Being the awkward vegetarian
My diet has fluctuated greatly over the years. Some times I’ve been completely vegetarian, other times I’ve been mostly vegetarian. At the moment I try to eat vegetarian unless meat is going to waste. In this instance I would eat meat. I try to prioritise vegan food over vegetarian food. If there is a vegan option, I tend to go for it. I primarily became vegetarian for environmental reasons. The meat industry, especially beef is environmentally destructive and unsustainable. I look forward to the days when insect burgers are the norm! When I first became a vegetarian at University, the vegetarian options were limited and the vegan options were sometimes non existent. If I went to a pub it would be either a Veggie Burger or a Jacket Potato with Beans and Cheese. If I went to a restaurant there would usually be at least one vegetarian option, but sometimes never a vegan option. I once had a long conversation with a waiter in a Moroccan restaurant about what they had which was vegan. I ended up having Peppers stuffed with Cous Cous, which was very nice, but was not filling at all. I ended up getting a second dinner on the way home.
Vegetarian/ Vegan Food in 2020
Moving forward to 2020 and the food landscape has completely changed. When I first became a vegetarian, people were either veggie or vegan for either animal cruelty reasons or to a lesser extent environmental. These reasons still exist, along with a whole host of new people who are vegan for health reasons. They recognise that processed meat is damaging our heath and increasing our chances of getting diseases like cancer. Whilst a plant based diet is not necessarily healthy than a diet with meat in it, if planned properly it can be. We even have a vegan professional football team in Forest Green Rovers, who I went to see play last season. All their food that they serve is vegan, like vegan chicken nuggets and vegan pies. Vegetarianism and veganism is now in the mainstream. Even the big multinationals are taking note. Niche food products like Tempeh can not be found in Morrisons.
This post is designed to highlight some delicious Vegetarian/Vegan Takeaway food. That ten years ago would have been hard to come by, but now is the norm. Previously I would have had to go out of my way to find delicious vegetarian or vegan food and I often felt that I was missing out compared to those around me eating meat. Happily for me I no longer feel that way.
Mr Singh’s Pizza
Mr Singh’s Pizza have several restaurants in the West Midlands. They have one in North Birmingham, one in Wolverhampton and one in West Bromwich. They serve vegetarian/ vegan versions of pizzas and burgers. They are delicious. When I get the chance I get one of their pizzas. My favourite pizza of theirs is a vegan pepperoni pizza. I’ve also recently had a vegan burger and fries that has a soya burger, and vegan bacon in it.
Geisha Sushi House
Sushi is my favourite food. Becoming a vegetarian meant that I couldn’t have proper sushi for years. Every year or so I have proper sushi from a restaurant as a special treat. Geisha Sushi House recently opened up in Birmingham City Centre. They serve plant based sushi. It is incredible! For the first time I’ve eaten vegan sushi and not felt like I was missing out. They have vegan replacements from all of the usual sushi staples, like vegan tuna, vegan salmon. On top of this they have some great vegan burgers. Beyond Meat, who are a vegan burger company specialising in meat replacement burgers provide Geisha Sushi with some of their burgers. I’ve never seen vegan replacement sushi like this before and I’m delighted that it has come to Birmingham.
Bombay Curry Club
Bombay Curry Club is based in South West Birmingham. They do all of the traditional takeaways curries and excitingly for me they also do Quorn versions of their curries. Usually I have to just have a vegetable version of a curry like a vegetable balti or a vegetable dansak, but with Bombay Curry Club I can have a Quorn Pathia or a Quorn Jalfrezi. Their Quorn Curries use the chicken style Quorn product. I no longer feel like I’m missing out when I have a curry as I now order from Bombay Curry Club.
On a side note even the big multinationals that have traditionally only had meat dishes are now embracing vegetarian and vegan food as they can see the increasing demand for it. Papa John’s and Domino’s now have tasty vegan pizzas. The featured image in this article is a Domino’s vegan vegetable pizza. KFC had a vegan burger until lockdown. Burger King had a plant based burger that was not quite vegan as it was cooked in the same space as the meat burgers. Wagamama’s do a good vegan Katsu. When I go out for a meal nowadays I am confident that I will have at least one good vegetarian or vegan option. Even at a steakhouse. Food busineses are increasingly realisinsg that if they have a party of ten coming for a meal; a couple of the party may be vegetarian and one may be vegan. By not having decent vegetarian or vegan options, they are missing out a growing percentage of the market.
I hope that this article has shown you the wonderful variety of vegetarian and vegan food in 2020. No longer are we the outcasts. We are not being targeted and specifically catered for. If you are not used to eating vegetarian or vegan food, it is worth trying. Reducing your meat intake is one of the most environmentally friendly things that you can do.