Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 ways to eat vegetarian at fast-food restaurants

More and more fast-food joints are offering vegetarian fast-food options - it's just good business. I've listed 10; there are many others.

The best: Mexican restaurants like Chipotle and Qdoba offer a fully customizable menu with a wide range of vegetarian ingredients.  
The good: Many restaurants, such as Panda Express and Panera, offer a selection of plant-based items.  
The tolerable: Most fast-food places have at least one menu item without meat.  
The ugly: Watch out for places with words like "beef" or "chicken" in their name. If you eat at one of them, you'll probably have to take your sandwich apart and remove the parts you don't want.

The list in alphabetical order:
  1. Burger King: veggie burger 
  2. Chipotle Mexican Grill: choose your own ingredients
  3. McDonald's: premium southwest salad
  4. Panda Express: eggplant tofu, mixed veggies, veggie spring roll, fried rice, chow mein, 2 soups
  5. Panera Bread: 2 sandwiches, several soups, several salads
  6. Qdoba Mexican Grill: choose your own ingredients
  7. Steak 'n Shake: grilled cheese sandwich with small garden salad
  8. Subway: 6" or 12" veggie delite
  9. Taco Bell: 7-layer bean/cheese burrito
  10. Wendy’s: broccoli and cheese potato
Cautionary note to would-be vegetarians: Maybe you'd like to get healthier or save the environment or boycott factory farms. Should you become a vegetarian? Perhaps - but probably not overnight. Start by eating meat-free meals at least once a week. Try new foods, whether you prepare them yourself or order them in restaurants. By cutting back on meat consumption, you're already helping your body and the earth. And when you find plant-based meals you truly enjoy, you may decide to cut back - and help - even more.

1 comment:

Ben DeVries said...

Lavonne, I really appreciate you sharing this series. The community of faith needs much more attention to our consumption habits and ethics, and as you know, I'm particularly sensitive to the animal welfare dimension of the same. I just wanted to say thanks, and say that I'm a big fan of many of the options you mentioned above, especially Chipotle and Qdoba. Did you know Taco Bell can make any of their options with refried beans substituted for meat? Jimmy John's has a phenomenal veggie sandwich with guac and sprouts as well, and Red Robin can substitute a Garden Burger for any of their burgers (which is a delicay in and of itself, tastier than Boca) - Ben (Not One Sparrow)