Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spain

Hm, where to start. With the flight I suppose. I had it explained to me that vegetarians can indeed eat fish when I went to see if, last minute, I could possible have a vegetarian meal. (So it wasnt their fault they couldn't provide me with that: I really gave almost no notice--I was really absent minded when my dad was booking and forgot to ask him to ask them for one.)

The flight itself was cool though, as I ate the grapefruits, dried fruit and nuts, and ginger candies I'd packed myself (it was a night flight so I didn't exactly need an arsenal of food) I chatted with the boy (who I later found out is named Clive) about veganism. He himself was completely omniverous but really really curious to know as much as he could about how I live, what I eat, and how he could go about learning to make more veggie-based meals. The only thing he did 'wrong' was he KEPT assuming vegan=healthy. I tried to explain to him how I feel about that: that being vegan isn't intrinsically healthy, its just when you're thinking that hard about what's going in your body and obviously have that much willpower--making the healthier choice isn't a huge leap. That and dude, half of my groceries come from health food stores.

He was shocked and appalled to learn Oreos are vegan. In a good way. ;)

Anyway... Spain:

It's LOVELY here.. how happy I am that not only is there no snow, but I can go around in my sweater alone!! I LOVE it here love love love.

Oh, and I found out there is quite the population of strict vegetarians here. I went to the small health food store in town and what a surprise not only to see a variety of soy milks, but a variety of rice milks, almond milks and, get this, oat milks. I had never even HEARD of oat milk! I bought a plain soy milk because I was tired and wanted to eat, but I promise I'll buy some oat milk to review. Has anyone ever heard of this?

They also had more soy yogurt varieties than I'd EVER seen before! Four brand names, two of them "dessert" yogurts that came in gorgeous individual glass containers, one of them had yoplait type drink tubes, flavors like lemon, apricot, dried plum, pomegranate, passionfruit, (plus all the usual like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, field berry, blueberry, peach, etc.) I was BLOWN away. I got plain though, as its my favourite, and as its the only one of other brand names I've tried so it would make it easier to review. I LOVE apricot though.. and am addicted to dried prunes.. and LOVE lemon yogurts.. so.. I think you will get to see some variety soon enough.

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link to larger image, if you want to see the flavors in more detail: (I know I was curious..) http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/1847/feb15012cix6.jpg

Here's the plain one I bought (I didn't photograph even a SMALL portion of the stuff they had..) (oh and I'm totally showing off the view from my balcony.)



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It was amazing!!! So wonderfully creamy and smooth--it didn't have the strange aftertaste I find from So Nice. It was a thicker, smoother, better version of the home made soy yogurt I made, but for 1.70Euro and zero time commitment! Absolutely amazing.. it makes me cry that I don't have this at home.

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Here's one of the brand names of soy milk they had. The taste was ok--a little on the watery side, and a little nutty. It sort of reminded me of tigernut milk (very common here in spain.. oh I guess that's another vegan option isn't it! But its a dessert here so its very very sweet!) which was a nice childhood memory sort of thing.


Then I pulled my trolly to market. (I have to take a photo of my trolly--just bought it and i LOVE it to bits.. its bright orange and has huge wheels so it doesnt jiggle to hell and back on those cobblestone roads! Definately bringing it back to Canada!)

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So much variety, almost all nuts were raw with only a few to "snack on now"--Spaniards appreciate cooking with nuts and the beauty of home roasted nuts.. which also makes a raw diet much easier! I didn't take photos of the many many fruit stalls and vendors but I should have. Monday is real "market" where all the farmers and other merchants come to town so you'll have wonderful photos of that!

I bought the most beautiful raisins there

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I mean I KNOW you can get mixed raisins anywhere, but these just seemed so gorgeous...

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The HUGE vats (I mean huge--I could've easily fit in one!) in this stall were impressive! They all cooked different sort of beans and some 'deli salads' of sorts--all vegan really, as they were made with simple, fresh ingredients... and that doesnt include milk or egg.

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(This is actually from a different shop, but of the same idea) MMMM THIS is how garbanzo beans are meant to be bought.. they were perfect absolutely perfect. I'd never tasted chickpeas quite so gorgeous!!!!

Here's me, happy with my chickpeas:

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I proceeded to then COOK!

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I stewed some tomatoes in a tad of water, added in some garlic, and then olive oil, thyme, and 3/4 kg of chickpeas.. Mmm this was AMAZING. Everyone devoured it!!

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Roasted butternut squash with cloves and cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg, ground with mortar and pestle and tossed with olive oil. SO GOOD.

I also made an pear tart, inspired by a recipe in VwaV, but the photos of that is yet to come as I used my uncle's camera for that.

Oh, and I have found some of the most gorgeous plates and cutlery odd and ends in storage, which I'm taking back, and a store that sells some fancy cool plates and stuff that I'll check out in more detail on Monday.

I'll also share photos of what its like to cook with an oven with absolutely no temperature indicators, no food processor, blender, measuring cups, or most other normal utensils. Its a blast.. honestly everything keeps coming out really great! See you later alligators!

xoxo.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Those raisins DO look beautiful! And the market looks amazing.