ingredients and where to buy them.
We’ve included a lot of recipes with everyday ingredients, but some
of the more unusual foods below are just too good to leave out! Never fear
- the following list will reveal all. You will find many of these ingredients
in good supermarkets – try foreign foods, veggie, allergy-free or
organic sections in particular. And don’t forget to explore your
local independent health store and local Asian or Oriental store – they
are often much cheaper for things like spices, pulses & rice - and
crammed with other exciting goodies. With regard to some of the Thai and
other international dishes, remember that if you can’t get hold of
the ingredients or are just in a hurry, there are plenty of veggie-friendly
ready-made sauces. Good brands include Geo and Meridian, but all
supermarkets stock other and own makes.
Bulghur / Bulgur A grain made from
cracked wheat, a little like cous-cous, but a slightly different
also the basis of a delicious salad named Tabouleh.
Ceps see Porcini
Cheese There are some fantastic non-dairy ‘cheeses’ available,
including Redwood’s Melting Mozzarella and Cheddar
range – you can use these to make pizza or cheese on toast!For non-dairy
cream cheeses, try Tofutti or Redwood, which come in flavours like
plain, herb and chive and garlic – the plain is like Philadelphia.
Chickpea Flour (Gram Flour) is a tasty and nutritional
addition to pancakes, as well as helping them to rise without eggs. It’s
available in the Asian foods section of big supermarkets or Asian stores. If
you’ve ever eaten onion bhajis in an Indian restaurant, that’s
what binds them together!
Couscous A grain made from wheat. It’s used a lot
in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. As well as being tasty, it’s
also very quick to prepare. You can buy it plain or in different
Cream Try Provamel’s Soya Dream or Granose Soya
Creem for a non-dairy version of single cream. Use in sweet and savoury
dishes for an added bit of richness. Most supermarkets sell this
now, as do health food shops.
Creamed coconut You’ll find this in the foreign
foods section in a good supermarket, health food or ethnic store. It comes
in a hard block but melts quickly.
Curry pastes Fantastic for a quick, cheap curry! There
are plenty of varieties such as Biryani and Balti in your local supermarket.
And don’t forget your local health or Asian food store. Check the
label for levels of spiciness.
Falafels Small spicy chickpea balls. Delicious in pitta
bread with salad, tomato or else with rice, salad and minty yoghurt dip.
Cauldron’s version is lovely and found in most supermarkets. Or make
them yourself, using tinned chickpeas for quickness – easy!
Fish sauce No worries – a veggie
alternative to this Thai ingredient is available from health food
shops! But if not, soya sauce will do as a substitute
Five-spice powder found in the Chinese section of good
supermarkets, or else health food/Oriental food shops. It’s a mixture
of delicious spices used in Chinese cooking, including star aniseed – and
isn’t hot, so no worries if you can’t do chilli!
Flax seed See linseed.
Galangal Used in Thai dishes, you can find this root
(or powder) in good supermarkets or Oriental supermarkets. If you can’t
find it, substitute with a little grated fresh ginger – or just leave
Hoisin sauce A Chinese sauce used for stir fries. Available
in most supermarkets, healthfood shops or delicatessens.
Ice cream Swedish Glace and Tofutti make delectable and
animal friendly ice creams (ie, they contain no dairy or other animal products).
They’re available in several yummy flavours and found in most supermarkets
and health food shops.
Kaffir lime leaves A wonderfully fragrant
Thai herb which you’ll find in the foreign food section of good supermarkets,
delicatessens, health food shops and Oriental supermarkets.
Linseed Also known as flax seed. This
little seed is a wonderful source of Omega-3 and much safer than fish oils,
which are likely to be contaminated by dangerous pollutants. Buy linseeds
loose & grind up, store in an airtight jar in fridge and sprinkle about
a teaspoon a day on your breakfast cereal or other food. You can also buy
cold-pressed linseed oil to use in salad dressings (don’t heat it
Mayonnaise Try the vegan variety – it’s
egg free & delicious. Good brands include Plamil and Granovita – you
can find them in good supermarkets as well as health food shops.
