Vegan's Chronicles + Vegan

United Airlines Vegan Meals

I’m in LA!

It feels really weird to be back. In some ways, It’s like I’ve come back home, but then in others, I also feel pretty out of place, especially since my sister no longer lives in the same apartment complex that we used to live in with my grandparents. Also, I gotta say, I can’t help noticing how big everything is… random things like cars, muffins, shopping carts, and yes, people too, all seem bigger than I remember. Perhaps I’ve just been living in Korea for too long, where everything is miniature!

Anyway, let’s back up a bit.

My flight to LA (with a layover in SF) was long and uncomfortable, but for the most part, smooth-sailing. I think as I get older, being stuck on long flights just gets harder and harder for the body to tolerate. My butt gets numb, my feet and fingers swell up, and my neck gets terrible cramps from twisting myself into unnatural sleeping positions. United Airlines is also pretty ghetto in terms of in-flight entertainment- no personal movie screens! However, I will say that their vegan inflight meals were surprisingly decent, considering most airplane foods I’ve had in the past.

I always feel special when the flight attendants deliver my meal tray before anyone else, but rather than immediately digging in, I wait until my seat “neighbors” are also eventually served… I would just feel weird about eating before everyone else! Don't I have good plane etiquette? :)


"Chicken or beef?" No thanks. Veggies for me! For the first meal of the flight, the entrée was a square of polenta topped with some kind of ‘cheesy’ sauce, with sweet potato mash and sautéed veggies on the sides.


I think this was my first time ever having polenta! I have to say, it was softer than I imagined it to be… I always thought polenta was much firmer, but this was really smooth and almost creamy. It was quite delicious, especially when eaten with the luscious sweet potato mash.


I also got a bread roll, a little container of basil pesto sauce (nice), some herb-marinated eggplant, zucchini, and tomato (yum, yum, and yum), and a piece of watermelon and orange for dessert (can't go wrong with fresh fruit).

However, like most other in-flight meals, this wasn’t without some disappointment. My main complaint would be that the sautéed veggies next to the polenta were too greasy. I don’t like it when my food is surrounded by a little pool of oil… What is it with airplane food drowning with oiliness? It’s like the airline chefs don’t know how to make flavorful food other than to add lots of fat. Eesh. Also, the bread roll was very dry, to the point where no amount of vegan butter or basil pesto sauce could remedy its staleness. But other than that, it was pretty good, especially for airplane food standards.


Then just before we landed in SF, we were served breakfast. While the omnivores got a half-empty tray consisting of a sad-looking egg & ham English muffin sandwich and a yogurt cup, I got a full tray of tofu scramble, chickpeas in a tomato sauce with steamed asparagus, and potato mash, as well as another bread roll (much better than the first), a carton of soymilk, a tiny jar of maple syrup, and two fruit wedges.


I got way more food than everyone else, and mine was definitely more appetizing. The chickpeas were my favorite part of the whole tray, and I was grateful for the soymilk, for adding to some freshly brewed coffee. :)


All-in-all, both meals were better than expected and quite flavorful- much better than Air China's menu.

Anyhoo~ I'm thankful for safe travels and am happy to be back State-side. :)

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Relevant to: United Airlines Vegan Meals + Vegan