Eating vegan while travelling, made easy

Are you worried about staying vegan while travelling, without stressing out about every meal? Have no fear! These tips are about to make your life a whole lot easier!

1. Bring a lunch box and sandwich/zip lock bags.

These will allow you to do two things: first of all you can pack food to take around with you on your day. You could bring a sandwich or beans or something just in case you don’t find something else to eat while you are out and about, or you just get hungry and don’t want to stop everything to find a place to eat. Second of all you can take home left over food if you eat out and don’t finish everything! Particularly useful in the US, where portions are gigantic 😉 You can use the zip lock bags to bring portioned snacks on the road- which brings me on to my next point…

2. Always bring snacks!

Always carry an emergency snack with you. “Super foods” (hemp seeds, chia seeds, goji berries, etc) are particularly useful since they have so many nutrients. You can put chia seeds into a fresh juice, or even just lemon water, and you can put hemp seeds onto cereal /oatmeal for breakfast, or just snack on them during the day. You could also bring/make granola/protein bars, or individual packets of nut butter with you. Pack a bunch in your main piece of luggage, as well as large amounts of nuts, seeds and dried fruit, and then you can just take a handful in a little baggie for the day! Another idea is to bring individual packets of instant oatmeal which you can make in your hotel room (or possibly even a cafe if you just ask for hot water), that way you can have a hearty breakfast wherever you are. If you are going to be able to make smoothies where you are, you could pack protein powders or those green powders with chlorella/spirulina etc.

3. Check out restaurants beforehand.

Use Happy Cow and Yelp to find restaurants, cafes and markets that you could go to in any area you might be at. Remember that they don’t have to be specifically vegan places- Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican and Middle Eastern food are all pretty easy to veganize. Check out my guide to eating out as a vegan here.

4. Learn useful phrases in the local language.

Be respectful and learn useful phrases in the language of the country you are visiting, such as “I don’t eat chicken/meat/milk/etc”. Don’t expect people to know and understand what being vegan means. Know what ingredients are likely to be used and ask for omissions/substitutions- no milk in your tea, no cheese on your pizza, etc.

5. Make use of local markets and supermarkets.

Remember you don’t always have to eat at a restaurant- make use of local markets and supermarkets. Buy stuff like bread, hummus, beans, rice, fruit and veggies, etc, which you can use to have a picnic or snack on during the day. If you are in a country where there are natural/organic shops, check them out for your supplies too! Google is your friend 🙂

Finally… Don’t stress out- you are travelling! This is what most people wish they could be doing! Just relax and have fun. Yes, most people are going to think you are crazy, but who cares, right??

Links you might find useful:

How to have a comfortable long haul flight
What to pack in your hand luggage/carry on
5 tips: how to eat out as a vegan

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Current Foodie Favourites

So… am I the only one not appreciating how chilly it’s gotten in the space of about a week?! I swear, in one week I went from wearing shorts to re-discovering my winter coat. Not fun. The good news though is that my ticket to California is booked for next month- yes, I am finally seeing my bf after about 1/2 a year apart! It also means amazing vegan food for me, since you Americans are way better at that. Or at least Californians!

Anyway, without further ado.. Here are my current foodie favourites!

1. Chai spiced goodies

Chai spiced granola bars, cake, anything really! There’s something about colder temperatures that makes me crave anything spiced. I’m excited about playing around with pumpkin recipes in the US, since canned pumpkin is crazy expensive here and it’s so much easier to buy it canned than to roast it yourself!

2. Korean food

Oh man.. just talking about Korean food makes me HUNGRY! I recently discovered bibimbap, which is basically rice, salad/veggies and a spicy-sweet sauce all mixed together. I’m going to have to start making it myself because it seems pretty simple. I’m also loving kimchi, plus it’s so good for you, what with all that fermentation! Mmmmm…

3. Fruity cider

By fruity I mean not pear or apple! Strawberry + lime, mango + raspberry, passionfruit… Rekorderlig is a Swedish cider company that makes the most delicious fruity (alcoholic!) ciders. They all taste DELICIOUS!

