This week has been quite the adjustment. I’ve had to adapt to taking vitamins and supplements on a daily basis and reading all of the ingredients on the back of the foods I buy. I’ve also learned the hard way that if I don’t plan my meals/snacks or forget my lunch at home, I’m probably going to go hungry. However, there are ways to go to regular old restaurants and order vegan if you’ve either forgotten to pack a lunch or are feeling too lazy to cook.
The easiest fast restaurants to order vegan at that I’ve found thus far are joints like Chipotle and Qdoba – basically any place that lets you build your own meal and watch the employees make it. This allows for a simple, non-confrontational process of ordering. There is no “sub this, sub that” to the point that the employee who is probably making minimum wage wants to wring your neck. I avoid confrontation and awkward situations at all cost, so for me, this makes my life much easier when trying to order vegan meals at non-vegan establishments.
When grocery shopping this week, my boyfriend and I were able to find most of the ingredients at the Acme down the street, but there were a few things we needed to go to Whole Foods for. I can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods for all of my products, but they are a great place to go for fun vegan snacks and ingredients that are a little off the beaten path. For instance, this week we decided to make vegan avocado mac and cheese, a recipe I found from blogger, Zena ‘N Zaatar. This recipe required nutritional yeast, which is a tricky ingredient to find.
“Cheese” tip for vegans: Nutritional yeast can be found in the baking aisle of Whole Foods. We had trouble finding it, but the employees at Whole Foods were happy to help us. It’s a great replacement for cheese when baking/ cooking traditionally cheesy dishes and SURPRISINGLY has a lot of, you guessed it, nutritional value in it – protein, riboflavin, B12… the list goes on. It’s a great ingredient to have lying around.
The avocado mac and cheese turned out great, but it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. This is bound to happen when trying out new vegan foods and recipes. After all, most of us are so used to eating foods with animal products, we rarely experience meals that are completely free of them. It was more of a creamy pesto sauce than a mac and cheese, but delicious nonetheless.
For dessert, we looked to Whole Foods as well. We found Sweet & Sara’s toasted coconut marshmallows. Seriously perfect. Nothing was left to be desired from these sweet treats.
Tomorrow we are venturing into New York to see the Broadway show Aladdin and we are planning on trying out a vegan brunch spot before the matinee. We haven’t decided on one yet, but I’m excited to share my experience of what is sure to be a delicious vegan meal with you next week!