The Globetrotter Cookbook

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Keeping up the blog (a reflection)

Since launching The Globetrotter Cookbook back in September of last year, I’ll admit it’s had its ups and downs. Writing a weekly post, sharing recipes that I feel proud of and developing stories that people want to read is intimidating. And when you only have yourself to hold to account? Even more difficult.
Sometimes I need to stop and reflect on why I started this blog. I talked to other new and seasoned bloggers about this, and found these are common struggles and insecurities.

picnic parc tete d'or lyon

I just want to eat and travel for a living… is that so hard?

One of the bloggers who reached out to me was Maria from Travel Bliss. We connected through Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging Course over our love for traveling and sharing stories, but also the fact that we are new to blogging and needed some motivation. Maria sent me some questions that really got me thinking about why this project is so important to me. This post is a little different from what I normally write, and some answers are a little personal, but I hope that by sharing, this little community can grow closer.

1.     What is the inspiration for starting The Globetrotter Cookbook blog?

Anybody who knows me knows that I can’t stand so-called inspirational quotes. It basically kills me to reference Tony Robbins, but he has a quote that pinpoints the reason why I started blogging:

I have always been adventurous – my mom likes to remind me that as a child I would frequently “run away”, not because I was mad at her, but because I voraciously craved adventure. She even helped me pack sandwiches to take on the excursions to my hideout under a bush in the alley behind our house.

And nothing’s really changed. I moved to Spain after university to teach English, satiating my wanderlust while earning a half-decent paycheck. Fast forward to 4 years later, and I’m still here. What was meant to be a temporary “see the world” job seems to be turning into my career. Sure I like teaching, and I love my little munchkins. But when it comes down to it, teaching isn’t my passion.

esl in spain

Mauled by loving Kindergardeners… not the worst part of my job!

I was on a flight from Paris to Budapest last Spring thinking about how I could change directions. I had been “working to live” instead of “living to work” for so long that it took a little bit of pondering to remember my passions : travel, food and sharing both with friends and people I meet on Couchsurfing!

The reality is at 25, I’m starting to think more about my future and attempting to mould myself into the person I want to be. Becoming a successful blogger may be a far-off dream, but as I see it, now is the time to try. What have I got to lose?

barranquismo spain juzcar canyoning

I’m a risk-taker, just look at me jumping down this waterfall in Juzcar, Spain!

2.     What is the one special thing which drives you to travel?

Ironically, my motivation to travel stems from one of my worst qualities: my short attention span. I am easily bored, and staying in one place makes me feel confined, anxious and at the worst times, depressed. This attribute is what pushes me to travel – I constantly crave new, different experiences: moving around helps to satiate this hunger, however briefly. It does worry me sometimes that I’ll never settle down, but I’m content with burying that insecurity away for now.

toledo gardens spain

Enjoying the sun in Toledo, Spain. No need to overthink things.

3.     What are the hardships you faced in setting up your blog?

Before I started my blog, I did a lot of talking. I was so excited to share my plans for The Globetrotter Cookbook, and everyone around me seemed to think it was a stellar idea. I received so much encouragement that the day I first launched the blog, I thought it would be an instant success, at least within my in-circle. Turns out, most of my friends haven’t subscribed to receive notifications on my blog. Many haven’t even given me a “like” on Facebook. When we hang out, it’s more than obvious they don’t read my posts. How’s that for a reality check?

What I’ve learned is that although friends and family can admire and support you doing what you love, they may not actually be interested in the product, at least not to the same degree as you. And that’s fine. I believe there are people who have a genuine interest in what I’m doing, and I am determined to reach out to them.

bubble tea night market vancouver

Now if only I could get people to get as excited about my blog as I was about this bubble tea…

4.     How long do you like to travel for? What’s been your longest trip?

I am constantly travelling, and my “trips” have many different durations. For example, there are many beautiful pueblos blancos (villages where all the buildings are painted white) close to where I live, and I often pop over just to have lunch and take some pictures. Other times I wait until I have a work holiday and will jet off to Lyon, France for a week. I have also done the Camino de Santiago, which was a backpacking journey that lasted 36 days. In the summer, I’ll go back home to Vancouver, Canada and spend a couple months there. The short answer is: the duration of my trip is however long I have! Time should never be a constraint.

