We have learned that America is less-than accommodating to non-carnivores. After attending a party for my husband's work, a friend's baby shower, and dining out a few times; we've had a hard time avoiding meat in public. The restaurants we've been to have maybe maybe an item or two without meat. On the other hand, we found some pleasant surprises in some places! Before this challenge, I would have assumed that if you didn't eat meat you wouldn't go to a burger joint or a steakhouse. Recently I realized that just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean your friends are that way too! People go out just to be social, so why exclude anyone??
Buffalo Wild Wings has a boca burger on their menu and you can substitute a black bean burger for the meat on any of their signature burgers. Who knew??
Panera Bread has a satisfying hummus and vegetable sandwich.
Moe's Southwest Grill has a tofu option as well as gluten free and low cal menu choices. Even if you're ordering their "regular" items, they serve grass-fed, hormone free meats and fresh vegetables - even their cheese is organic!
You can find a listing of more vegetarian-friendly restaurants in your area and around the world here.
Now to tackle another problem we've had with this challenge: sandwiches. Dinner hasn't really been a problem, other than some new recipes we tried that were a total flop and were not worth posting. Lunch on the other hand has been difficult. We eat a lot of sandwiches. I stopped buying lunch meat over a year ago because I felt the nitrates weren't worth the price. When my hubby came back from deployment we started buying it again so he could have sandwiches for lunch. This experiment has forced us to open our minds to new sandwich combinations and I would love to share some.
Today I had a variation of a Caprese salad on a sandwich. We were out of hummus (my new go-to sandwich staple) but we had some left over vegan mozzarella which is surprisingly delicious! Thus, my caprese sandwich was created.
You will need:
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Other spices that suit your fancy
I lightly toasted 2 slices of Ezekiel bread, then sprinkled a little vegan mozzarella on top with some garlic powder and basil then melted in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. This "cheese" gets really gooey when it melts. Then I added some sliced onion, tomato and green peppers we had left over from pizza the other night to one side of the bread. Top with the second slice and voila!
This cheese I bought at the health food store to make pizza with is by Daiya. We haven't been avoiding dairy really but the amount of cheese thats on a pizza sometimes causes stomach cramps but this stuff is fantastic! It's gross fresh out of the bag but it takes on a wonderful taste and texture when melted - perfect for pizza! I took a picture of it but my camera's dead so I'll have to post it later.
The full list ingredients for the "cheese" is as follows: filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavors, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).
More sandwich creations soon to come. Enjoy!