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Whether you live at home with your parents, by yourself, or with someone else, a few little tips can make cruelty-free eating a total breeze. And we'll help you discover some of the creative, delicious and simple meals that are out there — from old faves like pizza and lasagne to exciting new discoveries!
Meal Ideas Eating Out Tips & Tricks Shopping List
Meal Ideas

Quick 'n' easy:
  • Toast with Vegemite, or jam
  • Raisin toast with vegetable margarine, jam, or Tofutti 'cream cheese'
  • Fresh diced fruit with soy yoghurt
  • Cereal or muesli (try with almond or soy milk for an extra vitamin boost)
  • Porridge
  • Brekky Shake
  • Green Smoothie
Some preparation required:
Vegan LunchboxSchool Lunches:
Quick Tip! If you live at home, then life can be so much harder if your parents aren't supportive of you going veg. Helping to make your school lunches is a great way to score some brownie points and keep the 'rents on side ;) Below are plenty of great ideas to fill your lunchbox. But if you've munched your way through this list and you're looking for a few new creations, then the blog Vegan Lunchbox will quickly get your tummy rumbling.

Tuckshop Food:
These days, most school canteens have at least one or two animal-friendly lunches on the menu. But if you can't find anything cruelty-free at your tuckshop, then make sure to ask them to add some vegetarian/vegan options to the menu!

Quick 'n' easy:
  • Turn instant noodles into an instant success by adding fresh baby spinach, chopped spring onion, sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced carrot and/or other fresh veggies
  • Fry's veggie cottage pie (a yummy microwave-friendly option that's found in the freezer section of many supermarkets)
  • 'Gourmet' tinned ready-to-eat vegie soup
  • Vegan 'cheeseburgers'
Sandwich fillings, wraps, and bagel ideas:
  • Tasty toasties: Toasted sandwiches with tomato and (melted) cheesly (add some sliced olives if that's your thing)
  • Veggie Burgerwich: Fry's veggie burger patty, red onion, tomato, tomato sauce, mild Americal mustard and lettuce
  • Veggie-Snag Sanga Deluxe: Hummus, sliced veggie sausages, roast sweet potato, semi dried tomatoes, sprouts and baby spinach
  • Mediterranean: Hummus, roast pumpkin, roast capsicum, pine nuts and baby spinach
  • Tangy Tahini: Tahini mixed with a dash of soy sauce, grated carrot, sprouts, red onion and sliced cucumber
  • Avo-solutely Great: Avocado (used as a spread), sliced mushrooms, roast eggplant, semi dried tomatoes and lettuce
  • Tempting Tofu: Hummus, marinated/smoked tofu, grated fresh beetroot, tomato, sliced black olive and lettuce
  • Simple 'n' Tasty: Simple with Tofutti 'cream cheese', tomato, red onion, sliced cucumber, a dash of salt and pepper, lettuce
  • Mexi-Wrap: Tofutti 'cream cheese', refried beans, tomato, lettuce, salsa
  • Falafel Wrap: Hummus, falafels, tomato, parsley, red onion, roast pumpkin, and lettuce
Lunch on the run:
  • Vegetarian sushi is an easy option
  • Falafel kebabs are delicious and filling
  • Bakeries often have veggie pies or veggie pasties
  • Subway veggie patty and veggie delights are a readily available choice
  • Chinese, Indian, Thai and Mexican usually also offer good veg options
  • Most sandwich bars can also make up a yummy veggie sandwich, bagel or focaccia
Quick 'n' easy:
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Trail Mix
  • Fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Muesli Bars
  • Biscuits
  • Carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter
  • Rice crackers and dip (eg. hummus)
  • Plain corn chips, potato chips, 'Vege Chips'
  • Popcorn
  • Soy yoghurt
  • Vegan Jelly Cups
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Sandwiches, including: vegemite, peanut butter, jam, Tofutti 'cream cheese' and jam (tastes almost like a cheesecake!)
Quick 'n' easy:
  • Spaghetti Bolognese: Pick your favourite pasta sauce (eg. roast vegetable, tomato garlic, olive and chilli, etc). Use Sanitarium 'veggie mince', or tinned lentils instead of beef mince. Add some fresh veggies for extra flavour.
  • Stir Fry: Pick your favourite stir fry sauce (eg. black bean, sesame, garlic and ginger, etc). Throw in your favourite veggies. Try adding tofu, tempeh or a 'mock meat' for extra texture.
  • Roasted Veggies
  • Veggie 'Cheese' Burgers
  • Mexi-Wraps: Tofutti 'cream cheese', refried beans, tomato, lettuce, salsa
  • Falafel Wraps: Hummus, falafels, tomato, parsley, red onion, roast pumpkin, and lettuce (delicious toasted)
Some preparation required: Salads:
Quick 'n' easy:
  • Nana's Light Apple Pies
  • So Good Ice Cream
  • Silken tofu with coconut cream and lychees in syrup
  • Fruit Salad
Some preparation required:
Shopping list

