Eating Out On A Vegetarian Diet

Were you thinking you’d be stuck eating just salad if you went out to a restaurant? If so, not to worry there are so many options for eating out on a vegetarian diet. More and more restaurants are making vegetarian and vegan options available. Even if they don’t appear on the menu, many restaurants will create a special meal for you, if you request one. In addition, there are now many restaurants that are completely vegetarian or vegan. A great online resource for searching for vegetarian-friendly restaurants is Happy Cow.

I bet you probably have more vegetarian options in your neighbourhood than you realized. If you live in a multi-cultural city you can most likely choose from the following:

Mexican food options include refried beans (make sure there is no lard), black beans, guacamole, Mexican rice and nachos.

Chinese food offers a variety of vegetable dishes. You can ask the restaurant to add tofu to any of the dishes instead of meat or chicken. Make sure to ask if they use oyster sauce.

Thai food, like Chinese has lots of vegetable dishes and tofu options. If you choose soup, make sure it isn’t made with chicken broth and ask if they use fish sauce in your dish. These are both common practices in Thai cuisine. Note Pad Thai is often made with fish sauce and eggs.

Japanese soups and salads are usually vegetarian or you can choose from a selection of vegetable based sushi or stir fries. Make sure to ask if there are bonito flakes (fish) or roe (fish eggs) in your dish.

Indian food also has a variety of vegetable dishes to choose from from eggplant to lentils as well as samosas and pakoras.

Middle eastern food has become a favourite of ours. We always have hummous in the fridge and we often stock up on babaghanouj (eggplant dip), Mujadara (rice and lentils) and falafel.

And last but not least.. Italian food has always been a favourite of vegetarians as pasta and pizza are very vegetarian-friendly. Note risotto is sometimes made with chicken broth.

A few other miscellaneous watch outs would be:

. Rice is sometimes cooked in chicken broth to add flavour.
. French fries are sometimes fried in animal fat
. Restaurant desserts with flaky crusts are often made with lard
. Salad dressings may be made with dairy or eggs

Review menus carefully and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Good luck with dining out and let me know what you find on the menu at your favourite restaurant.

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