Sticking to your vegetarian guns abroad can be tricky. Most airline food on lengthy flights is off-limits, and you never really know the food-culture of your destination until you get there.
My last minute google searches of Indonesian food promised endless dishes of protein-rich tempeh. Even though I didn’t find a hint of tempeh anywhere – and very little of tofu – eating on the veg in Bali (or probably any Asian country) can be a cinch.
No matter how touristy or western-oriented, almost every menu offers basic Indonesian food.
Gado Gado is a popular dish of boiled veggies and fried tofu with a pot of thick peanut sauce on the side.
Nasi Goreng, or super yummy Indonesian fried rice, is typically served with satay (skewered meat) and a fried egg on top. Since the meat is served on the side, you can easily order it without the meat, egg,
My personal favorite,lumpia (a.k.a. spring rolls) are usually meat-free; if not, local digs offer both versions.
If you can stand slurping up soup in the hot weather, there’s plenty to chose from. Pumpkin, asparagus, spinach water, and veggie noodle soups are cheap & tasty. Even better, vegetarian curry is another common (and delish) option.
An option to combat the heat is a fruit salad with ice cream – typically papaya, banana, pineapple, watermelon and lime. If you’ve never had watermelons soaked in vanilla ice cream, you have to try it! I pretty much loved off these every single day at lunch.
In addition, most eateries and buffets offer steamed and fried veggies in a variety of sauces, plenty of rice and a smaller selection of meat. My best advice would be to find the local, hole-in-the-wall type spots. All of them have a cute atmosphere (like candles, tablecloths and flowers) and have a friendly, accommodating staff. They also serve yummy offerings for as little as $1.50. Plus, although they try, the Balinese are much better at cooking up traditional dishes than western ones.