As the first installment of the Vegan In a Pinch series, I thought I’d cover a rather basic part of the current American lifestyle. We all know it’s better to eat whole foods and cook for ourselves, but sometimes you’re out with friends or you’ve been in the car for 6 hours and cooking isn’t exactly an applicable option at the moment!
So, what do we do when our non-vegan friends want to grab something really quick or when we’re tired and have been stuck in traffic what feels like infinity(+1). We won’t always have outwardly vegan friendly places or options available, and it sucks. But, here are a few good places and tips to make life easier when you’re out and about.
The Most Surprising Vegan Friendly Place Ever… Taco Bell!
Healthy, it is not, but it surely is veganizable! We have so many options here, because quite a lot of the time you can just ask them to leave off the meat or a sauce and it’ll be completely vegan for you. This place is pretty simple and just about everywhere in the U.S.
Most of Taco Bells sides are vegan:
- Cinnamon Twists
- Chips and Guacamole (or pico de gallo)
- Black Beans and Refried Beans
- Mexican Rice
- Cilantro Rice
Not to mention all the salsas are vegan too. So, on the sides alone you have a pretty good setup, now onto the main courses, what they are and how you can alter them to work for us vegans!
- Black Bean Burrito, ask for no cheese!
- Bean Burrito, ask for “Fresco Style”
- Veggie Cantina Power Bowl, ask for no sauce or sour cream
- 7 Layer Bean Burrito, simply omit the sour cream and cheese
- Nachos, Tacos, Crunchwrap Supreme and the Mexican Pizza, ask for no meat, cheese or sour cream
- Tostada, ask for no cheese
I’m sure I’ve missed a few things here, and as I find them I’ll plunk ’em in. But, seriously, who thought TACO BELL would have these options? And since they are everywhere store this one away for the next time you need to be “Vegan In A Pinch”!
Subway… Decently Vegan With Lots Of Veggies!
It’s healthier than quite a few of the other places (still “fast food” and certainly not a replacement for a good home cooked meal), but you also have to watch a tad more carefully.
Most of their sauces contain some kind of animal product, and a few of their breads.
By far they have the most veggies out of the readily available fast food joints, which makes for an easy vegetable sandwich!
Now for vegan breads we have:
- Hearty Italian Bread
- Italian (white) Bread
- Roasted Garlic Bread (not to be confused with their other bread just called “Garlic Bread” which contains milk)
Not a huge list of breads, but certainly enough to get you on the road to a good sandwich. And, if you want to see all the ingredients in the breads here is the link.
Now for the condiments:
- Fat Free Sweet Onion
- Mustard (yellow)
- Deli Brown Mustard
- Oil and Vinegar
Decent sauce choices too! Nothing to fancy, but I think we can get by with these. I’m not going to list all of their veggies and such, because that might get a bit long and most of their toppings, outside of their lettuce, is location based. Not every subway has everything.
Now, this list isn’t exactly long. You do have some options here though. Their dough and sauce is vegan, so if you leave off the cheese and meat you’ll have a vegan pizza. Just pick different toppings! I don’t think all toppings are available everywhere. Much like with Subway, it’s subjective to area.
However, here is a list of their veggie toppings:
- Green Peppers
- Black & Green Olives
- Banana Pepper Rings
- Jalapeno Peppers
Not a terrible list of toppings, honestly. Could make a really tasty pizza with those. Next time you’re out with friends or wanting something simple after a long drive these are some good places to remember! Make a list so that you’re prepared, or save this one! Or perhaps both. Both works too.
We have more options than we realize, so many things are inadvertently vegan or are vegan with one or two tweaks! Life is so much easier when we know what these things are, don’t you guys agree? Hopefully this helps and you can get in some nice compromise with some friends or cut down on a long day!