Being mindful of your meat consumption and inclining towards vegetarian options doesn’t necessarily mean getting laden with raw vegetables, munching on them to no end, getting fed up and then going back towards dishes that rely heavily on meat. Here are just a few of the whole lot of deliciously light and refreshing options in Karachi, that don’t pack on the extra increase in uric acid and aren’t a bunch of leaves thrown together into a bowl and termed as a salad:
Three Cheese Wrap
Restaurant: The F Word
Light mayo (you won’t even notice the difference in taste from the full fat version), greek yoghurt and maple thyme dressing pair perfectly with the rocket leaves, brie, feta and parmesan. The wrap is then coated with butter or olive oil, depending on your preference and then panini-pressed, to get the wrap crisped up to your liking – the best part.
Pro tip: The F Word is the brainchild of Karachi’s infamous fitness power duo – Nusrat and Torsam. Everything from snacking options to meals are customised to the individual’s macros. Although, their already-prepped wrap options are delicious, they do offer a build-your-own bar with an array of choices – sort of like the adult, healthier version of Pick n Mix. You can choose from light mayo, lemon tahini, honey mustard, sriracha, maple thyme in terms of dressings and their seasonal veggies these days include pumpkin (autumn’s here!), iceberg, rocket, kale, mushrooms – these obviously, vary from season to season but you’ll want them all – they look that good. Their meat options range from chicken to turkey to slow-roasted pulled beef (but we’re steering clear of all the meat). Top this all off with cheddar cheese or parmesan, maybe even brie, and you’ve got yourself your own delicious creation.
The Beet-It Bowl
You don’t typically think of beets as being the most delicious vegetable on a planet and that’s why you don’t eat it nearly as often as you should. This nutritional powerhouse vegetable is perfect when it’s paired with blanched vibrant broccoli, burst-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes, fresh homemade ricotta, quinoa and brown rice. The creamy basil pesto sauce really ties all the veggies and grains together. If you eat with your eyes, the colours in this bowl of goodness will attract your eyes way before your tastebuds incline towards this deliciously refreshing pick-me-up-in-the-middle-of-a-slumpy-afternoon meal.
Make Your Own Wok
Restaurant: Chop Chop Wok
If you like to enjoy your Thai and Chinese dishes, Chop Chop Wok is the place to go, even when you’re on the look out for vegetarian options. Opt for tofu as your protein and play around with the sauces to see which one you like best.
Quinoa & Cranberry Salad
This salad packs a punch! We have a common misconception that salads taste like grass and this proves that’s not the case. With just the right amount of rocket leaves and quinoa, this salad is filling AF – definitely not for light snacking. The contrast in textures between the baked cherry tomatoes that burst in your mouth and the chewy, slightly tangy cranberries is phenomenal. The toasted pine nuts add the perfect amount of nuttiness and are again, another textural contrast. Who would’ve thought a salad could have so many flavours and textures are worked into it?
Caramelised Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza
This pizza is one of the best pizzas you’ll find in Karachi – hands down! It’s heavenly. Caramelised fig and goat cheese aren’t ingredients that you’d usually pair together, let alone pair together on a pizza. But the way they just explode flavours into your mouth, it’s insane. The way the sweet, caramelised figs work with the mellow goat cheese is phenomenal and the light, crispy crust – you’ll have to try it to believe it. If you’re not someone who likes sweet with savoury, this will change your mind – I hope! The best thing? It’s suitable for vegetarians.
All things fried
Cheese fries from Jucy Lucy
Vegetarian options aren’t always the healthiest and they aren’t meant to be either which means, we’re allowed to eat fries. The in-season, seasoned to perfection green beans are the perfect accompaniment to crispy fries and a sprinkling of cheese – gotta have that cheese pull. I don’t know how but the beans work with the fries, period. No questions asked.
Golden rings from Jucy Lucy
Imagine onion rings – they taste standard at every reputable fast food joint, pretty much. Multiply them by 3 in terms of size and double the amount of crisp; yep, you end up with Jucy Lucy’s Golden Rings. The special JL sauce ties the flavour together. Don’t make the mistake of ordering these as an appetiser – they’re very filling. You won’t have room in your tummy to tuck into a burger after these, unless you go with a VERY hungry tummy.
Okra fries from FLOC
FLOC is a cosy, little coffee shop that’ll turn you into a coffee lover in no-time. You go there with the intention of sitting in an aesthetic environment and working away on your laptop and before you know it, there’s coffee in front of you and you don’t even remember ordering it. Their okra fries are worth a special mention. They’re so crisp, not slimy at all (like okra tends to be) and so moreish, it’s delightful. Unlike other fried items, they don’t bog you down too much. They complement all the other items on FLOC’s menu, wonderfully.
This doesn’t mean you should completely rule out meat from your diet and never let it touch your tongue again. Sometimes, you just need to give your body a refreshing breather from heavy, greasy meat dishes and vegetarian options provide exactly that.