Quick Tip! If you live with your parents, then chances are you're not the one who does most of the shopping. And if you're the first in your family to go veg, then suddenly shopping could seem like a big challenge to your parents. Offering to help with the shopping by making lists, or tagging along, is one important way you can prove to your parents not only that you're serious about saving lives, but that you're willing to help make the switch easy for everyone.


From the green grocer:
  • Your favourite seasonal fruits for breakfasts, snacks, and desserts
  • Plenty of Fresh Veggies, such as:
    • Carrots, tomatoes, snow peas, beetroot, lettuce, baby spinach, cucumber (great for sandwiches & salads)
    • Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, squash and bok choy (great for stir fries and pastas)
    • Potatoes, sweet potato, and pumpkin (great for soups and baked)
From the supermarket:
  • Bread, crumpets, wholegrain rolls, bagels, wraps, etc
  • Legumes such as 3 bean mix, lentils, chickpeas, refried beans, etc are great for salads, pastas, and soups
  • Sanitarium 'Veggie Delights' sausages, veggie patties, veggie 'mince', tofu, and tempeh are great for adding to stir fries, pastas, sandwiches, etc.
  • Cereal, muesli or other brekkie food
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Pasta sauces
  • Stir fry sauces
  • Spreads such as hummus, vegemite, peanut butter, Tofutti 'cream cheese', jam, etc.
From the deli:
  • Semi dried tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Mediterranean marinated grilled veggies (sweet potato, zucchini, artichoke, capsicum, eggplant, etc.)
  • Tabouleh (great in wraps, or as a side dish)
In the freezer:
  • Fry's Veg Shepherd's Pie
  • Fry's Vegetarian Schnitzel (great with roasted veggies, a salad or even used as a pattie in a burger)
Elsewhere:
  • Curried Lentil Pies
  • Vegetarian 'gourmet' ready-to-eat tinned soups
Snacks
  • Nuts can be great to snack on, as well as to throw in salads
  • Muesli bars
  • Trail mix
  • Dried fruit
  • Plain corn chips
  • Many flavours of potato chips (eg. Plain Pringles)
  • Vege Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Soy yoghurt (try Kingland or Soy Life)
  • SPC and Woolworths Fruit Jelly Cups (all colours except red are vegan)
  • Dolmades (a.k.a. 'Vine wraps') — get them in the fresh deli section of the supermarket
Treats
  • Nana's 'Lite Apple Pies'
  • So Good icecream
  • Tofutti ice creams
  • LEDA 'Choculence' (tim tam-esque bikkies), mint biscuits
  • Oreos
  • McVitie's 'Hob Nobs' and 'Digestives'
  • Arnott's 'Nice' biscuits
  • Skittles
  • Jelly Belly and Starburst Jelly Beans
  • Mentos
  • Fruit Tingles
  • Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Soyachino flavoured soy milks
  • Cadbury Drinking Chocolate, Activite, Nesquik
  • Vegan Chocolates:
    • Go Max Go Chocolate Bars
    • Bonvita Rice Milk Chocolate
    • Whittakers Dark Chocolate
    • Lindt Dark Chocolate
    • Cocolo dark chocolates
    • Sweet Williams — all varieties
    • LEDA — all varieties
    • Tropical Source — all varieties
    • Constant Cravings — all varieties
Whilst you can get everything you need to make delicious and varied vegetarian or vegan meals from your local supermarket and green grocer, here are some additional tips for finding amazing cruelty-free gourmet foods and specialty vegetarian products:

