The Globetrotter Cookbook

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Category: vegetarian (page 1 of 4)

Vegetables à Brás with The Yogi Wanderer

I love taking a peek at the gorgeous vegetarian recipes that are being cooked up around the world. Today, we’re stepping into  travel blogger, The Yogi Wanderer, Vanda’s kitchen to sample her amazing vegetarian rendition of the typical Portuguese dish, Bacalau à Brás. We instantly connected over the fact that we are both traveling vegetarians, and so I invited her to share her story and best travel tips!

vegetables a bras yogi wanderer

 

Meet Vanda!

meet vanda from the yogi wanderer

Born on the small island of Azores Archipelago, Portugal, Vanda always dreamed of exploring the world and taking a stab at living in a big city. Her first big adventure happened when she moved to Lisbon to study, and then went on to pursue a career as a journalist. But living in a big city with a steady job wasn’t satisfying. “I remember sitting on my desk at work, looking out the window and thinking, ‘There’s a whole world out there to explore!’ I felt trapped in a job and a place that didn’t feed my soul,” she tells me. She decided to do a complete 180 and jump head first into becoming a full-time yoga teacher to learn more about her purpose in life and to help others do the same.

Recently, she left Lisbon for Zurich with her boyfriend to finally quench the thirst of discovering the world outside Portugal. She writes about these inner and outer journeys on her blog, The Yogi Wanderer. Since dipping her feet into the life abroad, she has no regrets. “I think I would like to go back to Portugal one day…I miss the sun! But so far living abroad has taught me a lot about myself and the world and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.”

How do you travel?

gondolas Venice Italy Yogi wanderer

Taking in the gondolas in Venice, Italy.

Traveling is not always comfortable. “I’m not a backpacker, but I wouldn’t say I’m a luxury traveler. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle.” Ever the curious person, she’ll try anything once. “From camping to cruising, I can’t say no to a new experience!” Vanda also points out that although it’s a thrill to get a great deal, it’s nice to splurge on the occasional indulgence.

If Vanda could recommend one thing to travelers it would be to travel slowly. “I’ve been increasingly trying to put it into practice myself,” she laughs. “It’s easy to rush from one place to the next when you just start traveling and want to see the most of every destination. But sometimes the more you see the less you truly experience each place you visit. Traveling is not about collecting countries in your passport but authentically connecting with each location and people. As I see it, that’s also the only way to learn about the world and yourself through travel.” I couldn’t agree more.

Traveling as a vegetarian

Becoming a vegetarian was simply a natural step for Vanda after discovering Yoga and its philosophy of non violence towards other living beings. She has been an ethical vegetarian for seven years and holds the firm belief that animals are not resources born into this world for human consumption or entertainment. Plus, meat consumption is one of the main causes of climate change.

Vanda is a lot more optimistic than I am when it comes to having dietary restrictions when traveling. When asked if it affects her trips, she simply stated “No, it doesn’t affect it at all! There’s no place in the world where you can’t find some kind of vegetables or fruit, so I don’t really even think about it while I’m planning or enjoying my trips.” Her other top tip? When all is lost, find an Italian restaurant! They’re everywhere! Vanda’s favourite meal was even at an Italian/Mediterannean restaurant in Zagreb called Agava. She raves about their tagliolini pasta with pumpkin and gorgonzola cheese, cool vibe and service.

View of Zagreb, Croatia.

View of Zagreb, Croatia.

Nevertheless, when it comes to her home country of Portugal, she admits that the vegetarian food culture is still trying to catch wind and most locals find the concept altogether weird. Nevertheless, in the bigger cities like Lisbon, things are starting to change. One of the country’s most typical dishes, Bacalhau à Brás, gained its own veggie version, replacing the cod with vegetables. It’s her personal favourite, and lucky us, she’s willing to share!

Recipe time!

Ingredients for Vegetable à Brás

Ingredients for Vegetable à Brás

Vanda’s Vegetables à Brás recipe is simple, fast and oh so comforting. It is a perfect example of Mediterranean cuisine which highlights earthy veggie flavours without involving complicated spices to confuse the palate. I really recommend trying her recipe, but the beauty of this dish is that it is easily adaptable to whatever vegetables you have on hand. Delicious alone or drizzle over a little spicy Portuguese Piri Piri for a kick!

