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Finding you places to eat out at as a vegan !

Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

I don’t know if it has happened to you before but I sometimes feel like I am the only vegan in the village. Eating a vegan diet does make you the minority, although the number of us are on the increase, so there are things you need to accept.

  • people don’t always understand you
  • people think you only eat lettuce and carrots
  • you may be weird to some people
  • some people assume you are judging them OR that they’re making you feel uncomfortable eating meat near you
  • some genuinely don’t know how to cater for you
  • don’t expect to be catered for at parties and don’t take offence!!

As a result of this you have to be confident in what you’re doing, happy with what you’re doing and always be prepared.

Here are some quick tips to help you feel comfortable in party situations:

  • eat before you go: you wont offend anyone at the party because chances are there’s not much substantial you will be able to eat there. Eating before hand ensures you wont be hungry there so you wont get “hangry” and want to leave. You want to be happy and comfortable there so make sure you’re well fed before hand.
  • take something with you:  super easy tip. Take food with you! Share you’re food with others, it will make you blend in and people will appreciate the gift 🙂
  • don’t make comments about there being no vegan food available: in a room full of numerous “normal” eating people, you can’t expect that on top of catering for all them people that they’re going to go that extra mile for you. They have spent a lot of time and effort into preparing the party so don’t mention you’re vegan and there’s nothing to eat, simply say you’re not hungry or “no thank you” to non-vegan offerings.
  • find any vegan food you can and take it before it goes: there’s a chance that there will be a cheese board with fresh or dried fruits. Take some and pop them on your plate before they all go. Bread is normally available and if you’re lucky some salads or veggie sticks. More times than none there will be vegan options but get them on your plate at the beginning of the party, just incase they run out by the time you’re hungry.
  • don’t worry about it: at the end of the day you’re not there for the food, you’re there for the party. Enjoy the party and be social. Social environments don’t always have to revolve around food and if they do just make sure you’re prepared.

I hope these few, quick tips help you for when you feel like the only vegan in the village 🙂

 

 

Cuppa Tea and a Biscuit?

Cuppa Tea and a Biscuit?

Cuppa Tea and a Biscuit anyone?

I mean, who doesn’t love a cuppa tea and a biscuit?!

I try to make transitioning into a plant based diet easy for everyone and I understand that not all of us have time to make our own alternatives. Making plant based biscuits by hand are definitely a healthier alternative to shop bought, but I know this isn’t convenient for everyone. As a result I have accumulated a bunch of photographs for you for some shop bought biscuits which are all vegan and easily accessible.

The Oreo’s I noticed contain vegetable oils including palm oil. This actually makes them non-vegan! I’m not 100% sure about ingredients for them around the world but this left me a bit suspicious. Oreo’s have always been known  as a vegan go-to biscuit/ cookie so I’m left wondering.  I will leave this up to you to make your own opinion but as for ingredients otherwise, they’re definitely plant based; no dairy.

I want you to know that a vegan/ plant based diet doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. If you do have time to make your own biscuits then I’d definitely recommend doing this! However if you have a party to go to and need to take something, these could be useful. Alternatively you may have children who still want their biscuits as a treat and this way you can feed them vegan foods without them knowing the difference.

Whatever works for you is what is most important and there are lots more on the market so do keep an eye open for them.

Things to take into account:

Recipes change all the time so always double check the packaging. For example: Jaffa Cakes and After Eights used to be vegan and now they are NOT.

Brands differ. For example: Regular digestives are NOT vegan, but some cheaper brands ARE.

Just because biscuits say chocolate or cream, it doesn’t always mean it isn’t vegan. You’ll be amazed by what is vegan so always check the packet first.

OREO’S: so far I have found that all varieties are dairy free apart from the Peanut Butter brand.

These are not a “health food”: although the biscuits are vegan and/ or plant based they contain oils and unhealthy sugars. If you do choose to eat them then do so in small amounts.

 

Selection:

   

The British Classics

    

 

Oreo’s – the “Vegan” favourite

   

Childhood favourites

 

Like I say, these are just a few I found whilst out shopping today. Always double check before you buy, dairy products are written in BOLD so are easy to find.

Good luck!

Popular UK restaurants offering Vegan options.

Popular UK restaurants offering Vegan options.

Popular UK restaurants offering Vegan options.

There are so many restaurants here in the UK that offers vegan options now. When I lived in America the options were extremely limited unless I went to vegan specific restaurants. Lucky for us we do have many chain restaurants now which offer vegan options.

Most restaurants if you call beforehand will offer you a vegan option or you have to alter a dish on their menu to veganise it. For example: veggie pizza without cheese (check base is dairy free), tomato based pastas without meat or cheese. Be careful with veggie burgers as many have egg to combine the patty. You just have to play around with the menu and ask the staff questions.

See below to see which popular UK restaurants offer a vegan option without chopping and changing the ingredients.

Restaurants:

Nando’s.

Offering salads and veggie burgers, you just have to ask for no cheese and no mayo!

Wagamamas.

The only set vegan option on the main menu is the Yasai Itame. The vegetable dumplings to start are vegan as well as vegetables and edamame. If you ask the staff they will accommodate for you on the mains by leaving out fish sauce or swapping your choice of noodles, for example.

Las Iguana’s.

I was happy to see that Las Iguanas offer a separate vegetarian / vegan menu. I’ve had the fajitas before, although they were quite oily. Great to have an array of vegan options though.

Jamie’s Italian.

With vegan options plus the option to veganise a meal, Jamie’s Italian is great. The only thing I’d mention is that the Aubergine main dish is pretty small so just be warned.

