Holidays can be truly problematic for vegans, as they are a celebratory chance to be with people you love deeply, but they are often gathered around a holiday roast, of one species or another.
While meals at their home can prove to be a little easier if you bring a dish to share, chances are some time in the next two weeks, you will be dragged to a chain restaurant.
And just like that, what could've been a moment showing them how easy and satisfying being vegan is turns into failure. You'll be convincing them that you eat a veritable rainbow of options as a vegan while ordering a greasy basket of fries as your main course because that's all that the restaurant offers sans meat.
So go in prepared with this handy little list of veg-friendly options at places the family will most likely visit this holiday season.
You can cobble together an entire meal from sides here as long as you request without their seasoned butter. The house bread, fresh steamed broccoli (without butter), plain baked potato or sweet potato and a house salad without cheese or croutons are all options.
Ok, giving up those Red Lobster cheddar biscuits may have been one of the bigger hurdles to going vegan but you did it and there are vegan ways of making them happen. When here, you can have garden salad without cheese with balsamic vinaigrette, French dressing or red wine vinegar, naked baked potato, fresh broccoli and asparagus (without butter) and a wild rice pilaf.
California Pizza Kitchen
Ok, life is pretty good if this is where your family takes you. There's a delicious grilled veggie salad, vegan split pea soup and their Neapolitan pizza dough makes it easy to do a vegan version of their pizzas.
You can tweak many salads here to veganize them. Cheesecake Factory also makes a veggie burger with brown rice, faro, couscous, mushrooms and back beans and a penne pasta dish with oven-dried tomatoes, broccoli, roasted eggplant, Kalamata olives, pine nuts and garlic.
This faux country establishment doesn't offer much in the way of vegan but you can get a vegetable plate of steamed broccoli and a baked sweet potato. For breakfast, there's apple cinnamon oatmeal, skipping the side of milk.
Of course, you could push for a mom and pop place where everyone leaves full and happy.
Snappers Seafood and Wine Bar
Oakwood Square, 398 N. Congress Ave., #398, Boynton Beach. Call 561-375-8600.
This Boynton establishment even has a vegan section on the menu that advertises a vegan soup of the day, a basket of tempura veggies, an ancient grains quinoa salad with chopped vegetable medley and a redwine vinegar, lemon and olive oil, A luscious vegan risotto with white button and portobello mushrooms, spinach and red peppers simmered in a creamy Arborio rice with pistachios.
1901 North Military Trail, Boca Raton. Call 561-417-5836.
This farm-to-table spot makes it easy to order vegan with a little "v" by all of your options. Try The Farmer salad with a fig vinaigrette, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumbers and live sprouted beans, an appetizer of GMO free edamame pods and side dishes of roasted spaghetti squash, pan flash kale, grilled asparagus and more.