In any location:
  • Health food stores — look out for mock meats, a wide variety of dried legumes, gourmet vegetarian spreads etc.
  • Asian supermarkets — often stock a variety of mock meats including 'duck', 'pork', 'fish', even 'prawns'!
Online Australia-wide: Melbourne:
  • Vincent's Vegetarian Food, 353 Barkley st, Footscray
  • Habib's Wholefoods, 2/260 Flinders st, Melbourne
  • The Radical Grocery Store, 6 Wilson Ave, Brunswick
  • Absolutely Gluten Free, 34A Synnot st, Werribee
  • Alex's Kosher & Continental Mart, 831 Glenhuntly rd, Caulfield South
  • Don't Panic It's Organic, 2/84 Mt Eliza way, Mount Eliza
  • Global Green Vegetarian Food, 105 South Road, Braybrook
  • Golden Age Vegetarian & Health Food Mart, 18b Rutland rd, Box Hill
  • Joe's Organic Market, 64 Victoria rd, Northcote
  • Kraus Foods, 62 Glen Eira rd, Elsternwick
  • Leo's Fine Foods, 26 Princess st, Kew
  • Sunnybrook Health Store, 553 North rd, Ormond
Sydney:
  • Vegan Choice Grocery, 113 King st, Newtown
  • Taste Organic, 25 Falcon st, Crows Nest
  • Earth Food Store, 81a Gould st, Bondi
  • Lamyong, 12/575 Woodville rd, Guildford
  • Manly Health Foods, 8/23 Wentworth st, Manly
  • Zen Gardens Vegetarian Healthy Food, 2/48 Hill st, Cabramatta
Brisbane:
  • Green Edge, 191 Wardell st, Enoggera
  • Fundamental Food Store, 217 Given Tce, Paddington
  • Ms Flannery's (several locations)
    • Cnr Rode rd & Webster rd, Chermside
    • Shop 5/1 Bryants rd, Loganholme
    • 191 Moggil rd, Taringa
    • 52 Annerley rd, Woolloongabba
    • Wynnum Plaza, 2021 Wynnum rd, Wynnum
Perth:
  • Vegetarian Market, 2/22 James st, Perth
  • One World Cuisine, 7/23 South st, Kardinya
  • PAWS, 120 Beaufort st, Perth
  • Cruelty Free WA, 28A Queen st, Fremantle
  • Hills Fresh, 7110 Great Eastern Hwy, Mundaring
  • Bagels and Beyond, Shop 22 Centro Dianella Shopping Centre, Grand Promenade, Dianella
  • Eden Delicacy, 60 Adelaide st, Fremantle
  • Kitchen Warehouse, Midland Central, Clayton st, Midland
  • Kosher Food Centre, 3 Plantation st, Menora
  • Manna Wholefoods, 274 South tce, South Fremantle
  • Midland Junction Fresh Markets, 380 Eastern Highway, Midland
  • Fresh Provisions (several locations):
    • 258 Canning Hwy, Bicton
    • 303 Stirling Hwy, Claremont
    • 77 Walcott st, Mt Lawley
Adelaide:
  • Bliss Organic Café, 7 Compton st, Adelaide
  • Great Nature, 3/48 Beach rd, Christies Beach
  • Foodworks, 70 Jetty rd, Glenelg
  • Foodland, 169 The Parade, Norwood
  • Real Organics, 46 The Parade, Norwood
Canberra:
  • Capital Asian Groceries, 1/8 Purdue st, Belconnen
  • Mountain Creek Wholefoods, 14 Barker st, Griffith
  • Saigon Asian Food, 6 Cape st, Dickson
Hobart:
  • City Organics, 34 Criterion st, Hobart
  • Eumarrah Whole Foods, 39 Barrack st, Hobart
  • The All Organic Shop, 341 Elizabeth st, North Hobart
Darwin:
  • Greenies Real Food, Shop 12 Rapid Creek Shopping Village, Milner
Eating Out
Life is not all about preparing food (thank goodness!). Don't forget to treat yourself to a nice night out once or twice during the Vegetarian Week Challenge. Most capital cities have quite a few veg restaurant gems just waiting to be discovered. Here are a few recommendations:

