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Essential iPhone apps for vegans

Whether you've always been a vegan, or are new to veganism, there are times when eating can be a challenge. Sure, you can plan your meals out and substitute this for that in a meal or recipe, but life happens, so here are the essential iPhone apps for vegans dealing with life happening.

When you don't want to be "that person"

Rather than staring at the menu, and burning a hole through it in the process, or asking the waiter what things can be removed or substituted, you could come into a restaurant fully prepared knowing what is or isn't vegan. This is what VeganXpress (USD $1.99) does.

The app has a list of popular restaurants and marries to it the vegan choices and substitutes available. For example, the app shows that the Fresco Bean Burrito (my personal fast food favorite) at Taco Bell, while the Seven Layer Burrito can be veganized sans cream and cheese.

In addition, the app provides an extensive listing of popular food items, beer and wine that fit the vegan bill. With it, I was able to comfortably buy a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, Hot Tamales and a couple of bottles of Chimay.

When you don't want to worry about being "that person"

But there's no need for fakin' a vegan meal when you can "facon" it instead (I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself), and this is what VegOut (USD $2.99) does. Powered by happycow.net, a popular restaurant guide amongst vegans, VegOut uses your iPhone's current location and gives you a list of vegan, vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants nearby along with user ratings. Alternatively, you can search for a restaurant, say "Italian" or "Thai," and the app will return a list of restaurants nearby, from which you can get driving directions to via the Google maps app.



When you want to cook

Why go out when you can make it yourself at home? For the Martha Stewart in us, the Vegan Recipe Finder (USD $2.99) by VegWeb and VeganYumYum (free) both are excellent apps. Vegan Recipe Finder stores over 13,000 vegan recipes on your iPhone (no Internet connection needed) and allows search, sort and bookmark them based on popularity. In addition, there's the ability to create a shopping list.

Although less robust (fewer recipes and lacking a shopping list feature) than Vegan Recipe Finder, VeganYumYum dishes up many a recipe to satisfy your vegan appetite. Best yet, it's free, and provides excellent instructions accompanied by elegant photos.

Are you a vegan and can't figure out what to eat? There's an app for that.

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