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Zahara de los Atunes, Cadiz, Spain

camino shared meal

Enjoying a meal with my friends on the Camino de Santiago – this is what it’s all about!

5.     How do you strike a balance between work and travel? How do manage to fund your travels?

As a part-time English teacher, time is hardly an issue when it comes to traveling. I work afternoons Monday-Thursday, so I have three day weekends as far as the eye can see! In addition, I get all of the bank holidays off (there sure are a lot in Andalusia!) plus school holidays.

gibraltar monkey

Chatting with a Gibraltar local 😉

Despite the fact that I’m well paid for my time compared to normal Spanish salaries, my income is fairly modest. I also don’t get paid for summer months when the academy closes, so I have to keep that in mind if I don’t want to work at an English summer camp (bless all of you who do, I don’t have the stamina!). I am able to afford my trips by adopting a minimalist lifestyle. I rarely buy clothes, cosmetics or other items for the sake of having them. Not only is this better for the environment and takes a stance against consumerism, it’s a lot easier to get up and move on to the next destination if you have nomadic tendencies like yours truly!

mallorca pastries

Weekend trip to Mallorca and learning how to make pastries with these locals!

6.     In your opinion, which is the best countryside destination in the world?

To be completely honest, I’m a city girl, and most of my trips have been to cities. However, I absolutely love visiting the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s surrounded by mountains and has the most gorgeous lakes. Europeans may be surprised that you can find some of the best wine ever there, and oh my god the FRUIT! Amazing. It’s a great area to for hikes and check out the wildlife, just watch out for rattlesnakes! My friend Sam has some amazing hiking recommendations in this area on her blog, Explore the Map that you should definitely check out.

penticton mountain goats british columbia

The mountain goats I snapped in Penticton, BC.

7.     How do you travel? Solo, with a partner, friends or with family?

After completing a degree which attracts internationally-minded people and having lived in 3 different countries over the past 5 years, I am lucky to have met people from all over the globe. I now choose my travel destinations based on who I know and where they’re living. It emboldens me to open my mind to towns or cities off the classic list like Paris, London, Rome (which are all still awesome, mind you). Why not Sighet in Hungary? Saint Amand Tallende in France?  Not only does this allow me to visit an old friend, it provides me with a local tour guide and sometimes even free accommodation! So essentially I travel solo, while freeloading off my pals. Just kidding, I’m a good guest and always take them out or cook them up some delicious vegetarian food!

paris eiffel tower couchsurfing

Under the Eiffel Tower with my friend, Arthur.

budapest couchsurfing

Overlooking Budapest with Zsani.

8.     Have you ever taken up a course / class like wine tasting, cheese making, photography, dance class etc. while traveling?

I did a wine tasting at the Chateauneuf du Pape winery in the Rhone Alpes region of France while I was studying in Lyon. Alas, at 20 years old on a student tour, I spent more time getting excited about being able to drink really expensive wine than savouring and trying to understand its intricacies.

9.     Which has been your favourite travel destination till date?

Yikes! It’s like having to choose my favourite child! I have such fond memories of my exchange in Lyon and picnicking in Le Parc de la Tête d’Or and rowing on the lake. I was stunned by the gorgeous gothic buildings of Edinburgh against the green rolling hills. And Berlin! The coolest city I have ever been to. You can’t make me choose! You can’t!

 

A windy day at Edinburgh Castle.

A windy day at Edinburgh Castle.

berlin gate

At the Berlin Gate.

10.    If you could change one thing about the way you travel, what would it be and why?

I am quite careless with my things, and ironically I’m the worst with misplacing my passport. The night before my trip I am always flipping my apartment upside down looking for it. It’s a nightmare, and it should be a simple correction to make… yet I never learn.

Thank you so much Maria for helping me to reflect on the reasons for why I blog!

Have you got a blog? What keeps you motivated to keep it up?

What I ate: MadrEAT Food Truck Festival

A couple weeks ago I decided to hop on the train to Madrid, and on arrival I realized how spoiled the expat lifestyle has made me. Back in 2015 after two years of teaching in Madrid, I was SO ready to leave. I felt anonymous and swallowed up in the city’s greatness. It was too busy and landlocked, making me feel claustrophobic, trapped. That’s why when I got a job offer in Jerez de la Frontera, a small little flamenco town famed for its wine and only a stone’s throw away from the beach, I couldn’t pack my bags fast enough!

