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A Vegetarian’s Take on Take-Out

A deep-dive on dishes for vegetarians at fast food restaurants
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Have you ever gotten fast food with your friends and everyone’s getting burgers, and there’s that one friend who just gets fries? Well, I’m that friend. I became a vegetarian about 3 years ago. I said to my parents, “I think I want to try to stop eating meat,” and I haven’t turned back.

Most American-style fast food restaurants only serve burgers, chicken strips, deli-meat sandwiches, chicken wings, and more meat-focused dishes, which is why I only order fries from these restaurants. This can cancel out the option of getting a quick bite to eat, while on the go. You also have to worry about the uncertainty of a piece of meat showing up in certain sauces or soups. Most restaurants have limited menu items for us non-meat-eaters and are sometimes unwilling to accommodate or give the option of customizing dishes. Even when there are vegetarian options, they’re usually a side dish or a smaller portion than any dishes for meat-eaters.

The good news is, that options are becoming more available for vegetarians, with the further development of brands like Impossible and Beyond Meat. There are plenty of plant-based ingredients in these products to fulfill your dietary needs and get enough protein. But for those who don’t like the taste of fake meat, some places are adding more veggie-focused dishes and chefs are continuing to come up with more creative ways to accommodate vegetarians and make things a little more appetizing and appealing.

My dad is constantly finding new vegetarian options for me to try at home, although I don’t end up liking most of them because I’m very picky. With the help of my dad, I have perfected my vegetarian meatball recipe using Beyond Sausage and Impossible Beef. Even though I still haven’t seen fake meatballs at any restaurants, I did find a delicious Impossible Meatball at Disney’s California Adventure in Pym’s Test Kitchen, a close second to the one I make at home.

For all of you animal lovers out there who decide to become a vegetarian after watching an episode of The Simpsons, like myself, it can be challenging to eat out. Things are really starting to turn around for us, and I’m excited to see what’s to come on the vegetarian front.

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