If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you likely have enough healthy eating habits to know that fast food is never a great option for a meal. But, despite our best efforts, sometimes you’re just in a hurry / insanely hungry / broke (or, some combo of all three!). No matter the reasons, if you’re looking for ways to make fast food work for you, Smosh.com recently shared their top eight picks for vegetarian meals on the go. And – who knew? – they’re actually good. Well… good tasting, anyways.
Here are some of the items and accompanying notes on Megan‘s list — with some of my own vegan adaptations and additions:
Chipotle’s veggie fajita burritos and bowls include grilled peppers and onions; and who the hell doesn’t love those? They’re also cheaper than the meat ones, and as a bonus, they come with free guacamole (which usually costs an extra $1.90). Cha-ching! Make sure you get ‘em with black beans, though – the chain’s pinto beans are cooked with pork.
#2: LITTLE CEASAR’S
Little Caesar’s famous $5 Hot-n-Ready cheese pizzas are obviously vegetarian (and obviously cheap – outrageously so). If you’re vegan, though, you can still partake; custom-ordered, cheeseless pizzas cost a little more than $5 but are worth it; their sauce and dough is vegan, which is weirdly uncommon among chain pizza places. Hell, according to L.C.’s website, you can even order vegan Crazy Bread!
Qdoba’s Mexican Gumbo is a combination of tortilla soup, beans, veggies, cilantro-lime rice and tortilla strips. Tortilla soup usually is made with chicken stock, but the stock in this bizarre yet delicious unholy alliance between food and soup is vegan – the only non-vegan part of it is the buttload of cheese and sour cream they throw on it, which you can obviously turn down.
Eating the meat at Subway is a suicide mission – even Jared himself stays away from it. He, like me, prefers the Veggie Delight; that’s because it’s not filled with the bologna-colored Frankenstein’s monster meat they pile on the Cold Cut Combo and it’s cheap as hell (I’m talking’ $5 footlong territory). Our vegan recommendation? Veggie Delight on Italian bread without cheese or mayo.
At Fazoli’s, you can make your own pasta dish – just choose your noodle, some meatless marinara sauce and add toppings like sautéed broccoli and roasted peppers. Make sure to stay away from the alfredo or “creamy” sauces, though – they have chicken fat in ‘em for some ridiculous reason. NOTE: Fazoli’s really stretches the definition of the word “decent;” it is, after all, fast food pasta. You have been warned.
#6: TACO BELL
T-Bell’s beans used to have lard in them, but are now made with soy oil. Which means you can pretty much order anything off the menu – in addition to their handful of already vegetarian options (refried and black bean burritos, nachos, cheese roll-ups, etc.), they’ll make anything containing meat with beans instead. And if you order a bean burrito “Fresco Style,” they’ll put pico de gallo in instead of the cheese, making it vegan. Fourthmeal just got… ethical!
#7: CARL’S JR.
In the crazy world of fast food, vegans should be wary of fried foods (which are often fried in the same oil as the meat). But according to PETA, vegans can assuredly order the French fries, hash-brown nuggets, breadsticks, English muffins or CrissCuts at Carl’s Jr.
#8: DAIRY QUEEN
The very name “Dairy Queen” doesn’t sound all that welcoming to vegans, but if you find yourself in one of the many DQ establishments, know that you can slurp down one of their dairy-free slushes. They also have a vegan “ice cream” bar called Star Kiss at some locations.
Wendy’s offers a refreshing item to the fast food world: the humble baked potato. Ask for a plain one to make it vegan and add the Deluxe Garden salad with the red Italian dressing (with no cheese). Unfortunately, Wendy’s fries are reportedly cooked in the same grease as their meat, so it’s not certain that the fries are vegan.
Do you have any favorite vegan items to add to the list? Or do you steer clear of fast food items — whether they’re vegan or not?