Fast forward to a year and a half later living in this small town, the rhythm of flamenco shoes stomping out a buleria next door has started to lose its magic, and I find myself craving the city life again. That’s why taking the trip up to Madrid was so important for me. Irritating though it is, the grass does always seem greener on the other side!

One of the things I’ve craved most is having a variety of food. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tapa, but tradition is so strong in Jerez that once you’ve been here a few months, you start to realize that the restaurants’ menus are almost identical to one another. The philosophy with food here is that you can never go wrong with the classics. This may be true, but my favourite part about going out to eat is trying new, innovative and creative dishes. I want to be excited by my meal.

Well I was in luck, because on arrival, I found out the MadrEAT food truck festival was in town!

food trucks in Madrid

Some of the 40 food trucks at MadrEAT.

For such a modern a city, the food truck culture in Madrid is surprisingly not as mainstream as in North America. This could be because many of the streets in the center of Madrid are narrow, and any extra space is allotted to their famed terrazas (terraces). I’m not complaining, who doesn’t want to sit out in the sun with a glass of sangria? However, the American craze hits Madrid once monthly in the spring and summer months with an event called MadrEAT, hosted by Mateo & Co. It’s not only a fun way to spend the afternoon eating and drinking, but allows new chefs to premier their restaurants and for more well-known ones to test out new gastronomic concepts.

Unfortunately for vegetarians and vegans, the meaty food culture is dominant despite Madrid’s multicultural atmosphere. That being said, I was happy to find at least one veg-friendly option at each truck, some more imaginative than others (I mean, I love avocado rolls, but c’mon, sushi has so much more potential!).

La Vermuneta

la vermuneta zorro vermut food truck madrid

Having my first glass of vermouth with my friend Tegan.

Our first stop was at the vermouth bar, La Vermuneta – a word play on “vermouth” and “camioneta” (truck in Spanish) – for an aperitif. Vermut is a fortified wine with herbal and fruity notes, and a very typical Madrileña drink.  I was excited to try a white vermouth which was had a lighter taste than the classic red. It was the perfect cocktail for a summery Saturday in March (Canadian friends, please don’t hate me!). And for 2 euros a glass, there’s no need to skimp! (I had at least four…)

Vermouth selection at la Vermuneta madreat food trucks

Vermouth selection at la Vermuneta

La Cuchara

cheese sticks food truck madrid

Leyla showing off the goods (I’m talking about the cheese sticks!)

My friend Leyla showed up with her first purchase from La Cuchara, a Venezuelan food truck :Tequeños, a.k.a. cheese sticks for the less cultured among us (confession, I didn’t know either…). I would have been satisfied with just their yummy melty goodness, but they came with a chilli dipping sauce which absolutely brought it up a level! Suffice to say, they didn’t last long.

A delicious vegetarian arepa with fresh cheese, fried plantain and guacamole. madreat

A delicious vegetarian arepa with fresh cheese, fried plantain and guacamole.

Also at La Cuchara, I ordered a veggie arepa. I had never tasted an arepa before – I liken the texture to bagel roadkill, minus the car grit. Okay, so maybe my descriptions need some refining – I did really enjoy it!

An arepa is chewy like a bagel, but flat like pita or naan. Delicious! The textures and flavours were really well-balanced – the fresh cheese was salty and chewy, the plantain was crispy, gooey and slightly sweet and the cilantro packed guacamole packed an extra punch of yum. It was a bit messy to eat, but definitely worth getting your face dirty for.

veggie arepa from la cuchara, Venezuelan food truck madreat

My first bite of arepa. As you can see, ¡me gusta!

La Trastienda

truffle croquettes from la trastienda madreat food trucks

Truffle croquettes.

