Our stop motion video of most of our trip!

Colorado to Florida, Mexico, North Carolina, Israel, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, India, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, California and back to Florida! Perhaps it’s disproportionately Colorado, Florida, and Mexico but oh well! hope you all enjoy it!

much gratitude for all of you we got to share our experience with…

tommasina and julian

Vegan MoFo ~ Asheville then and now

Hey there! Remember us?! Well, I’m sorry– I forgot about you!  We’re back though and hopefully we’ll remember to post for the next three days, and maybe more…

I wanted to remember all the great food we had in Asheville near the beginning of our trip (August 2011) and right at the end (September 2012).

We first ate lunch at Firestorm Books and Cafe, a worker-owned 98% vegan cafe in downtown Asheville, and where our good friend Travis is a worker-owner.

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My dish, the Buddha Bowl: Organic spring mix, organic brown long-grain rice, sea veggie salad, tomatoes, avocado and organic grilled organic smoky tofu, topped with sweet tangy tahini BBQ sauce and sprouts. The tofu was perfect, and the dressing was creamy and well-seasoned.

Then we had dinner at Rosetta’s Kitchen.

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Julian’s peanut butter baked organic tofu, sautéed kale, smashed potatoes served with their signature gravy.

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our good friends Mariana and Travis, being cute

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Chocolate peanut butter cake, blueberry square, and pecan pie! wowzers. sweetness overload.

and in September this year, we went with my darling sis, Crissy K to help her find an apartment.

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my sister. yup, she’s totes gorge.

 

 

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there’s not really much resemblance between us.

We went contra dancing!

THEN, EVENT of the century: we ate at the new highly-acclaimed vegan restaurant, Plant! It was superb, and our new favorite vegan restaurant.

 

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straight from their menu: MIXED MUSHROOM GRILL farro risotto •  grilled carrot, shallot, red pepper & arugula cream · cress & pine nut

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PEPPERCORN CRUSTED SEITAN truffled zucchini purée • grilled eggplant • tomato & wine sauce • shiitake bacon

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awwz, all our friends!
Special guest appearance by Julian’s beard. also, Jonah’s mustache.

And the best part of any meal, Dessert!

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pretzel, popcorn and caramel scoop (OMG) in focus, and heck, who cares about the rest! (chocolate dark cherry, and perhaps a mocha?)

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Cannolo handmade anise shell • candied orange ricotta • warm espresso puddle • mocha ice cream

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so many food babies!

the end! we love you, Asheville!

Vegan MoFo: Lisboa’s Bake the Difference

Veganita, Jules, and I took a trip to Lisboa where we discovered that it IS possible to find vegan food (ahem, Rafael!). Anyways, our favorite spot was Bake the Difference, an all-vegan cafe where we ate most of our meals while in town.

Taking a break upon arriving in town and climbing loads and loads of stairs

And the highlights from Bake the Difference:

sun-dried tomato quiche with a cashew base

An empada, a Portuguese empanada

why yes, I will just stay here all day!

their homemade berry ice cream!

chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting!

a snack, before we gorged. strawberry soymilk and muffins.

Other sights in Lisboa (that’s right, we did leave BTD occasionally):

My favorite experience was exploring a magical castle called Quinta da Regaleira located in a tiny town called Sintra, an hour from Lisboa. Here it is:

Wandering around the castle grounds, J and I found this cave. J wanted a picture near the opening, so here’s when I tested the settings on the camera:

And here is the next second when Julian attempted to walk on the still, algae-covered water!

teehehehehe!

’till next time, MoFo-ers!

Tommasina

Austrian Delights

Thinking back to our food experiences in Germany and Austria I fondly remember two things:  Sauerkraut und Bier!  Beer is so abundant and cheap in Deutschland and Austria had plenty of beer to offer as well, plus lots of sauerkraut.  So, in remembrance of foods from our travels in honour of vegan mofo, I present to you…dinner, Bavarian style.

Sauerkraut Dinner

Grilled Field Roast Sausages with Sauteed Onions and Homemade Sauerkraut

Taters to the mix

And for an added bonus…How to make Sauerkraut!  It’s easy and it should never cost 10.99 a jar!

0.5 Kg Cabbage

5 g Non-Iodised Salt

1-2 Litre Glass Vessel with wide mouth

1 glass jar with lid that is roughly the same size, but smaller than the wide mouth jar’s circumference.*  Filled with water.

1 Sheet of Cellophane Film.

Optional spices:  dried juniper berries, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, bay leafs.

 

1.  Chop cabbage into thin strips.  Having a food processor with a slicer attachment really helps.

2.  Place chopped cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt and spices, if you’re using them.  Toss to coat with some tongs.  Let this rest for at least 30 minutes.

