Vegan Mofo: Potato Pancakes in The Czech Republic

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Wahoo! It’s Snacky Tuesday!

Brno, in the Czech Republic, is one of my favorite places I have ever traveled to. I loved 100% of things about it.

One thing I especially loved was visiting Moravian Karst. These caves lie about 25 miles outside of Brno, and though the trip is not especially an easy one (it took a group of us four hours to get there via bus & train, though I imagine it would take less than an hour if you drive), it is so so worth it.

Looking up from the bottom of an underground cave

Looking up from the bottom of the Machoca Abyss

Stunning.

 

Before we went on the (very cold–bundle up!) underground boat tour of the Punkva caves, I saw a stand that sold a few snacky treats. Potato pancake! After an affirmative reply that the pancakes only contain potato, salt and water (no egg! Heaven.), I bought a hot little potato cake of wonder.

bites from abroad

Hot, salty round fried potato cake for .40 cents; you can’t do much better.

Unless you throw in a cold refreshing beer. Duh.

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Perfect.

 

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Vegan Mofo: Pizza n’ Pasta

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Hi guys! Happy Mofo-ing! Welcome to ‘Round the World Thursdays, in which I showcase food or drinks I’ve consumed in a plethora of places.

Here’s a little secret: I love pasta. If you told me I would get a perfectly balanced diet by only eating tacos, popcorn and pasta, I would be perfectly content for life. Give me noodles in some kind of sauce, and I will not get bored. Ever.

So in cities or countries where it’s been hard to find vegan food, either in the grocery store or in restaurants, a lot of time I’ll fall back on pasta. Throw in a cheeseless pizza (or vegan cheese when available, because I like my pizzas with cheeeeese) from time to time, and you’ve got an ideal fallback for many meals.

thank goodness for carbs and sauce

thank goodness for sauce and carbs

 

The meals shown above range from raw beet and cashew cheese ravioli (Coach and Horses Pub, London, top right) to a vegan pepperoni Turkish pizza (Brno, Czech Republic, middle center) to an Indian-style spaghetti made for me by an amorous restaurant owner in Novi Sad, Serbia (bottom right).

And Vietnam is no exception, actually. Most restaurants, even with a vegetable section, add fish sauce to dishes and the language barrier is sometimes too hard to overcome. Plus a lot of Vietnamese restaurants seem to have a small pizza and/or pasta section (Heck yeah). So when Happy Cow doesn’t show a vegan or vegetarian establishment close by, I’ll frequently opt for spaghetti (no butter, no parmesan).

As I’ve thought numerous times on this trip: I’m so thankful my stomach is forgiving when I eat copious amounts of wheat and soy. At home in Portland, I usually opt for gluten-free noodles and rarely eat soy (unless it’s tofu), but I would have a harder time traveling if I didn’t have those options available to me.

 

 

Spaghetti in Phu Quoc (mysteriously garnished with a mint leaf) (which I ate, and it was good)

Spaghetti in Phu Quoc (mysteriously garnished with a mint leaf) (which I ate, and it was good)

 

Side Note: I thought I’d lose weight when I started traveling because I wouldn’t have access to ALL THE VEGAN FOOD that I eat in Portland, plus I’d be drinking less and walking more. But it turns out that I still really like to eat pasta, bread, ice cream, corn nuts, and I still love my wine spritzers. Go figure. Food’s the best.

 

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Vegan Mofo: Chili Corn Nuts in Eastern Europe

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Hi! Welcome to Snacky Tuesday.

Oh, my loves. I found this snacky treat in Brno, The Czech Republic, and kept finding them throughout Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro. These spicy chili corn nuts are officially called “Mexicorn” and probably have loads of MSG, but I can’t stay away. I still find myself fantasizing about these wee tasty nuggets.

 

I may or may not have a slight obsession with these.

I may or may not have a slight obsession with these things.

 

These are pictured in Brno, with an off-brand of Kofola (a popular Czech carbonated beverage, similar to Coke, but with a slight anise-y taste), called Koala. The drink wasn’t worth the purchase, but these nuts… oh boy. They’re crunchy and spicy and bite-sized little nuggets of glory. This was the beginning of the obsession that took me through Eastern Europe.

One night in Novi Sad, Serbia, when I was classing it up in a hotel instead of a hostel, I stayed in all day to work on the blog and Vida Vegan stuff. Not even venturing out for dinner, instead I drank two beers from the minbar (at about .80 cents each, it was my first ever mini bar splurge) and ate two of these Mexicorn for dinner. It wasn’t my proudest moment, but it was definitely one of my tastiest.

 

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