The Way We Eat Out As Vegans
Eating out with a wide variety of specification on hand can make one worry. As a part of the vegan community, we tend to worry if the restaurant or store we are about to enter can cater our specific needs and that our advocacies cannot be compromised after all. Of course, who among us wanted to absorb all the guilt in our nerves just because we had sacrificed all the effort done for the last days, weeks, months or even years of standing firmly for our chosen advocacies! That’s going to be the worst feeling ever! So to prevent the occurrence of such happening in your life, try to remember these 4 cuisines that will help you greatly in your next dine out! But before that, let me prepare you to a reality you first need to digest. Vegetarians are now widely catered by many restaurants around the world. But, vegans are not. Therefore, if you wanted to avoid any animal products such as eggs, dairies, oil, honey, etc., you need to be more specific with your requirements. And, the rest are the following:
Try on some Indian curry!
40% of India’s population are living in a meat-free lifestyle. No wonder it is called the veggie centre of the world. Although not everything in its cuisines fits for a vegan lifestyle, you are rest assured that there are plenty of them in store for you. The foods offered from South India are lighter and fiercer compared to those from the northern part. Hot-sour sambar (lentil soup) and spicy coconut chutney are some of their addictive brands. Dosa (rice and lentil crepes) are also widely known southern staples and uttapham as pizza toppings. In other parts of the globe where Indian restaurants are becoming more active, make sure to find one that is southern and vegetarian in nature because they are the ones which serve a wide variety of vegetarian options for you. They, too, are the ones which can be more flexible with your needs as vegan. But, you need to be careful with some! Many of their dishes are enriched with curd (yoghurt) and
ghee (clarified butter). So you better bring on a handful of question before taking your orders.
Get out of the box and take a tour in South East Asia!
Near India, South East Asia can boast a plentiful of its finest meat-free dishes around. In Indonesia, tempeh, a nutritional powerhouse and close relative of tofu, is a superstar! It is made from whole soybeans that are pressed and fermented. People love it as deep-fried crisp chips which are traditionally dipped in some chili-spiked sauces. Being a home for the greens, vegans need to keep an eye for shrimp paste and fish sauce in their dish. Most of them get their savoury tastes for these ingredients so you better be careful with your instructions. Thai restaurants, on the other hand, can provide you with vegetable curries prepared with fragrant massaman pastes of the far south which omits shellfish in its list of ingredients. Other than that, there will be lots of tofu and vegetable curry options you can enjoy with. Tom yum soups are also great to try in cold, winter seasons. Upon ordering your meal, you need to ask for unannounced eggs in your options. South East Asian kitchens are very much fond of adding scrambled eggs in their dish or use eggs in the production of their noodles. You can ask them to eliminate the eggs and replace it with rice noodles instead.
Ask them to eliminate the cheese in your Italian cuisine!
Italy is the home of a wide variety of pasta dish in the world. And, risotto too! But did you know that pasta and risotto dishes are not all cheesy and buttery as what you are thinking of? Yes, it’s just a myth. In fact, Italy has the highest percentage of vegetarians and vegans in Europe. It can even give you a long list of culinary dishes that are strictly meat-free. Its rich culinary tradition in cooking can give you an option to season olive oil in your pasta dishes instead of cheese. Many of its pasta like orecchiette and dried pasta are made without eggs.
Go for a Turkish meal!
Many Turkish dishes and spreads are vegan friendly – both are nourishing and delightful! Matching hummus with kisir (wheat, chopped herbs and walnuts) can give you an alluring taste packed with some serious protein advantage. Falafel is also another Turkish taste that had reached many southern European kitchens. Among its many other vegan dishes are smoky aubergine baba ganoush and stuffed vine leaves that are served with tahini paste which brings its creamy, nutty richness. Turkey’s national dessert, baklava, is even made with syrup rather than honey making it a more vegan friendly cuisine.