It just wouldn’t be Spain without croquetas, so the La Trastienda truck was next. Yours truly fancies herself a bit pija (Spanish for posh) and pounced on a truffle croquette priced at €3.50. Yes, for one single croquette. I know, I could have purchased two alcoholic drinks for that, but shhhhhhhh.  Then again, the groans of pleasure I made gobbling it down drowned out the cries of protest from my wallet. Totally worth it.
Leave a comment if you challenge me to make a budget version at home!

truffle croquette food trucks madreat

A not so flattering picture of me sampling the croquette.

La Virgen Cerveceria

la virgen beer cerveza madreat food trucks

The selection of La Virgen beers.

I can never get enough of artisanal beer, and la Virgen provided! I tried the lager and the IPA, and they were both really refreshing and full-flavoured. I like this company a lot because it’s a small business that uses only local natural ingredients and no additives. They are also very environmentally conscious and reuse the leftover hot water from previous batches to make the next ones. Basically they tick all my boxes – refreshing, flavourful and environmentally conscious. What’s not to love?

caña la virgen food trucks madrid

Enjoying my caña 🙂

beer cerveza la virgen madrid madreat food trucks

My friends Aljaz and Zsani enjoying the IPA.

El Capitan Samosa

samosas capitan samosa food truck madreat

Samosas on display.

I was really excited to try the samosas from the El Capitan Samosa because there aren’t any Indian restaurants back in Jerez. At €1.50 per samosa, it was one of the cheaper vegetarian options at the fair. Vegans can also dig into their beetroot hummus. I tried the mushroom and the classic Indian samosa. They were tasty, but nothing like authentic Indian food. They rather reminded me of croquette filling wrapped in filo pastry. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the rice pudding samosa, which I viewed as a more successful attempt at fusion of Spanish and Indian cuisines.

beet hummus food truck madreat capitan samosa

Beetroot hummus – I didn’t purchase it because I was too full, but I loved what I sampled!

What else is there for vegetarians?

I couldn’t manage to taste everything, but here are some other vegetarian options I want to try next time at MadrEAT:

1. The Vegan Burger at Gala (shiitake mushroom burger with rucula, fried onion, vegan mayo and tartar sauce)

burgers gala madreat food trucks

 

gala caramelized onion and goat cheese burger food trucks madreat

My friend Zsani enjoying a burger with caramelized onion and goat cheese. Yum!

2.  Carrot Cake at Madalenas de colores (it looked so cute!)

3. Wine from The Flying Cow wine bar (the truck was adorable!)
flying cow wine bar madreat food trucks

If you’re in Madrid April 21, 22 or 23, be sure to check out the event at Paseo de la Castellana 89, Metro stop Nuevos Ministerios.

madreat food truck festival april

Are you into the food truck trend? What’s the best food you’ve ever eaten from a food truck? Let me know in the comments!

Nostalgia Bites: Bonding Over Bobotie

I always was nervous going to my grandparents’ house as a child. I always felt obliged to act so proper. Dinnertime was the worst, even though Granny was an excellent cook. Elbows were to be kept off the table (of course), and any minor childish misdemeanor would be met with a shrill British-accented “That’s not one of the social graces!” The gorgeous and authentic curries that graced our plates were impossible to appreciate alongside such a stressful ambiance.

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Globetrotter Gaffes: My Foggy Failure on the London Eye

If you have come here to delight in spectacular views of London, I regret to inform you that you have been misguided. The following tale is not even slightly uplifting, and the grey haze overwhelming the accompanying pictures will not inspire any #wanderlust or retweets.

To those who read this post to its tragic end, I can offer one consolation.  Such accomplishment merits a drink, and I have provided a tasty recipe that may just be enough to drag you out of your impending depression. Alas, the London Fog is not an alcoholic beverage, so you will almost immediately be met with further disappointment and woe. You’re probably best skipping this blog post altogether and visiting happier places on the internet such as here or here.

Still reading? This isn’t reverse psychology, I promise. Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Foggy london eye up close

A tragically artsy-fartsy photo from my miserable misadventure.

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Cooking with Couchsurfers: Victor from Taiwan

Victor is a wine aficionado from Taiwan, and the first Couchsurfing guest to appear in the Globetrotter Cookbook blog. He spent a month travelling through Spain, staying mostly with generous hosts who showed him the best places to sip the country’s famous vinos – from fruity red Rioja in Logroño to the dry Fino sherry in Jerez.

