Dos and Don'ts
Vegans do NOT eat
- Items obtained direct from the slaughter of animals: meat, fish (including anchovies), sea animals (e.g. lobsters) and birds
- Any derivatives of the above including animal fats, gelatine, meat/fish extracts and stocks
- Eggs & derivatives: hens’ eggs, duck eggs, fish eggs, albumen/albumin, egg lecithin
- Dairy products & derivatives: milk, butter, cheese, cream, yoghurt, lactose, casein, whey
- Insect products: honey, cochineal, shellac
Vegans do eat
- Cereals and grains e.g. wheat, rice, oats, rye, barley, millet and quinoa. Cereals are used in numerous products such as bread, pastry and pasta. Many of these are vegan.
- Beans and lentils e.g. kidney beans, chickpeas, butter beans, split peas and red, green, brown and puy lentils. Beans and lentils are very cheap and can be used in dips, casseroles, soups, shepherd's pie, curries, chilli and many other dishes. Use tinned, or cook yourself. Most dried beans should be soaked before cooking.
- Nuts and seeds e.g. chopped mixed nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and ground flax seeds. Nuts and seeds can be sprinkled into or on top of numerous dishes including salads.
- Veg and fruit e.g. onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, salad ingredients, frozen peas, broad beans, tinned tomatoes, bananas, apples, oranges, dates and sultanas
- Oil e.g. vegetable oil, margarine. Ensure margarine is vegan as some of the catering brands are suitable. It is important to provide foods from groups 1-5.
- Dairy and egg alternatives e.g. soya, oat and rice milk. Soya milk can be used in place of cows’ milk in almost every situation. Opt for brands that are fortified with calcium and vitamin B12 in order to help supply daily requirements of these nutrients. Oat and rice milks are useful for those allergic or intolerant to soya. Egg-free vegan mayonnaise can be used in potato salad, coleslaw and to accompany many other salads. Plamil mayonnaise is recommended and is available in catering tubs from Suma.
- Meat alternatives e.g. veggie mince and tofu. Frozen varieties of veggie mince taste better than dried though not all of them are vegan so check the ingredients. Marinade dried mince in seasoning before cooking. Tofu is very versatile - can be marinaded in herbs and/or spices before cooking if desired.
- Some vegan flavourings e.g. yeast extract, dried or fresh herbs, lemons or bottled lemon juice, garlic or garlic puree, curry powder, salt and pepper, vegan bouillon or stock cubes, most soya sauce, cayenne pepper, nearly all tomato ketchup, BBQ sauces, mustard, pickles and chutneys
- Processed foods - there is a whole range of processed foods available that are suitable for vegans and include everything from pies and burgers to biscuits, jellies, chocolate and custard powder. See our suppliers page to find out where to order them from.
- Ready-meals - the following companies supply vegan meals to hospitals and care homes: Anglia Crown, Wiltshire Farm Foods, Kealth Foods and Suma has a huge selection of prepared vegan meals and vegan ingredients. Ensure you check the ingredients list on all products before buying them since they may contain animal derivatives. If a product cannot be bought it can usually be made. See adapting dishes for vegans for examples.