3.  If some liquid has been pulled out of the cabbage, then you’re on your way.  Use the tongs again to put the cabbage-salt mixture and all the juices into the 1-2 litre jar.

4.  Take the cellophane film and wrap it around the base of the second jar filled with water.  Place the jar and film combination on top of the cabbage in the larger jar and press down.  The weight of the jar with water should be sufficient enough to keep the cabbage submerged in the brine.

5.  Let sit for 2-4 weeks.  Check periodically to make sure the cabbage is always submerged.

6.  It’s ready when the cabbage has turned a yellowish hue and smells like sauerkraut!

 

*You want the 2nd jar to fit into the larger jar, but not leave a lot of room on the sides.

Sauerkraut making apparatus

Finished Product

By Julian

Vegan MoFo: Portland Blogger Special at the xgfx food cart, The Heart Cart!

Hi y’all!

So, keeping up on MoFo is harder than I expected, but the challenge is compounded by the fact that I am now managing an amazing vegan and gluten-free food cart on Alberta, called The Heart Cart. As manager, I am supposed to bring in discounts and create marketing to get our name out there… so of course, I thought it’d be brilliant to do something to celebrate our Vegan MoFo bloggers!

Our gluten-free waffles with blueberry compote, coconut cream, and candied walnuts!

So here’s the deal:

Sign up with your blog address at the Heart Cart to get half off your entrée, right then!

We’ll even advertise your blog on Twitter or Facebook,

and hope you’ll blog about us!

We’re located in Nargila Gardens right off Alberta and 11th Ave, behind the Grilled Cheese Cart. We’re open every evening Wednesday through Sunday from 6pm to 10ish (and Friday and Saturday until 2pm!), and we have brunch on the weekends from 10-3pm.

Happy blogging!

Vegan MoFo: Madrid Madness

Day 7 has come!  Today we’re going back to our visit with our friend Veganita in Madrid.

The highlight Madrid (and my life so far) has been this dish at Eco Centro, which I say without much hesitation, was The Best Meal of My Life.  *sigh*
Maybe I can re-create it one day for you all, my adoring readers. Until then, friends! See you tomorrow!

 

 

Vegan MoFo: German grocery stores!!

Okay, okay. I can already hear my mom groaning. It might be strange to some of you (like my mom), but to us, new grocery stores, especially foreign ones are fascinating places of new vegan product discovery.

Vegans in a grocery store: kids in a candy store. It’s an apt analogy.

Anyways, here are some of our photos of finds in Veganz, the all-vegan grocery store in Berlin, in Fullhorn and Biomarkt, the organic chain grocery stores all over Germany, and in Schilfgrün- Der Vegane Laden, a small vegan grocery store in Karlsruhe which I think has since closed :(.

The finds:

 

Vegan food and culture in Germany was awesome, but the best part of meeting fellow vegans was hearing them say “vegan” as “weegan.” Ah, I love it! Do you all have any German vegan stories to share?

Vegan MoFo Day 4: Pining for India

So sorry, folks for missing a post yesterday.  The debate debacle occupied [and this is where I, Tommasina, found Julian's "almost- finished draft" when I returned home from work tonight. Haha. Okay, taking over!]

Julian has been promising he would write a post since he’s written all of 3 blog entries on “our” blog! Oh well. He did make a really lovely dinner for us all tonight.

And he took this photo of the spices. In their bottles. Some of them are upside down. Not sure why.

Anyways, here’s his recipe for dahl:

  • 1 T sunflower oil
  • 1-2 t mustard seed
  • 1-2 t cumin seed
  • 3-4 fenugreek seeds
  • 2 cups dry chana dahl
  • 1 T ginger, grated (not peeled)
  • 2 t coriander powder
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t fennel seed slightly ground
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 t garam masala
1) Rinse and soak dahl for a couple hours.
2) Heat oil in a heavy soup pot and pop the mustard, cumin, and fenugreek seeds. Mix the grated ginger, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and fennel seed together and add a little water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the popped seeds and saute for a few.
3) Add the soaked dahl into the pot and bring to a boil.
4) Once at a boil, reduce heat to low and cover undisturbed for an hour. After an hour check to see if the dahl is cooked, if it has par-pureed itself then it’s done. Add the salt and garam masala and turn off the heat.

He also made a tasty Bund Gobhi Milli Subji (cabbage and mixed veg subji) based on a recipe from The Indian Vegan Kitchen.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 t brown mustard seeds
  • 3/4 C chopped onion
  • 2 T grated ginger, not peeled (we’re staunch anti-peelers)
  • 1/2 C frozen peas (or fresh!)
  • 1/2 C carrot diced
  • 1/2 C potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 t tumeric
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper, to taste (more, more!)
  • 2 T water
  • 1 t lemon or lime juice

1. Heat oil in medium nonstick pan on medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover with lid, and cook for a few seconds, until they stop popping. Add onion and fry 1 to 2 minutes until onions are transparent. Add ginger and stir.

