Vegan Mofo: Pizza n’ Pasta


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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  • Kelly Peloza

    Whoa! That pepperoni Turkish pizza! I’m excited to see what you eat for the rest of the month.

    • Janessa

      That turkish pizza was so good!! Surprisingly, Brno had some of the best vegan eats yet!

  • Totally not your fault, but also totally your fault, I have the urge to make a giant spaghetti taco in a Tofurky pizza shell.

    • Janessa

      Wait til I blow your mind with my new taco fusion idea. I’ll wait to tell you in person, over those spaghetti tacos.

  • Yay on pasta! I love creamy and cheezy pastas, or drenched in olive oil with a bit of Maldon salt or vegan parmesa (Parmela). Haha, I also thought about the same thing, I thought I’d lose weight by traveling and eating in Asia, but not really, there are plenty of vegan options everywhere plus bread/pasta are always available in Europe!

    • Janessa

      Ha! Right?! Plus, I’m like, “Mango Daquiri? Sure, I’ll take 3!”

  • veganinbrighton

    Pasta & pizza are totally in my top three fave foods! I love it!

    • Janessa

      Spaghetti is EVERYWHERE here! It’s so nuts.

  • Helen4Morrissey

    You’re so right – plenty of vegan-friendly noms in pizza and pasta form. Thank you, Italy, for making the world love your food!

    • Janessa

      Right? Give me some pasta and red sauce and I’m happy! I even got some yesterday with green pepper and spinach–2 vegetables I’ve missed a lot!

  • Rachel

    I admit we occasionally resorted to pasta in Thailand, but part of that was the strange proliferation of restaurants with fantastic, handmade, vegan pasta. Go figure.