Eating Out Vegan (Indian Style) and some Quick Meal Tips
Today is exactly 2 weeks into my 30 day vegan challenge!
The latest development in my vegan challenge is my adventure in going out to eat as a vegan for the first time. My sisters and I planned to go out to Indian place in Cumberland, RI, called "Flavours" that my little sister has been raving about. I was super excited to go out, but I have to say, I was a little timid! My usual meal at Indian restaurants are chicken tikka masala, and shrimp saag, which are both definitely not vegan. In anticipation, I looked up the menu online before I left. They had a great vegetarian selection (as many Indian restaurants do), but I was a bit unsure about the milk/egg/ghee free options. The menu wasn't all that clear about whether or not they were "creamy" or whether they use ghee or oil. I looked up some vegan blogs to see if they had any suggestions and I was happy to see many places have vegan curries and samosas!
When we got there, I felt a bit shy saying "I am vegan" so I started off by just asking about a select few options that we were thinking of, which were samosas and a chickpea salad and asked whether there was any meat or eggs or dairy in there. This was a mistake. Once we asked about a couple of items and he went back and forth to the kitchen, my sister just out and told the guy "She is vegan, what do you have?" and he was much more helpful after that...so I guess my take-away is just to be honest and ask nicely up front and it will be okay! So after this development, the helpful server offered a different salad option and some other options and we had an excellent meal! We ate samosas, whole wheat vegan naan, alu tikka, alu gobi with basmati rice, and cucumber salad! We shared family style and passed everything around the table and we had a really nice meal. My sisters were understanding too (one of them is a vegetarian anyway!) We will definitely have to go out more often (because my sisters are awesome company) and now that I know what options I have, I know I will be back again for more Indian!
Speaking of Indian food, I do want to share a quick meal that I made the other night when I was a bit short on time. I had bought a "simmer sauce" from Whole Foods called "Madras curry" by Maya Kaimal. I threw a can of chick peas, a couple of boiled cut up potatoes, and some frozen peas in there. I simmered them all together in the sauce for 10-15 minutes and served over whole wheat couscous (quinoa or bulgur would have worked great too). I mention this because it was a super quick, easy, healthy meal that I whipped together in less than 20. I sometimes hear how difficult it is to put together healthy meals when you are are shorter on time, but it doesn't always have to be that way! Here are a few things I keep on hand to help me when I am in a rush to throw together dinner:
- Whole wheat couscous (5 min cook time).
- Quinoa (15 min)
- Whole wheat pastas
- Simmer sauces
- Jarred tomato sauce
- Canned beans (I buy the Eden Organics- no salt and use kombu in it for easier digestibility). Black, kidney, pinto, navy, garbanzo, aduki are among my favorites.
- Frozen veggies--spinach, corn, peppers, peas
In health and appetizers!