Eating meatless while “On the Go”

By: Sarah Wilson

A recent article in these pages featured the Meatless Monday movement.  Meatless Monday is a global movement that encourages people to reduce meat in their diet for their health and the health of the planet.  Our region is filled with great local restaurants who can provide us with satisfying plant-based meals.  But what are your options when you need to grab a quick burger or sandwich on the go?  You can’t very well eat a salad while driving the car!   

Fortunately, fast-food and quick-service restaurants across our region have recognized that customers want to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet. Today, it is easier than ever to join the Meatless Monday movement, any day of the week!  

Bareburger (Mount Kisco, Ridgefield) has your favorite plant-based burgers, whether it’s the Beyond Burger, the Impossible Burger or a veggie packed black bean or sweet potato burger.  The restaurant chain also serves a Beyond Bratwurst sandwich.  

Burger King (Brewster, Mount Kisco, Peekskill, Yorktown) is the largest chain (over 7,000 locations nationwide) to embrace plant-based meat with the launch of its very own Impossible-Burger-Based Whopper.  The Impossible Whopper is served with tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun.  

Chipotle Mexican Grill has now opened up across from the Cortlandt Town Center in addition to their  location on Bedford Road in Mount Kisco.  You can build your own burritos or tacos using “sofritas” in place of meat.    Sofritas are an organic, shredded tofu braised in chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos and a “blend of aromatic spices.”  Add in the beans and all your veggie toppings and you’re ready to continue on your way.  You can also order meatless kid’s meal quesadillas and tacos.  

Dunkin’ (Baldwin Place, Bedford, Carmel, Jefferson Valley, Mahopac, Mohegan Lake, Somers, Yorktown Heights) offers on-the-go meatless choices for breakfast or brunch.  Besides their newly launched Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich, Dunkin’ offers a veggie egg white wrap and an egg and cheese sandwich on an English muffin.

Panera Bread (Cortlandt, Yorktown) has always been a good option for vegan and plant-based options, but they’ve expanded their menu as the call for meatless options has gotten louder. Panera Bread sandwich options include a Modern Caprese Sandwich and Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich.  

Subway (Cortlandt, Goldens Bridge, Jefferson Valley, Somers, Yorktown) limits their plant-based sandwich options to either Veggie Delite or Veggie Patty, with your choice of bread, cheese and toppings.   

Taco Bell (Yorktown) has always had several meatless options (including bean burritos, tostadas, chips and queso, etc), but they are now introducing a “Veggie Mode” at restaurant kiosks or online that allow traditional favorites to be made meatless or entirely plant based.

Most of our local delis also offer sandwiches and wraps featuring eggplant or portobello mushrooms with roasted peppers, mozzarella caprese with tomato and basil, or grilled vegetables.  Yummy!  

While the plant-based options listed here are better for our planet, and the harm of consuming too much red meat is well documented, they may not be healthier in terms of calories, sodium or fat.  For example the BK original Whopper has 660 calories and the BK Impossible Whopper has 630 calories.  While the Impossible Whopper has significantly lower cholesterol — 10 milligrams compared to 90 milligrams — it has more sodium.  

Fast food remains as popular as ever, so the willingness of these national brands to add plant-based alternatives to their menu says something significant about America’s changing attitudes toward meat and health. Let us know about your favorite meatless ways to grab a bite when you are “on the go” by making a post on our Facebook page or adding a comment to this blog on our website:  https://yorktown100.org/blog

Yorktown100 is a 100% volunteer group of neighbors working to reduce our carbon footprint by 5% a year through various programs.   Contact us if you would like to learn more, or would like to join.  We welcome new members!  Visit us at https://yorktown100.org/ and help make a difference.

Sarah Wilson is a member of Yorktown100 and the Climate Smart Communities Task Force for the Town of Yorktown.  She is the organizer of Repair Cafes in Yorktown and serves on the Executive Committee of Sierra Club Lower Hudson Group.

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