Montag, 26. August 2013

Eating vegan while travelling...

So many posts have been written on finding vegan food while travelling and eating out. When we left for a four day-trip to Bonn and Cologne I was a bit scared. I had just made the decision to go vegan, and I was not so sure what to do when somebody else was doing the cooking for us.
As I have told you before, I am taking the 30-Day-Vegan challenge, a programm offered by the wonderful Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Two days before we left, she was talking about the subject of eating out as a vegan. And she made it look like a doable task.

The first evening, we went for a Chinese restaurant . They offered vegetarian Ma-Po-Tofu, with mushrooms, onions and peppers, a bit spicy, and it was delish. So delish that I forgot to take a picture, I really have to get into the habit of taking pictures before I finish my dinner!
Breakfast in the hotel was easy. The had fresh rolls, margarine, marmelade. Fruit salad and fresh fruit. I still do not like marmelade, but in a nearby supermarket I found the famous "Wilmersburger Vegan Cheese", so I was quite happy with the breakfast there.

The second day we headed for an Italian restaurant. I ordered a salad with tomatoes, onions and artichokes, bread on the side. Perfect little lunch. In the evening we went to Bad Godesberg for some Lebanese food. Falafel and hummus, anyone?

On Saturday, we visited Cologne. Lunch at an Italian restaurant again. Vegan Spagetti with garlic and olive oil. To my delight, lots of pasta and garlic.
In the evening we had some salad, pita and olives from the supermarket.

On Sunday, we visited the Gamescom, a kind of gamers' paradise. The whole area was so crowded with people, I skipped Lunch that day. Salad for dinner.

Altogether I was really amazed how easy it was to eat vegan while eating in restaurants. Of course we passed many "Brauhaus-Style"-restaurants where they would mainly serve pork chops or fried chicken. But if you look carefully, there are so many choices. At least in bigger cities.
Especially in Cologne you can find so many Chinese, Japanese or Italian Restaurants.

The whole trip encouraged to keep on eating vegan. Although my son always looked at me and said things like "Poor mama, no pizza for you, you are not allowed to eat cheese!"
Well, this is wrong: I made this decision for myself, deliberately. I am not "Not allowed to", I simply do not WANT to eat cheese. (Note to self: Try"Wilmersburger Pizzaschmelz"!)

I am so curious where this vegan thing will lead me and what the journey will bring!

Breakfast and a surprised mom...

We came home yesterday from a short trip to Bonn and Cologne, so this morning I faced an empty fridge. I needed breakfast, now, but all I could find was a block of tofu and some not-so-happy spring onions. There were also some tomatoes from my mom's garden.
I know what you are thinking: "Why doesn't she do some tofu scramble?" -Well, that's what I did. I gave tofu scramble a try about one year ago and found it very complicated. I kept looking up the recipe, and thought "what's next?" - "Which spice comes next?" - "How long do I have to stir this?"...Too much thinking in the morning!
This time, I did it kind of free style. I chopped up the spring onions and sauteed them in a pan with a bit of oil. Meanwhile, I crumbled the tofu and diced two tomatoes. Put the tofu in the pan, together with the tomatoes. Then I sauteed everything until almost all of the liquid was gone. Then I added about two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, half a teaspoon of cumin and pepper and a good pinch of turmeric. Sauteed it a few more minutes and breakfast was ready to be served. With two slices of toast on the side, this was the perfect start to a hectic day.
You might think "Well, tofu scramble, wha's the deal, every vegan knows this...". Here's the surprise end of the story: Have you ever tried to offer tofu to a twelve year old boy?? Have you ever seen this expression on his face when you mention that a dish is vegan?? A mixture between disgust and fear...
Today I thought I'd give it a try (again). My son likes srambled eggs for breakfast and I asked him if he'd like to try the tofu... He tried it and finished of a whole plate of scrambled tofu. No ketchup, just the tofu. And even the vegetables. To my great surprise, he liked it! Maybe it's these big pieces of tofu that scare him :-)

Doesn't it look pretty?

Montag, 19. August 2013

Back to eating vegan...

Soo,...I did it again! Started another attempt to go vegan. And failed. But learned. A lot.

Last Monday I started the "30 Day Vegan Challenge" offered by the wonderful Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. You sign up for the programm and for thirty days you receive daily messages, menu suggestions and tips for going vegan. I really like that program, Colleens approach to eating vegan is so easy and uncomplicated, just what I needed!
Lunch, almost vegan, except the feta...

Well, I was really vegan for six days. Then came yesterday, Sunday. We always have a late breakfast on Sundays, with fresh rolls, jams, cheese and ham or whatever. I completely forgot to get something vegan. No, I do not like jam, sorry... So I had cheese. I have always loved cheese, until I found out that I cannot tolerate milk. I did feel really really bad afterwards. Stuffed and sick.

In the evening, we went to a Chinese restaurant that offers dinner buffet. You help yourself with anything on offer. And there were a lot of things on offer. I could have eaten vegan without starving: They had vegan spring rolls, rice with mixed vegetables, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower and chinese noodles. A salad bar, vegan sushi and fruit for dessert.
But there was also crispy duck, my big weakness, and fried fish. Anything fried is my second big weakness. So I could not resist and had duck and fish and sepia and chicken. Not vegan at all. Did I enjoy my dinner?
 I am sorry to tell you: Yes!

But then something happened: I looked at my plate and suddenly I did not see the crispy duck pieces or the fried fish, I saw them as alive animals. These pictures of fish, swimming in the sea and chickens, alive and picking, they changed my mind. Or, better said: They confimed my decision to go vegan. This dinner, with all the mixed  animals on my plate, this dinner was my final "Goodbye-Dinner"

Goodbye to crispy duck, farewell, fried fish and have a nice day, chicken nuggets. The whole week I had felt light and healthy, today I still feel stuffed and sick.
I had a nice breakfast, toast with almond butter and sliced banana, later I will go to a organic supermarket, to stock up on a few things for breakfast, soy yoghurt and veggies.

On the menu for tonight: Pasta with Ratatouille. Vegan ;-)
What is your favourite vegan breakfast?? Any suggestions??

Vegan breakfast, toast with avocado and tomatoe, juice and tea with soy milk

Dienstag, 13. August 2013


The month of Ramadan has passed, the Eid celebrations are over and the kitchen is relatively clean again.
My brain is working again, and I have been thinking a lot. Especially Ramadan is a good time to be thankful. Here are some of the things I am thankful for:

-My family, especially my parents who never let me down. I can always rely on them, don't know where I would be without them. God bless them!
-My body, still healthy and working well.
-My job. Well, I could list you a thousand things I would love to do instead of sitting at my desk, but, hey, I can feed my family from the money I earn.
-We have food on the table every night. What a blessing!
-The internet. Of course :-)
-My washing machine and the attick, where I dry our clothes. After two summers in Algeria where we had to wash with our hands... Love my washing machine!
-Friends, real life and virtual friends

I am sure there are so many things I am thankful for, but these are the most important at the moment. Time to get the day started, my son wants to visit the zoo today. Lovely weather today! Perfect for a little day trip!

What are you thankful for today?