Thursday, 12 September 2013

Vegan MoFo - September 12th - Vegan Mythbusters

But surely you can't eat out if you're vegan?

True, sometimes it's hard to find something to eat when you go out. We recently went to a local food and music festival where the only food I could eat was a cookie - thoughtfully made by a friend for me to test (I blogged about this previously). There was a whole roast hog (blergh), a variety of cakes and biscuits, and a stall that had savoury items. I glanced at it, thought all the veggie ones had cheese on and moved on. But Mr Hatter called me back - This one doesn't have cheese, it's butternut squash and spinach! Yay! But no, alas, when I asked the lady it turned out there was butter in the pastry. You don't need dairy for pastry! I was so close. Instead, I had two of these special cookies and two pints of cider. Woop!

But it's not always like that, especially if you're going somewhere that prepares the food fresh. Some cuisines have many options that are naturally vegan. Indian is a good example - just make sure they use oil rather than ghee, and if you don't know what a word means then ask them. Chinese/Japanese/Thai are also often accidentally vegan, you just need to watch out for egg noodles and egg fried rice.

Others are easily adapted. Italian has the scope for cheeseless pizza, pasta with a tomato-based sauce, antipasti! I even managed to get some vegan food in Beefeater (ironic, I know - most of my friends are big on meat). 

Most restaurants will be happy to check with the chef which dishes are suitable, some even have a folder with it all written down. If you can't see anything on the menu that you think would work as a vegan dish, what's to stop you ordering two starters?

If you know where you're going in advance you can check out the menu or get in touch to give them a heads up about what you need. If not and you're not sure about the menu just ask! I've had things created off menu for me numerous times, either suggested by the staff or by me asking Can I have this with that but without the cheese please?

Tonight we went to a Turkish restaurant with hubby's grandma. Turkish food is pretty heavily meat based but this one offers a few vegetarian options. I had a starter of hummus and bread, followed by a main of vegetable stew in a tomatoey sauce, with rice and bread. It was yummy! There was yogurt on the salad but now I know I can ask for it without next time.

So go forth and test out your local eateries - I bet you'll be surprised at how many you can eat at!

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