4. Good bread

For some reason recently I’ve been loving fresh bread from an actual bakery. The seedier, the better! And I love a nice crunchy crust. Yum! Delicious with some mushrooms for breakfast, or with pesto and cherry tomatoes as a snack.

5. Coconut oil

Coconut oil, my love. You’ve been out of my life for a couple of months but I didn’t forget about you and how great you make food taste!

6. Bubble tea

I’m spending so much money on bubble tea (boba) that I need to just make it myself. I’ve got the tapioca balls but got a bit lost after that. Help, anyone? I love me some mango green tea!

What have you guys been loving recently?

Vegan Restaurants & Cafes in Bristol (UK)

As a city, Bristol is relatively welcoming to veggies & vegans! Here is my (incomplete) guide to the Bristol’s vegan-friendly restaurants and cafes. I will update it as I try out new places! 🙂

Cafes & Pubs

Cafe Kino
108 Stokes Croft, Bristol
0117 924 9200
Totally vegan cafe, except for the fact that they do offer dairy milk in coffees. Quite a good selection of food and none of it tastes vegan. They always have a couple of freshly baked cakes on offer which are always delicious, and their coffee isn’t bad either. They do a vegan ‘full English’ style breakfast too. This is a community cafe run by volunteers and I enjoy supporting them out of principle.

Boston Tea Party
Locations on Park Street, Whiteladies Road, in Clifton Village and in Stokes Croft
Small chain in the South-West. Vegan-friendly options available. Breakfast: they do a vegan ‘full English’ kind of breakfast as well as mushrooms in toast. I haven’t tried their lunch options yet but honestly I trust their food, I’ve never really had any complains. However I would definitely recommend the Stokes Croft location above the others- it’s the most spacious and staff are always so friendly! Drinks-wise I recommend the filter coffee (Columbian at the moment is yummy), and the chai tea with steamed soy milk and cinnamon. They also have a coconut chocolate flapjack that is vegan and yummy.

Coffee 1
Locations all over Bristol: Westbury, Gloucester Rd, Thornbury etc
Probably some of the best coffee in Bristol, but I resent that they charge 35p for extra soy milk even in an americano/filter coffee. Not really anything vegan food-wise, so don’t come hungry!

Grupo Lounge
Wesbury village.
Part of a nationwide chain. They have a vegan menu but you have to ask for it. I haven’t had a great experience there, they always seem to put dairy on my plate even when I order off the vegan menu. But at least they have a few vegan options! Food is ok, I wouldn’t go there on purpose to eat, but it’s a good choice if you are with people who aren’t vegan- they have something for everyone. Be warned, the terrace shuts at 7!

Cupp
Cabot Circus.
Bubble Tea in Bristol! Apparently the only place that makes bubble tea without all those sketchy powders: only loose leaf tea and fresh fruit. Plenty of vegan options- either get the fruit tea, or milk tea with soy milk. They also do a cold noodle salad which is yummy, and it’s £6 for a tea and salad.

Middle Eastern

Falafel King
Van on the waterfront & Cotham Hill.
Really nice falafel!

Eat a Pitta
St Nicholas Market
I think I prefer this place to Falafel King, they offer more salad.. plus they always have free samples of the falafel. Yum! Have falafel + salad in a box or in a pitta.

Indian

Thali Cafe
Locations in Southville, Clifton Village, Totterdown, Easton, Montpelier.
Plenty of vegan-friendly options. They do a dairy-free thali (dhal, rice, veg curry, tomato salsa, raw salad). Plenty of starters/sides are vegan and delicious too: the red pepper pakoras, potato bondas, aloo paratha, samosas… The dhaal is really nice too. I found the service in the Clifton branch a bit lacking, and much preferred the service and atmosphere of the Southville one.

