by Michelle Kretzer, Vegan Dining Columnist for the Menuism Vegan Dining Blog
So you're not much of a salad person. Believe me, I get it -- neither am I. Some people adore a bowlful of chopped raw vegetables. Personally, I would rather opt for starvation. Fortunately, for me, it's easy to be vegan with nary a salad bowl in sight. In fact, even before I decided to do my health, the planet, and animals a favor and stop eating meat and dairy products, I was already eating a lot of vegan food, and -- gasp! -- enjoying it! Chances are, you are, too. So here are some of my (and maybe your) faves:
P.F. Chang's - Buddha's Feast
I order the exact same meal every time I go to P.F. Chang's. Not because there aren't plenty of other options, but just because I love it that much. It's steamed or stir-fried asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, and tofu in tangy soy sauce, and I mix the brown rice in. And then I lick the plate.
TCBY - Silk Vanilla Almond and Chocolate Almond Swirl
It's The Country's Best Yogurt for a reason. TCBY has vanilla almond and chocolate almond flavors made with Silk brand almond milk. I usually take mine with about four million rainbow sprinkles.
Tropical Smoothie Café - Caribbean Luau Flatbread
I may have a slight obsession with Tropical Smoothie Café. But it's not my fault. Loads of delicious fruit smoothies, and the café will use Beyond Meat Chicken and skip the cheese in any dish you want? Yes, please. I highly recommend the Island Green Spinach and Kale Smoothie. And that you invite me to go.
Panera Bread - Black Bean Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl
Perfect for chilly days.
Taco Bell - 7-Layer Burrito (Modified)
Sub out the fatty sour cream and three-cheese blend for more seasoned rice, beans, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and chunky guac, and you've got a hearty meal in the palm of your hand.
bd's Mongolian Grill - Create-a-Bowl
I was quite content to load my bowl up with the bazillion choices for vegetables, sauces, and spices. But then bd's went and added faux beef and faux chicken to the Mongolian barbecue buffet, and now my bowl looks like Mount Everest. And if you're vegetarian or vegan, you can take your bowl to a special window and have it grilled separately, so you don't have to wait in line for the main grill like everyone else. Winning. Duh.
Chick-fil-A - Waffle Potato Fries
Junk food, yes. But everyone has to indulge now and then. And sometimes you need a quick snack at the mall. Especially during a shoe sale.
Johnny Carino's - Angel Hair with Artichokes
Grazie to Carino's for offering loads of vegan food. (Most Italian places are pretty vegan-friendly.) My favorite dish has Roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts, black olives, garlic, capers, and basil. I ask them to hold the parmesan, and occasionally the capers if I'm not feeling caper-y.
Atlanta Bread Company - PB&J
Peanut butter jelly time! It gets a little more grown up at Atlanta Bread with a choice of specialty breads (I like nine-grain). Add a fruit salad for a meal that's perfect for one of those rainy days when you just feel like wearing yoga pants, eating comfort food, and flipping through a tabloid.
Chances are good that your grocery cart is already loaded up with cruelty-free goodies, such as fruit, vegetables, grains, and vegan soups and pastas. But do you buy Keebler's Ice Cream Cups or JUMBO Fudge Sticks? They're vegan. Do you prefer Ritz Crackers, Keebler Club Crackers, Keebler Town House Originals Crackers, or Nabisco Saltine Crackers? No matter, they're all cruelty-free. Some of my other favorite guilty pleasures include Swedish Fish, Hershey's Syrup, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Original Fritos, Clif Bars, Cracker Jack, and Ghirardelli Twilight Delight Bars. And the pièce de résistance? Oreos. Yup, they're vegan. Good thing, too, or I would be faced with a dilemma of epic proportions.
Vegan Foods You Already Love--and Didn't Even Know It originally published on the Menuism Blog.
Michelle Kretzer learned about factory farming while pursuing a degree in Journalism at the University of Kentucky. She immediately stopped eating meat and dedicated herself to the cause of animal rights. When she is not writing for the PETA Foundation, Michelle enjoys traveling, collecting Beatles memorabilia, and finding great cruelty-free shoes and bags.