Print Recipe
Vegetables à Brás
This is a vegetarian remix of the traditional Portuguese dish, Bacalau à Brás courtesy of my friend Vanda from The Yogi Wanderer. Super quick to make and extremely adaptable to whatever veggies you need to use up in your fridge.
vegetables a bras yogi wanderer
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
vegetables a bras yogi wanderer
Instructions
  1. Clean and thinly slice the white leek stalks. You don't need the green parts for this recipe. Chop up the mushrooms and grate the carrot.
  2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add leeks and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to help them break down, but not too much as the shoestring potatoes will add saltiness to the dish.
  3. Once leeks are soft, add mushrooms and grated carrot. While the vegetables are cooking, beat the eggs with a fork or whisk until the yolks and whites are blended.
  4. Once veggies are cooked through, take the pan off the heat and mix in shoestring potatoes and eggs.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and olives and enjoy!
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Vegan Ceviche

Print Recipe
Vegan Ceviche
This ceviche is colourful and oh so flavourful and you'll be shocked to find that it's completely vegan! Red onion, chili peppers, avocado and a twist of lime bring those familiar mexican flavours and textures to the secret non-fishy ingredient - hearts of palm! Best served cold and with your favourite tortilla chips, and perhaps a frozen margarita!
Vegan ceviche made with hearts of palm, courgette, red onion, chilli, avocado, lime and cilantro
Course Appetizer, lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Appetizer, lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
people
Ingredients
Vegan ceviche made with hearts of palm, courgette, red onion, chilli, avocado, lime and cilantro
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse the hearts of palm. Dice them up into small rounds.
  2. Peel the zucchinis and chop into small cubes. Do the same with the avocado.
  3. Finely chop your red onion and chilli pepper. If you don't like a lot of heat, remove the seeds first. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  4. Add all of the prepared ingredients into a mixing bowl or large tupperware. Add zest and squeeze in the juice of two limes. Carefully mix together. You can add salt if you wish, but as the hearts of palm are quite salty, this may not be necessary.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight so that the flavours can intensify. Serve with tortilla chips and a cold beer or margarita!
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7 reasons you should visit Geneva!

Perhaps since we’re only half-way through the year, the declaration of Geneva being my best trip of the year could be a tad premature. That said, for me this trip couldn’t have been more complete: I got to fill my gullet with copious amounts of wine and cheese, and to top it off, I was reunited with my best friend after two long years apart.

cordoba patio festival

The last time I saw Andrea, at the Cordoba Patio Festival in 2015

A lot of travelers are wary of Switzerland, and with good reason. It’s freaking expensive! Being a budget traveler, this trip was made much more accessible because I was able to stay with a friend. That’s the great thing about living abroad and traveling – you end up with some hot ticket friends in cool places willing to put you up! Because I was able to stay with a semi-local (Andrea is working for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for 6 months), I’ve got the inside scoop on how to enjoy the city for less. Get on Couchsurfing to save some accommodation dollars, because Geneva is amazing! Here’s why:

1. You can chill out at the lakeside spa

With Swiss prices sitting much higher than in most neighbouring countries, it’s easy to feel like a bit of a bum when in Geneva. However, even the budget traveler can treat himself to a day at Les Bains des Pâquis on Lake Geneva – 20 CHF in the winter (13 on Mondays) or 10 in the summer months. This price gives you access to 2 saunas, a Turkish bath, and 2 hammams (one of which is women-only). If you’re feeling brave, take a dip in the lake!

Warning: it’s a mixed bathhouse,  so you might will see some very naked men. If you’re squeamish about seeing stranger ding-a-lings, the baths offer a female-only day on Tuesdays.

bains des paquis lake geneva

Due to all the nude men, I couldn’t ethically take photos, but here is the lake where you can bathe.

Afterwards, if you can afford a little extravagance after a grueling day at the spa, indulge in a little cheese fondue. Is there anything better than melted cheese and bread? (Or potatoes if you’re gluten intolerant like my friend)? Yes, there is – pair it with chardonnay and you’ve got yourself an Instagram photo to be envied by all.

Bit pricey, but this is the best value in town – 23 CHF per person, and we splurged 35 CHF on the bottle of wine. Luxury comes at a price, but no regrets!

beach playa plage bains des paquies

Beachside at les Bains de Paquis – Crack open your supermarket wine here and enjoy the sun!

