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Meatless Monday: Meatless @ Taco Bell

How well does the Bell hold up as a meatless sell?

by Alexander Quebec

I love Taco Bell, no really.

I love them as one of my top two national fast food chains (the other being Jack in The Box). The Irvine based company has been around for a good 50 years or so, introducing America to a bastardized version of classics that were otherwise unheard of in Mexico. Granted, as a half Mexican, it seems a bit odd that I would be caught dead in one, but as a late night owl who sometimes burns the midnight oil, it’s one of my go-to places when all of the other places are done for the day.

It was only a few years ago that Taco Bell was voted the healthiest fast food chain in America. This, of course, is true if you don’t mind the level of sodium and other not so good stuff the menu has. If you’re aware of what you’re doing, however, you can usually dodge all of that stuff and alter the items to your tastes and specific health needs (Fresco Style: Not as fun, but then again, adulting isn’t supposed to be fun). There have also been articles by many vegetarian and vegan bloggers on how to make Taco Bell vegetarian/vegan-friendly, to which the chain has responded by even creating a Vegetarian menu option on their mobile app.

Of course, being Meatless Monday, I felt that it was time to give the meatless options at Taco Bell a try. Now, there were a few things that I tried, and I made some substitutions with the items to make them meatless, but these two items were the ones that turned out the best: The Power Menu Bowl and The Grande Scrambler.

The Power Menu Bowl appears to be a response to Chipotle taking away some market share from Taco Bell, but it works well. It’s typically priced a bit lower than the bowls at Chipotle and I can usually get them pretty quickly, so when it comes to both time and money, they’re the best way to go. I usually order mine with chicken and no rice or black beans, subbing with refried beans. For this bowl; however, I went meatless and kept the black beans, rice, and added some refried beans and extra cheese.

There’s lettuce, so, therefore, it’s a salad, eh? eh?… hey, where are you going?

Not bad, filling but it doesn’t make you feel heavy. That seems to be a recurring theme for a lot of the vegetarian foods we’re trying.

For breakfast, here’s the hacked burrito I made. I know the staff at this particular Taco Bell location on a first name basis, which shows you how healthy I eat.

This is how I imagine a clogged artery looks like.

Now, for this modification, you’re gonna have to actually speak to someone at the cash wrap, as the option to add refried beans to the burrito is not available on the mobile app (c’ mon guys, make that happen). Aside from changing the meat out for the beans, I haven’t really modified much. Overall, not bad, pretty filling without being heavy on the gut.

So that has been my Meatless Monday Experience with Taco Bell. Any other hacks or mods we should try?

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