There's an abundance of vegan food out there!
The lists below will help you find products that you may never have
imagined could be vegan! You'll get to know what's vegan
and what's not very quickly and learn to skim ingredient
lists to check the ingredients if you need to. So, whether
you want healthy food or junk food, there's something
there for everyone! As you can see, we don't live on
only fruits and vegetables
There are a growing number of successful vegan food and drink companies right here in Scotland, such as:
There are no uniform labelling rules for vegan foods. In fact there is no industry definition of "vegan". As there is no real guidance for companies, some are doing their own thing and you will see on their vegan lists that they have their own definition of "vegan" and then their own labelling system. This is extremely helpful for us when we're shopping, as it's much easier to look for a vegan label than to have to read through the ingredients.
However, a lot of products that do not say "suitable for vegans" are actually accidentally vegan. Some of these products say "suitable for vegetarians", as they don't contain meat or fish, but don't say "suitable for vegans" even although they do not contain non-vegan ingredients. This may be because the company is not able to say for sure that there is no cross-contamination from other product lines made in the same premises. If an item says “may contain milk or eggs” for example, but looks to be vegan otherwise, we don’t believe this to be unsuitable for vegans.
“May contain” is an allergen disclaimer for food companies because the food has most likely been produced in the same factory as other foods that contain those allergens. It doesn’t mean the food actually contains those ingredients.
Most vegans would accept a labelling system that said a product was vegan if it did not contain any non-vegan ingredients, and if the company confirmed that all efforts were made to avoid cross contamination; so not an absolute guarantee but real efforts made. There are groups working at the European level to get uniform labelling across Europe which would take this approach to cross-contamination. For the time being we rely on individual company labelling systems, sharing information among vegans, and becoming adept at speed reading ingredient lists. People often look for "suitable for vegetarians" then check for highlighted allery ingredients (dairy and eggs are often in bold), then check for sneaky honey and E numbers that you need to watch for. This is a useful guide by the Vegan Society
There are lots of great vegan recipe books to help get you started, here's just a few
You can also check out some of our favourites:
A couple of recipe pages that may be very familiar to you have loads of vegan options:
We all have our own preferences when it comes to meal planning and so it's not really possible to create a one-size-fits-all meal plan for people going vegan. However, it can be helpful to browse some possibilities. You can take a look at the sources above and the following are a couple of meal planner ideas:
Why not try making vegan versions of your own favourite dishes, get creative in the kitchen and see what you can come up with. If you get stuck for ideas, inspiration is never far away, have a look through some of these:
Eating out as a vegan is obviously a bit more challenging than eating out as a non-vegan, as not everywhere caters well for vegans yet, but it's definitely getting better and a lot of high street chains now have vegan menus (e.g Las iguanas, Zizzis, Wetherspoons, Toby Carvery, Pret, Handmade Burger Company, Bread Meats Bread, Cafe Nero, Starbucks). The more we ask for vegan options, the more likely businesses will cater for us.
If you're eating out it's a good idea to check out the restaurant's menu before hand and maybe even contact them to ask what they can provide. Restaurants are obliged to provide an allergen list if you ask. This is a good way to check for yourself to see what is suitable.
To make things easier, we've compiled a downloadable list of cafes and restaurants around Scotland (which we're trying to increase all the time) that are either vegan or provide vegan options. You can also see some of our own pictures of the delicious dishes available here.
There are vegan options popping up all over the place, here are a few options for vegans when it comes to takeaways. Indians and Chinese like Glasgow's Lotus, or Paisley's La Rambla are usually a good place to order from. Things like vegetable curries, pakoras etc. (Always check with the establishment to make sure they're sfv)
There's also a few unexpected vegan takeaways you can order... Papa Johns is one for example.
Their original base is vegan. So if you order a base with sauce and lots of veg you have a nice vegan pizza you can have delivered to your house. They also have an accidentally vegan dip called "special garlic sauce" which is amazing!
There's even a place in Glasgow called Old Salty's that does vegan sausage and haggis suppers! If you're lucky enough to live near Polmont there's a whole variety of vegan options on a Tuesday evening at Land-n-Sea Chipshop . And there's the delicious meals available for takeaway from The Hug & Pint. In Edinburgh and Glasgow there is a lovely pizza chain called Nova Pizza that does vegan cheese and vegan meat!
Deliveroo is handy if you live in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
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