Moving to a new country can be difficult. Finding food that you can eat, particularly if you are a vegetarian, can be a concern for students when they arrive. Our ambassador from India and student of Data Analytics at DCU, Paritosh Gupta shares what meat-free options are available.

I get asked all the time “’s it hard being vegetarian in Ireland?” It can be difficult for anyone to adjust their food habits when you are moving to another country, especially when you are a vegetarian. I’m from India where you can get a wide variety of vegetarian food but in Ireland, it might be difficult to find the meat-free options everywhere you go. One thing that I noticed here is that, the fancier the dining is, the fewer the veggie options. Not all people understand vegetarianism (or veganism for that matter), so they might not know what exactly to offer. So, here are a few tips I have picked up and suggestions for when you are dining out or even cooking at home.

Avocado, tomato and sweetcorn kernels on a plate

  • There is a chance that you might not be able to find the veggie option while looking at a menu. Always check with your server for food options that can be served without meat.
  • Soup and french fries will be easily available in most places — these can be a good option for a quick bite.
  • Many of the fast food outlets or deli counters will offer wraps and salad bowls — this gives you the option to select your own ingredients.
  • When it comes to cooking at home, there are Asian stores which provide a variety of pulses, beans etc. which are a major ingredient for veggie people looking to get some protein. If you don’t know how to prepare chapati (Indian bread), don’t worry you can get frozen chapati, parathas, etc. in these stores.
  • Pre-soaked beans and chickpeas (almost ready to eat), garlic naan, microwave meals and frozen veggie pizza, are available in supermarkets like Lidl, Aldi or Tesco, which can be handy for vegetarian food that can be prepared really quickly.

I really hope these tips will be useful to you. Please share your own tips on eating well as a veggie in Ireland. You might even give me some new ideas!