Plant-Based Grocery List and Tips



My conversations around this topic used to go like this:

Well-Meaning Friend Making Casual Conversation: “I’ve never had vegan food before.”

Me, Sans Filter: “You’ve never had an APPLE?!”

But since I’m trying to be nicer (see earlier post re; being nicer),  I’ve instead responded with descriptions of the glorious combinations of amazing foods that folks can make!  The universe has given us SO MUCH abundance, it seems insane to trade in the colorful fruits and veggies for something that was tortured, killed, and is now slowly decaying.

I remember when I first cut meat out of my diet, I had the same few meals.  Don’t get me wrong, they were tasty, but you can’t really bring your weekday rice-and-beans to a dinner party and expect folks to be impressed.  So, I expanded.  And with that, I now have an arsenal of meals that go into the regular rotation.

Below is a list of what I would stock my pantry and fridge full of for one week, for two people:


Look at these snacks just GROWING off of a bush! (Actually I don’t think it’s safe to eat these – this picture was taken in a public park)

I’m not a nutrition expert, but here is generally what I eat during the week.  Warning: it’s not fancy but it gets the job done.

  • Breakfast: SO MUCH COFFEE, oatmeal with blueberries and chia seeds, usually eaten standing-up by the sink because I’m an animal
  • Snack: A banana and/or granola bar
  • Lunch: Usually leftovers – chickpea salad, soup, sometimes a frozen burrito from Trader Joe’s when I haven’t had time to cook (don’t @ me), various fruits
  • Snack: Almonds, eaten off the top of an appellate brief, or a granola bar
  • Dinner: Tacos, rice & beans, big salad with hemp seeds and sometimes “fake meat” or beans, pasta with vegetables and chickpeas (I’m trying to cut down on pasta though because I have gotten “soft” in my 30’s)
  • Dessert: I’m also a big hot-cocoa-before-bed gal.  I try to make it “healthy” by using almond milk and cacao – the rich-person version of cocoa – cinnamon, and no sweetener.  This has a lot of magnesium, which is something many Americans are lacking in their diets.

What are vegans missing in their diets that you should watch out for? Well, it’s not protein, for one thing.  But, that being said, make sure you’re having a balanced meal plan and not just eating Oreos.

Here are some tips to keep nutrition in check so you can perform your best, daily: 

  • Eat a variety of colors
  • Fortified non-dairy milks and cereals generally have lots of vitamins and minerals if you feel you’re lacking
  • Combine foods – for protein and iron, I recommend combining grains, beans, and veggies like kale
  • Eat from a bowl! Mixing in veggies in a “Buddha Bowl” is a great way to get variety
  • Put hemp seeds and chia seeds on literally everything (lots of magnesium, protein, and fiber in these suckers)
  • Cook in advance – Ty and I cook on Sundays for the week
  • Bring a healthy snack with you in case you end up in hell somewhere without a vegan option

When I first cut out meat, I was worried about iron.  The only iron source I knew came from red meat. I was constantly anemic from age 12-22 (fun fact – I had never given blood before because I had either gotten tattoo, come back from Mexico, OR did not have sufficient iron to donate).  My anemia stopped when I completely cut out meat and added leafy greens. I was amazed and gave blood for the first time in 2015!

Caveat – it’s easy to go carb-heavy when you’re vegan because it’s convenient and comforting.  It’s also easy to whip up broccoli and rice and fake meat and call that dinner. Don’t 👏 get 👏 stuck 👏 in 👏 that 👏 rut!  Explore other cultures’ foods! Indian, Thai, and traditional Mexican dishes are usually low on animal products and high on vegetables.  My palate opened up when I stopped doing the typical chicken-vegetable-grain dinner.

I also regularly employ the following books and blogs to find inspiration for recipes:

There are SO MANY blogs about plant-based life.  This particular website was really helpful to me in making swaps for animal-based products I was accustomed to.

I refuse to gather recipes from blogs that start out “The hubby and I love spicy food…” or have names like “Vegan Noms” but even with THAT narrow scope, I still find plenty of recipes to mix things up. 

(^ Hear me out on this point, though – no one cares that your kids and husband have busy schedules, and why your “family really looks forward to taco night”, or whatever.  Get to the recipes, I’m hungry!  Also, the more people do this, the more formulaic it feels, eventually becoming perfunctory rather than inspired, which kind of belies any attempt at being more personal in the first place.  Ok, rant over.)

And at the end of the day, if you’re exhausted and you just don’t want to cook, a meatless burger is fine.  You’re still using 99% less water, 93% less land, consuming a product that produces 90% less greenhouse gas emissions, and takes 50% less energy to produce than a typical cow burger.

Do you have any questions?  Do you have any recipes that you need help swapping out animal products?  Do you have any recipes you loved and would like to send me?  My mom sends me lots of recipes now that she is vegan, as well, and I’ve loved making them. ❤

And, just one funny meme because life is heavy and if you can’t laugh at yourself, then what kind of psychopath are you?!

It really be like that sometimes.



    • Thank you! Let me know if you have any questions! I’m talking with folks and researching to prepare a post about vegan kiddos and feeding a whole family plant-based, so watch out for that!


  1. Great job once again. I agree with everything in your blog except the multivitamin statement. Most of us push these supplements without even knowing if we have any type of deficiencies. I always tell my clients to go get a blood test before popping any supplement. Just like your blog and how most Americans eat too much protein most Americans also pop too many supplements so if you are not deficient in something You should not be popping a supplement. Only way to figure out if you are deficient is by a blood test. Keep up the good work and your meme made me laugh. We were stuck at the airport the other night and I was stuck next to three vegans and all they could talk about where all their vegan foods LOL 💁‍♀️💁‍♀️💁‍♀️😆😆😆😘


    • Great point, Katie! It’s true that we shouldn’t just supplement without thought or consideration. As long as we eat a variety of food, we probably won’t need to have a multi-vitamin addition.


  2. Another great one, Shannon!
    Slowly slowly my pantry is changing! I now have some chickpea flour as well as Monk fruit and coconut sugar. Perusing for recipes today I already found myself particularly in love with the “skip to recipe” button that was available on several blog sites because blah blah blah blah blah enough already! Show me the damn ingredients, I’m ready to go here! The issue of carbohydrates is a real one for me since I’m borderline diabetic. So now I’m trying to imagine combinations that don’t include cereals or pastas especially. Sprouted grain breads like Ezekiel and whole grains like brown rice and Oats are more my focus. And veggies veggies veggies veggies… But sometimes I just can’t get my choppin’ fingers going and although there’s lots of frozen options they sure aren’t as good! (Whining alert) I never have really gotten into soy/tofu always being a little paranoid about the plant estrogen’s and their link to ovarian and cervical cancer. I guess temperance is the key!
    Yes I’m a big fan of batch cooking! I do a big pot of brown rice and then scoop portions into cupcake pans, cover and freeze then pop them out into a container and voila, you have a little portion controlled servings ready to go! I called them rice bombs! I’d say it’s because of my solitary single life but I was doing it with macaroni and cheese back when my daughter was a toddler!

    Your blog is truly inspiring me to follow my heart and get off my ass! It’s written with just the right amount of humor and crass And realistic bullshit that is heard from people regarding the topic! That’s said I’m not nearly to the point of trying to change other people’s way of eating… you have definitely moved to a whole new level by doing exactly that but in such a kind way! heeheehee
    Next time I’m in Denver visiting my sister, I have to come and see you guys!

    Love to you all

    susan schneider

    Liked by 1 person

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