Vegan gastronomy

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I've been pleased with the willingness of local and chain food establishments to accomodate my special dietary needs. A local Mexican restaurant can veganize a burrito and substitute vegetarian beans for their lard-cooked refritos. Olive Garden served me the portobello stuffed raviolis (non dairy, non meat) with a simple marinara instead of the usual cream based sundried tomato sauce. Our server also put shredded romano on a plate for my friends to cheese up their salads, while I was able to eat what I wanted of the salad, simply avoiding the croutons.
Chipotle is a western chain of fast-food Mexican places, and my favorite because everything is fresh. The store in Chico now offers a vegan tofu filler called sofritas, which I had along with the fajita veg, corn salad, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole and a hefty topping of shredded kale. I could have ordered the burrito but opted for the bowl, which is just without the tortilla. I needed the protein, not the carbs at that point.
Across the street from Chipotle was a self-serve frozen yoghurt cafe, which offered two flavors of non-dairy sorbets, and a ton of non-dairy, lowfat topping options such as fresh fruit and even mochi bits.
All in all, it was a grand day of shopping and eating, although I did tempt the Fates a bit by not getting enough protein at breakfast and eating a protein-poor lunch. Normally breakfast is my biggest protein-dense meal, and I went the opposite direction. Live and learn, right?
Lately, too, I'm noticing a tendency to eat compulsively. I still don't eat junk food unless I have Triscuits around (that's as junky as I get these days). I still have some mental junk to clear out of my head while I'm clearing out my body of ill-making junk. It might be that we're into the Spring season, and humans like all living creatures tend to act a bit broody right now, you know - the end of the famine season, of hibernation, etc. This too will pass. It better! Warmer weather means more outdoors activity, which burns the extra calories. If I'm not losing weight, I'm not gaining it, either, and eventually I will start losing it again.
So here's to restaurants that make room for special dietary needs, and here's to wonderful friends who sit patiently while the discussion takes place about what can be done to a menu item! Lovin' it!
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