On my United flight to Taiwan, I found out that I could adjust my meal. United actually has a host of different meal types that passengers can choose from including:

  • Asian Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Kosher
  • Gluten-Free

Some are only available for certain flights, but there’s at least bound to be a vegetarian option.

Anyway, after discovering this, and noting my desire to avoid onions, I thought it might be good to go with the Asian Vegetarian option—I was, of course, going to Taiwan. Little did I know that Asian Vegetarian would not be Taiwanese stir-fry. Instead, what I got was Indian—and heavily onion-based at that.

My first meal was breakfast.

IMG 5784

Fruit, bread, nonfat yogurt… everything looks good so far.

IMG 5785

What is this? Mashed potatoes and…

Wait, are those onions?

As much as I tried to avoid the onions in this dish, it was too difficult. I ended up eating more of the fruit.

Lunch was much more substantive. They had lemon sorbet.

IMG 5780

The main course was this gyro-like thing which really just seemed like pita bread with ice berg lettuce in the middle.

IMG 5781

Here’s some mouth freshener that came with the meal. I had to give it a try. It tasted like eating a jar of licorice seeds—definitely an acquired taste.

IMG 5778

Dinner was a little more interesting. It included this grainy dish with lettuce.

IMG 5769

Here’s a closer look of the grain dish. Still not sure what it is, but it tasted a little like farro.

IMG 5774

I had a taste of pickled  veggies, but it was both too sour and spicy for me to really enjoy it. The veggies were also made into a paste, which I assume was meant to be spread on the flat bread that also came as a part of the meal.

IMG 5773

Here’s a photo of the flatbread wrapped in aluminum foil.

IMG 5772

The main part of this meal was curry with basmati rice.

IMG 5770

Being Indian, there was a bunch of onions in this dish. Luckily, the onions were pretty reduced, so the onion taste wasn’t as noticeable.

IMG 5767

For dessert, I got a gluten-free chocoolate chip cookie. It was really hard, but the chocolate chip taste was there.

All in all, for wanting to have an onion-free meal, I really stepped into the fire with these airplane meals.

For anyone who can and is interested in dining on Indian food, this may be a way to satisfy one’s palate. For anyone looking to avoid specific ingredients, it might be better to actually call ahead and ask the airlines for suggestions.

What’s your most interesting airline meal?