Spain Travelin’ Vegan

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I have written about traveling as a vegan before, but it was all theoretical and based on past experiences. Two weeks ago I traveled to Spain and the next couple weeks of blogging will be dedicated to talking about the trip as a vegan.

Before going, I did some research about the food culture there, so I would know what to expect. I had always wanted to go to Spain, so I was super excited. The trip started in Barcelona and they eat a lot of seafood. As I moved inland to Madrid, I learned they ate a lot of pork. In addition, vegetables are always ordered separately. This meant that menus would have separate vegetable sections.

I also did some research about the knowledge of veganism in Spain and learned that most people had never heard of it and many are still unfamiliar with vegetarianism. I am luckily that I know some Spanish and can communicate my desires about what I don’t want to eat. The good news is that one can easily explore Spain without Spanish by sticking to the vegan/vegetarian restaurants and asking if any of the wait-staff can speak English before sitting at a restaurant.

But, I had to begin with provisions. I knew there would not always be a vegan option close by to all the things I wanted to see. And, there is never a guarantee the airline will get my special meal right. I had to be prepared for the worst.

The photo above is the food I packed:

  • Ten servings of seaweed
  • One and a half boxes of mini peanut butter crackers (I should have packed the full two boxes because I love them)
  • One box wheat crackers because I am known to get motion sick and crackers help
  • Two bags of ginger chews, again for the motion sickness
  • One bag dried plantains
  • One bag dried berries
  • 20 servings of nuts and dried fruit in packets to shove two in my purse every day as I headed out

It was perfect! I ate almost all of it and was so thankful to have variety. I was right, one plane ride did not get my order and there were many days I was suddenly hungry and surrounded by food I couldn’t or didn’t want to eat. My hour of research before heading to the grocery store was completely worth it.

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Brown Rice Tortillas

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I do not have a gluten intolerance or allergy. However, I do feel lighter when I eat less gluten, so I look for yummy ways to make that happen. Unfortunately, these Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas did not accomplish my goal. The taste was okay, but the texture was strange and when I go to bend one, it breaks in half. Not as useful for burritos. The description says they are supposed to be moist, but I did not find that to be true. I will keep looking for a gluten free tortilla.

Sweet Potato Party

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This is one of my favorite meals when busy. Super easy, full of yummy, and is beautiful. What you will need:

Sweet potato, the size that will fill you up, washed

1 small tomato, diced

1 cup frozen vegetables of your choice, I used broccoli and corn, defrosted

Vegan margarine, I used Earth Balance

Vegan cheese, I used Daiya mozzarella

Place sweet potato in a microwave safe dish with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Using a gloved hand, squeeze potato and make sure fully cooked. It should feel soft. If still hard, cook another minute and repeat until soft. Slice open and spread margarine over the halves. Dice potato and cover with a layer of cheese. If desiring extra melty cheese, microwave for another 30 seconds. Cover with defrosted vegetables and then the tomato on top. Yummers!

 

Feedback

I need some feedback. For over a year I have been fairly religious in sharing every week and have followers (super cool – thank you all for being awesome!). But, the viewing has been falling off. Maybe it’s the insanely cold winter we have had in the states.

  • I started this blog to have a place to point to when people have questions and it has been great for that.
  • I have posted most of my favorite recipes and shared my new ones that tasted good.
  • Although I really enjoy writing this blog, it does take time.
  • Should I keep going?
  • Should I drop to one post a week?
  • Instead of having a goal of two posts a week, should I just post when I have something that inspires me to share?

What are your thoughts?

I am traveling this week, so it is a good time to ponder.

Thank you for reading and thank you for being vegan!

Super Simple Chocolate Cupcakes

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I ❤ cupcakes, especially chocolate ones. They are always a hit and these are these easiest ones to make EVER! What you will need:

1 and 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 and 1/2 cups unbleached flour

2 cups sugar

6 TBS cocoa

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

3/4 cup canola oil

2 TBS distilled white vinegar

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350. Pour all the dry ingredients through a small hole strainer, to remove any clumps and add air, into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir until smooth. Scoop into cupcake holders and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes. Let cool completely before icing. I normally wait overnight. This cake is very moist.

 

For the frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar, strained to remove clumps

1/2 cup margarine

1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 TBS almond milk

Cream everything together with a mixer. If margarine is cold, mix that alone first and then add everything else. Can add food coloring if desired.

Yummers!

Mindful Mayo

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In my pursuit of everything delicious, I decided it was time to try the Earth Balance MindfulMayo. It’s hard for me to try a new product when I already love the one I normally eat, so this has taken me some time. And it costs more than the brand I always eat.

I like it, but not as much as the one I normally eat. The consistency is thicker and creamer, but the taste is just okay. I will continue to eat the one I normally do, but this is a good alternative if I can’t find it.

Lentils and Greens Stew

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I thrive on soups and stews in the winter. This one is easy, hearty, and allows me to use whatever greens I can get my hands on. What you will need:

1 cup any color lentils, sorted and rinsed

1/2 cup bulgur

1 medium onion, diced

4 and 1/2 cups water

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups fresh greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)

1 tsp avocado oil

Juice from a fresh lemon (optional)

Bring water and lentils to boil in medium pot. Turn heat down to simmer, cover, and cook about 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Add bulgur, salt, and pepper and continue to cook, with occasional stir, until lentils are soft, about 15 minutes. Water can be added if needed. Remove pot from heat and, if using spinach, add spinach to wilt in the pot. Sauté the onion and other greens, if using, with avocado oil in a separate pan and then add to the stew. Stir everything and serve hot. For an extra kick, squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Yummers!

Bold Pizza

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Vegan and gluten free pizza? Of course I tried this!

Bold Organics Veggie Lovers Pizza is okay. If a busy night and I’m craving one of my favorite food groups, it works. The crust is crunchy, which I really like, and the toppings actually taste like more than the cardboard box they came in.

One warning, Bold has several different pizzas and they are not all vegan. Make sure to pick up the pizza you want to try.