2. Wine, glorious wine!

Tasting Geneva’s best wine at Les Caves Ouvertes ?❤

A post shared by Alexandra Ogden (@theglobetrottercookbook) on


It was completely by accident that I found myself in Geneva for the 30th anniversary of Les Caves Ouvertes. About 90 vineyards in the Geneva region open their doors to the public for a wine tasting. It’s a great deal – you pay 10 CHF for a glass (that is yours to take home) and can sample as many varieties of wine as you desire. Rosé, pinot noir, merlot, chardonnay, cava… you name it! If you like a particular wine, they are available to purchase, but for the traveler paying his way on a non-Swiss salary it’s a fantastic way to sample Switzerland’s best wine for basically nothing. The villages are so picturesque, and there are even free shuttle buses to visit them all safely. This event only happens once a year in May, so book your trip accordingly!

3. All the bubbly cheesy goodness!

If you think the fondue should have been enough cheese, you are very very wrong. Nothing can satiate my desire for cheese! Feast your eyes on Switzerland’s most prized dish, raclette:


I’m pretty sure if you don’t have raclette while in Geneva, there’s a hefty fine you have to pay. Could be an urban legend, but I’m not taking any risks.

raclette geneva sardigny

Do you think this would take up too much counter space?

bubbly raclette

Bubbly, toasty goodness!

Served with potato, pickles and pickled onions raclette

Served with potato, pickles and pickled onions. Mmmmmm!

4. Picnic lunches are totally budget-friendly

Switzerland gets a bad rep for being pricey… and I’m not going to kid you, it deserves it. Even a falafel platter at the hole-in-the-wall Kebab will set you back around 20 francs (roughly 18 euros or 20 US dollars). However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the food in grocery stores isn’t insanely priced. Sure, it’s more expensive than its neighbour France, but you can make a decent meal for a reasonable price. Migros is one of the cheaper options, and a simple picnic-style lunch like the one pictured set us back about 15-20 francs between two people (minus the wine… I saw some wine on sale for 6 euros, but generally expect to pay at least 10 CHF for a decent bottle).

vegetarian picnic on the balcony

Picnic on the balcony: Hummus, olives, wine, cheese and veggies . What more could you wish for?

5. It’s home to the United Nations

It’s been four years since I graduated with a degree in International Studies, but the poli-sci student in me had a little bit of a freak out when I realized I would be granted access to the United Nations. Even if you consider yourself apolitical, I think the UN Palais des Nations is worth a visit. There aren’t many places where you can see such a mosaic of people from so many different places, many of whom are sporting the typical apparel of their country.

Entrance to the Palais des Nations

Through Andrea, I received a guest pass, but anyone can receive a one hour tour for 12 CHF. If you have a student card handy, you can get your ticket for 10 CHF. There’s a lot of gorgeous art to be admired, all donated by different member countries. This one particularly stood out to me:

A gift from Iran to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

A gift from Iran to the United Nations Human Rights Council

This painting was gifted to the Palais des Nations by Iran. The translation is haunting and humbling:

“Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and one soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, The name of human you cannot retain.” (Saad, Persian poet, 1210-1291)

Another attraction is the ceiling to the UNHRC conference room. It was designed by the Majorcan artist, Miquel Barceló, and imitates stalagmite rock formations and sea waves, merging two opposite worlds together. Each part is painted in different colours, so from wherever you stand you see the work from a different perspective. Barceló deems it a metaphor for our complex world. A gorgeous, yet terrifying piece, I couldn’t help but imagine that it also serves as a warning to delegates to be on their best behaviour, else a sharp rock formation should happen to fall…

UNHRC room miquel barcelo ceiling

6. Its history is so quirky!

Geneva’s historic buildings are quite unpretentious due to the Protestant Reformation that took place in the first half of the 16th century. Fancy, extravagant churches like those of Roman Catholics were rejected, and you can see a return to modesty in the architecture. Some houses in the old quarter don’t even have shutters to keep out the light because it was considered suspicious if people wanted privacy from they neighbours. For what was there to hide? To preserve this piece of history, new tenants still are unable to shield their windows.

A scene from the old quarter of Geneva

A scene from the old quarter of Geneva

However, there are some fancier monuments to behold. The one that really impressed me was the Brunswick Monument that sits right on Lake Geneva. You would think that this Brunswick guy must have done something really effing great to merit this spectacular commemoration on such prime real estate, wouldn’t you? Well turns out, he was just some filthy rich Duke who had no family to bequeath his enormous fortune to when he died, so in 1862 he offered the city of Geneva what today would be worth 1 billion euros. His sole condition? That they build a big ass monument in his name. It’s got lions guarding it and everything. Damn.

