Time for Takeout & Tips for Dining Out Vegan Style

A couple of days ago, I spent ALL DAY gardening and by the time I realized it was getting late and I needed to make dinner, I discovered that my arms and body were SORE and I was STARVING! So, it seemed like a great night for take out.

People often assume that it's hard to dine out if you're a vegan, but it's not really true once you get the hang of it. One trick for dining out vegan is to look for ethnic restaurants. These often have foods that just happen to be vegan anyway - without any modification on your part!

As you probably know, my husband is from India and I LOVE indian food. Indian restaurants are some of our favorite restaurants. And the great thing about Indian restaurants is that you can find them throughout the world - so we tend to look for them as a safe bet while traveling.

The one thing that you need to know if you're looking for vegan food at an Indian restaurant is to beware of dairy! Dairy can be hidden in many Indian foods that you would not suspect. Make sure to ask your waiter or waitress even if it does not list dairy in the item description on the menu. We actually came to the conclusion that we need to list off dairy items while we're asking because they sometimes forget things like ghee when they say 'no, there's no dairy.' I like to make my husband seem like the one with all the questions (although the waitstaff never minds). Here's his line of questioning:

"Does this contain any dairy products? Paneer? Cream? Milk? Yogurt? Butter? Ghee?"

We have found that very often, if something is made with butter or ghee, the restaurant will gladly make it for you without. Occasionally, this is not the case, but it's always worth a try. Sometimes they can even omit one of the other dairy products from a meal, but not always. It never hurts to ask!

So, here's our meal from the other night: Aloo chaat, aloo gobi and basmati rice. Yum!

Where to Find: This came from a restaurant called Touch of India in Birmingham, Michigan. The staff is very helpful about letting you know if there is dairy in a dish or not. If you find that the food you were craving does contain dairy, they can often make it for you without. We have found this restaurant to be particularly accommodating.

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