Getting out and about when your vegan can take some planning. At home in your kitchen whipping up something nutritious and tasty can be the easiest thing in the world. On the other hand, trying to find lunch in an unfamiliar part of town can be a nightmare. Every roasted vegetable sandwich you might see will be garnished with feta and falafel wraps often include sneaky helpings of yogurt dressing. For me, moving city highlighted how much I relied on a good knowledge of local eateries. I was used to having old favourites on hand and could easily work out the closest place to go when I was far from home or just very hungry.
Most vegan veterans know the kind of things to look for though, the falafel shop or salad bar where you can ask them to hold the dairy. Mexican fast food (holy guacamole), or veggie sushi if your careful to watch out for mayo. And increasingly, shops dedicated to serving variations on the delicious baked potato.
But that’s the city. Out in the countryside everything gets a little sparser….
Tips and tricks
Whether it’s a hiking trip, a camping weekend or just a visit to some countryside towns, you’ve got to eat. There’s nothing worse than scouring the one village general store and tearoom for sustenance while you desperately fill up on trail mix. But with a little preparation your time in the great outdoors can be happy, healthy and nutritious.
Food on the go
Sandwiches are great. They are tasty, self contained and come with a handy bread wrapping. But if you’re going to leave them for more than a couple of hours pre-made sandwiches can be the worst, unless you like your food soggy and squished.
On the other hand, making up a sandwich when you’re out and about might seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Enter the amazing thing that is flat bread. Swap out your squishy loaf for pitta, lebanese bread or a wrap and your laughing.
Then just take some hummus, a bag of greens and some precut veggies and throwing together a tasty meal becomes easy. I like to make up a batch of hummus and take it with me but if you don’t have the time, inclination or the blender for it grab some from the supermarket before you go. Other proteinous sandwich filling options include bean or lentil pate . Also delicious!
Chefing in the wild
Whether cooking on a campfire or your trusty campstove there’s a lot of fun, tasty meals you can put together outside of the kitchen.
If you’re having a campfire, wrap some potatoes up in tinfoil and chuck them in. When they’re nice and baked you can fish them out and top them with hummus and veggies for a hearty, warming meal. For extra fun wrap up some corn and bake it in the fire too. Bananas are also good for this, especially if you cut them open first and put some chocolate insides them before you wrap them up.
On a campstove veggie burgers are another easy meal, either premade at home or bought at the supermarket. Again this is something you can have in flat bread with hummus and salad, or you can fancy it up a bit and bring along some rolls and extra sauce. Maybe even pickle.
And of course, what camping trip would be complete without baked beans. Completely vegan, completely delicious and ready in 2 minutes. Fry up some mushrooms and spinach if you want to bulk it up and maybe add curry powder for some extra zing. I know we try to be minimalist when camping but there is always a reason to bring curry powder!
Doing your research
There are also the days when it’s raining and cold and you just want to go somewhere and get something warm and delicious without sitting outside in the rain for half an hour shielding your stove. This is why before going anywhere it is so important to do a little bit of research. Finding local restaurants, cafes and eateries is easy these days and often you can see a place’s menu online before you go. A quick google search can show you most of the food places in the area you’re going to visit and if you’re going somewhere super remote you can still check out the nearest town online beforehand in case you have a chance to stop by before or after when you’re energy-zapped and hungry.
Knowing where you can stop for lunch before you go makes everything easy. And you can discover great places that you would never have visited or found without a little bit of research.
Go forth and eat great food
Being vegan is great. I know so many people who rediscovered food when they stopped eating animal products. Having to think carefully about what you eat makes you appreciate things differently and maybe try foods you would never have thought to before. But it can make it difficult to be spontaneous. Although vegans are limited in what we can eat, being vegan doesn’t have to feel limiting. There’s so much room for creativity in cooking that with a good understanding of the tools you have at your disposal you can make great food that not only makes you feel good but makes you excited about all there is to learn. And an adventurous vegan with a bit of planning can have a ball with food no matter the occasion or situation.