Shopping for vegetarian or vegan foods is easy when you know where to go! Take a look at our official shopping list and tips on where and what to buy when you’re shopping for the Veggie Challenge.
Where to shop
Supermarkets and grocery stores
Most of the items on the Veggie Challenge shopping list – such as fresh fruit, veggies, grains, beans and plant-based dairy alternatives like soy milk – can be found at your local grocery store. And many supermarkets are expanding their specialty vegetarian and vegan food selections such as mock meats, tofu and tempeh!
Bulk stores carry a wide variety of foods from the Veggie Challenge shopping list. Pick up rolled oats or pancake mix for breakfast, rice and pastas for a substantial lunch, trail mix ingredients like dried fruits, nuts and seeds for a snack, and spices to add flavour to your meals.
Natural food or specialty grocery stores
Visit natural food stores to find fresh whole food ingredients and specialty vegetarian and vegan products. Take a look at the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Veg Directory to find a natural food store near you.
Shopping at your local market supports farmers and is better for the environment, as it reduces the energy and resources needed to transport and store foods. Browse the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s list of local farmers’ markets for year-round and seasonal options.
What to buy
Fruits & Vegetables
Shop for fruits and vegetables that are in season!
Spring – lettuce, garlic greens, radishes, asparagus, peas, snow peas, rhubarb, strawberries and cherries.
Summer – tomatoes, zucchini, apricots, peaches, wild blueberries, yellow plums, melons, corn, and much more.
Fall – squash and pumpkin, fresh mushrooms, parsnips, beets, and pears.
Winter – Cabbage, cranberries, and sweet potatoes.
Many Veggie Challenge recipes contain grains like our quick veggie masala, chickpea risotto, and green goddess rice bowl. Grains vary in cooking times – brown rice takes the longest time at 35-50 minutes, while quinoa, white rice, couscous, and pasta cook in less than 30 minutes.
Legumes (beans, lentils, pulses)
Legumes are beans or the seeds of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and lentils. Legumes can be purchased dry or canned – follow the instructions on the package for cooking methods.
Find soy products like tofu and tempeh at your local grocery store or specialty food store. Tofu and tempeh are both made from soybeans, but are made in different ways and as a result have their own distinct taste and texture. Tofu is made from pressed soybean curds, while tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. They make a great meat substitute in sandwiches, stir-fries, and pastas, but can also be marinated, grilled and served with a side of veggies. Both are great sources of protein!
Nuts and seeds
Visit a bulk food store to find nuts, seeds and nut butters that are commonly used in vegetarian cooking. Nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds or cashews can be added to stir-fries, salads, or can be ground to make sauces. Seeds have many different uses as well – add flaxseeds to your baking as an egg replacer, use sunflower seeds in bowls such as the green goddess rice bowl, or try pumpkin seeds in a homemade trail mix.
Veggie Challenge shopping list
The official 7-day Veggie Challenge shopping list includes all of the ingredients required for the featured recipes that you will receive daily while taking the Veggie Challenge. Sign up today to receive the recipes, nutrition information and more!
There are two versions:
2-3 servings: Veggie Challenge shopping list 2 serve [pdf]
4-6 servings: Veggie Challenge shopping list [pdf]