Subway offers lots of veggie, vegan options

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 20:00

(Editor’s note: If you think giving up meat to become either vegan or vegetarian will destroy your chances of eating out and you’ll have to say goodbye to eating out forever—think again. This monthly column explores the vegetarian and vegan opportunities in Eagle River and Anchorage area restaurants. Longtime vegetarian Ruth DeGraaff also looks at other healthy options available in area restaurants like whole grains and low fat.)

A quick sandwich at Eagle River Subway, near the light on Business Blvd., reveals plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Since they make the sandwich for you while you wait (and watch) you can be fully in control of what goes into it. If you’re vegetarian there’s a choice of omelet or cheeses to supplement. Even though the frozen omelets are listed as a breakfast item, most Subways will include them in your sandwich at any time of day. There’s also broccoli cheddar soup.

Subway offers what few fast food places do: whole grain bread. It probably isn’t as whole grain as the bread you’d make yourself — especially if you’re a purist — but it is much better than white bread at any rate. They offer two choices: 9 Grain Wheat and 9 Grain Honey Oat. In my opinion, Subway’s bread could be baked a bit longer, so I order mine toasted (if you’re still concerned you can always ask them to toast it again!).

Today, I’m going for a vegan sandwich, so I ask them to pile on all the veggies, minus the pickles and hot peppers. I ask for a double dose of tomatoes. I go for the light mayo — although in the back of my mind I’m thinking, avocado, but I don’t see it anywhere. Later I do see it on the take-out menu.

Personally, I’m not a great fan of chips, but I do notice that Lay’s baked chips have 20 or 35 calories from fat compared to the 130 calories from fat for their fried chips. There are also Sun chips Multigrain Harvest Cheddar and Garden Salsa with 60 calories from fat.

Caffeine-free Minute Maid bottled juices are available. While they aren’t “pure juice,” I think they are healthier than carbonated beverages. Lemonade is on tap as well.

A complete ingredients list of the menu items is also available at Subway.

Not eating out? Try this recipe at home. It’s a favorite with my husband. The first time I made this I used peanut potatoes from Bushes Bunches in the Valley.


“Fried” Potatoes

Without oil or butter!

Potatoes, scrubbed and diced in their jackets (as many as you need for your family)

1 large onion, diced

4 small sliced carrots

1 tablespoon salty kelp (in very small pieces like herbs would be) or ½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dried basil


Put diced onion in a heavy, lightly oiled pan (I brush the oil on with a pastry brush before I heat the pan); braise slowly with the lid on.

Chop potatoes in half inch cubes; add to the onion. Add basil, kelp and sliced carrots. Cook VERY slowly for 30 minutes. Check for doneness. Turn the fire up a little if they aren’t done and cover again and cook another 15 minutes. You’ll be surprised how much water comes out of the potatoes! Serve with catsup or another favorite condiment.


A vegetarian since 1964, Ruth deGraaff is retired and lives with her husband in Eagle River, after careers teaching in Pa., Ak. and in international schools. Her two grown children, raised on a vegetarian diet, still follow the diet themselves. She does volunteer work for Adventist Community Services (ACS) and is a member of the Eagle River Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Adventist Church promotes vegetarianism as part of its health program.

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