vendredi 13 septembre 2013

How to Eat Vegetarian At Fast Food Restaurants

The phrase "fast food" tends to conjure up images of hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, or fried chicken. Going out to places like Burger King, McDonald's, or Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) with family or friends may seem like a big challenge if you're a vegetarian. However, if you know what to look for, you may well be surprised that there are lots of options of what you can eat.
Note: This article is based on being a vegetarian in the United States. It can be harder or easier in different countries to find vegetarian fast food options, depending on factors such as strength of the vegetarian movement or willingness to cater to vegetarians. And while this article has some tips for vegans, it will be harder for a vegan to find fast food options due to the greater food restrictions.

  1. 1
    Be prepared to help the servers. If you're aware beforehand of what can be done to turn a normally non-vegetarian food into a vegetarian option, don't be afraid to speak up and describe how this is possible. The server or waiter may take a little convincing but explain clearly, stay polite, and make it easier with your suggestions. One excellent option is to ask for a vegetarian appetizer accompanied by side portions like steamed vegetables or wedges. Asking for a special appetizer doesn't seem like such a huge ask compared to an entree (main meal) size.
    • Don't be afraid to ask the manager or cashier questions. Being a customer, you're entitled to ask what ingredients are in specific foods or if they cook fries in the same oil as meat products. They can also help you find certain foods that are vegetarian-friendly that may not be listed on the menu boards. Inquire about salad toppings, for example hard boiled eggs.
    • Read How to Be Assertive for details on maintaining your position politely but firmly!
  2. 2
    Widen your fast food choices
    Widen your fast food choices
    Keep your fast food options broad. Fast food isn't only located in the major franchises like McDonald's and Burger King. Diners, take-out places, and fried food outlets are also fast food possibilities, ranging from Chinese to Mexican options. And if it's your local joint and they get to know you well, they'll often be happy to go out of their way to cook up something special whenever you turn up, so make good friends with the owners!
  3. 3
    Is the cooking space meat-free?
    Is the cooking space meat-free?
    Be aware of what you need to be careful about. Knowing what to avoid when eating fast food is very important. In the realm of fast food, here are some of the things you need to be careful of:
    • Fried foods – what was used to fry the food? If it's beef tallow, chicken fat, or other animal derived fat, then you won't be able to eat it. And this affects everything from fries to donuts.
    • Jelly, Jello, and gelled type foods. Watch out for gelatin in food products, from cheesecake to your milkshake. Some condiments also contain gelatin.
    • Baked goodies. Was the margarine or fat used vegetable-based or animal-derived? Cheap food will often use animal-derived margarine or fat because it keeps down the costs. This impacts a lot of items including pizza bases, pastries, and cakes.
    • Drink bases. If you're not able to consume milk or dairy products and prefer to have soy drinks, bear in mind that some powdered bases and drink mixes may contain dairy products.
    • Where the item is cooked. If the food is cooked on the same grill, in the same wok, or anywhere else where there is meat, then there is a huge risk of cross-contamination. For instance, it can be very hard to keep bits of flesh out of a veggie stir-fry where meat has also been stirred.
    • Bread and buns. These may appear vegetarian but again, they may contain animal fat or by-products. This can be an even bigger issue for vegans, as a lot of bread has milk and sugar added to it (most sugar is not vegan).
    • Meat or fish flavorings in sauces and dressings. A range of condiments may contain fat, oil, flavoring, or even small flesh pieces all derived from animal sources. Avoid salad dressings and other condiments if you're not sure about them.
  4. 4
    Enjoy breakfast food.
    Enjoy breakfast food.
    Enjoy breakfast food. A lot of fast food menus cater for hearty and healthy breakfasts in which there are definite vegetarian options. This time of the day isn't as easy for vegans though, as eggs and dairy will feature strongly, so you'll need to look for fruit and oatmeal options instead. Some of the options for breakfast include:
    • Fruit parfaits, hash browns (as long as you know they are of vegetable fat origin), baked beans, egg and cheese biscuit sandwiches, pancakes, or even small muffins.
    • If you consume dairy products, you will find this an easier time of day for choosing a range of food. Therefore, if you're on the road, eat a hearty breakfast!
  5. 5
    Take advantage of the "healthier" possibilities on the main menu.
    Take advantage of the "healthier" possibilities on the main menu.
    Take advantage of the "healthier" possibilities on the main menu. Look beyond the commonplace vegetable salads and scoop out other items that might be on offer. Some of the examples you might be able to go with include:
    • Burger King in the United States offers a BK Veggie Burger that uses Morningstar veggie patties or you can request a regular burger/whopper with no meat (only vegetables, bun, and condiments).
    • Taco Bell Mexican pizza can be ordered without the meat, to be substituted with more beans. They also have a seven layer burrito, which is vegetarian, but has cheese and sour cream.
    • Pasta and breadsticks, along with cheese pizza can leave you with a full stomach. Vegans need to know whether or not the pasta contains egg.
    • Starbucks offers pita sandwiches, bagels, muffins, and parfaits that are available throughout the United States.
    • Most Dunkin' Donut donuts are vegetarian, though not vegan; just be sure to check which ones when choosing. Their bagels contain an ingredient derived from Duck Feathers. The protein L-Cysteine is the ingredient that makes these bagels inedible. So be sure that if you’re vegan/vegetarian, you stay away from this protein.
    • Subway and Quizno's are a huge "thumbs-up" for vegetarians. Pack sandwiches with all sorts of vegetables to your liking.
    • Other places that cater for vegetarians include Hard Rock Café, Denny's, Chili's, Johnny Rockets, Ruby Tuesday, and Red Robin.
  6. 6
    Choose from the side menu.
    Choose from the side menu.
    Choose from the side menu. You don't necessarily need an entire combo meal to satisfy your trip. Find an array of menu items such as corn, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or fruit packages. If you're creative enough, you can probably combine several things together to make a complete vegetarian meal.
  7. 7
    Dig into the kid's menu.
    Dig into the kid's menu.
    Dig into the kid's menu. A standard kid's menu will often contain several vegetarian-friendly options, such as macaroni and cheese, tomato sauce pasta, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Even the combo meals for kids offers either vegetable or fruit packages (sliced apples) and choice of drinks (apple juice, milk, or water).
  8. 8
    Can I have some of your fries?
    Can I have some of your fries?
    Trade things off your fellow diner's plates. Do a deal for their veggies in return for your meaty bits. This will depend on how fussy you are about the meat having been on your plate; if you've been on the road for a while and you're starving, sometimes standards can slip! In many cases, you can probably get their vegetables even if you didn't order a meat meal to share and they'll be happy to help you out.
  9. 9
    Request soy milk in cafés and coffee shops.
     Note that in Starbucks, the caramel syrup is vegan, but the caramel sauce (topping) contains dairy. Also be aware that some places use the same towel to wipe the espresso steamers between regular milk, soy milk, and chai.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire