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BRIGNALIA's Photo BRIGNALIA SparkPoints: (15,733)
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1/12/10 8:48 A

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JIMME, I will have to do further investigation before visiting after this article www.chicagobrea... . Thanks for the referral.

"No body counts how many times you fall down, only how many times you get back up."
- Me

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
-Will Rogers

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816JIMMIE's Photo 816JIMMIE Posts: 1,316
1/8/10 7:58 P

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Soul Vegetarian has the best food ever!Their Bar b que twist are to die for emoticon I believe there are 2 locations in Chicago

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BRIGNALIA's Photo BRIGNALIA SparkPoints: (15,733)
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1/8/10 9:49 A

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I am looking for an awesome vegetarian restaurant in the Chicagoland area.

"No body counts how many times you fall down, only how many times you get back up."
- Me

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
-Will Rogers

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ELCIA_S's Photo ELCIA_S SparkPoints: (0)
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1/7/10 9:04 A

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this is more like a dinner, but I decided to have my usual breakfast, protein shake and then a lentil soup for lunch. That should leave me with over 700 calories and I'll make sure I'll order something with lots of veggies. I already checked out the menu online and most of it is italian based of course meaning pastas, sauces etc...

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SEQUOIABARK's Photo SEQUOIABARK SparkPoints: (3,958)
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1/6/10 10:43 P

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Regarding holiday parties - or any parties - sometimes if I know I'm going to be really tempted, I will actually eat a high-volume, low-calorie meal just before I go, like a huge (2+ cup) bowl of steamed vegetables with low-fat tofu tossed with a little teriyaki sauce. Then, I'm not quite as tempted when I go to the party, because I'm pretty full already, and I don't feel badly if I have a bit of dessert or an appetizer. Staying within your calorie count is admirable, but (in my opinion) going over by 250-400 calories in a day is not that big of a deal if you look at it in terms of your whole week, and considering it's a special occasion. If you really feel naughty about it, maybe you could boost your exercise by an extra 5-10 minutes per day that week also. :)

You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car. ~Harvey Diamond


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BRIGNALIA's Photo BRIGNALIA SparkPoints: (15,733)
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1/6/10 6:10 P

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I am anxious to try out a vegetarian restaurant this year!

"No body counts how many times you fall down, only how many times you get back up."
- Me

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
-Will Rogers

veria.com



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GIANTPANDA's Photo GIANTPANDA Posts: 2,670
1/6/10 12:37 P

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I find those situations challenging, too. One thing I do that helps is to go lower on calories for the rest of the day to help give myself some wiggle room on calories. Also, I make sure that I get plenty of protein so that I am not ravenously hungry by the time I get to the event/meal. I've even had some vegan soup before just to fill up.

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1/6/10 9:48 A

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ok I have a huge problem now...Some of the organizations I work with chose to have a Post-Holiday Party instead a party during the holiday season so now I feel like I'm screwed because I don't know how I'm going to plan my day without messing up my diet plan. I definitely want to check out the menus online so that I'm prepared but what about breakfast and lunch? ughhh i really want to stay within my calorie range and no meat related products permitted

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BREGUZ815's Photo BREGUZ815 Posts: 19
1/5/10 1:21 P

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I know how you feel. My boyfriend is a carnivore and I too have gained weight. Now whenever we go out I usually check out the menu online (if it's available). It's made my life a little easier and I don't get stuck with the "garden salad" as much. As for dessert, I'm a sucker for sweet stuff due to my ridiculous sweet tooth. I like to go to places that serve milkshakes (w/ nonfat milk) or smoothies.

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1/5/10 1:05 P

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Vegans do have to be careful at Indian restaurants. Most Indian restaurants have mostly Northern Indian cuisine which tends to have more meat and dairy than other areas. Southern Indian cuisine is generally spicier, has more vegetarian food, and uses less dairy.

Aloo Gobi (curried cauliflower and potatoes) is a great vegan dish at most indian restaurants.

GIANTPANDA's Photo GIANTPANDA Posts: 2,670
1/5/10 5:44 A

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Thanks for the heads up on the sauces. I don't eat out much either, but when I do, I often find myself tripping up. Vegetarian Indian restaurants and Subway seem to be two reliable sources of vegan food.

