Although veganism is a trend that is catching on, it can still be very difficult to find vegan fast food. Most of the time, food at fast food restaurants contains meat or dairy (or both), so it can get tricky trying to find something to eat besides an undressed salad, since most dressings aren't vegan. And believe it or not, in some places, like McDonald's, even the fries aren't vegan because they are cooked in oil that contains animal products.

So throughout the past year since I've been vegan, I have gained quite a bit of knowledge about what you can and can't order at fast food restaurants as a vegan. Here are a few hacks I've come up with to get an actual vegan meal at these places so you're not just stuck with lettuce. 

Hack #1: Spice up a plain salad by adding fries or crushed chips.

The most basic hack is to order a salad, but be sure to ask for no cheese or meat. To make this salad actually filling and not just a bowl of veggies, add some fries (if they are vegan, of course) or crushed-up potato chips to add an extra crunch. As for the dressing, a safe bet is usually a balsamic vinaigrette, but make sure you check the ingredients before adding it to your salad. 

Hack #2: Most hamburger buns are vegan.

If a salad doesn't quite cut it for you, this should do the trick. Ask for a hamburger with no meat or cheese (and no mayo), and what you should get is a veggie sandwich. To make it really special, ask for a salad and use it to fill the sandwich a bit more with veggies. You can even go crazy and add fries to the sandwich.

I would suggest getting a few of these to fill you up. And of course, double check that the buns are vegan, but most fast food chains should be fine.

Hack #3: Sauce it up.

One of the best ways to make either a salad or sandwich taste way better is to add lots of sauce. For a sandwich, I would recommend ketchup and mustard. And if you're really up for it, then you could add sweet and sour sauce, if available, or barbecue sauce is sometimes even vegan.

For a salad, balsamic vinaigrette is usually safe as I mentioned earlier, but you can usually find other dressings that are vegan by simply searching the website.

Hack #4: Wendy's, Taco Bell and Subway are your best friends...

When it comes to fast food, these restaurants offer the most variety for vegans.

Wendy's has baked potatoes that are totally vegan when you ask for them plain. Add ketchup and a salad on the side and you're set.

At Taco Bell, you can ask for beans instead of meat on any item and "make it fresco," which replaces the cheese with pico de gallo. There are add-ins, like potatoes, that can make your tacos or burrito extra hearty.

As for Subway, a veggie sub never gets old with all the different veggie options Subway has to offer.

#SpoonTip: The Sweet Onion sauce at Subway is vegan, so load up!

Hack #5: ...and so is PETA.

Probably the most useful and quick way to find vegan options at almost any fast food restaurant is to search the restaurant on, and all the options for vegans at that restaurant should come up. 

Between the hacks above and PETA, you should be able to find something vegan at virtually every fast food restaurant. And although some options are better than others, at least you are choosing to be vegan even when it can be a bit difficult to find a satisfying meal. These hacks prove it is possible to be vegan pretty much anywhere, no matter the circumstances.