A Vegetarians Guide to Portugal

Hello everyone! So as you know I’m back form Portugal and it was amaazzzing! I figured instead of mushing all of my favourite things into one post I would split them into sections so you can get the full experience.

So of course the first post is going to be about food, I love food… this should be no surprise.

Quick recap; I am 90% vegan (so we will stick with the term vegetarian for right now), but I knew going into this trip that to make family travel easier I would just eat vegetarian (see my Travelling with Family Post for Tips!), and this turned out to be one of the best choices.

One of the national dishes of Portugal is a dish focusing on salted cod, so that should set the scene. I always had something to eat; but there weren’t always vegetarian dishes on the menu. For the most part we ate breakfast at our accommodations (we rented houses so we had a full kitchen that was stocked), so breakfasts were the easiest meal to account for.

Lunches were normally eaten out during our day, and most places had at least one omelet on the menu that I could customize to be veggie (which often included French fry cut potatoes – 10/10 would recommend trying this). During one lunch spot I ordered the veg soup that seemed to be a staple on most menus; however, any vegetarians out there will know the feeling of taking a bite of something and knowing that it contained meat, for sure this soup contained chicken broth.

Dinners were the most interesting. Sometimes we ate at our accommodations; which meant eating copious amounts of bread, cheese, and olives, and other times we went to restaurants. Some restaurants didn’t have anything vegetarian on the menu. You would open the menu and it would be split into two sections; meat and fish. The servers were all so nice and did the best to accommodate me, but I frequently at a dinner filled with vegetable sides (i.e potatoes and steamed broccoli).

If you read my post on travelling with family I mentioned that being flexible for dinners could help things go super smoothly, and I have to say that this trip reiterated this point to me. My parents were so lovely and I could tell they felt bad that I didn’t have many menu options, but they greatly appreciated my flexibility and on the last night they made reservations at a vegetarian restaurant in Lisbon for me!

Oh and if your wondering if I ate those two vegan power bars, I did, one on each long haul plane ride because as I predicted they had no veggie meal for me (also the meal on the plane was salted cod… odd choice as it was rather stinky)

That’s all for now!

Kathleen

I’m Back!

I’m Bacccckkkkkk!

Hello everyone I’m back from Portugal and SUPER excited to start blogging again! I plan on doing a complete debrief of my trip later in the week, but for this post I thought I would just catch you all up on what has been happening (and why I’ve been away for so long!).

Firstly I would like to describe my journey home; our flight was suppose to go from Lisbon to Toronto (with a stop in the Azores) and from Toronto to Edmonton getting us back in town by 12am on Sunday. However because I have the worst luck getting back from Europe (Re: Erin and I getting back from Italy a day late because AirFrance strikes) we missed our connection in Toronto and had to stay overnight!

Here’s the scoop: anyone whose been to mainland Europe knows that time runs at a different pace from North America, and the day we left being no exception, our plane was three hours late due to the fact there was no plane to put us on. They found us a plane and got us all on only to tell us that they didn’t have clearance to take off so we waited another hour. Also this plane had no brand names it was just completely white, needless to say people were starting to wonder WHAT was going on.

Ok so finally we’re in the air and we have to stop in the Azores and we get unloaded and loaded onto a completely new plane! There are other random inefficient items that transpired but I will just keep it to that for now. The airline that flies from Portugal to Toronto is not the nicest, with a limited movie selection (Me Before You, X-Men Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, and the latest Ice Age), and a strong smelling salted cod meal (See my tips for Travelling as a Vegetarian!).

When we landed in Toronto they gave us a voucher for a hotel and a meal and sent us on our way. We had a flight at 7:10 the next day getting us back into Edmonton before 10! In the end the extra stop over wasn’t bad – it gave us all a real bed to sleep on.

On that last plane ride home I caught the Plague and so I’ve been recovering ever since, oh and working; I guess I’m back to working now to.

Talk soon!

Kathleen

Veggie Burgers and Milkshakes

Hey Guys! Happy Hump Day!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about a cheap place to eat in Banff that I tried out! I know cheap, good, and in downtown Banff? I must be lying. However, I’m really not! This place was amazing! It could be that I was so hungry after my hike that anything was going to taste good, buuutt I really think that it was good!

So here it goes! The place is called Eddie’s Burger + Bar, and its located in downtown Banff.  That day, I got the veggie burger and kettle chips, because I wanted to attempt to be healthy. I then decided last minute to get a cookies and cream milkshake- so clearly that stuck with me really well! The Veg burger was a chickpea and yam patty, and had jalapeno cheese, tomato, cucumber, roasted garlic, aioli, mixed greens, pesto, and was on a sesame seed bun. It was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be and was only $17.75 (pricey for a burger, however, in Banff that is considered a not bad price). The milkshake was obviously good, and the insane part is, is that I drank a whole glass of it, and they gave me a tin container (that it was mixed in) and I had even more. It was a never ending milkshake for $8.00.

Here’s the picture of my meal. I am soooo sorry the burger is half eaten. I started eating it and my friend was like hey don’t you need a pic for the blog and I was like noooooo crap! So my bad! It looked so good I had a few bites before the picture! My bad!