Zizzi 

Zizzi has kicked it out of the bag with their new all vegan menu. Started, mains and desserts all deduced to healthy vegan choices. They even have vegan cheese! That is dedication from Zizzi’s; I salute you.

Toby Carvery  

A carvery which offers a vegan nut roast!! This had me really excited. Just be careful to avoid any vegetables cooked in butter.

JD Weatherspoon

With it’s own separate vegan menu you can’t go wrong.

Pizza Express

With their own specific vegan pizza that alone is great. However all their bases are dairy free so hop and change ingredients as you wish, and of course, hold the cheese.

Carluccios

Another fantastic Italian restaurant offering a desperate vegan menu.

Giraffe 

I know they offer a vegan breakfast which is fantastic as you don’t see this often. As for mains they have a couple of options but not a separate menu.

On the go

All supermarkets offer vegan food so when you’re on the go these are an easy option. Opt for the salad isle and get the tubs of quinoa salads, bean salads, couscous, nut salad etc. They have so many options you just need to know where to look. In the “on-the-move” section it has little variety but if you check the salads section you will be fine. For snacks you can always go in and grab some loose fruit too or possibly a raw foods bar.

Check below for some more on the go options so you’re not stuck when you’re on the move.

Cafés:

Pret-a-manger 

Offering an array of vegan options, Pret is a great go to. From salads to sandwiches to dessert!

Starbucks

Limited on choices but do offer a salad option and wrap if you’re lucky!

The West Cornish Pasty Co

A Cornish pasty that’s vegan? The West Cornish Pasty Co offer two pasties: vegetarian and wholemeal. If you like a pasty then it’s great to know this!

Eat. 

I only discovered this over the Summer time but was very pleased to see more than one vegan option. Sandwiches plus hot food! This alongside a nice hot latte is a great on the go stop.

 

Tips for eating out as a Vegan

Tips for eating out as a Vegan

If you’re new to Veganism then eating out might sound scary, but it’s really not. I promise. If you’re not comfortable asking the chef for special requirements, which is totally fine if you do feel confident, then here are a few little tips which will make eating out a much more pleasant experience for you 🙂

  1. Check the menu before you go out : Some menus will specify what’s vegan and what isn’t, however if they don’t just check for foods without animal products OR if there’s something that is almost vegan but just has cheese or egg for example, then simply order this and ask for without cheese; they’ll be totally fine with this.
  2. Say you’re lactose intolerent: For me it’s true but they may be more polite and giving if you say this. Sad but true.
  3. Opt for Italian, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish or Greek: Funnily enough international cuisine have many more Vegan options than British. For example: pizza without cheese, tomato based pastas (check they’re egg free pasta), veggie stir fries and rice, lentil and veggie based curries, roasted veggies and hummus, Veggie Cous Cous based dishes, Veggie fajitas (without sour cream or cheese) etc.
  4. If in doubt call the restaurant and ask before hand: saves getting there unprepared and eating a bowl of plain salad instead.
  5. If really stuck order lots of side dishes: I’ve never had to do this, but in a situation where you’re really stuck and there’s nothing you can do, then order lots of side dishes. Rice, veggies, salad, potatoes etc. Better this than nothing.
  6. Find a veggie restaurant in the area on HappyCow or Google: This is always my favourite option 🙂 but sometimes your friends might not want to eat a vegan meal, so not always possible. If you can sway them then this is The Best ! So many options, comfortable dining and delicious variety of nutrition ! Heaven.
  7. Eat before you go if unsure: Now, I’ve had situations where the restaurant or venue is booked and I’ve no idea what I’ll be eating, if at all, especially for situations when going to a party for example. So in these cases I’ve just made sure I’ve eaten something little like toast to keep me ticking over Just Incase! You never know. It’s happened a few times for me.

If I think of any more I shall update this but for now, good luck and enjoy yourselves 🙂

Green Rocket: Bath

Green Rocket: Bath

The Green Rocket: Bath.

A vegetarian / vegan cafe so obviously it is fantastic !! A quant little treasure in Bath city with pretty interior and many rooms to cater for hungry veggies 😜 I did take my meat eating friend here and he did find it hard to find something initially because everything is very vegan-fied (which we love, obviously…) by that I mean lots of healthy, nutritious ingredients that he doesn’t really enjoy… crazy man. However, he opted for the Satay Noodles dish as it was fairly plain… and he ended up loving it 👌🏼 So happy days ! I, of course, was in absolute food heaven and wanted to eat everything 😍 I opted for the biggest dish on the lunch menu, the mezze, and absolutely destroyed that bad boy 😉 Was luuush. So if you are in the Bath, you MUST check this little beauty out. Did I mention the VEGAN CAKES ?! 😱 Amazing.

Thank you Green Rocket you little beauty you 😚💛✨

Check out their website:

www.thegreenrocket.co.uk 

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Jamie’s Italian

Jamie’s Italian

A chain that offers a variety of vegan food, say whaaat!? Dining out as a vegan is sometimes difficult and you may end up eating something really boring so that you can be catered for; and that’s no fun, especially when you’re paying probably quite a lot for it too.

This weekend I went to Jamie’s Italian, I always check menus before hand, and saw that he had more than one vegan option. I was pretty happy. It’s also great because if you’re with non-vegan friends then you don’t want to keep dragging them to vegan restaurants all the time so having variety here is fantastic!

I had the vegan bread board to start and then a baked aubergine dish, which both were so delicious I was pretty happy! It’s clearly stated on the menu what is vegan and what can be MADE vegan for you, so it’s a good shout if you’re ever out and see one. Keep it in mind that he caters for vegans and on a good level; Pasta dishes included too with a choice of regular size or large 😉

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