Melbourne
  • Soul Food Vegetarian Café — Extensive menu, great food and service in a lovely atmosphere. 273 Smith Street, Fitzroy
  • White Lotus — Great Asian food, well priced. 185 Victoria St, West Melbourne
  • Veg Out Time — Positive eating, vegetarian and vegan creations. Great for takeaway. Delicious healthy food. 2 locations: 8/63a Fitzroy St, St Kilda, and 366 Chapel St, South Yarra
  • East Brunswick Club — Enjoy vegan pub food (like 'chicken' parma!) in a relaxed live music venue. 280 Lygon St, East Brunswick
  • Lord of the Fries — Best hot chips in the land; awesome burgers (vegan cheese available!). Looks like meat, tastes like meat, 100% cruelty-free! 5 locations: Elizabeth & Flinders St (opposite Flinders St. Station), and Shop 5 Flinders St Station (opposite Federation Square), Melbourne Central, Northland and Chadstone.
Sydney
  • Green Gourmet — Vegan Chinese with a buffet and Yum Cha on weekends. A blast to your taste buds with dishes like vegan 'peking duck'! 115-117 King St, Newtown
  • Iku Wholefood Kitchen — Organic and Vegan take-away. Many locations, see their website for your closest.
  • Funky Pies Cafée — Amazing organic, cruelty free pies and rolls by the beach 144-148 Glenayr Av. Bondi
Brisbane
  • The Forest Cafe — Great food, cruisy atmosphere. Wholefood organic vegan cafe. 124 Boundary St, West End
  • Kuan Yin Vegetarian Tea House — Amazing Asian vegetarian food. Very well priced, very friendly staff. The Taiwanese Fried ‘Chicken’ is a must-try! 198 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley
  • Ykillamoocow — The original ‘No Bull’ Pie, Vegan Dagwood Dogs... Say no more! West End Markets (Davies Park), Saturdays.
  • My Heart Garden — Quaint vegetarian cafe serving yummy global cuisine. Great variety, very friendly staff. Shop 5, 225 Hawken Dr, St Lucia
  • Huo Fo Vegetarian Court — Huge variety of ‘convincing’ mock meat dishes. Cnr. Mains Rd & McCullough St, SunnyPark
Perth
  • One World Cuisine — Delicious asian restaurant and bakery, with a friendly atmosphere — and a 'pays as you feel' buffet. 7/23 South st, Kardinya
  • Annalaksmi — Vegetarian restaurant, “eat as you like and pay as you feel” Jetty #4 Barrack St, Perth (on the Swan River)
  • Sri Melaka Vegetarian Nyogna Restaurant — Vegan Malaysian Nyonya Cuisine, the ‘meaty’ menu consists of 100% vegetarian ingredients 2 James St, Perth (next to Lotus Vegetarian)
  • Sassy's on Swan — Healty vego food, lentils, beans, tofu etc. Open for breakky West Australian Rowing Clubhouse, 171 Riverside Drive, Perth
  • The Wild Fig Cafe — Veg-friendly cafe, Wednesday is ‘vego feast night’! 33 West Coast Drive — Watermans Bay, Perth
Adelaide
  • Bliss Organic Cafe — Vegan cafe, open for breakfast, laid-back atmosphere, friendly staff. 7 Compton Street, Adelaide
  • Zen House — Friendly, well priced, great variety of veg Asian food including mock-meats (plus, they have take-home stuff in the freezer, including exquisite vegan ice-cream!). 17 Bent St, Adelaide
  • Vegetarian Delight — Extensive menu of veg Asian cuisine including mock meats and lots of vegan dishes. Great prices, atmosphere and service. 462 Port Rd, Hindmarsh
  • Joy Discovery Vegetarian Cafe — Healthy global cuisine, lots of yummy vegan options.13 Bent St, Adelaide
  • Vego ‘n’ Lovin it — Burgers, soups, vegan ice-cream, lots of charm, well priced. 240 Rundle St, Adelaide (upstairs above B sharp records)
Hobart
  • Shu Yuan — Asian vegetarian restaurant, plenty of mock-meats dishes and other great food. Well priced! 64 Liverpool St, Hobart
  • Nourish — Vegetarian cafe, with some vegan options 129 Elizabeth St, Hobart
  • Annapurna — Indian cuisine (NOT 100% VEG, but offers some good vegetarian and vegan options) 2 locations: 93 Salamanca Pl, Hobart, and 305 Elizabeth St, North Hobart
Canberra
  • Kingsland Vegan Restaurant — A lovely Vegan Asian restaurant with plenty of classic dishes, such as 'beef' and black bean, mongolian 'lamb', as well as some delicious original creations. Shop 5 67-69 Woolley St Dickson Plaza Dickson
  • Au Lac Vegetarian Restaurant — A cosy Vietnamese restaurant, with a good variety. 4/39 Woolley St Dickson Plaza Dickson
  • My Rainbow Dreams Cafe — A lovely cafe with a great variety of cuisines, including burgers, wraps, curries, soups and a delicious selection of sweets. Dickson Chambers Shp G1b/ Dickson Plaza
Not near a capital city? Happy Cow Compassionate Eating Guide will help you track down the closest veg-friendly eateries near you. And most non-veg restaurants also offer a selection of vegetarian meals to choose from. In particular, Thai, Indian, Lebanese, Chinese and Mexican restaurants often having a good selection.
Tips & Tricks
There's so much delish cruelty-free food out there that going veg really is simple. And if you want some tips to make the transition even easier, then click here.

