We've hit Lent, the period of abstinence when some people fast or give things up like desserts, alcohol, or meat. Desserts and alcohol seem like a bridge too far — but giving up meat's a cinch. In the old days, people resorted to eating seafood, but in 2022, the trendy path is to skip all the animals and go veg.
You can tell it's trendy because everyone's doing it — even 7-Eleven. When 7-Eleven is on it, you know it's hot.
Here are some convenient and unexpected veg alternatives for Lent around Dallas to try instead of meat:
The convenience store chain is offering a new Black Bean Burger, which they say is crafted with black beans, corn, rice, and savory seasonings. The patty is topped with American cheese and served on a sweet brioche bun.
Anjuli Wilkie, 7-Eleven senior category manager of hot foods, says they keep an eye on customers' shifting preferences, and this was one.
"We frequently receive requests for more vegetarian options from our loyal customers, and because our hot sandwiches are so popular, the addition of a Black Bean Burger was the perfect fit," she says.
Casual chain has two new vegetarian dishes they're featuring targeted specifically for Lent, available through April 18:
- Tuscan Grilled Cheese has Provolone, basil, spinach, roasted tomato, and pesto aioli on grilled sourdough.
- Avocado + Spinach is a breakfast wrap sandwich with scrambled eggs, avocado, cheddar, and spinach in a tomato basil tortilla with green chile salsa. Though breakfasty in nature, it's available all day.
About a quarter of their menu entrées are plant-based, and their goal is to increase that to at least 50 percent. They've introduced a plant-based entrée in every category of their menu.
Plant-based options for lunch and dinner include:
- Baja Bowl, with cilantro lime brown rice, quinoa, black bean & corn salsa, salsa verde, grape tomatoes, fresh avocado, feta and Greek yogurt.
- Mediterranean Bowl, with cilantro lime brown rice, quinoa, arugula, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, hummus, lemon tahini dressing, feta and Greek yogurt.
- Greek Salad, with Romaine, grape tomatoes, feta, red onions, kalamata olives, salt and pepper tossed in Greek dressing with a pepperoncini.
- Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, with Peppadew piquant peppers, feta, cucumbers, emerald greens, tomato, red onion, and hummus on Tomato Basil.
Panera also has 10-vegetable soup, tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich, and a hilarious mac & cheese sandwich with cavatelli pasta, fontina and mozzarella cheese, and parmesan crisps on toasted thick-sliced white miche bread. A killer Green Passion Smoothie has spinach, peach and mango purees, white grape juice, and passionfruit juice, blended with ice.
- Impossible burger
- whole grain veggie burger
- Tuscan white bean salad
- original baked potato (ask them to hold the bacon)
Mega-coffee chain has a new nondairy drink: the Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. It's a blonde espresso, shaken with caramelized vanilla and topped with creamy oatmilk, featuring layers of caramelized vanilla and nondairy creaminess. It joins the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, a blonde espresso with brown sugar–flavored syrup, cinnamon, and oatmilk, also nondairy and a fan favorite.