I also am wary at restaurants because I am very allergic to shellfish. Recently I went to an out-of-town Indian restaurant that had a buffet. The food wasn't labeled, and one category was a container that had shrimp hidden in the bottom of the sauce! It was fortunate that I had just ordered channa marsala instead.

HELLONEWLIFE's Photo HELLONEWLIFE Posts: 32
1/4/10 6:23 P

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THACKIE, good thing is that alcohol is vegan!! ;)
So if you have to avoid the food, load up on the beer or wine *thumbs up!* ;)

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HELLONEWLIFE's Photo HELLONEWLIFE Posts: 32
1/4/10 6:20 P

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Let's see, at fast food places I order fries. Restaurants (like steak houses or carnivore-hangouts... which I aim to avoid out of my vegetarian beliefs, hello!) I order a plain baked potato. Mexican restaurants I get chips and queso, or cheese nachos, or a cheese quesadilla (all so boring, not that appetizing, and overpriced). At Italian restaurants I have a FEAST! Italian food is my addiction, unfortunately :(

But I really don't eat outside of home all that much. I'm a poor girl with high vegetarian grocery bills... so thankfully, I can't afford to go out to eat! ;)

PLUS... I don't trust restaurants, especially with items such as Soups and Sauces.
Most places use beef broth instead of vegetarian broth.
Example: Spaghetti Warehouse has lied to my face, and I later found out their "Vegetarian Ministroni Soup" is made with beef stock... yes, I cried in the restaurant when I found out. :P
Their "Tomato Sauce" also contains beef extracts, I cried again... but their Marinera is completely vegetarian... thanks to a couple of waitresses informing me. So when I order Manicotti (or whatever), I have to ask for Marinera... NOT Tomato Sauce, to my surprise.

But it's become easy for me to break the going-out-to-eat habit because I've lost trust in restaurant menus!

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GIANTPANDA's Photo GIANTPANDA Posts: 2,670
1/4/10 12:19 P

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I've just posted a list on my blog that is from the Physicians for Social Responsibility website. I hope it helps! I'm still compiling my own list as well. I found it to be really hard at first, so I want to find out more about how to be able to make good choices where ever I am.

So far, Subway veggie delite is the best quick food for me. I'm looking into trying out a vegetarian Indian restaurant one day soon.

http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tip
s/nutrition_tips_go_vegetarian/eatout_
world.html

Mexican Rice Beans (refried or black)
Fresh vegetablesTortillas Burritos
Soft or hard tacos
Vegetable fajitas

Chinese Fresh vegetables
Tofu
Rice
Noodles Mixed vegetables in garlic sauce over brown rice
Tofu and broccoli in black bean sauce
Sweet and sour soup with tofu
Vegetable fried rice (no egg)

Italian Pasta Vegetables

* Tomatoes
* Broccoli
* Spinach
* Eggplant
* Mushrooms
* Onion

Soups Pasta primavera
Grilled eggplant with marinara sauce
Minestrone (with white beans and pasta)

Vietnamese Fresh vegetables
Tofu
Noodles
Fresh herbs
Rice
Peanuts Vegetable Pho (noodle soup topped with vegetables)
Nom (grated vegetable salads seasoned with vinegar and chilis)
Fresh spring rolls with noodles and cabbage
Vermicelli with grilled vegetables and seasonings

Ethiopian Lentils
Vegetables

* Potatoes
* Cabbage
* Collards
* Tomatoes

Injera (flatbread) Vegetarian platter
Yemiser W'et (spicy lentil stew)
Yatkilt Alitcha (cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and onions)
Timatim Fitfit (fresh salad of chopped tomatoes and onion)
Yeabesha Gommen (collard greens)

Middle Eastern Whole grains

* Couscous
* Bulgur
* Pita bread
* Rice

Vegetables

* Eggplant
* Zucchini
* Peppers
* Tomatoes

Lentils
Chickpeas Hummus with whole wheat pita bread
Falafel
Tabouleh
Filfil Rumi Mahshi (stuffed green peppers)
Mujadarra (lentils and rice)
Dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with bulgur wheat)

Edited by: GIANTPANDA at: 1/4/2010 (12:20)
KOKOEK9's Photo KOKOEK9 Posts: 7,166
1/3/10 12:12 A

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my mother in law pulled the chicken stock on me, she told me about a real good vegetarian bean soup she prepared on chicken stock

Mike


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JENSATIONAL829's Photo JENSATIONAL829 SparkPoints: (9,738)
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1/2/10 11:49 A

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Ohhh man, I went to ruby tuesdays for their salad bar, and they now have veggie burger sliders!!! They are very good.