Japanese

Yo Sushi
Obviously a nationwide chain but still there are plenty of vegan options if you find yourself there with friends. Veg firecracker rice, Inari pocket (no tamago), avocado maki (no mayo), cucumber maki, veg futomaki (no tamago), kaiso salad, tofu salad, tofu katsu curry (no panko/no egg), mochi. They have a special dietary requirements folder.

Wagamama
On the Triangle and the mall (Cribbs). New one opening in Cabot Circus.
Tell your waiter/waitress- they have a special list of vegan-friendly dishes. My recommendations would be: bean and glass noodle salad, saien soba, yasai itame. Unfortunately the only vegan dessert is the fruit ice lolly. They do have nice fresh juices though.

Korean

Surakhan
52 Park Row
I had the vegetable bibimbap without the egg. Simple but quite tasty. Quite a convenient location so I’d definitely go back and try something else. Waitress was nice and patient!

Jakorean/Bobjo
Southmead Road
At the moment they only have a really small menu- they recently opened and are still developing it. I’m not even really sure what they’re called.. But their bibimbap without an egg is really yummy and super cheap at £3.50. Expect to feel like you’re walking into someone’s house- eclectic furniture, random trophies on the side, but they really care about you enjoying the food!

Vietnamese

Baowow
Baldwin Street
Vietnamese/Thai food. Everything is delicious. Service is a bit awkward, but it feels like they put love into their food. The buns are a must-have! The veggie one can be vegan without the mayo. I also tried the tofu/yellow bean sauce + rice and it was yummy. Go for lunch on a weekday for the £5 meal deal they do!

Tampopo
Cabot Circus
Ok so Tampopo does a bit of every type of Asian cuisine, I know.. but hey ho. It’s in the Vietnamese category for now haha. They do a vegan sign on the menu so you can clearly see what is vegan-friendly! The Korean noodle dish I got was nice and I’d get it again.

Fine Dining

Harvey Nichols
Cabot Circus
You can request a vegan menu by letting them know when you book. The meal I had was a tomato consomme to start, then aubergine, chilli, coriander, garlic salad, and (sadly) a fruit platter + elderflower sorbet for dessert. The starter and main were delicious, but unfortunately the dessert was disappointing and I have to admit I left not really feeling that full. They haven’t understood that vegans don’t just eat vegetables. They could have thrown a bit of quinoa/another grain in the salad, even a tiny bit would have made it feel more filling! But anyway, on the whole it was a nice meal and it was nice to go somewhere posh and actually be able to eat something!

Mexican

Mission Burrito
Park St
My initial impressions were good, plenty of room inside to sit down, Subway/chipotle-esque ordering, plenty of choice… I got a veggie burrito without the sour cream/cheese and it was ok. I wouldn’t rush back but I wouldn’t rule it out forever. Maybe I should give it another go… I just feel I could make something nicer myself. My burrito was cold and needed some more seasoning.bit was gigantic though, definitely a place you could share at. Plenty of choice of Jarritos at £2.50 a pop.

Italian

Pepe Nero
Bond St
Good lunch deal: pizza and drink £6.99. They have. Good choice of vegan toppings. The base was good, but I didn’t like the cheese they used- it tasted too fake. Personally I’d rather just have a pizza without cheese than that 😦 I’d go again but if have a regular pizza without the cheese!

Places to try next:
Al Bab Mansour
Mezze at the Royal George
Schnafel
Simply Thai
Maitreya Social
Thai Pepper
Roll for the soul

Reviews to come as soon as I try them out!

Rocket, basil & cashew pesto

The combination of random sun and rain has meant that my rocket growing in the garden has flourished.

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I started racking my brains trying to think of a tasty, simple recipe that would make the most of it, and this is what I came up with!

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Rocket, basil & cashew pesto

2 generous handfuls of rocket
1 handful of basil
1/3 c. cashews
1tbsp nutritional yeast
1/3-2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt/pepper to taste

Simply combine all of the ingredients in your food processor and blend until it’s the consistency you like. I didn’t want mine thick so I added plenty of oil, but you could definitely get away with adding less!

