This past month has been a little crazy. My husband and I moved and I also was away for a week. During the move, I rarely got into the kitchen and we ate out more than usual. I have a lot of friends who wonder how I eat out, but I can find something to eat just about anywhere. So here are a few of the things I do when I am not preparing my own meals .
1. Ironically a steakhouse is where I get some of the best vegetarian meals. I always order a salad and 2 veggie sides. The portions are always big as the sides are usually meant to be shared, so I never leave hungry.
2. I love Italian food and even though I don't eat pasta or bread, I still get some of my best meals. I will order a large salad then my favorite...Pasta Primavera HOLD the pasta. Yes you get odd looks at first, but when I do this I always get a beautiful plate full of veggies, sometimes over spinach in a delicious marinara or simple garlic saute. Note, make sure to ask that it is cooked in veggie broth. Sometimes places use chicken broth even though it's a veggie dish.
3. I have also been to Italian or American Bistros and ordered a salad followed by a grilled veggie panini HOLD the panini. Yes again, odd looks, but I promise it works.
4. Just because you don't see a vegetarian option, doesn't mean you can't make one. I often check menus before going somewhere. I look at the meat, seafood , and poultry option and see what is being served with them. I order a salad, then order a meal from the sides being served with the entrees.
5. Don't be afraid to ask what the size of a salad is. Everyone has a different idea of what a large is. If it seems to small, I ask for a double order.
6. Don't be afraid to ask for just steamed or grilled veggies with what they have on hand. I have received beautiful plates of foods that the chef seemed delighted to prepare and artistically arrange. Rarely I have gone to a restaurant that was not accommodating, so I do my best and then don't return.
7. I have also made a quick meal with a box of mixed greens, thrown in pre-cut veggies and used guacamole and/or salsa as dressing. The box servers as your bowl. Simple to grab everything at the store, put together, eat, and continue on your way.
8. Don't stress about it. For me, I would rather do a little miscombining of food then stress myself out by being perfect. I don't cook with oils (except coconut) but when I go out, since it is so infrequent, I don't bother to ask them not to cook with olive oil. It's such a small amount, I just let it slide. I love Lara bars, and when we moved and traveled I ate them way too frequently because it was a good quick thing to grab. I did so knowing it was for a limited time, and now have cut back to what is ideal for me.
9. Enjoy and have fun while eating out.