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness…never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”


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JENSATIONAL829's Photo JENSATIONAL829 SparkPoints: (9,738)
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1/2/10 11:49 A

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Ohhh man, I went to ruby tuesdays for their salad bar, and they now have veggie burger sliders!!! They are very good.

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness…never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”


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GIANTPANDA's Photo GIANTPANDA Posts: 2,670
1/1/10 9:50 A

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I'm finding that Indian restaurants offer me some of the best vegan alternatives when I go out. Ethnic restaurants sometimes do offer more vegan possibilities. I can see how I could order vegan from a Mexican menu, too.

Recently I went to a seaport town where my friend and I had to search for some time to find a restaurant that didn't specialize in shellfish (I'm allergic) or meat. It turned out to be amazingly hard to find a restaurant with even a few alternatives.

MAGGIE1779's Photo MAGGIE1779 Posts: 60
12/29/09 8:44 P

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I'm vegan and I honestly haven't had much problem eating out. My favorite Mexican restaurant refries their beans in olive oil instead of lard (at my request of course), and I just ask them to add all the veggies they can think of to my food. At Olive Garden I get the salad without dressing & cheese and whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce. At our Mediterranean restaurant I get hummus and baba ganoush, and our Indian restaurant has plenty of vegan curries. I think one of the big keys is to eat ethnic - I would never go to a steakhouse or a burger joint so I don't seem to run into those issues. :)

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THACKIE's Photo THACKIE Posts: 4
12/28/09 2:29 P

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I have a hard time with this because I'm vegan. It seems that all the restaurants here in Canada will put a little symbol beside their vegetarian dishes, but every single one of those has egg or dairy in it.

All I can do it eat before I go and order a salad and a potato or something. Desserts are always a no-no because there's no avoiding the dairy.

I'm a good cook, so I only eat out when it's someone else's special occasion.

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TOASTERLISA's Photo TOASTERLISA Posts: 280
12/22/09 6:44 P

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I immediately jump to the "side items" portion of the menu.
Chili's has a bunch of veggie sides, like baked potato, rice, steamed veggies and black beans.
Even Outback Steakhouse has good sides, especially the Baked Sweet Potato and their steamed veggies, but be sure to ask for them without butter topping.
My hubby likes Cracker Barrel, but some of their sides have meat in them. "Safe" ones are carrots, green beans, and corn.

Don't fret over asking for things without sauce and cheese, but I also wouldn't trust the information that your server gives.
-- Lisa

"Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda


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TRILLIANTOO's Photo TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (40,805)
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12/22/09 2:08 P

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If it's for one meal I don't worry about it too much but I do tend to look at all the foods and ingredients listed on the menu and ask for a compliation of things I want, like a side salad with extra spinach (that I saw listed with the fish) and steamed broccoli (that I saw listed with the beef), and the brown rice for instance and just get what I want.

My big thing is trying to get enough protein since I can't eat whole lots of starchy carbs. One meal isn't a big deal, but if I'm travelling for business or visiting family I can't be eating improperly for days on end, I just don't feel good. So I am "flexarian" for those kinds of situations (and some restaurants really don't have any good options), and tend to try to stay on the lower end of the food chain.

HappyCow is a great resource - but that's if you have control of where you go. In my case, eating with others I often have to go along with the crowd.

And then for healthy choices it's like anyone else eating out - ask for things grilled not fried, lightly steamed (so it's not overcooked), sauces and dressings on the side. And Asian food is filled with sugar, oil and MSG so it's hard to keep it low-cal unless they have a lighter fare section.

And whenever you can look up nutritional info online, that's the way to go becasue some of the options are really surprising.

*´¨)
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(¸.·Trillian*´¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·*
***********************

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf

"Don't give up, just keep giving." character Sam on Touched by an Angel, episode Indigo Angel

"Keep Moving Forward" Disney/Pixar's Meet The Robinsons

"There is no problem that cannot be solved by chocolate" - Buffy, the Vampire Slayer


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GIANTPANDA's Photo GIANTPANDA Posts: 2,670
12/14/09 9:33 A

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Thanks for all the great info here. I've found that vegetarian Indian restaurants help me the most. I went to Chipolte's yesterday and my weight shot up. I began to realize about sodium, but now I know for sure after these postings. I won't be able to go back.