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Serving suggestions:

* on pasta, of course!
* as a salad dressing
* in a breakfast sandwich with veggies & maybe some tofu
* on pizza!
* on top of soup to liven it up a bit

I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure this would be delicious with almonds/brazil nuts/walnuts/hemp hearts instead of cashews!

What’s your favourite way to eat pesto? Have you dabbled in vegan pestos??

My Favourite Vegan Breakfasts- healthy, quick & easy

Have you recently become vegan and struggle to find new breakfast ideas? Look no further!

1. Oatmeal

I know, I know- what a typical suggestion. But oatmeal has to take first place for healthy, quick, easy vegan breakfasts- just replace dairy milk with a non-dairy alternative, or cook with water. Top with goji berries/fresh fruit/agave/maple syrup + PB… Add “superfoods” like flaxseeds/maca/hemp hears… Or try “boatmeal” (baked oatmeal)- check out Chocolate Covered Katie’s ideas here.

2. Chia Seed pudding/breakfast bowl

At its simplest- combine 1 mashed banana with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 1/2 a cup of almond milk. Leave in the fridge overnight and it’ll be ready in the morning for a quick breakfast on the go! Check out OhSheGlows for the full recipe. Chia seeds are suuuuper good for you- packed with fibre, omega 3s and protein, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron and Zinc.

3. Pancakes.
Yes, you can have pancakes and still (in my opinion) count it as a healthy breakfast. Check out these spelt pancakes , put a sliced banana or some berries on top and you’ve got yourself a clean, filling breakfast!

4. Breakfast cookies.
If you’ve got extra time and you enjoy baking, why not make yourself some breakfast cookies to grab if you’re in a rush in the morning, or even as a mid-morning or afternoon snack. Basically an time of day is a good time for cookies. Don’t you think? 😉 Try these cookies from Minimalist Baker or these apple cinnamon breakfast cookies from The Healthy Chef.

5. Green smoothie.
Possibly one of the quickest and healthiest options: my basic combination would be 1-2 frozen bananas, 2 handfuls of greens (spinach), 1-2 cups of water and flax/maca/chia seeds. Add whatever other ingredients you have around, but I find the simple is best- try not to add a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t go together because you might end up with a sludgy mess that you’d rather chuck in the sink than drink! Check these links for more tips on green smoothies:

http://secure.youngandraw.com/30daychallenge/
http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/03/salute-to-green-smoothies.html
http://greenmonstermovement.com/

Top tips

* keep it simple and be prepared: if you don’t have time in the morning to create something magical for breakfast, don’t worry. Prepare something the night before so you’re ready the next day. Know your schedule and don’t stress yourself out trying to push more work into it than it needs!

* try to drink plenty of water in the morning- it’ll make you feel better. You’ve gone for the entire night without drinking, so get a head start on keeping hydrated for the day!

* if you’re new to veganism, remember that substitutions for your usual breakfast are probably quite easy. Use agave instead of honey, almond/coconut/etc milk instead of dairy milk, soy yoghurt instead of normal yoghurt, etc!

Sweet potato potato & coriander hummus

So, I couldn’t really call this blog “That Hummus Life” without having some pretty sexy hummus recipes on here, right?

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Hummus and sweet potatoes go together like Beyoncé and booty shaking. Aka very well. And and coriander gives it that extra layer of taste sensation… Are you salivating and dreaming up of ways to pair this hummus yet?? If not, you should be! Here’s the recipe- only vague measurements are given because you can easily alter the recipe to your tastes. Do you like the burn of raw garlic? Ok, add more garlic! If you like that extra lemony tang, add more lemon juice. If you like the sesame creaminess of tahini, add more of that.

