It’s that time of year again – the time when many Canadians “rrroll up the rim” to win any of an assortment of prizes from Tim Horton’s.
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Prizes include Toyota Rav4s, BBQs, pre-paid MasterCards and loads of free coffee and doughnuts.
Besides doughnuts what is there for a vegetarian/vegan to eat at Tim’s? The answer: not a lot. Vegetarians can have most of the doughnuts, egg salad sandwich, yogurt and bagels while the limited choices for the vegan are black coffee, tea and oatmeal.
People who live meatless everyday of their lives occasionally eat out at commercial fast food outlets so here are some of our tips for navigating the world of refined sugar and processed fats:
- Avoid soups of all kinds. Often they are made with a base of chicken or beef stock.
- Ask or look for a nutrition guide. More places are starting to provide one; however, many outlets don’t want you to know their ‘secrets’ so not all ingredients are listed. Check the website for a list of ingredients. In the absence of sufficient information e-mail a customer relations rep to inquire about specific ingredients. By simply stating you have an ‘allergy/aversion‘ to ‘x’ product may encourage them to disclose more details.
- While salads may seem like a good option, ask for dressing on the side. Often the dressing is calorie and fat laden and may contain animal-derived products (e.g. Cesar salad dressing often has anchovies in it). And don’t think the low-fat/-calorie dressing is innocent either. Sometimes gelatin is added to mimic the properties that fat brings to the table.
- Made-to-order sandwiches are usually a good bet. For this Subway, we salute you. On that note, clear visual access to the kitchen is a bonus so you can see exactly what’s going on with your food prep.
- Establishments that advertise and clearly mark vegetarian/vegan-friendly foods are usually more conscious of the needs of us non-meat eating folk.
- And if you’re going to order eggs, poached or boiled is safest. Anything fried is often done on cooking surfaces that harbour animal fat drippings.
- Beware the oil that fries your fries. It may not be a vegetable oil (or ‘real’ food for that matter in the case of hydrogenated fats.)
- And the obvious choice is to go to places that cater to vegetarians/vegans. Yes you can have your meatless meal fast and greasy just like the carnivores do.
Seven coffees and counting and still no prize!