It’s summertime, which means it’s family vacation season; road trips, theme park outings, and family gatherings. With the rise of veganism in the United States, (1.6 million people in the United States currently identify as vegan) more and more folks find themselves wandering the grocery store isles aimlessly trying to figure out what the heck to have in the house for that vegan family member. Hopefully this post can help with that!
I am currently house/pet sitting and it amazes me that I am at the end of my first week here and haven’t yet had to go grocery shopping for ‘vegan food’. I am reminded of the misconception of the ‘mystical vegan food’ that many people think vegans eat. The fact is that most people eat lots of vegan friendly foods, they just happen to also consume things that are not vegan friendly.
Most folks will have lots of vegan friendly items in their pantry, they may just need some supplemental items to create well rounded meals for their vegan friends and family. My favorite is when the host offers to take me grocery shopping, this way they don’t have to stress and I can get what I want. If you have a whole foods or health food store, there are bound to be endless options.
I live in Nebraska where football parties are a monthly, if not weekly event in the fall. These parties will usually have fruit, veggies, and chips that I can snack on. However, occasionally I will stop by whole foods on the way to fill up on the salad bar. That can be a little pricey, so I don’t suggest doing that every day, but when you want to treat yourself, it can be perfect.
There are lots of fake meat options at the local grocery stores here in Lincoln, which can be great from time to time. However, just like with most processed food, I don’t usually feel the greatest after I eat most fake meat substitutes. If the family is going to be grilling out, I love to join in on the grilling with a frozen black bean burger or vegan dog.
If you are going to have a vegan stay with you for a visit, this list can be a great starting point for what to stock your pantry with. The best part about this list is that most of these items you can find at your local grocery store, even in a small town.
· Brown rice
· Fresh fruit (this can be as simple as bananas and apples)
· Fresh vegetables (whatever is in season or on sale, organic if possible)
· Canned beans (or dry if you have the time to soak and cook them)
· Peanut butter or almond butter
· Pasta (most types that you find in the grocery store are vegan-friendly)
· Chips and salsa
This list is very basic, and can keep a vegan happy for a week or more depending on the person. Of course, every individual has their own preference. So if you are in doubt, just ask. I know that when people ask me what they can stock their pantry with before a visit I am always happy to provide suggestions.