Victor couchsurfing taiwan

Meet Victor!

Txokos: The secret societies of Basque Country

Naturally, wine pairs best with food. While planning his trip to the Iberian Peninsula, Victor stumbled upon the secret world of txokos (pronounced tcho-koh): private gastronomical societies scattered around Basque Country. Members gather to cook, drink and socialize in restaurant-grade facilities. To participate, members bring the ingredients, and under an honour system deposit dues into a wooden box. These fees are put toward cleaning and maintaining the basic stock and supplies.

A typical txoko in Basque Country

A typical txoko in Basque Country

Victor was disheartened to learn that txokos are exclusive societies and do not open their doors to tourists. By chance, his Couchsurfing host in San Sebastian, Antonio, was a txoko member, and invited Victor along to cook with him and his friends. His  Couchsurfing experience was transformed into something even more special and authentic, proving that connecting with locals is the best way to travel!

Cooking in a txoko in Basque Country

An exclusive look into the txoko kitchen.

Couchsurfing dinner in the txoko.

Couchsurfing dinner in the txoko.

Vegetarian food in Taiwan

Sharing is my favourite part about hosting travellers – and Victor shared many interesting things about food culture in Taipai, Taiwan. I learned that not only is Taiwan home to many vegetarian Buddhists, cooking at home is not so common because kitchens are small and stocking cupboards with ingredients is less economical than eating out. Cities offer many street food stands that provide cheap food and lots of vegetarian and vegan options.

In the Couchsurfing spirit of sharing, Victor cooked me up two Taiwanese vegetable recipes straight from his mum’s kitchen.  Now, prepare for your mouths to water because I’m going to share them with you.

Taiwanese vegan rice bowl

Taiwanese veggie rice bowl

Print Recipe
Victor's Taiwanese Cabbage and Mushrooms
These vegetable side dishes were shared by my Couchsurfer friend, Victor, and are a staple in Taiwanese cuisine. Eat them alone with rice for a vegan option, or put an egg on it for extra protein and deliciousness!
Taiwanese vegan rice bowl
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Taiwanese Cabbage
Taiwanese Mushrooms
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Taiwanese Cabbage
Taiwanese Mushrooms
Taiwanese vegan rice bowl
Instructions
Taiwanese Cabbage
  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan to high heat. Throw in the halved garlic cloves and sautée until they are brown in colour, but not burnt (about 1-2 minutes)
  2. Add in your chilli and minced garlic and sautée for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Toss in your cabbage and mix together. Sprinkle with salt to help the cabbage cook down. Cook until wilted, but still crunchy (about 3 minutes). Serve with rice.
Taiwanese Mushrooms
  1. Marinade your mushrooms in the alcohol for about 5-10 minutes. This step is optional, but it will give your mushrooms a sweeter taste.
  2. Toast your ginger on medium heat for about 2 minutes, then add the sesame oil and cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Once the ginger is tender, add in your mushrooms and sautée until cooked through (about 5-7 minutes).
  4. Season with salt to taste, and serve with rice.
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These recipes are a great addition to your travel-recipe arsenal because the ingredients are cheap and easy to find. You don’t even need soy sauce because the garlic and salt bring out all the flavour you need – I was skeptical, but trust me on this one! Both dishes are vegan, but if you are vegetarian, I strongly recommend topping your dish with a fried egg with a runny yolk. No explanation needed.

put an egg on the veg

I was a little upset that I broke my yolk for the photo, but my tastebuds sure didn’t complain!

Do you Couchsurf? What have you cooked up for your hosts? Let me know in the comments!

4 Oven-less Christmas recipes

Are you spending Christmas in hostels rather than at home? Have you only got a backpack and passport to your name? Are you going to be missing the comforts of roast dinners that normally symbolize the holidays? If you answered yes to the previous questions, I dedicate this post to you!

Food and family sum up the holidays for me, and if I can’t afford a ticket home to Vancouver this year to see my parents and sister, well I simply refuse to also forgo stuffing my gut with delicious Christmas grub.

christmas dinner

As such, I have developed FOUR holiday recipes that can be made with very few supplies, and best of all, NO OVEN NEEDED! You can make ALL of these recipes with only a frying pan or pot, a knife for chopping, a spoon for stirring, and a stove top. Each recipe calls for very few ingredients and is cheap and quick to make. Make them for your Couchsurfing host, or gather your hostel buddies together for a globetrotter Christmas feast!