The Brunswick Monument

The Brunswick Monument

Brunswick monument

And you know what’s even more hilarious? This custom of making a big donation with strange strings attached is fairly commonplace in Geneva! The final descendant of the Revilliod de Rive family donated his 46-acre park to the United Nations, but his catch was slightly more down-to-earth than Brunswick. The UN must ensure that his peacocks and their descendants are taken care of and able to roam freely on the grounds.

peacock united nations

The Lord of the UN grounds

I learned all of these fun facts on the Heart of Geneva tour given by Free Walk tours.  Our local guide, Alex, was really charismatic and knowledgeable. It’s a great way to see a lot of the city on the cheap (but c’mon, throw in a tip, they’re usually students).

7. I saw my best friend after two long years

Reunited with wine in hand!

The top reason why this trip was special to me was because I got to see my best friend, Andrea! This girl cannot stay in one place, and I’d get mad at her if she weren’t doing such great things. After completing a Masters in Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict in Galway, Ireland, she’s been teaching English in Spain, giving gender equality workshops and helping women set up businesses through cooperatives in Rwanda, trying to free human rights defenders in Dublin… and finally working with the UN in Geneva. She’s a freaking superstar and I have no idea where she gets all the energy from . (She credits dark chocolate and chai tea, but I don’t buy it! ?)

Really, Andrea, Geneva could have had a wine and cheese shortage, and I would have still had the best time. Thank you so much!

Have you reunited with a friend overseas?  What are your tips for traveling in expensive countries?

10 Tips for the BEST Vegan Burger!

Where I live, in Jerez de la Frontera, generally people don’t understand non-traditional diets. Usually when I say that I’m vegetarian, locals respond: “But you eat ham, right?” Today I got asked if I could eat mushrooms… así es la vida. The separation of food groups just doesn’t seem to be in the Spanish consciousness. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found out about a VEGAN cooking workshop held right in the center of Jerez at the natural foods store, La Panacea. For only 10 euros, I simply had to sign up!

hamburguesas veganas la panacea

How often do you see a poster for vegan workshops in little Andalusian towns?

Youtube channels such as The Happy Pear and hot for food have been my main sources of instruction so far when it comes to cooking vegan food, so it was really exciting to participate in my very first cooking class. The instructor, José taught us how to make four different and delicious burgers along with individual sauces. My favourite was the quinoa burger, and with his permission I’m sharing it with you along with 10 tips to make the ultimate vegan burger!

vegan chef natural food workshop la panacea

José, our vegan chef!

1. Salt your ingredients as you cook them.

If you add salt to the patty mixture at the end, the salt won’t absorb properly and your flavours won’t be highlighted as well.

2. Invest in the extra time and SOAK your beans.

If your veggie burgers always turn out a little soggy or mushy, try using dried beans instead of canned. It takes more time, but the texture of your patties will be firmer because you control the texture by allowing more or less cooking time. If you’re super impatient (like me), try making a beanless quinoa burger like the one at the end of this post!

veggie burger ingredients

Ingredients all lined up to be made into burgers!

3. Fry and Freeze.

If making extra for those days when you don’t feel like cooking, lightly pan fry your burgers before freezing them. This helps them to maintain their form and texture. To cook the frozen patties, pop them on the pan directly in a little oil and fry on medium heat on both sides.

4. Let your burgers chill.

If cooking them fresh, chill the mixture in the fridge before forming your burgers. This makes it easier to form compact patties that won’t fall apart when cooking.

Beet Burgers from la Panacea.

Beet Burgers from la Panacea.

5. Use rice flour.

Traditional wheat flour can make your burger taste like paste, and bread crumbs can make it heavy. Using rice flour is a lighter alternative that will also help you to get a nice crispy exterior on your patty. Bonus – It’s gluten-free!

6. Buy a knife sharpener!

As a minimalist, I try not to buy too many kitchen gadgets, but watching how easily Jose was able to slice up all the vegetables, I’m convinced that I need to purchase one. It may seem scary to use a sharp knife, but you’re less likely to cut yourself because a slick blade prevents unnecessary and dangerous slips. Because if you bleed into the burger, it ain’t vegan!

knife skills

Look at this guy! Such confidence in his knife that he doesn’t even look down!

7. Booze it up!

Add wine to unite flavours.

8. Or keep it sober.

If you prefer to be able to distinguish the taste of each individual ingredient, save the wine for you glass.

9. Make your burgers fart-free.

If you tend to shy away from veggie burgers because they turn you into a “Gassy Garry”, try using red lentils instead of beans. Because they don’t have a skin, they are easier to digest and won’t result in you emitting those embarrassing smells ?.

quinoa veggie burger mix

No beans, no bloating, no bursts of toxic fumes!

