Eating out while on a plant-based diet can be a bit of a challenge. If you’re lucky, a few healthy-ish dishes will make an appearance on a menu and altering the healthier option to fit your needs will be no problem. But most of the time you’ll be choosing from a selection of meals packed with oil, salt and sugar. So, how do you pick the healthiest dish without sacrificing a tasty, satisfying meal? In this guide you’ll learn just that, plus you’ll learn how to advocate for your plant-based lifestyle.
Tips for dining out on a plant-based diet:
1. Choose a vegan/ vegetarian- friendly restaurant that your company will enjoy
Eating at a vegan or vegetarian restaurant makes sticking to a plant-based diet a lot easier, but if your friends and family aren’t veggie friendly, convincing them to eat at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant may be a challenge. That’s why compromise is the best option. Choose a restaurant that has healthy options that fits your needs while also serves foods your company will enjoy. The Happy Cow website and app helps you find the perfect veggie-friendly restaurant in your area. Prior to selecting a restaurant call ahead to ask the manager if the chefs can make a special dish for you or if they can substitute a single ingredient for a plant-based ingredient.
Some cuisines are more veggie-friendly than others. Ethnic cuisines, such as Thai, Japanese, Ethiopian, Indian and Mexican tend to offer more plant-based options. Ethnic foods are centered around plant-based staples, such as rice, beans, lentils, and vegetables. Traditional American dishes tend to incorporate animal products in most dishes, which makes it more difficult to eat plant-based at these restaurants.
Use the list below for meal suggestions at ethnic restaurants.
Steamed vegetables with tofu and brown rice and order sauce on the side
Avoid: fried, heavy sauce, animal products