Trying On a Plant-Based Diet

If you are looking to incorporate more Meatless Monday meals into your weekly dinner rotation for health and economic benefits this year, New Westminster is a great place to shop for obscure and new-to-you plant based ingredients. Here is a handy guide for anyone looking for unfamiliar ingredients around New Westminster.

Galloways Fine Foods (6th Avenue and 7th Street in Uptown)

Nutritional Yeast (affectionately called NOOCH): nutritional yeast is the basis for many a “cheezy” recipe. It is a deactivated brewers yeast and is packed full of vitamin B12. It’s good in sauces, on popcorn, in breading tofu and is a versatile ingredient. They keep in behind the counter at Galloways because it’s that tasty that people apparently want to steal it.

Flax Meal: ground flax meal is a great substitute for eggs in baked goods. One tablespoon of flax mixed with three tablespoons of water is equal to one egg. You cannot replace eggs with flax meal for a quiche. That would be weird and very gross.

Black sea salt: want to take your tofu scramble to the next level? Black sea salt gives ingredients that sulphur-like smell that is commonly found in eggs. Black sea salt can be used in tofu omelets, scrambles and even in deviled tofu recipes.

Liquid smoke: People have turned smoke into liquid and stick it in a bottle. I’m pretty sure as far as ingredients go it doesn’t get any more random than that. Liquid smoke is good for making jerky and bacon out of coconut meat. Only use a tiny bit though as that stuff is powerful.

A few other ingredients you may need to stock your plant based kitchen are tahini (sesame seed butter) and Braggs (soy sauce). Both of these items can be found in Galloways.

Denny’s Farm Market (next to Galloways)

Jackfruit: next to Aquafaba, Jackfruit is the new darling of the vegan world. Someone picked a jackfruit, shredded it, covered it in bbq sauce and thought – hey this tastes just like pulled pork! I stumbled across jackfruit in the freezer section at Denny’s Farm Market.

Tofu: Denny’s has a large selection of tofu for very good prices. Soft tofu is best for dessert, medium for scrambled tofu or quiches and then extra firm tofu for meatloafs or tofu nuggets.

Denny’s also has a few assorted mushrooms you may not find at your regular grocery store as well as some exotic fruits.

Donald’s Market (800 Quayside Drive, River Market)

Field Roast Sausages: these are the kings (or queens) of the vegan sausage world. They currently have three flavours, Mexican Chipotle, Apple Sage and Italian. The sausages were recently pulled off the shelves in Canada due to a labeling issue but are now back at Donald’s. Donald’s also has Chao Cheese which is another product by Field Roast.

Donald’s also has Earth Island vegan Caesar dressing which is very good as well as Belsoy Puddings.

Buy Low Foods (Westminster Centre, 555 6th Street)

When Buy Low opened last year I was pleasantly surprised by their large selection of vegan items.

Gardein products: Buy Low has the full line of Gardein frozen products in the bags. From the Beefless Tips to the Buffalo Chicken Wings they have everything you need for faux meat substitutes. Buy Low also has good sales and you can usually find these products under $4.50 per bag.

If you are looking to do a grocery shop for the family here you can stock up on coconut yogurts, assorted non-dairy milks, non-dairy ice creams, daiya “cheese” shreds, Vegenaise Mayo and vegan margarine. It’s actually quite impressive how much they have there.

Save on Foods (610 6th Avenue, Royal City Centre)

Daiya Foods Pizzas: If you are looking for a vegan pizza that you can just pop into the oven Save On Foods carries them in their freezer section. In my opinion these pizzas are much tastier then the Tofurky counterparts. Fair warning, they may look big in the box but they are actually a one serving per person size pizza.

Last but not least one of the best places to find up and coming plant based businesses is the Royal City Farmers Market. Royal City Farmers Market features an array of delicious in season veggies as well as niche products like Kale Chips, Raw Desserts, Vegan Puddings and baked goods. The farmers market runs every 1st and 3rd Saturdays from November to April on Belmont Street and every Thursday from May to October in Tipperary Park.


2 Replies to “Trying On a Plant-Based Diet”

  1. Great article Melissa! I don’t know if you sing Gardein’s praises strongly enough – their products are phenomenal, especially from those who are transitioning away from meat. Galloways is a gem that I am definitely under utilizing. I look forward to trying your Seedibles!

  2. I didn’t know about Buy Low Foods. I’ll have to check them out! Donald’s also has a lot of frozen faux meat products, and other plant based meals for when you’re in a rush, including my favourite, Amy’s GF and Vegan frozen Mac and Cheese. And they have the new Daiya cheesecake that I still have to try!

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