vegan fast food

Fast food is for busy people and these next two weeks are busy weeks: I just started my last semester as a graduate student, am starting Russian classes again, am finishing up my internship and am starting to get back in the routine of running. That’s a lot of starting and stopping! So what does a vegan do in a land of ham and cheese sandwiches?

Well, sometimes you’re just hungry and I think that’s okay. It seems people are afraid to be hungry for some reason or another… I guess it’s a survival instinct. But I digress, one especially busy day all I could find is a lentil dish for 5 euros at a bakery. I couldn’t bring myself to pay 5 euros for some lentils that are worth about 20 cents, so I decided to go to the Carrefour. Finally, I resolved to just grabbing an “innocent” fruit smoothie, which seemed to do the trick. Honestly, I really like their smoothies, but at 2.32 euros/per bottle, they are not so much better than that lentil dish. Realizing this is a serious problem, I decided to make some suggestions about parisian vegan eating on the go:

My best advice is one word: leftovers. I like to cook a bunch of quinoa for a meal and then use the rest of it to mix with some beans and cilantro (or whatever) for lunch the next day. If you find yourself in a week like me though (or without a kitchen — hey, it happens in Parisian apartments) and not cooking at all, then I recommend the following:

1. Monoprix Bio packs. Personally, the lentil/smoked tofu and the oriental tabouleh are my favorites. The lentil/smoked tofu definitely takes first place though.  I packed mine with an apple for my afternoon snack today. Iron and protein?! Check!

2. Carrefour tabouleh. I’m really a fan of the kind with raisins in it. Mmm. I love raisins.

3. EXKI. This restaurant has some good vegan options. There are none where I live, but there is one conveniently next to the Bibliothèque Nationale, which is great when you are in the middle of a research paper and realize you are starving because you got so excited about about Heidegger and Marx that you forgot to eat. This week I had a rendez-vous with the director of my Russian school there after work and had a delicious carrot dish spiced with Ras el hanout. I’m not a fan that they charge more for you to eat-in than take away, but as this is the closest thing to vegetarian fast-food widely available in the Benelux region, I still give it a thumbs up.

phonephoto4. Fruit salads and nuts. If you’re in a pinch and really only have 5 minutes to run into the closest grocery store (and know you will spend 4 of those minutes waiting for the old woman in front of you to ask multiple questions and then pay with a check), then this isn’t a bad option. Most of the stores have pre-made fruit salads (which aren’t always great) and usually a nut mix is available at just one or two euros. The reason I don’t do this is a lot is that I can never manage to resist eating the entire bag of nuts.

5. Naturalia. I’ve noticed that certain ones in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements have an assortment of “to-go” foods. I can’t say I have tried any of them yet, but it seems like a good option to mention. Plus, they make some delicious cranberry, pumpkin seed, nut, cocaine – bread.

…And if you’re not a vegan, these are still good options to try for a healthy lunch/snack!

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