I've also learned to look at the menus beforehand. I found a fantastic vegetable strudel at one restaurant. Sometimes I don't see a single thing on the menu that I can eat.

On the road, my husband and I usually stop at Subway for veggie sub.

By the way, a Reader's Digest article claims that often restaurants tell customers that animal broth is vegetarian when it is not. That goes with the experience of many posting here.

SEXYONE4's Photo SEXYONE4 Posts: 213
12/5/09 5:09 P

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Indian, Mexican,Chinese, and Thai are my easiest. They always have good options for me. Fast food not so much. They sneak animal products in everything.

God before everything. Peace above anything.


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AFM-SPARK's Photo AFM-SPARK Posts: 706
12/4/09 1:51 P

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I stay away from soups in restaurants, unless I check up on it ahead of time. Waiters/waitresses are just like other people, some are good others are bad. It's easiest to just not trust them. I can tell if it’s made w/ chick or beef/veal stock once I taste it, but why invite the hassle? There’s always something else I can eat even if it is just a salad. I do eat seafood, but even seafood soups are often made w/ chick stock. I work in the food industry. Before going to any restaurant, check to see if they have a website and look at the menu. Feel free to call the restaurant ahead of time and ask for the kitchen. Don’t call during the busiest service hours. Don’t say you have a question, just act like you call there every day. If there is a gate keeper ask for the manager. But 8 times out of 10 you should be able to get straight to the kitchen. Then speak directly with the Chef or Sous Chef (or the manager if you don’t get the kitchen) and let them know you are coming and ask the questions you have. You are much more likely to get knowledgeable answers. If you can’t get a manager or chef ask when you can call back. Finally, when in doubt leave it out (of your mouth).

Edited by: AFM-SPARK at: 12/6/2009 (23:23)
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
-George Eliot

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Niin

Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.
-Craig Ferguson from his opening song

Identity is never static, always in the making and never made.
-Michael Woods


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JILLTBNAGART's Photo JILLTBNAGART Posts: 4,158
12/3/09 10:04 A

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Question, question, question. Then I tend to stick with the veggie, bread and a salad. My stomach revolts when meat products are introduced. The waiter can tell me the soup is veggie based and my stomach will say NO its not Jill right then and there at the table! Which is why I'm a vegetarian in the 1st place!

TSIKES7's Photo TSIKES7 Posts: 1,535
12/3/09 7:28 A

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I just read yeasterday in the Readers Diagest at my Dr. office an article on 50 things your waiter doesn't want you to know. #1 was that they lied about an item being vegetarian. The example was about soup being veggie, but in truth it had a meat based stock in it. It made me so mad. No one has the right to cause me to make a decision that ends in my consumption of an animal product. It's not like I would have gotten mad if they said yes.

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PRFND_RAINCLOUD's Photo PRFND_RAINCLOUD Posts: 1,074
12/2/09 11:55 P

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I also had someone in my office today ask me how do I get protein as I was eating beans and had been snacking on nuts

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AFM-SPARK's Photo AFM-SPARK Posts: 706
12/2/09 9:53 P

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I love Chipotle, BUT, I am watching my sodium and the sodium in the burrito bol I like is 91% DV!

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
-George Eliot

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Niin

Tomorrow's just your future yesterday.
-Craig Ferguson from his opening song

Identity is never static, always in the making and never made.
-Michael Woods


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VEGGIEYOGINI's Photo VEGGIEYOGINI Posts: 142
12/2/09 9:24 P

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Oh that is way too funny about the chicken stock conversation. Oh my goodness. That was good to laugh. Oh it is so good to talk with other Vegetarians who have been through what I have been through. In my world, I'm the only Vegetarian in my family and amongst most of my friends. They just don't get it. It's scary, isn't it that the wait staff thinks that when you ask about the stock for the soup, it didn't register with her that chicken stock is still meat based just as much as if there were real pieces of chicken in there. Oh, thanks for sharing that story. That made my evening.

Yeah, you're expending a lot of calories when it comes to Mexican food. I do so love it as my hips can attest to it, but it's not dietary fare.

