Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Travel, Vegan

Surprisingly Yummy Vegan Food in Sinaia

Happy Friday, people!

As you all recently know, I achieved a goal of mine by climbing to Caraiman Peak which is in the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. It was a wonderfully thrilling and terrifying experience and you can read all about it here.

But though the trip was mainly about climbing the mountain, it’s always nice to make the short drive to Sinaia and visit what has become a vegan staple in the area, Ramayana.

Ramayana isn’t a vegan restaurant, unfortunately. But it’s the only place you can get any vegan food that’s not a burger. There are quite a few places where you can eat with your non-vegan friends and family, if you never get tired of eating the same old vegan burger. Ramayana is, or was, the only place you could get more than one vegan food option and after a complicated first visit, things have only gotten better.

Vegan Aloo Gobi Curry
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Posted in Bowls, Curry, Grains, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe ~ Jerk Roasted Eggplant Bowl

It’s only Wednesday but already this week has been crazy! My book, Let It Be Love is officially LIVE which means book promo and events galore. Even though I knew it was coming, it still kind of snuck up on me.

All of that to say that this will be short (ish) and sweet.

As you may or may not know up until moving to Romania I was not a fan of eggplant. I had tried it a few times and absolutely hated it. The taste. The texture. The mouth-feel. Nothing about it was enjoyable to me and that persisted for most of my life.

But here in Romania eggplant is almost the only vegetable people eat. It’s in Vinete (eggplant dip) and Zacusca (vegetable dip) or just served overcooked with tons of oil for “garnish”. Still wasn’t a fan.

And then my aunt-in-law made some Vinete and I tried it and…liked it.

So I began to experiment with it. Mostly for my husband who is Romanian and loves my baba ghanoush. And then I saw this roasted jerk eggplant recipe and it actually looked good.

Check out my Graffiti Eggplant & Courgette Couscous Salad recipe, or Vegan Eggplant Fries for a different take on eggplant recipes.

So I made a vegan buddha bowl with jerk seasoned eggplant, curry TVP and a grain cooked with plenty of turmeric. And here we are.

Jamaican Jerk Roasted vegan eggplant steaks

I’m still experimenting with cooking eggplant and finding ways to add it to the menu but this one came out pretty well. It was a little softer than I would have liked but next time I’ll shave 5 minutes from the cooking time.

Enjoy!

Continue reading “Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe ~ Jerk Roasted Eggplant Bowl”
Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya

Just in case you are wondering, yes I am still knee-deep in editing Let It Be Love because well, because editing takes time and it has taken me a while to write this story because my day job–more writing–has been insane over the past few years.

We should all be so lucky to have that problem, right?

Anyway instead of spending my time writing up recipes I have been spending a little bit of extra time actually making the recipes. There’s just something about cooking that doesn’t just relax me, but helps clear my mind. I’ve been cooking while listening to police interrogation videos–an off-shoot of my love of true crime docs–and they are surprisingly Zen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been doing prep work and an idea will pop in my head, forcing me to wash my hands and type notes or put them in a voice recorder.

So…the good news is that I did get a few plot ideas while I was making this vegan vindaloo recipe. The not quite as good news is that I went with the traditional-ish method of making Vindaloo.

What does mean? Well it means I did what I could with what I had, while adhering to the traditional methods such as cooking and then grinding whole spices. It was a whole thing and I completely understand if you opt for already ground spices to get this recipe on your table.

So, let’s give it a go! (Are you a fan of That Chapter on YouTube? It’s Mike’s catchphrase only picture it with an Irish accent!)

Easy vegan lamb vindaloo recipe

Get ready for some major prep work and some insane flavors!

Continue reading “Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Curry Recipe ~ Butternut Squash, Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry

This weather has been so all over the place lately that it makes it difficult to meal plan. Okay the truth is that I’m not much on meal planning, our Midnight Tokyo Diner nights have been working out incredibly for the past few years so we get tons of ingredients, many of them fresh and then pantry staples, and then we can decide from one night to the next.