10. Garlic is for everyone!

If you love a strong garlicky flavour in your burgers, add it last to your cooked ingredients. For a subtler garlic flavour, let it be the first thing you add to your pan (Be careful to cook on low-medium heat! Garlic burns VERY quickly!). Remove the core of the garlic if you have problems digesting it.

La Panacea Quinoa Burger, recreated at home.

La Panacea Quinoa Burger, recreated at home.

My favourite burger of the day was definitely the one made with quinoa. Gluten, bean and lactose-free, it is also the most accessible burger of the bunch. I love the fresh taste of veggies, and I can’t wait to put these on a barbecue this summer. It’s amazing paired with sriracha or vegan mayo like the one I made for Ensaladilla Rusa. However, you must try José’s secret sauce – a sweet vegannaise with pear!

Print Recipe
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers (vegan)
Beanless, and therefore fart-less quinoa burgers courtesy of José from La Panacea in Jerez de la Frontera. Served with sweet pear veganaise.
Quinoa burgers from la Panacea
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers
Sweet Pear Veganaise
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers
Sweet Pear Veganaise
Quinoa burgers from la Panacea
Instructions
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers
  1. Heat up a pan on medium heat with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add garlic and onion and sautée until translucent. Salt to help the cooking process along and to lock in this layer of flavour.
  2. Gradually incorporate about 1-2 minute apart (in this order): pepper, carrot, celery and spinach.
  3. Once your vegetables are all tender, add quinoa, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 30 seconds. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
  4. Once cooled enough to touch, add rice flour and mix well until the mixture is homogenous. Let cool in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes before forming into patties.
  5. Fry on medium heat in a tablespoon of coconut oil for about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with pear veganaise.
Sweet Pear Veganaise
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the oil and pear in a blender. Blend, then gradually add oil until the consistency of mayonnaise is achieved.
  2. Pour veganaise into a serving bowl and fold in the pear. Serve with quinoa burgers or your other favourite veggie patty.
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Do you have any secrets to making the perfect vegan burger? Have I missed anything? Let me know!

 

 

La Panacea Quinoa Burgers (vegan)

Print Recipe
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers (vegan)
Beanless, and therefore fart-less quinoa burgers courtesy of José from La Panacea in Jerez de la Frontera. Served with sweet pear veganaise.
Quinoa burgers from la Panacea
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers
Sweet Pear Veganaise
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers
Sweet Pear Veganaise
Quinoa burgers from la Panacea
Instructions
La Panacea Quinoa Burgers
  1. Heat up a pan on medium heat with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add garlic and onion and sautée until translucent. Salt to help the cooking process along and to lock in this layer of flavour.
  2. Gradually incorporate about 1-2 minute apart (in this order): pepper, carrot, celery and spinach.
  3. Once your vegetables are all tender, add quinoa, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 30 seconds. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
  4. Once cooled enough to touch, add rice flour and mix well until the mixture is homogenous. Let cool in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes before forming into patties.
  5. Fry on medium heat in a tablespoon of coconut oil for about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with pear veganaise.
Sweet Pear Veganaise
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the oil and pear in a blender. Blend, then gradually add oil until the consistency of mayonnaise is achieved.
  2. Pour veganaise into a serving bowl and fold in the pear. Serve with quinoa burgers or your other favourite veggie patty.
Share this Recipe

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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Vegetarian South African Bobotie

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Vegetarian South African Bobotie
My grandmother shared this authentic South African curry recipe with me after seeing that I gained about 20lbs eating Kraft Dinner after my first year of university. If you're going to be fat, at least eat well!
vegetarian south african bobotie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Vegetarian Bobotie
Yellow Rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Vegetarian Bobotie
Yellow Rice
vegetarian south african bobotie
Instructions
Vegetarian Bobotie
  1. Heat oven to 175 C. Soak the bread in milk, squeeze dry and crumble. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Toss in the ginger, sugar, curry powder and tumeric and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add seitan, crumbled bread, chutney, raisins and nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes on low-medium heat until the flavours come together. Be careful not to overcook or it will become dry.
  4. Transfer your mixture to a greased casserole dish. Beat together the eggs, milk, salt and grated lemon rind, then pour over the seitan mixture.
  5. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until top has set. Serve with yellow rice.
Yellow Rice
  1. Combine water, rice, turmeric and cinnamon sticks and bring to boil over high heat. Turn to low, stir in raisins, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender. Season with salt.
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Victor’s Taiwanese Cabbage and Mushrooms

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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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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.
Share this Recipe

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!

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