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Dining Out: Vegan at Olive Garden

Yupp! You read it! It is possible to eat vegan at an Italian restaurant. Of course you have to ditch the mozzarella, the Alfredo sauce, and of course the meatballs; however, you can still manage to have a yummy Italian meal à la “no animals harmed”!

Below are some of the vegan-friendly options I have personally tried and absolutely recommend:

Salad: Order their signature salad, just make sure to order it with NO dressing and NO croutons, since both their dressing and croutons contain some animal-derived ingredients. Instead, request olive oil and vinaigrette for extra flavor.

Sides: Phew! You can still order breadsticks, but make sure to order them plain, NO butter! You can also order sides of their available vegetables; I love ordering a side of broccoli every time I dine at this place.

Soup: You can safely order their exquisite Minestrone Soup. Even non-vegans love this soup, as it contains beans, pasta and a variety of nutritious vegetables that will satisfy your hunger in no time.

Main Course: Here is where the fun begins:

IMG_7100

IMG_7098-Capellini Pomodoro: do not request cheese.

-Eggplant Parmigiana: order it with no mozzarella or parmesan cheese.

Other options: Parmesan Roasted asparagus, but of course without the Parmesan! Make sure to order the asparagus oven-roasted and skip the aioli sauce; according to my research this sauce contains egg. Instead, order olive oil and/or other vegan friendly vinaigrettes. Bruschetta could also be vegan-friendly, though I do not know the exact ingredients of their bread (some online sources state that ciabatta bread could be vegan, do not be afraid to ask the waiter/waitress about their food ingredients and cooking methods).

Buon appetito!

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2 comments

    1. Well, it all depends on how strict your veganism is and how knowledgeable your servers are. My waitress seemed very knowledgeable (she claimed to have vegan friends) and told me that these dishes were safe for vegans. She even asked the cooks about the ingredients and cooking methods of these dishes, so I trusted her. When I am not sure about restaurants’ food ingredients, I like requesting for the food allergen menu if they have one; it lists all their food ingredients.

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