While you may not be able to find all the faux meat & soy products that may be available in larger cities, you can definitely find some vegan stuff in your local grocery store - especially since some of the larger supermarket chains are carrying those things now and you can actually make some extremely yummy home made 'burgers' from beans (like the chick pea patties from the Veganomicon). If you make more than you need, you can just freeze them and re-heat them. That's what I ususally do.
Basics like brown rice, beans, couscous, veggies (frozen & canned work too), whole wheat pastas & breads, peanut butter, oatmeal, cereals, etc can easily be found in most stores (just be sure to read the labels). I can spend hours shopping sometimes because I like to read labels and find items that I may have not realized were vegan. I usually come home with one or two new things after each outing. And while one brand may not be vegan, another brand may be - so be sure to check out different brands too.
A good place to check out is the ethnic foods aisle! They're are a lot of vegan friendly items hiding there :)
Claire, Thank you for sharing.! It was so fun preparing my first fresh pumpkin!! The pumpkin pie was delicious but the soup did not turn out so well.. I tried to like it but it was really not good LOL...We roasted the pumpkin seeds and my family really liked them.. I will keep looking for a better soup recipe..
I know what You mean Tracie, it takes me quite a long time to shop now because I don't just grab the usual foods and run, I have to take my time and read the labels. I honestly did not realize how many extra things are added to foods ( YUCK) what an awakening this book has been for me..... You are right about the ethnic aisle, that is one of my first stops as I can count on finding food items we can eat in that area. Also the bean aisle is a new area of the store for me to shop. I have noticed that our store is starting to carry more organic juices and veggies which makes me very happy.... Thanks for posting Tracie keep your ideas and suggestions coming...