credit: Avery Dierks/Achona Online
Wake up call: it’s Lent, and you can’t eat meat on Fridays. Ouch. This sounds like a huge sacrifice, and it seems impossible to find vegetarian food that you enjoy for a whole day. However, in reality, there are so many options that have slipped right under your nose! Think about it– because of America’s modern and diverse culture, every restaurant and recipe can now somehow accommodate for vegetarians. This is 2016, after all, and according to the Vegetarian Times, “10 percent of U.S. adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet”. Therefore, it is actually quite difficult to find a place that does NOT serve at least one item without meat. Eating vegetarian is not only easy, but it is also nutritious and delicious! If you’re still doubtful, here’s some more advice for the questions you might have:
“What are some local places to try?”
In the south Tampa Bay area, organic and green trendy spots have popped up in abundance. Some hit places with a largely vegetarian menu near Academy include So Fresh, Fruitwood, Fresh Kitchen, Cooks, and Buddy Brew.
“What if I don’t want to give up my favorite restaurant chains on Friday nights?”
That’s fair. No one wants to ignore their Friday night Chipotle craving. However, you can get your usual bowl, cut the meat, and get extra beans (for protein) or sofritas (tofu). Bonus: if you buy a veggie bowl at Chipotle–not including sofrita bowls–you receive free guac! FREE GUAC! Also, check if your favorite burger joint has a veggie or black bean burger. Most joints do, and you’ll be surprised at how delicious they are! Hint: BurgerFi’s veggie burger tastes like a McDonald’s hashbrown… #happiness. If you’re in the mood for a wrap, Tropical Smoothie also has “beyond meat,” or tofu, that tastes identical to chicken. They have a variety of wraps that can each be replaced with beyond meat upon request!
For a friendly tip, chances are that every restaurant will take meat out of your order if you ask them to. Let’s face it, they like the business and they’re not going to deprive you of your right to eat. Without being said, don’t be a jerk and order “the Chicken Piccata but hold the chicken.” That’s just wrong.
“I’m eating food at home. What do I do now?”
Like I said before, it’s easy to morph and alter meals to make them vegetarian. For some tasty spins on basic and easy-to-make foods, you can look to Pinterest to help you make:
If you give the “fasting” a chance instead of cheating on the no-meat-on-Fridays rule, Lent can turn into a chance to expand your palette and be adventurous!