Rangitoto Island, Auckland Harbour
Living in New Zealand as a vegetarian is easy. You might miss a few of your favorite vegetarian prepared foods (e.g., vegetarian bacon) but most.
1. Shop at Indian supermarkets.
Indian supermarkets often carry veggie burgers, veggie mock chicken nuggets etc. These types of food are less available in New Zealand supermarkets than supermarkets like Wholefoods in the US. Alas, we don’t have Wholefoods or Trader Joes here.
You can also usually find good value fresh cilantro, paneer, cashew nuts, pepitas, and other bulk bin items at Indian Supermarkets. In Christchurch, my favorite is Yogiji which is across the car park from the South City mall.
2. Use iherb to order any vegetarian supplements you take.
Vitamins are super expensive in New Zealand and the selection is not as good. If you order at least $40 worth at a time, you can get $4 shipping to New Zealand from iherb. You can also order nutritional yeast from iherb.
3. For the following, stock up while in the US, or have friends send from the US.
- Extracts just as lemon extract (you can easily get Vanilla, but other types are vary expensive)
- Espresso powder
- Nutritional yeast (If you’re desperate you can buy Lotus brand savory yeast flakes at a few supermarkets in NZ but they’re expensive)
- Vegetarian jello (with gelatin)
4. Vital wheat gluten is called “Gluten Flour” in New Zealand
If you’re making seitan, buy gluten flour from a “bulk bin” store. For example, in Christchurch the mini chain of bulk bin stores is called “Bin In.”
While you are there, you can also buy things like spelt flour (usually white and wholewheat are both available), nuts, and seeds for bread baking or eating.