids, the key lime tart is a special treat for Mommy, and the Coconut Bliss is a treat for everyone! I had coupons for most of this stuff (from the food festival), otherwise I wouldn’t have bought half of it.

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These are my favorite, and they’re on sale at WF right now- whee!

And with that, I can hear the kids rustling around. This day has officially begun! At least I’ve got some fuel to power me through it 😉

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