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12/2/09 5:48 P

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Lately every time I order a BK Veggie they cook it in the microwave; I assume they got so many requests for this that it is now standard operating procedure.

I found I have to grill the wait people about soups. I asked about the minestrone one of the first times I went to Johnny Carino's and the waitress assured me it was vegetarian. I asked if it has chicken stock in it. She said, yes. Then I asked her if they use chicken stock is it really vegetarian and she said, "I guess not." Some non-vegetarians think broth is vegetarian if it doesn't have any chunks of meat in it. One time I asked about if a soup had chicken in it and the waitress said, "it touched chicken" meaning they boiled it with chicken.

I'll vote for Chipotle as my fav chain restaurant as well. Wish they had a smaller burrito. I have to skimp for every other meal that day to have enough calories left for a Chipotle burrito.

PRFND_RAINCLOUD's Photo PRFND_RAINCLOUD Posts: 1,074
12/2/09 2:08 P

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A side note went to subway for lunch today and asked for a veggie salad and the lady said would you like me to change my gloves and it was in a pleasent way not a cranky pain in my butt way. It made me happy to know that someppl are so helpful and friendly emoticon

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IMVEGAN's Photo IMVEGAN Posts: 2,914
12/2/09 10:21 A

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Moe's does have a great veggie burger. I can't do Burger King's because it is not vegan. (unfortunately) But at least they have a non meat option other than an iceberg lettuce salad. I had a wonderful vegan meal at Carrabba's. It was unexpected but this summer I met my brother at a Carrabba's in South Carolina. They had a supplemental summer menu which included a vegetarian sauce over whole wheat noodles. I asked the waiter if the chef could adjust the meal and make it vegan. The waiter came back out and said that the chef wanted to know if a wine based marinara would work with tons of veggies. I agreed. It was wonderful. I wrote a letter of thanks to the national office commending the chef and waiter. So, always ask. Chefs love a challenge. Sometimes you will get a remarkable dish.

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WILLBOYWONDER's Photo WILLBOYWONDER SparkPoints: (33,440)
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12/2/09 9:41 A

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I'll have to revisit Moe's. I stopped going there because I was displeased with their options. I'll check them out again.

As for fast food places, I don't do that too much. But I try to look for a Subway.

I also like the BK veggie burger. If you're concerned about it being cooked on the same grill as the regular burgers, ask them to microwave it. It's not exactly the same quality, but it's still good once you add the fixins and condiments.

