Eating Out: Never a Problem!

People often ask me “how do you eat vegan when you eat out?” I tell them "take me anywhere & I can order a (plant-based) meal." If someone suggests a steakhouse, I don't bat an eyelash nor do I declare I will throw up all over their prime ribs.
At a steakhouse I tell them I want absolutely no butter on anything & request a dry baked potato, a side of onions & mushrooms sautéed in olive oil only, steamed veggies & or a tossed salad. Lots of steakhouses have salad bars. For dessert, I'll order sliced fresh fruit. At Italian restaurants I order pasta primavera made with veggies & olive oil, hold the cheese. My convictions/values/lifestyle-- whatever you want to call it, usually comes up for discussion when people ask me about what I've ordered & I’m quite comfortable sharing information. Sometimes my friends switch their orders but that is entirely their choice. Eating out should be fun & social. There is no need to limit yourself to dining only with certain people who eat the way you do. **Here are some healthy plant-based suggestions for eating at various chain restaurants:

Arby’s: baked potato and a garden salad or side salad with Italian dressing, apple/cherry turnover

Baskin-Robbins’: dairy-free and gelatin-free ices and sorbets

Boston Market: steamed vegetables, zucchini marinara, tossed salad (without croutons & dressing), apple cobbler, cinnamon applesauce, cranberry walnut relish, fruit salad. Sandwiches customized upon request

Carl’s Jr.: French fries, hash-brown nuggets, breadsticks, English muffins, CrissCuts, All-you-can-eat salad bar, topped with fat-free Italian dressing, Great Stuff™ baked potatoes can be ordered with all-vegetable margarine

Chili’s: tostada chips and salsa, veggie quesadillas—replacing the cheese and sour cream with extra vegetables—or the Cadillac Fajitas without the meat

Chipotle: veg. fajita burrito, order it with black beans & no cheese—pinto beans are cooked with bacon

The pizza sauce and dough at Chuck E. Cheese, Little Caesars, and Papa John’s are vegan, while Pizza Hut uses vegan sauce, and its Thin ’n Crispy and dessert crusts are vegan. By omitting the cheese and choosing your favorite vegetable toppings, you can easily make a delicious vegan pizza

Dairy Queen: offers a vegan "ice cream" bar called Star Kiss. Dairy Queen also has vegan slushes in cherry, grape, blue raspberry, lemon lime, watermelon, and kiwi strawberry flavors

Denny’s: oatmeal, English muffins, bagels, grits, applesauce, fresh fruit, vegetable plates, seasoned French fries, baked potatoes with several vegetable toppings, garden salads with light Italian or oil-and-vinegar dressing, sandwiches can be made with several vegetable options

Hard Rock Café: veggie sandwich and salads

Macaroni Grill: several vegan options, including all the pastas with garlic and oil and its Capellini Pomodoro. Try these tasty bites without the cheese: Tomato Bruschetta and Penne Arrabbiata. When opting for a salad, choose the house or garden without the cheese and top it with the restaurant’s balsamic vinaigrette, Italian dressing, or roasted-garlic vinaigrette

Manhattan Bagel: many bagels & bialys are vegan but NOT their jalapeño cheddar cheese and egg bagels. Their Manhattan Grille and Vegetable Garden sandwiches can be made on a bagel, a roll, or a tortilla and are vegan if you omit the spreads and cheese

Panera Bread: bagel with roasted garlic hummus is one vegan possibility. Each location varies its menu options, so just ask about the vegan options before ordering

Quiznos Subs: veggie sub with guacamole, black olives, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and mushrooms—just be sure to order it without the cheese and ask for the balsamic vinaigrette instead of the red wine vinaigrette, a side garden salad, potato chips

Roy Rogers: baked potatoes, sides of veggies, and a salad bar. Their mashed potatoes are vegan if you forgo the gravy.

Ruby Tuesday: has a vegan veggie burger if you leave off the mayo and cheese, salad bar

Subway: Veggie Delite—on Italian bread and without cheese and mayo

Taco Bell: dishes can be veganized simply by omitting a few ingredients. The 7-Layer Burrito can be vegan with five layers—just forgo the cheese and sour cream. The tacos, nachos, and Mexican pizzas are vegan when you ask the cashier to hold the meat, cheese, and sour cream. Or stick with the bean burrito without the cheese.

Wendy’s: plain baked potato, the Deluxe Garden Salad with red Italian dressing and no cheese, or French fries. You can also ask for a veggie sandwich, which includes everything that would normally be on the burger except the meat—there’s even a button for it on the cash register.

**Menus and ingredients can change so always ask first to make sure a food item contains no animal products, i.e. no meat, cheese, milk, butter, egg yolk, egg white, fish, honey whey, gelatin or casein.

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