Eating in

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Traditional Egyptian Food Made Vegan

VGML Egypt Air Rome to Cairo on August 30, 2010

VGML on Flight from Rome to Cairo

Are you ready for Egypt!? We certainly weren’t. Going from Italy to Egypt was one hell of a culture shock. After just a few hours in the sky, we landed in a country where everything was totally different, especially the food and people.

We flew with Egypt Air from Rome to Cairo. We ordered special vegan meals (VGML) when we made our online booking and called two days before to make sure they had received our request. When the meals were passed around, the staff knew to give us the veggie option. Our meals came with the little VGML cards but I’m not very confident that everything on the tray was actually vegan. There was no problem with the fruit salad, corn salad, rye bread or box of dates. The potential intruder was the ravioli, which had a mystery stuffing that none of the staff could identify. It could have been potato, tofu or cheese. And who knows what the pasta was made of. I’m dorky enough that I tried emailing Egypt Air customer service. The email address bounced back, saying the address was invalid. Ironically, their email for customer questions is [email protected] I also tried contacting them through Twitter. My question was ignored. Oh well, I guess we’ll never know.

Let’s not dwell on that though. Today I want to share some pictures of the homemade meals we enjoyed while in Cairo.

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First Taste of Truffle, Eating Fruit off Trees & Other Vegan Adventures in Sermoneta, Italy

Curry Dinner and Fragolino

Eating in - Sermoneta, Italy

Before we went to Italy, if I had to guess which city was going to be my favourite, I’d probably have said one of the big, famous places like Rome or Venice. But, as it turns out, one of our favourite stops was in Sermoneta, a small town in the Latina province that’s about 40 minutes from Rome by train.

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Sweet Vegan Finds in Florence, Italy

Vegan Hazelnut and Chocolate Ice Cream by Coop

Coop Bene.si Chocolate and Hazelnut Gelato

Remember in my first post about Florence, when I said our Couch Surfing host, Helena, had a sweet tooth? Yea, well I wasn’t kidding. On our second night, she brought home a huge bag of her favourite vegan treats for us to sample. How generous! She started us off with some cacao e nocciola, chocolate and hazelnut, gelato from the Coop Bene.sì line, which, according to their website, is “a line of products with specific nutritional characteristics, capable of performing a particular function beneficial to the body.” Ice cream that’s good for your body? Sure, I’ll take it.

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Closed for August, See you in September – Bologna, Italy

Stefino Vegan Ice Cream Shop

Stefino Veg

It wasn’t until we arrived in Bologna that we realized Italy really is closed in August. Our first hint was when a Couch Surfer wrote to us asking why we were coming in August when everyone is out of town on holidays, tourists fill the streets, and many of the shops and restaurants close their doors for the month. Well, we certainly didn’t plan for it. The reality of the situation came crashing down when we arrived at Stefino Veg, an all vegan ice cream parlor, only to find the door closed and a small sign saying the staff would be on holidays from August 6 to 18.

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Our Introduction to Italian Life, Food & Drinks Starts in Padova

Spritz and ValSoia Chocolate Orange Cinnamon Drink

Spritz, Crisps and Orange Cinnamon Chocolate Shake

In my post about Venice, I mentioned that we didn’t stay in the city but took the train from Padova. The Couch Surfing hosts in Venice are pretty maxed out with requests. Some will host you but in exchange for meeting their crazy demands, like entering into a video taped wrestling match. Seriously. Given this, we were very happy to have found a friendly host in nearby Padova who was eager to show us the city, share home cooked vegan meals, and introduce us to a variety of Italian beverages.

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Vegan Fast Food in Berlin: Quick Meals Under €7.00

Voner Sandwich and Special Chips

Special Chips and Vöner Sandwich

If you’re a fan of vegan fast food, get yourself to Berlin pronto. There are lots of vegan takeout places, but just a handful of fancy and casual places where you can sit down and enjoy a meal. Personally, I don’t really like typical fast food. Mock meat products made with soy don’t get me very excited. But sometimes, eating a big, greasy meal can be a nice treat. John, on the other hand, loves this kind of stuff. I owe him a big thank you for helping me eat my way through Berlin’s vegan fast food scene. If you’re like me and prefer to eat healthy meals most of the time, you’ll be happy to know it’s not all burgers and pizza. Berlin also has some semi-healthy takeout options for you and me.

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On the Road but Staying Connected to the Kitchen

Makings of a Soup

Makings of a Soup

Food is more than something to eat. Food is love. Food is culture. Food is life. Food is meant to be shared.

If I eat at restaurants too often, I start to feel disconnected from food. I like to make my own meals. I like watching a bag of vegetables turn into a beautiful soup or salad. I like cooking with people, and watching them cook. People who cook from the heart, without recipes and measuring cups, inspire me.

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Veggin’ Out at the Vegalicious HQ

Vegan Strawberry Tarts with Soy Yoghurt & Cashew Cream

Vegan Strawberry Tarts with Soy Yogourt and Cashew Cream

When we arrived at the Amsterdam airport, we received a warm greeting from Harald, the talented photographer behind the camera at Vegalicious. Harald does a fantastic job capturing the beauty of his wife Chris’ unique vegan recipes, all of which are available for free on the Vegalicious blog.

We had the pleasure of staying with Chris and Harald at their home in Almere, the Netherlands. Upon introduction, they dubbed us their little test bunnies and immediately started feeding us Chris’ delicious vegan creations. Our first taste of Vegalicious talent came in the form of vegan strawberry tarts with soy yogourt and cashew cream. We enjoyed them in the garden with tea and coffee.

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What’s for Breakfast?

Brekafast

Muesli Breakfast

I couldn’t skip breakfast if I tried. Even if I wake up late, which I seem to be making a habit of, I still manage to eat something that resembles breakfast before having lunch. To me, breakfast is the symbol of a new beginning, another chance to have a happy and healthy day. When I was in Canada, my breakfast always involved a smoothie or freshly pressed juice. Since I started traveling six months ago, I’ve encountered less than five blenders and zero juicers. Naturally, I’ve had to open up to other options. In recent weeks, I’ve had many different things for breakfast, following along with the traditions of our hosts in each city.

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Shopping for Vegan Food in Dublin, Ireland

Greetings from Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

We spent a little over a week in Dublin but only ate at one restaurant, Cornucopia. The rest of the time, we bought food to eat at home. Our shopping trips took us to many places, including several supermarkets and health food stores.

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