2. Add cabbage, peas, carrot, and potatoes. Stir well. Sprinkle turmeric, salt, coriander, and cayenne pepper over mixture. Stir well. Add water. Cover and simmer for 7 or 8 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

3. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a serving container (or don’t) and serve hot.

                                                                                             Dinner is served!

Vegan Mofo Day 2: Haiti

Happy 2nd Day of MoFo! We wanted to share some of our adventure in Haiti since we haven’t written on our blog about it at all yet. As some of you might know, we volunteered this summer for a vegan reforestation intentional community called Sadhana Forest. We lived for six weeks at the project in Anse-A-Pitre, Haiti, near the border town of Pedernales, Dominican Republic. (We also spent ten weeks at Sadhana Forest in India which you can read about here.)

… Feasts and Beasts of Haiti …

Food:

Sadhana Forest’ meals are pretty incredible considering the climate and political constraints of Haiti. Haiti is extremely hot, arid, and has very degraded soils and its farmers are mostly out of work due to the massive influx of food aid or cheap food, especially rice, from the US.  You can read more about why Haitian farmers want the US to stop subsidizing its own farmers here.

In any case, at Sadhana Forest, we ate tasty wholesome vegan meals cooked over a fire in rocket stoves, and made with as many local ingredients  as possible. That meant we ate a lot of lam or bread fruit, cabbage, eggplant, coconut, an amazing tangy creamy fruit called guayabana, and Haitian rice, which is thicker and stickier than the Dominican variety we would usually get from the border market. We also supported a Haitian organic farmer who said he decided by his own intuition to not use chemicals on his land.  We even got to tour his lush farm where we got most of our bananas and eggplants.

Typical Breakfast:

Jeff and Franzi serving lam with mango and orange wedges

Lam was a versatile component of many meals at SF. For breakfasts, we could top the lam with a sweet coconut cacao sauce (using raw cacao bars sold at the weekly market) or a savory gravy. For hummus nights, lam served as bread.

Custard apples or cherimoya were coveted yummy fruits to be shared!

Jeff and Nikki eatin’ the custard apples

Nikki made Julian’s birthday cake using oat flour, mangoes, cinnamon, dessicated coconut, and raw palm jaggery. Una and Biatsu were very interested in getting first servings.

For days’ off, we usually ate lunch at the King Crab Restaurant in Pedernales, across the border.  Beans, rice, plantains, and salad were pretty standard fare (but only King Crab gave you unlimited access to olive oil at the tables!), and this lunch costs the set 150 pesos per plate ($3.80 US).  If we were lucky, we could get plantanos maduros, the sweet plantains. If we were double-lucky, we could even get fresh chinolo (passion fruit) juice without sugar added!

We also made rice and beans (a lot!) at SF. Cooking over the super-sustainable rocket stoves means the pots get very sooty!

Snack time in Pedernales: Franzi and I were craving a snack to go with our weekly treat, banana and papaya smoothies (sin leche, sin azucar, con hielo), so we topped cassava bread with Bon guava jelly, raisins, and banana in front of the supermercado.

Animals:

Like in any “developing” country, the care of animals in Haiti seems to pushed behind the care of humans, but my heart swells equally thinking of the children and animals there.

I know we have the capacity to care for all of them if we were to widen our circles of compassion! 

I struggle deeply with the judgements I made when I saw grown men riding small donkeys weighed down with heavy loads, or  children chasing the sick kitten below. I hope we can live compassionately anywhere we are by taking care of all animals who come our way by offering them our water, our food, or our attention.

From top to bottom, clockwise: A sick dehydrated kitteh wandering the canals; a dog skull found in the no-man’s-land where he most likely was used in a vodou sacrifice; a wasp carrying a tarantula to his underground nest to eat; a pig presumably to be eaten one day; a donkey who lives every day in the hot sun without shade; and a rooster presumably to be eaten one day.

The poverty of the surrounding Haitian community meant that Sadhana Forest, as the only organization in the area to LIVE on the Haitian side of the border, was frequented by many Haitians who desired free meals, for two hours of volunteering alongside us.  I hope that sharing delicious whole foods-based vegan meals with them, especially the children, will encourage Haitians to see those of us blan (white person or foreigner) as more than just people giving them “aid,” but as companions (cum pani literally “with bread,” or one who eats bread with another), or friends in this harsh environment.