Eat & Shop Vegan

I don’t know about you, but I love reading up on healthy and compassionate living and eating. I can spend hours browsing through delicious looking recipes, which I don’t have half the ingredients to, or free time to make. But it’s a guilty pleasure.

One of the most common articles I come across are those accidentally vegan foods, which mostly pertain to junk foods, like Oreos.

It made me realise that while some of my aspiring vegan readers might now know what junk foods to go for when out shopping, you might not know which items to avoid at supermarkets.

  1. Any chips (crisps for my American readers) that are cheesy or sour cream in nature. Yes, they used dried milk powder in them. Ick.

Opt for plain salted, salt and vinegar or my personal favourite – Simba Mexican Chilli!

  1. Hot chocolate pre mix. Or those little sticks of pre made cuppacino that you have to just add water to. Because they’ve already loaded it with dairy. 

Stick with plain cocoa powder, like Bourneville.

  1. Cracker Bread. I know, what a travesty! Some have whey powder in them. Provita Crisps are a no go as well.

I use Ryvita, which is whole wheat and free from all animal derived products. And yummy!

  1.    Granola, cereals, cereal bars. They might seem innocent enough, but are often sweetened with honey, or have milk powder in them.

Dark Chocolate Jungle Oats Bars are vegan! And Woolworths SA sells a range of vegan granola and breakfast bars.

  1.    Salad dressings. Some contain yoghurt. 

You know what my advice is .. Make. Your. Own.

  1.   Soy Meat. Some brands use cheese in their faux feat products. Shocking, right? The very same product trying to combat the meat industry is simply condoning the dairy industry, which actually works hand in hand with the meat industry. Who else sees the sad irony? 

The brand Quorn is the culprit who uses egg and cheese in their products. I stick with Fry’s.

Unless you live in San Francisco, all-vegan eateries are hard to find, and especially those that are open for dinner. We have all of ONE here in Cape Town now, called Plant, and a few in JHB, one of which is run by my vegan master chef sister, called Conscious 108 ..

But since we all don’t run in vegan only circles, we are sometimes invited to restaurants without our eating preferences being considered.

I’ll try to give you a few ideas so you aren’t stuck eating a Greek salad without the feta or dressing, or some bland steamed vegetables.

  1. Thai. It’s one of my favourites! But a lot of the dishes are made with fish oil, oyster sauce and other stuff we don’t want to imbibe.  

It’s safest to opt for a stir fry, and request that it be made in soy sauce. Even though the green curry sounds amazing, the paste might contain fish oil. Unless it’s an all-vegan thai place..In which case, when are we going? 🙂

  1. Italian. It’s another one of my favourites. But contains loads of cream, butter and cheese.

Your best bet is an olive oil based pasta with vegetables, or a napoletana. If you’re brave enough, take along your favourite vegan cheese, and ask them to melt it on your pizza, instead of the usual mozzarella. Buon appetito!

  1. Mexican. Ooh. Another one of my favourites. OK, I like food, you get it. But also, tons of queso and cream!

You can opt for any of their veggie burritos, but ask them to hold the cheese. A black bean quesadilla sans cheese still tastes great. Vamos!

  1. Sushi. I loooove sushi too. But obviously, without the raw fish 😉

You can pretty much have any of the vegetarian sushi, depending on your preference. Just remember to ask them to lose the mayo and cream cheese.

  1. Indian. Unfortunately tons of Indian food is made with ghee, which is clarified butter.

You’ll need to ask your waiter if the curries contain ghee. Or else opt for a simple Aloo Mutter with rice, or choose something and ask for it without cream.

  1. Steak house. Errrrm …

You’re screwed and have horrible friends.

Have a happy cruelty free week!

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