Dealing with Parents:
For those who live at home, sometimes the biggest hurdle is getting the parents on board with the idea :-\ If you're the first in your family to go veg, then your new way of eating could take a bit of getting used to for your parents. These tips should help you keep them happy and supportive of your decision.

Before Talking to Your Parents:
  • Find Some Facts: Most likely, your parents' biggest concern will be for your health. Reassure them. Many really smart and successful people have been meat-free, for example: Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, P!nk and Carl Lewis (9-time Olympic Gold Medalist). Find out a little info about nutrition... In fact, click here and print out this page about nutrition so that you can whip it out when you're talk to your parents — to show them you mean business :)
  • Pick Some Recipes: If your parents aren't used to cooking veg food, then it'll be a huge help for you to find some yummy recipes. Print out a few tasty recipes to show them that veg food can be delicious and that you will help make things easy for them (you might even want to prepare a small shopping list).
Talking to Your Parents:
  • Really important: try to avoid the conversation turning into an argument. The last thing you want is for them to think you're being 'difficult'. If you can address their concerns in a friendly discussion then you are much more likely to win their support. (probably time to whip out your nutrition page!)
  • Tell them that you realise this might complicate meal plans, but that you're willing to help make it simple for them. Offer to help with shopping and cooking. This will show them you're serious and are willing to do what it takes to help save animals. (now pull out those delish recipes and shopping list you printed out earlier!)
  • Explain why this is important to you. Obviously you're passionate about protecting animals and the environment, but most people have no idea how cruel or unsustainable killing animals for food really is (this could include your parents). Help your parents see why this matters to you. Show them a short video if you can.
Making Things Easy for the Family:
Helping with cooking, shopping and school lunches can be a big load off your parents' back and also keep them off yours about your new animal-friendly way of life. You could even offer to cook occasionally for the family — now that's bound to keep 'em happy (and make you quite the Master Chef in no time) ;)

This recipe can be prepared in less time than it takes to go out for fast food! It's great for kids parties, and versatile too.

Prep time: 15 minutes

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You can use any spice mix you like on these. Moroccan or Middle Eastern influenced spice blends such as zaatar or dukkah taste fabulous. The lemon and pepper mix you can buy from the supermarket is also perfect on pita crisps.

Prep time: About 20 minutes

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Lecho   < >

A cheap and delicious vegetarian dish!

Prep time: 30 minutes

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Quick, yummy and cruelty free!

Prep time: 15 minutes

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This is a chocolate mousse recipe suitable for Kings (and Queens).

Prep time: 10 minutes preparation; 2 hours to set

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A great alternative to the meat version, it has a great flavour and aroma.

Prep time: Less than one hour

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This recipe is protein packed energy bar. Cook it once and your guests won't stop raving about it!

Prep time: 45 mins (including 15 mins prep and 30 mins cooking time)

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Tastes great and is packed with protein, iron and fibre!

Prep time: 20 minutes

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This recipe is very filling and the spices mixed with the veggies is divine!

Prep time: 20-30 mins

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This recipe is great for special occasions, or even to give as a gift.

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It tastes awesome, warming and is a lovely winter dish!

Prep time: 30 minutes

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Put simply, its easy to make kiddy friendly! so hard to find desserts which are gluten free for our veggie family and the kids love it!

Prep time: 30 minutes

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These delicious chocolate cupakes are jam packed with all the extra goodness of peanut butter icing. Just remember to share!

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It's so moist it melts in your mouth! And so simple to make!

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This is the perfect blood-free, vegan, and very ghoulish snack for Halloween, or just fun to freak your friends out any time of the year! Yummy too.

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Nutrition Basics

A well-balanced plant-based diet will give you all the nutrients and energy your body needs, including ample iron, calcium and protein — without having to fuss over every meal plan. Simply follow the healthy eating rule of thumb: consume a wide variety of foods including fruit, veggies, legumes, wholegrains, nuts, and seeds. Learn more about basic veg nutrition »


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