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Just to finish, I would have to say that I’m pretty sure Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) also ate there when she was in Banff filming for Game of Thrones (this could be a rumor, but it’s what I’ve heard)! The site shows a picture of her eating there! She was definitely in Banff, but I’m not sure what actually for! I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Cheers, Erin

Rolling through the Week

Hi everyone!

Today is another What I Ate Wednesday, and I was a bad blogger and took no pictures of any of the food I ate. However, I did have a super tasty meal of vegetarian sushi for dinner tonight, so I thought I’d rave about that.

Ever have those nights were you just want to treat yourself to some me time? Well thats what I did tonight, after work I stopped at the sushi place across the street and picked myself up a bowl of miso soup, an avocado roll, and a house made vegetable roll. The miso was hot (and large), the rolls were perfectly balanced, and the Netflix was good (currently watching 13).

My avocado roll contained avocado (duh) and tempura bits, making it super creamy with the perfect amount of crunch. The vegetable roll contained cucumber, avocado, carrot, and asparagus – a vegetable I was initially hesitant about having in a roll but it turned out perfect! I also OD’d on pickled ginger and lay on my couch in a food coma for 2 hours.

Side note – as I was cleaning up the kitchen I had a standoff with a millepede and managed to trap it in the togo container that held my miso. Look kids procrastinating kitchen cleanup can save your life- tell your friends.

Thats all for now happy eating

Kathleen

Feeding My Addiction

Welcome back to another What I ate Wednesday!

Breakfast:

This morning I woke up bright and motivated at 8am. I didn’t have to work till 12 so I went for a nice morning walk and treated myself to some starbucks breakfast! I had a spinach and feta wrap and a Caramel Macchiato with Almond milk.

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Lunch (snack?)

So I didn’t really have a proper lunch today. I was pretty full after my breakfast so I had a quick snack of some homemade trail mix right before work before I had to jet.

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(Homemade trail mix)

While at work (I work at a bakery) I had a leftover lemon tart and two ginger cookies! Oh and I also had an iced chai with almond milk (my bakery makes their own chai concentrate and it’s super tasty).

Dinner

I met up with some friends at a local Indian Buffet and oh my god it was amazing! I love Indian food so much (it is the addiction in question)! I had a little bit of everything which included; pakora, aloo tikka, matar paneer, channa masala, Veg Korma, the list continues. Oh and I also tried coconut naan bread for the first time? I had no idea this was a thing and it was good! Definitely sweeter than I thought it would be, so it was good on it’s own and I think it would have been great with some fruit!

That’s all for now!

Happy eating!

K  

To Veg or Not Veg

Good Morning guys! It’s Monday and today I’d like to talk to you about motivation and diet. Diet, not in the sense of “weight loss”, but how you eat day to day; I’m a vegetarian, have been for ten years, and I have no problem identifying with that label. For the past two years I have been playing with being a vegan. I cook all of my meals vegan, I only drink non-dairy milks in my coffee, but I am hesitant to say I’m a vegan in front of my friends and family. When my boyfriend or family cooks dinner for me, I tell them vegetarian is enough of an accommodation, they don’t have to cook vegan; when I’m working (I work at a patisserie) and there are leftover pastries I eat them.

I can’t seem to figure out where this lack of commitment to veganism comes from so I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the connotations of vegan, and veganism. Aside from the obviously (hippies who only eat hemp etc etc we’ve all seen the movies), I think there is an inherent assumption that vegans are going to waste away in front of you. As a vegetarian I’ve had to deal with my fair share of “you’re never going to get enough iron”, “how do you get enough protein”, and back when I ate a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (eggs and dairy people), my answer was always “Well I eat eggs”, “I eat cheese and dairy”. But actually when I started to think about the treatment of chickens who produce eggs, or cows on dairy farms, they were being treated as terrible as those used for meat. Now when veganism comes up and they ask “But how do you get enough protein?” and I say lentils, I get a blank stare followed by the typical “well that’s not enough protein”. At this point my argument falls apart, I don’t have numbers to crunch in front of these people – I can’t say how much protein is in a steak versus a cup of lentils, all I know is that I’m getting enough protein. I’m not calcium deficient because green leafy vegetable contain calcium, so do almonds (and many other vegan foods), but I don’t have a number to tell you so you can compare it to dairy products.

At work I eat these pastries because I don’t want to miss out. But really miss out on what? Sure they’re super tasty but at the end of the day I would feel so much better if, when I go to bed, I had just left them.

Does anyone else struggle with this type of motivation? I’m so motivated to be a vegan I feel so good in my body and my heart when I eat vegan. But people sure don’t hold back on their opinions when they talk about veganism. I have started telling strangers “oh sorry I’m a vegan”, just to test it out and see what it feels like. News flash, it feels good and no one has challenged me to a “muscle-off” yet. Well it’s the start of a new week so I’ll just keep this vegan train rolling. Whatever goals you have this week, it’s Monday! Start fresh and keep that motivation going!

Good Luck!

K