Sweet potato and coriander hummus

1 can of chickpeas, Iiquid drained and reserved (save a spoonful of chickpeas to garnish if you want!)
1/4-1/2 liquid from chickpeas (or water)
1 garlic clove
1 handful of coriander (cilantro) roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup sweet potatoes, cooked (I roasted mine)
Pinch of salt/pepper to taste

* garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of chickpeas and some chopped coriander

Drain the chickpeas and add to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Add the liquid and blend. Keep adding more liquid until it is the consistency you like. Then taste! Add whatever flavour you feel is missing, if any.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of chickpeas and some chopped coriander. Serve in a sandwich/bagel with salad/roast veg, dip veg into it, put on rice crackers with avocado and tomatoes… The possibilities are endless 😉 (well, nearly). Enjoy!

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* if you are interested in the food processor I have, it is the Bosch MCM4100 compact food processor and it’s amazing, it’s my baby! Hahaha! Check it out here

My top healthy, quick and easy vegan snacks

After watching Vegucated on a whim with my flatmate, I realised that how I was living and what I was eating wasn’t right, at least for me. I’d thought about going veggie for a while, and had never been a huge meat lover, but something clicked and I decided to try to go vegan.

I found snacks the hardest. Breakfast was pretty straight forward, and while other meals were challenging to sort out in the beginning, I found it difficult to pick something healthy to snack on that didn’t contain any animal products.

So… Here are my top ideas for healthy snacks, especially if you have recently become vegan.

1. Fresh fruit!

The most simple of all snacks! Pop a banana in your bag on the way out of the house, or make yourself a little fruit salad with soy yoghurt and granola if you’re feeling fancy! For a snack that will keep you fuller for a bit longer, try mixing fruit with some nut butter- banana and PB is a classic, but you could also dabble with lesser known nut butters… How about cashew butter? Almond butter? Brazil nut butter?

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2. Hummus

I strongly believe hummus is a life-saver for vegans!

The basic recipe for me would just be:

– a can of chick peas with a few spoons of the water it came in, depending on how thick you want it.
– 1 garlic clove
– the juice of a lemon
– 1/4 cup of tahini
– salt to taste

Then just blend it all up! So simple and quick. Plus, you’re getting good protein, carbs and fibre from the chickpeas, as well as calcium and good fats from the tahini. Yum!

I would encourage you to just taste it and see what it needs. If you like it tangier, add lemon. If you like it creamier, add tahini, but be careful because it has quite a strong taste. Garlic seems to get stronger the longer its left in the hummus so leave it for a while before adding a ton more, unless you like that raw garlic burn!

If you’re feeling creative, try mixing up the flavours… How about coriander and avocado? Roasted red pepper? Moroccan spiced? Try adding hemp seeds too for extra protein!

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Hummus on rice crackers with red onion, avocado and grated carrot.

3. Granola bars


Check out the Minimalist Baker recipe for granola bars here

Remember you can always change up the nuts and put maybe cashews instead of almonds, or add some extra dried fruit/protein powder/etc, just play around with that basic recipe until you have something you love!

To make a version of the ‘Nakd’ bars, try blending 1.5 cups of cashews you have what is basically ‘cashew meal’ (i.e. tiny chunks of cashews) and then add a cup of (medjoul) dates one by one until you have a sticky dough-like texture. You could add some maca & cacao powder, or just some vanilla extract for a ‘cookie dough’ type bar. Press down into a baking tray, leave in the fridge for about half an hour and then cut up into bars, wrap them up and bam- they’re ready for you to grab whenever you need to!

4. Smoothies

I always like to have frozen bananas ready for smoothies as they add a cold creaminess to them that I LOVE! For a creamier smoothie try just coconut milk and bananas (optional coconut water too… yum!), add some greens if you’d like, but of course you could just make any kind of smoothie. Adding chia/flax seeds and/or protein powder will help keep you fuller for a bit longer, or even a bit of nut butter. Deeeelicious! Pour into a big to-go cup and take with you for a quick snack on the go.

Hope you guys found this a bit useful, feel free to comment below with more ideas that you have for quick and healthy snacks!

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Green smoothie with spinach, banana and mango.