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Vegan tapa series: setas al ajillo

I remember back in 2013 when I moved to Madrid and discovered setas al ajillo, a garlicky, earthy tapa often served in a sizzling in a clay-dish in the north of Spain. Making them at home is a whiz – only 5 ingredients (minus the salt), and it only takes 15 minutes to whip up! Plus, is there anything more fabulous then garlic sizzling in olive oil perfuming the house? I don’t think so! After devouring, make sure you’ve got some bread to wipe up the drippings, that’s the best part!

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Nostalgia bites: vegan sausage rolls

I finally have my Christmas-NYE plans: I’m going to LONDON! My god was it ever complicated! I had expected it to be expensive, but it turns out throwing money in exchange for a roof is complicated in this city during the holidays.  What seemed like one million attempts later, after sorting through scams and making multiple phone calls, my boyfriend and I have FINALLY booked an Airbnb. Hurrah!

This calls for celebration! And of course if you know me, that means popping open a bottle of wine and snarfing down on something delicious whipped up in my kitchen!

I present to you: VEGAN SAUSAGE ROLLS!

Vegan sausage rolls, served with harissa and ketchup dipping sauce.

Vegan sausage rolls, served with harissa and ketchup dipping sauce.

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Fried eggplant with honey (vegan tapa series)

Crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside, this tapa is the perfect balance between sweet and savoury.  I’m talking about berenjenas con miel, fried eggplant with honey drizzled overtop, my go-to vegetarian sharing plate.

crescent-berenjena-con-miel-bite

These little fried disks of heaven are on almost every menu in Spain, and it’s not just a vegetarian favourite – my omnivore friends insist on ordering it every time we go out.

Traditionally, this tapa is dressed with honey, which is not exactly vegan-friendly (depending on who you ask). I have also seen it served with molasses, but it’s not as common, at least in the south of Spain. At home, you can use agave or maple syrup – my personal choice – in place of honey if you’re bee-sensitive. If you want one more twist, dribble on some balsamic crema. You do you!

Canada meets Spain in a pancake-style tapa of eggplant and maple syrup.

Canada meets Spain in a pancake-style stack of eggplant and maple syrup.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you probably have most of the ingredients on hand: an eggplant, flour, (veggie)milk, oil, salt, and liquid sweetener. We will also be making a flax “egg” to bind the dry ingredients to the eggplant slices. It sounds intimidating, but all you need is ground flax and water, mix ‘er up and leave for 15 minutes in the fridge. To make the eggplant extra crispy, dip the disks in breadcrumbs. It’s not traditional, but you’ll thank me once you take a bite!

berenjenas-con-miel-eggplants-and-honey-ingredients

Crispy, savoury, sweet AND fried. Can it get any better?

The final product!

Print Recipe
Berenjenas fritas (fried eggplant)
"Berenjenas con miel" or fried eggplant with honey, is by far one of my favourite vegetarian tapas in Spain. Here you have a vegan version to make at home!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Passive Time 1-2 hours
Servings
people (as a side dish or tapa)
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Passive Time 1-2 hours
Servings
people (as a side dish or tapa)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Slice eggplant into disks no thicker than 1 cm. Cover with milk and add a pinch of salt. Let soak for 1 hour. This will help get rid of the eggplant's natural bitterness and also help to avoid it absorbing too much oil when frying.
  2. Combine ground flax and water and refrigerate for at least 10-15 minutes or until it reaches a gelatinous consistency.
  3. Drain your eggplant. Set up a dredging station with flour and your flax "egg". Pat your eggplant slices dry, dip into the flax egg and then coat with flour. If using breadcrumbs, first dredge in flour, then the flax egg, then the breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan to medium-high heat. Once hot, add your eggplant slices in batches. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or your oil will cool and your eggplant won't cook evenly. Fry on each side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Transfer to a dish lined with paper towel to absorb the oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt immediately.
  6. Drizzle with maple syrup or molasses and serve immediately.
Share this Recipe

Of course, you gluten-free folk, I’ve got you covered! This recipe is totally adaptable and doable with G-F flour and breadcrumbs.

