I hope this blog has shown how simple it is to create delicious vegan meals at home. But that’s the easy part. Eating out often poses a much greater challenge for vegans. Which is why I’ve often labeled myself as a “vegetarian while out, vegan at home.” Recently, though, I’ve been feeling more and more inclined be vegan across the board. After all, when vegans request food prepared without eggs and dairy while they are out, I think this can help send the message that there is a demand for vegan food, and restaurants will eventually start offering more vegan menu items.
I know I’m spoiled, living in the Seattle area. There are many vegetarian restaurants and even several amazing all-vegan restaurants that I could go to! But, I don’t live in a vegan bubble. I don’t know any vegans in real life. I only know a small handful of vegetarians. Most of my friends and all of my extended family eat an omnivorous diet. So I’m not always going to drag them to Chaco Canyon Cafe, much as I love that place and their incredible pesto melt! Sometimes I’ll end up at Denny’s.
If you haven’t been in a Denny’s lately, they’ve totally revamped their menu. I remember when their veggie burger was a Boca Burger on a white bun with just the standard fixin’s. Now when you order a veggie burger, you get an Amy’s burger (so delicious, tender, flavorful, and vegan!) on a whole wheat bun (contains honey, but otherwise vegan), sauteed mushrooms, baby spinach, and tomato slices! Just ask them to hold the cheese and mayo, and you get an incredibly delicious vegan burger. If you avoid honey, ask for a white bun.
On the side, you can get fries, fruit, or salad. I have had a traditional Denny’s salad in the past, and it is not very exciting. But when I flipped through the menu, I noticed this beautiful baby greens salad with apples, candied pecans, dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette…and a bunch of chicken pieces on top. I asked our server if I could order that without the chicken and without the bread that comes with, and she obliged. It tasted fantastic! I was a little unsure of whether the candied pecans would be vegan, but I checked the Denny’s website for allergens when I got home, and the candied pecans don’t contain any dairy or eggs. Yay!
I left Denny’s feeling completely satisifed…I had a wonderful, healthful, filling meal, without compromising my ethics. Now if they would only put some vegan pancakes or waffles on their menu…and some scrambled tofu, and tempeh bacon…that would be perfect!