Anything But Basic Back-to-School Essentials

Whether it’s packing healthy lunches and snacks or getting a delicious meal on the table quickly for dinner, we’ve got a ton of fun, new, on-trend items, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, to please the whole fam - picky eaters included.

Ack. School’s almost back in session, so chances are you’re already stressing over how much there is to do. When everyone’s on such a tight schedule, it can be hard to feel inspired once mealtime rolls around. And let’s face it – no one wants to eat just sandwiches – that’s so 2012. There are much more modern, enticing, exciting options out there. Whether it’s packing healthy lunches and snacks or getting a delicious meal on the table quickly for dinner, we’ve got a ton of fun, new, on-trend items, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, to please the whole fam – picky eaters included. Take a look:

Meat Your Match

There are plenty of reasons to reduce meat consumption (health, environment, food sustainability and security) but ugh, that doesn’t mean you have to fill up on salads and vegetables alone.

No Evil’s spectacular vegan “meats” just arrived in-store and we can’t stop talking about them. These small-batched, non-GMO Vital wheat gluten mains are so close to the real thing, you never feel you’re missing out.

No matter what plant-based protein you choose – Italian “sausage”, pulled “pork”, shredded “chicken” and “chorizo”- the possibilities are endless. Corn dogs, tacos, pizza, chili, soup, stew… #MeatlessMondays last all week now. Bonus: they come in 100% compostable packaging.

SHM Shopping List:

– The Stallion Italian Sausage

– Pit Boss Pulled Pork

– Comrade Cluck “No Chicken”

– El Zapatista Chorizo

*assorted varieties are $7.99 ea. Regular price $12.99 sale ending September 23rd, 2018

Cauliflower Power

Move over kale – it’s cauliflower’s time to shine. The unparalleled star of 2018 from the cruciferous vegetables family is everywhere. From crumbled and riced varieties to the trendiest base for pizza, cauliflower’s popularity is immense – and showing no signs of slowing down (Oprah just jumped on the cauliflower pizza bandwagon, so KABOOM!). An excellent source of vitamins and minerals (especially C and K), this white veg does everything from help fight inflammation to balance hormones. It’s great raw or cooked, and can easily be substituted for chicken (Buffalo Cauliflower), meat (Roasted Cauliflower Steak) potatoes (Shepherd’s Pie), pasta (Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese), and of course, pizza dough. p.s. Don’t forget the snacks!

SHM Shopping List:

– NEW  From The Ground Up Cauliflower Pretzels and Cauliflower Crackers (nacho, cheddar, sea salt) $5.49 ea.

– Summerhill’s Own Cauliflower Pizza Crust $11.99

-Summerhill’s Own Cauliflower Bites $9.99/lb

-Riced Cauliflower $4.99

Noodle Around

Children can be finicky eaters, but there’s one food most can agree on – pasta. Whether it’s mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, or lasagna, kids go crazy for noodles.

Wholesome, nutritious blends made with wheat-free ingredients have come a long way in recent years. “Alternative pastas,” as they’re called, come in a variety of shapes and colours, and often boast higher protein and fiber. The best part? Make a brilliant sauce, add a ton of fresh veg, and they’ll never know their pasta is actually a health food now.

SHM Shopping List:

Maria’s Noodle’s Green Pea & Kale Fusilli $9.99 (wheat free)

Bentilia Red Lentil Penne $11.99 (made with non-GMO red lentils)

Banza Chickpea Pastas (variety available – Penne $5.99, Spirals, $6.99, Shells $6.99)

Ancient Harvest & GoGo Quinoa Pastas (Garden Pagodas $5.99, Super Grains Elbows, Super Grain Fusilli $5.49)

Keep Calm & Vegan On

We know vegan selections are important to you and your family. Which is why we’ve expanded our selections, bringing in the very best products. Plant-based, gluten-free options can be such fun and don’t have to taste like cardboard. Really.

Take Blossom Bakery’s just arrived, hard-to-find  gluten-free, vegan flatbread pizzas and dips, for instance. Made with natural, whole ingredients, you can enjoy your favourite comfort foods without the guilt, bloat, and other unwanted side effects.

Cool fact: The bakery uses fruit grown on their family farm in Niagara in many of their products.

SHM Shopping List:

– List Blossom Bakery Flatbread Pizzas

– Blossom Bakery Dips (Tzaziki, Spinach Artichoke, Cheese Melt) $7 *assorted varieties, prices may vary


Snack Attack

Let’s face it – lunch and after-school snacks can be so lame. But trust us, these are so good, you’ll have to buy twice as many: one box for you, one box for the kids. Our recent Instagram poll revealed a fascinating result: savoury was the preferred option over sweet by a mile. So we’ve rounded up our favourite salty, crunchy, cheesy nibbles! And the fact that they just happen to be seriously healthy? Happy bonus. But feel free to keep that to yourself – we won’t tell.

SHM Shopping List:

– SHO “Cheesy” Kale Chips $5.99 ea.

Sea Snax vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly seaweed snacks (original, onion, chipotle) $2.39

– New Mini Cheeses – Kokos Coconut Gouda, Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Honey Bee, and Three Lion’s Brie (in located in the deli department) *prices vary

– SHO Classic Hummus, paired with pre-cut veggies from the Produce Dept.


Stephanie Dickison

Stephanie Dickison

A journalist with over 20 years experience, specializing in restaurants, chefs, food and drink. In addition to daily articles and features, profiling top chefs and interviewing celebs, as editor and feature writer for Toronto Restaurants, her Open/Closed column is a must-read every Thursday morning for the newest openings, and latest news + events. 

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