If you make this, let me know in the comments or tag me on instagram with your photos! I love seeing what you cook up!

Arte y Sabor: Spanish fusion food in Seville

It’s a really strange day for all of us after the US election results were revealed last night. I notice a lot of people are expressing disbelief and fear on social media, many declaring that they will leave the USA. I am not an American, and I have no intention for this website to get political, but I do want to say a few words. I encourage everyone to travel, to see other cultures, to experience life in a different way, broaden your horizons and all that beautiful shit, BUT PLEASE don’t do it to escape. NEWSFLASH, this phenomenon of anti-establishment voting and xenophobia is being felt in many Western countries. (Remember Brexit? Look at Greece and France too!)  No matter how or whether or not you voted in this election, it’s our responsibility as citizens of ALL COUNTRIES to protect the vulnerable and stand up for our rights. Do not let fear defeat you, let it motivate you.

Posted last night on my instagram.

Posted last night on my instagram.

Now that’s off my chest, I’m not gonna lie, you may want to escape temporarily for a quick vacation to close your eyes to the chaos. Well, last weekend I was in Seville and went to a favourite restaurant of mine that I think you should visit too, Arte y Sabor!

arte-y-sabor-instagram

Credit to Arte y Sabor instagram

Arte y Sabor is a vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurant nestled in the Alameda de Hercules in the city centre. In order to appeal to Spanish locals who are slow convincing to join the veggie game, it offers meat and fish dishes, but almost everything on the menu has a veggie option. It tips its hat to classic Spanish cuisine while incorporating flavours from other parts of the world. The atmosphere of the restaurant is artsy, yet simple and unpresumptuous, and their sharing plates follow suit with fair prices. I almost always stop here for a tapa when in Seville, and I think you’ll understand why when you see the pictures!

olives-and-canas

In true Spanish style, we were served complimentary olives to whet our palate. I love the aceitunas here as they are coated in parsley and cumin seeds, a small ode to the head chef’s birthplace, Morocco. I thought they were a bit stingier on the quantity than past visits, so they were devoured pretty quick.

What we ordered:

Croquetas caseras de espinacas con salsa de ajo blanco (Homemade spinach croquettes served with ajo blanco sauce – vegan)

spinach-croquettes-with-ajo-blanco-sauce-2
Croquettes are usually made with lots of butter and milk, so I was really surprised at how creamy the vegan version was. I don’t usually like cream sauces paired with fried foods, but as ajo blanco sauce is made from almonds, bread, garlic, oil and water, it didn’t seem heavy and added a nice additional flavour.

Salteado de setas al Pedro Ximenez (Sautéed Wild Mushrooms in Sweet Sherry Wine – vegan)

salteada-de-setas
On the menu this dish is usually served with foie, but we got the vegan option without. The medley of mushrooms was tasty paired with grainy bread, and the sweet Pedro Ximenez crema balanced out the dish rather well. I do think this would be very easy to replicate at home though, so maybe try ordering one of their other options and wait for my copycat recipe which will come out soon!

Timbal vegetariano  de queso granulado, almendras, cebolla y berenjena  sobre salsa de tomate (Vegetarian Timbale made with ricotta, almonds, onion and eggplant on top tomato sauce)

timbal-cheesy-goodness
As much as I’d have liked to try to make this a vegan day, we simply couldn’t resist ordering one cheesy dish. No regrets! Layers of eggplant sandwiching warm ricotta cheese and torched mozzarella on top swimming in a tomato sauce that was the perfect balance of sweet and acid. The little almond slivers gave a surprising crunchy element to the dish.

The total for this meal along with 4 small beers came to about 25 euros, split between two people. I totally recommend Arte y Sabor for vegans, vegetarians and the omnivorous among you looking for Spanish fusion food.

Other plates not pictured that I recommend (not pictured):

  • Ensalada de champiñones con queso gorgonzola (Mushroom salad with blue cheese)
  • Crema de coliflor (Cauliflower soup)

What are your favourite Spanish fusion dishes? Where is a restaurant that you always go back to? Let me know in the comments!

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Alameda de Hércules, 85, 41002. SEVILLA

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