Vegan Mofo: POPCORN ’round the world (OF COURSE)

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You know it was bound it happen. I cannot go a whole month writing about food and not include popcorn. So here it is, just in time for Thursday Mofo: Popcorn ‘round the world.

 

popcorn 'round the world

popcorn ’round the world

Luckily I discovered pretty quickly that popcorn is popular everywhere. Everywhere. I have yet to be in a country where I haven’t found popcorn for sale.  From Belgium to Budapest to Bangkok, I’ve been able to indulge in my—what do you call a minor obsession? Passion? Affinity? Extreme fondess?– good old fashioned love for popcorn.

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From wasabi popcorn (totally decent and slightly addictive) to sweet and salty popcorn in-a-cup in Vietnam (perfect overnight train snack), I have been eating popcorn several times a month. Nowhere near my average of 3-4 times a week back in Portland, but not too shabby.

popcorn

 

I am actually on a nutritional yeast detox (this is the longest I’ve gone not eating nutritional yeast since eating solid foods), so even though all this popcorn has soothed my inner popcorn beast, I’m tremendously looking forward to getting home and enjoying a classic bowl of plain popcorn with coconut spray oil, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. Until then, though, I’ll continue happily munching on street ‘corn.

 

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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: The Hummus Bar in Budapest


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Hi, welcome to snacky Tuesday! Last week I confessed my powerful love affair with Mexicorn. This week it’s….. HUMMUS.

 

It’s sort of strange, because hummus is such a default vegetarian/vegan option in the States that I get bored of it quite easily. But after eating across Europe, I started missing that creamy lemony chickpea spread. In Budapest, at the suggestion of my Instagram friend Huggy29, I tried The Hummus Bar.

OH MY GOD, I forgot how much I love hummus. And chickpeas in general. And pita bread. And fava beans. And everything that is good and beany and creamy in this world.

I sort of got confused when ordering, so ended up with a bowl of hummus with chickpeas as my side. Never fear. The more chickpeas the better. The salads all looked good; I ended up ordering a tomato/cucumber/onion delight that went into my little pita pocket of wonder with the hummus and chickpeas.

Magical Chickpeas

Magical Chickpeas

GIMME CHICKPEAS OR GIMME…. well, mexicorn or thyme chocolate or wine spritzers. I’m not picky.

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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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