Although meat-free cooking is extremely simple once you've mastered it, many new vegetarians struggle to create nutritionally balanced meals that also taste great. While fresh fruits and vegetables are obviously major ingredients in a vegetarian diet, other food items are also essential, both for flavour and nutrition. However a lot of common foodstuffs contain animal by-products and many aspiring vegetarians become confused, sometimes to the point that, out of frustration, they give up their new diet thinking that it's simply not possible to follow.
A healthy vegan breakfast of fruit, soya yoghurt and almond milk. Image is from Wikimedia Commons (by Peggy Greb, USDA ARS).
Affiliated with the highly acclaimed Malaysian Nyonya restaurant, The Lotus, the Vegetarian Market at Unit 2, 220 James Street in Northbridge, is another top spot to head to for all your vegetarian and vegan grocery needs. The store stocks a wide range of products which are all strictly tested to ensure that they are free from meat, fish or egg products. The meat-free delights which are sold here include tofu products, finger foods, snack foods, mock meats and much, much more.
To find out more, check out this website
, or give them a call on 08 9228 2882 or 08 9328 6406.
The Formosa / Utopia Restaurant
The Formosa Restaurant (affiliated with the Utopia vegetarian restaurant chain) at 109 James Street in Northbridge is another top spot to buy mock meat. While their main focus is their restaurants, a few refrigerators display a range of delicious Asian vegan-friendly products. To find out more about their products, check out their website
One of the Formosa mock meat products.
Formosa imports a wide range of mock meat products.
Although, strictly speaking, the Kakulus Brothers grocery store on William Street in Northbridge isn't a vegetarian or vegan establishment, it is a terrific and very affordable spot to stock up on dry-goods such as beans, legumes and dals, all essential ingredients for a balanced meat-free diet. Many of these items can be purchased in bulk quantities, which will save you a small fortune, although it's also possible to simply measure out smaller amounts of what you need.
This image is from the Kakulus Brothers website.
Kakulus Brothers Grocers is situated at 183 William Street in Northbridge. However, if you're living closer to Fremantle, there is also a branch called Kakulus Sister, which is situated at 29 - 31 Market Street, not far from the train station.
Oriental Grocery Stores
Oriental grocers are always terrific spots to stock up on ingredients for vegetarian cooking. Due to the richness and diversity of Asian vegetarian cuisine, they invariably stock a wide selection of vegetarian necessities such as dried and fresh tofu (which unfortunately usually isn't organic or free from GM ingredients at these stores) and various types of TVP (textured vegetable protein), which, like tofu, is delicious when used in stews, casseroles and stir-fries. Ask the staff to offer some suggestions about what products they would recommend.
Vegan groceries at an oriental grocery store.This image is from Wikimedia Commons (by Taman Renyah).
These days most suburbs have at least one Asian grocery store but my old favourites are the Daily Supermarket on Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley and Far East Traders at the Morley Markets.
Health Food And Organic Shops
Meat substitutes can often be found at health food and organic shops. Although mock meats aren't usually sold at these places, you can usually purchase tofu, tempeh and other soya products, as well as plenty of delicious legumes, dahls, and beans. Since the emphasis of these stores is health and well-being, the products which you purchase in these places are usually of a very high quality, as they mainly use organically-grown soya beans that aren't genetically modified.
Sliced tempeh. Image is from Wikimedia Commons (by FotoosVanRobin).
Since most of these shops are operated as small individual businesses, each is quite different. Why not check out a few in your local area, and see which ones best suit your needs? My personal favourites are Alive Organics (Shop 5, 515 Walter Road East, Morley), Mount Lawley Organics at Unit 3, 885 Beaufort Street, Inglewood (which is actually on 9th Avenue, a few shops from Inglewood Post Office) and Manna Wholefoods 274 South Terrace in South Fremantle.
The Vegi Deli range is very popular with many vegans and can be purchased at many health food shops
With vegetarianism becoming increasingly popular in Australia, it's now becoming much easier to purchase vegetarian grocery goods at many local supermarkets. Most supermarkets have health food sections for both dry and refrigerated items, where a wide variety of ingredients for vegetarian cooking can be found. In the refrigerated section of most supermarkets you can now purchase various kinds of tofu products, as well as tempeh, vegie burgers and sausages. Mock meats can also be found at many supermarkets, and the popular Sanitarium Health Food range
, which are very good and have been around for years, are available at most.