~~ Will ~~

~~~~If you're looking for a blessing, try being a blessing to others! ~~~~


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VEGGIEYOGINI's Photo VEGGIEYOGINI Posts: 142
12/1/09 9:29 P

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Thanks everyone for your great suggestions. I guess I should have been more specific. It's easy to find something sans the meat, chicken and fish, but it's hard to find very HEALTHY Vegetarian fare that isn't laden with high salt, fat and sugar. My take away is that I'll question the server when asking for a Veggie burger.

Moe's huh? OK. I'll try them out again. Maybe the quality is better than I remembered it. Greek or Mediterranean restaurants. That sounds like a wonderful idea. I'll ask for my Chinese food to be steamed and ask for the sauce to be put on the side. Yes, I was able to find a restaurant that served a Vegetarian sushi entree.

Thanks so much for your wonderful contributions.

Group Hug,

Sheryl

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MELANIEC.'s Photo MELANIEC. Posts: 910
12/1/09 8:57 P

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For fast food Chipotle and Moe's are great for vegetarian and Vegan. Those are probably the only two I do for fast food.

For restaurants I don't usually have a problem finding vegetarian or vegan items.

Greek or Mediterranean restaurants have lots of options. Hummus, tabbouleh, babaganoush and falafels - yummy!

Japanese - Steakhouses are easy and Sushi is so very easy. Seaweed salad, miso soup, vegetarian rolls -yummy!

Chinese food - So many yummy veggie options. Just ask to make sure they aren't putting fish sauce on anything, my chinese restaurant even has weight watcher items that can be steamed and sauces on the side. I've been known to bring my own soy sauce

Mexican - SO easy! Guacamole, salsa, vegetarian burritos, taco's etc. So easy to find vegetarian or vegan items.

Indian - Vegetarian is easier than Vegan, but Chana Masala is great and vegan. Lots of yummy vegetarian choices here. Watch the butter and cheese if vegan.

Thai - Lots of yummy vegetarian. My Thai restaurant has many vegetarian dishes and holds any fish sauce in vegetarian dishes. My favorite is pad thai with tofu and tons of veggies, vegetarian lemon grass soup and vegetarian dumplings. Lots of great curry dishes and they tend to use coconut milk more often then dairy milk.

I could go on and on - so many choices out there.

Melanie ~

Go Vegan!!


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TSIKES7's Photo TSIKES7 Posts: 1,535
12/1/09 4:04 P

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A lot of the restaurants (non-chain) near me have started to note vegan dishes or able to make vegan on their menus. It is becoming increasingly easier for me to go out.

A great place we just went this weekend was Moe's. I found them listed as vegetarian/vegan friendly on VegSource. I had a black bean and tofu burrito. They even went to double check that the guac was dairy/egg/meat/by product free.

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HEALTHY_VEGAN's Photo HEALTHY_VEGAN Posts: 877
12/1/09 1:36 P

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I rarely go out to eat because most restaurants over-salt and over-oil their foods. I always ask for no salt and no oil, but many foods have already been salted (such as sauces in Chinese restaurants).

I've found that you just need to learn to ask the right questions. Ask what kind of base is used in the soups. Ask if they use any kind of meat or fish base when you try Asian. Be sure to specify that by meat, you include chicken and fish. Many do not regard fish as meat. Watch out for lard in the refried beans at Mexican restaurants, especially the more authentic ones.

Ive found that typically, your server is happy to go back and check what is in the food. Vegetarian should be easier to deal with than vegan.

JULIET12321's Photo JULIET12321 Posts: 126
12/1/09 11:29 A

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you really have to be careful in in vegetarian restaurants. my husband was working going to different places to change their grease filters and he said the veggie ones were the worse! most of them use LARD to cook the food!!!

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IMVEGAN's Photo IMVEGAN Posts: 2,914
12/1/09 11:09 A

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I have had good luck at Chinese restaurants by just asking for a meal with no meat stock, and no fish or oyster sauce. I add tofu or eat one of their vegetable dishes. I then ask for brown rice. The meal may have a little more fat than I use at home, but I find that most restaurants are happy for the business these days.

When I order a veggie burger. I tell the waitress that I cannot eat meat and ask that the grill be cleaned before my meal is grilled. On those surface grills all they have to do is add water to the surface and push it around. The water steams and really does a good job of cleaning. I then don't worry about it too much because I have done my due diligence.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3's Photo GOALIEGRANDMA3 SparkPoints: (92,309)
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12/1/09 10:50 A

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I don't have much trouble for my personal level of being a vegetarian. I often take my own low-fat cottage cheese and add it to a salad at restaurants. To avoid eating the high fat/high calorie bread, I take my own low fat crackers.

That way I am happy and I am not chewing any meat....my goal.

My name is Martha.
My new ticker shows me slow as a bunny and going up and down . I want to level out!

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VEGGIEYOGINI's Photo VEGGIEYOGINI Posts: 142
12/1/09 10:34 A

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Thank you WillBoyWonder,

I keep forgetting about the Happy Cow website. I'll have to periodically check that site to see if they have more restaurant options in my area. I'll have to see if the server will be willing to make up a more nutritious meal for me and then tip him or her more than usual when I get that better quality meal.

Terrific. Thanks for your wonderful feedback.

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DMK1249's Photo DMK1249 Posts: 5,339
12/1/09 10:32 A

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Hi,

