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Making a Meal Out of Veganism

One of the greatest challenges a lot of people find when starting out on a vegan lifestyle is; what to eat! It's a daunting feeling when you embrace a new dietary change. All of a sudden the core of your meals, in this case, meat and dairy products, are suddenly gone. So many of the vegan groups on Facebook are filled with newbies to the vegan community, unsure of what to eat. And worried that they're not meeting their nutritional needs. This often means that many newbies to the lifestyle tend to stick to the same meals week in, week out.

In this blog post, I want to share some tips for creating enjoyable meals. The foundation of which, is based on making sure you have a shopping list that will ensure you are able to stay on track, while eating good food that doesn't come in a pre-packaged container every night of the week. Sure, junk food is nice, but sometimes you want a home cooked meal, and in my case, that happens to be the case most days. At the bottom of the post, you can download an easy guide to help you along on the journey!

What's in your cupboard?

The first thing I suggest is to do a quick audit of your fridge, freezer & cupboards. Take a pic and/or make a list. I like to print out these pics so I have a visual of what I have in each so that I can plan what I need. If I use something up, I put a line through the item. I then add it to my shopping list.

I group up my items into categories to help me see the full picture. This means I can also select items from each group to create a meal. I like to mix and match items I've not tried before. If you're a novice/beginner cook, it may also help you to see how foods pair. In my guide below, I have included a handy pairing guide, which is a great place to get some inspiration for creating meals too!


Start by making a list of your items in the above categories. You may want to categorise your lists differently, do what works for you!



I regularly update my list, by crossing out items when they are used up, I then add them to my shopping list if I want to restock them. My list is digital so it's easy for me to add and delete items without making a mess. (It's also a lot more environmentally friendly too!).

Pulses and grains:

Rice: red, white, black Venus, sushi, aborio

Grain: quinoa, cous cous, bulgar wheat


Fruit & Veg:

Fruit: pineapple (fresh & tinned), oranges, satsumas, mandarins (tinned), apples, grapes, lemon

Veg: Savoy & purple cabbage, broccoli, kale, carrots (mixed colour), mushrooms (mixed variety), beets, celery, peas, potatoes (sweet & regular), etc, etc, etc


Nuts & Seeds:

Nuts: Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, hazlenuts

Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax, hemp, sesame (white and black)



Bread: Wholewheat sliced, wholewheat and white bagels, vegan naan bread, flatbreads

Pasta: Lasagne sheets, tagliatelle, penne (white and wholewheat), bucatini, fettuccini, fusilli, orecchiette, spaghetti, shells, mini stars

Noodles: Flat rice, protein noodles (beetroot and charcoal), rice noodles, ramen



Beans: Haricot, butter beans, cannellini, chickpeas (black and white), aduki, black eye peas

Soy: Tofu (firm and silken), tempeh,

Other: processed meat alternatives (made from soy, seitan and other)

Natural: Jackfruit, hearts of palm, banana blossom flour, beans (see above), noodles (see above)


Healthy Fats:

Oils: Olive oils, avocado oils, sesame oil, coconut oil

Solid: Avocado, nuts and seeds


Condiments & Seasonings:

Condiments: Vinegars: (malt, red wine, apple cider and balsamic glaze/vinegar, ketchup, mustard (French, English and American), hot sauce (big variety), mayonnaise etc, etc

Seasonings: Salt, pepper, turmeric, chillis (powedered, flakes and ground), cayenne pepper, basil (fresh and dried), etc, etc


Making a Meal

Now that you have a list of your store cupboard, fridge and freezer items, you can begin to use my meal planner template to create your own meals. You can write into the blank boxes to make a plan for the week ahead, or simply make your own list. You don't have to fill all of the boxes, as some times the protein will also be the carbohydrate or the good fat. So you can leave it blank.

Limitless Meals, Full of Flavour, Less Food Waste

Using this meal guide allows you to plan meals around items you already have, limit your food waste, and shop for items more selectively. If you find something in the supermarket or food store and want to go out of your comfort zone, just take a look into what it pairs well with, and apply the above principle to make a meal out of it!


Download a blank copy of my Meal Maker below:

Life by Ms
. Lewis Meal Creator Copyright

Terms of use: Please remember to credit me if you reproduce orrecreate your own version of this planner, and circulate to third parties. If it is for your own personal use, please feel free to use as you wish. If you intend to share on social media, please mention and/or tag me. This planner took a lot of work to create so please use fairly. Thank you :)

If you find this helpful, please also tag in your meals on social media via my links below, so I can share your wonderful creations!

If you're giving Veganuary a go this year, good luck and I hope my site has plenty of ideas, inspiration and handy tips for you, wherever you are on your vegan journey!


In my next post

In my next post I will be sharing a few more tips on meal creation. I will be sharing ideas on making your own sauces and other items from items you will likely have at home already!


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