Miso Japanese savoury paste, a bit like Marmite, but
in different flavours. Available in some supermarkets – Sainsbury
sell it – and health food stores. The lighter in colour the milder
the taste, the darker the richer. It makes a really rich, tasty base for
soup but is best not boiled, as it destroys healthy natural enzymes. Instead,
mix it into a paste with a little cold water and add to your soup or sauce
right at the end. The Samurai used to eat miso soup to keep them strong!
Muscovado sugar Darkish brown sugar available in most
good supermarkets. If you can’t find it, ordinary brown sugar will
do at a pinch.
Nuts and seeds A delicious and nutritious part of a veggie
diet. They provide protein, healthy fats and Omega 3 or 6. Buy in small
quantities, store in a jar in the fridge and use in savoury dishes, including
salads. For a yummy healthy treat, dry roast in a heavy frying pan then
add a little shoyu at the end.
Parmesan An Italian cheese, available as a vegan version
in little tubs called Florentino Parmazano. Available
from good supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury, as well as health food
Peanut butter Not just for spreading on toast! It’s
also fantastic used in a sauce to go with veggie kebabs or stir fry
with noodles.Try the non-sweetened brands – they are much nicer. You can also
buy cashew and almond nut butters, which are more expensive but gorgeous.
Pesto If you have used this before you’ll know that it’s a taste of Italian sunshine. The sauce is made traditionally from fresh basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese – but there are also several very good vegan versions. Look out for Meridian (available from Free From sections in large supermarkets, including Tesco) and also Zest, Suma and MotherHemp brands. It’s also wonderfully easy to make! See A Vegan Taste of Italy by Linda Majzlik, £5.99, available online from Viva! Gifts for Life
Polenta This is also known as corn meal. It’s pale
yellow and used a lot in Italian and Central/South American cooking. You
will find it in good supermarkets, delicatessens and health food shops.
Porcini Mushrooms also known as ceps.
These dried mushrooms are absolutely flavour-packed and a few go
a long way. They are used a lot in Italian cooking and are available in
supermarkets , delis or health food shops. Soak them in hot water for 20-30
minutes and use the stock for soup, sauces etc. Remember to drain with
kitchen paper to get rid of any little bits of grit.
Rice Experiment with different varieties, including brown
and white. Brown is nutty, delicious and more nutritious than white, while
taking longer to cook. Basmati white is fragrant and lovely with curry
Seitan Imitation meat made from wheat gluten – pronounced
like Old Nick himself, it’s much better than it sounds and actually
very tasty! Good in wraps, stews and pies. Available from health food shops.
Seeds See nuts and seeds.
Shallots Small type of onion. Available
in supermarkets or greengrocers.
Shoyu Not just any old soya sauce, but
a wonderful ingredient that adds depth and richness to all kinds
of foods – good
brands are Kikkoman (found in most supermarkets) and Essential, Suma
or Clearspring. Tamari is another good variety.
seed paste, used to make hummus. It’s also great used watered down with shoyu and
fruit juice as a basis for a savoury sauce to go with a stir fry.
I use it on toast instead of margarine – delicious with yeast extract!
Tahini the wonderfood is very nutritious, being chock full of calcium
and protein. If the oil has floated to the surface, give it a good mix
in the jar with a fork before eating.
Tamari Very like shoyu but a little
richer and stronger, so you need less. It’s also wheat free, but
a bit more expensive. Available in delis and health food shops.
Tempeh Pronounced tempay, this soya-bean based product is found in the
freezers or chill cabinets of good health stores and delis. You can buy
it in a whole block (frozen) or in plain & marinated strips. The
marinated strips make a great alternative to bacon! As well as being high
in protein and easy for the body to digest, the plain variety is fantastic
in Japanese or other oriental-style food (Thai curry for example) whereas
the strips make lovely sandwich fillers. It tastes quite nutty and has
a dense, chewy texture.
Yoghurt Yes, of
course you know what that is! But did you know you can now buy a fantastic
dairy-free version in most supermarkets, as well as health food shops?
Provamel Alpro make excellent plain and fruity varieties, available in
most good supermarkets and health food shops. Other brands include Sojasun.