Read these 4 Dining Out Vegetarian Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vegetarian tips and hundreds of other topics.
If vegetarian meals were hard to come by in everyday establishments it will be impossible for some people to eat. What most people don't realize is that easy vegetarian meals are indeed readily available. The owners and marketing staff members of restaurants would have to be fools not to acknowledge the rise in vegetarianism today. People are more health conscious and are opting to live healthier lifestyles.
Many popular restaurants have added meatless burgers to their menus and even expanded their salad menus however, if you should happen to find yourself at a restaurant that doesn´t offer vegetarian dishes, take a look at the meat-containing entrees and determine if they can be prepared as vegetarian dishes instead. For instance, a pasta dish mixed with vegetables and shrimp could easily be made without the shrimp. You can also order a baked potato with salsa or a small side order of unsalted fries along with a dinner roll, as almost every restaurant carries these items. At fast-food establishments you might be able to improvise by ordering a cheese burger minus the burger or if you do not eat dairy then you could try a tomato sandwich on a bun.
Another option you might want to consider when dining out is to order a veggie wrap or pita. There are many sandwich shops and cafes out there that offer a wide selection of meatless sandwiches and wraps with tasty low fat sauces. If in a pinch, you can always find a sandwich that is ordinarily prepared with meat in it and ask the sandwich maker to leave the meat out. Most places are happy to oblige and might even lower the price because you opten not to have the meat.
As a consumer you have a right to know what you're eating and buying, so don't feel bad about asking. Restaurants are there to serve you. Always be kind in the way you ask, but you should have no problem at most restaurants getting served a meal consistent with your particular tastes or values. It might help to inquire about the ingredients as some foods have "hidden" animal ingredients that you might want to avoid.
Before attending a catered event such as a party, wedding, or banquet, talk to the host ahead of time about your diet. Caterers can and will usually provide a vegetarian meal but will need to know in advance.
If the event is at a restaurant you can call the restaurant or hotel kitchen to request a vegetarian meal and feel free to suggest a dish that you know you can eat and that the kitchen is likely to be able to make. For example, most kitchens have the ingredients to make pasta primavera or a large baked potato topped with steamed vegetable. If you will be having dinner at someone's house, tell them that you are a vegan or vegetarian before committing to go or bring a "just in case" vegetarian food dish for yourself.
At barbecues simply take your own meatless burger or hot dog to throw on the grill. You could also do veggie kabobs with fresh vegetables and marinated tofu or tempeh.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|