I agree with Mary.. you can always find something tasty at an Indian or Mexican restaurant. But here is a suggestion that has worked well for our family because we have a mix of Vegetarians and Carnivores.

Plan ahead.. call around and find out what restaurants are willing to work with and accommodate your way of life. One of the best vegetarian meals I have ever had was at a steak house. The chef personally came to the table and designed our dinners for us. We had called earlier in the day and found out the most convenient time to speak with the head chef. He was so happy not to be just "throwing meat on the grill" that he gave us a dining experience we still talk about now -- and that was seven years ago.

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VEGGIEYOGINI's Photo VEGGIEYOGINI Posts: 142
12/1/09 10:30 A

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Thanks Everyone. I'll have to check the message categories. This question wasn't on the first three-four pages. I'll have to check it once again. I'll try to order those side dishes or straight salad. I've taken to bring a Tupperware Midget filled with one once of chopped mixed nuts and seeds as my protein alternative. The veggie sides almost always have some kind of oil or butter in them. I no longer order Veggie Burgers out as I figured out that most of the cooks prepare it on the same grille that they prepare the meat. Pasta has hardly any nutrition and the veggies that they put on top of it isn't enough to satisfy me. Chinese food - I guess I can get tofu and veggies steamed...but then where's the taste factor, right? It's truly a conundrum. I'll try calling ahead to see what the restaurant can do for me and see if that makes a difference. Thanks.

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TRAVELNISTA's Photo TRAVELNISTA SparkPoints: (182,914)
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12/1/09 10:28 A

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There is an earlier thread on this very subject that will give you a lot of insight.

I personally never ran into a problem. I have been lucky I guess because the chefs really created some unique meals for me rather than the same old stuff they cook everyday. I think it let them use their talents, something they do not do every day.

Edited by: TRAVELNISTA at: 12/1/2009 (12:22)

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WILLBOYWONDER's Photo WILLBOYWONDER SparkPoints: (33,440)
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12/1/09 10:24 A

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Most of the places where I go have been very accommodating when I explain my dietary needs. If you require a vegetarian meal, many places will make substitutes. Also if possible, look for restaurants ahead of time that have vegetarian options. There are many great places out there that cater to vegetarian and vegan diets. One place to find them is at the www.happycow.net web site. Happycow is good because it allows users to enter restaurants as well as stores and markets and other vegetarian/vegan-friendly establishments.

But I think the biggest help, in my opinion has been a little kindness toward the server. That goes a long way. And I always reflect my appreciation in the tip when the server shows an interest in ensuring that I’m a satisfied diner.


Edited by: WILLBOYWONDER at: 12/1/2009 (12:14)
~~ Will ~~

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CRAZEPUPPIES's Photo CRAZEPUPPIES Posts: 3,767
12/1/09 10:10 A

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I agree that it is difficult and often times I will stay home instead of going out with my family. Usually when going out I eat a lot of salad, which gets old really quick. I eat a lot of Indian and Mexican foods, many Indian dishes are veggie and Mexican food can easily be changed from meat to beans!
Some places have a meal of 3 side dishes, they just don't have it on the menu. Not that side dishes really fill me up, but if they have a lot of veggie choices and a rice that works for me.
If I go out for work, I always as ahead if they have veggie items and what they are just so I can be prepared.
There is a small (kind of up and coming) city near me that has many restaurants, and each one has several vegetarian items, which really surprises me. And I'm willing to go a little further away in order to have those options.

~Mary


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BONIDALE's Photo BONIDALE SparkPoints: (24,708)
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12/1/09 9:55 A

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I hear you. When I was travelling in Europe, the restaurants that were on our tour could not wrap their heads around vegetarianism and wanted to substitute pasta dishes which you can get really sick of really fast. A meal wasn't a meal without meat. I asked for the entree minus the meat, substitute extra veggies. My protein intake was pretty much relegated to a breakfast smoothie made from Vega powder which I took with me and had for breakfast (it mixes with water).

Boni
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"There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going." Anon
"Finishing is winning."
"Treat everone you meet as if they have a sign around their neck, "Make me feel important."


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BILBY4's Photo BILBY4 SparkPoints: (45,908)
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12/1/09 9:54 A

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I only eat out rarely, but usually I ask restaurants what suitable food they can offer me when I call to make the booking.
There are plenty of other threads on this subject so have a look around at some of the accumulated wisdom from other SPs.

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VEGGIEYOGINI's Photo VEGGIEYOGINI Posts: 142
12/1/09 9:47 A

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Hi Everyone,

I really need help with this. What do you order at a conventional restaurant that mostly caters to Carnivores? I'm a Vegetarian as of the last nine years and my husband is a Carnivore. We go to delis, diner, Italian, and Asian food restaurants a lot. Most of the food items are geared towards flesh food eaters. I've gained a lot of weight because I'm eating highly fat-laden and starch-laden foods. And then there's dessert which contains high sugar and fat content HELP!!!!

Edited by: VEGGIEYOGINI at: 12/1/2009 (09:48)
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