But with food shortages and shipping delays it’s harder and harder to get what you expect to find in the grocery stores in April. For example, there has been a TON of butternut squash lately which I love, but for me it usually means soup like, Squash & Lentil Stew. Or cookies. Or cake. Those are my go to recipes for squash, but sometimes I feel creative and make Vegan Spinach & Squash Queso Dip or Squash Blondies.

But I wasn’t in the mood and the weather was just insane. It was super warm and we went for a long walk without jackets one day and the next it was gray and gloomy and super chilly. And the only thing to like about a cold and gloomy day is cold weather vegan food. Chili and soups and stews and casseroles are all great vegan meals when the temperature dips and I knew when The Hubs asked for cauliflower curry, exactly what I would do.

Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Curry

Crispy vegan roasted cauliflower & butternut squash curry

This isn’t a quick vegan dinner but the good news is that the oven does most of the work.

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Posted in Curry, Dips, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Easy Plant Based Vegan Recipe ~ Jamaican Style Curried Artichokes & Mushrooms

With each passing year there are more and more vegan meat alternatives. Whether it’s Beyond Burgers, vegan meatballs, sausages or the all-purpose TVP, there are many ways you can take your vegan diet and lifestyle to the next level. You can enjoy childhood favorites without the cruelty. You can still enjoy your favorite comfort foods, like Vegan Salisbury Steak, without using animals to satisfy your hunger.

Great, right? It’s the goal of every vegan I’ve met since becoming vegan in 2017.

But sometimes you just want to get back to your plant-based vegan roots. Or sometimes I do, anyway. There’s no particular reason for this. I eat plenty of fresh vegetables. Fruits? Not so much, but it’s something I’m working on becoming better at as much as I can. But between vegetables (raw and cooked), whole grains and beans, I do try to get a good dose of them to my diet each week.

But on this day, I was visiting a new Lidl here in Ploiesti and they had, guess what? Fresh artichokes, already trimmed!!! I was totally stoked and knew that it was time to use them or lose them.

So, I used them.

Jamaican style curried rice & peas, mushrooms & roasted artichokes.

This is a simple totally plant based vegan recipe that is easy to make and super delicious.

So let’s see what this recipe has to offer.

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Posted in Bowls, Curry, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Sides, Vegan

Jamaican Curry Vegan Buddha Bowl

Sick of the same old meals week in and week out? Yeah, I get that way sometimes too especially with things being the way they are and the limited vegan take out options in my adopted town. Despite all of my recipes on everything from sushi bowls to warm salad recipes, not to mention the wealth of vegan recipes available online, sometimes it feels as if I’ve made everything.

Everything.

But that can’t be, can it? Of course not. That’s why when I get into a vegan cooking rut, I decide what I want to eat first. Am I in the mood for broccoli or mac & cheese or a Gnocchi Bake? And then I just do a little switch-a-roo. Take an Italian dish and turn into something else like, Asian style. It doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth a shot because when it does work…whoa boy!

Sunday night is the night before I hit up the grocery store so often I try to use all the odds & ends to make room for fresh items, mostly produce. I went through my spice rack and came up with a few things to make a Jamaican style curry and put it all in a bowl.

Vegan Jamaican curry bowl.

It looks like a whole feast, doesn’t it? Well it was and the other it was? Super easy to make.

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Posted in Asian Food, Curry, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Meatball Coconut Curry & Noodles

Do you love curry? Vegan meatballs? Coconut curry? Because I love pretty much everything about all of those things so when you combine them, you have a pretty good vegan meal on your hands.

The good thing about a recipe like this is that you can use pretty much whatever you want in it, as long as you adhere to certain staples like ginger, garlic and your favorite type of curry. Actually, you don’t even have to do that…but it will totally alter the taste of your vegan curry.

Because of the vegan meatballs, I kept this meal pretty simple without compromising flavor. This way it’s easy to simplify if you’re in a time crunch.

Coconut & vegan meatball curry noodles.

I’m going to start you with a basic list of ingredients and you can use whatever substitutes you want/need because you’re the one who has to eat it.

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Curry, International vegan cuisine, Potatoes, Vegan

Aloo Keema ~ Vegan Mince & Potato Curry Recipe

I love a good curry. Who doesn’t? I mean, you get tons of vegetables and rice steeped in delicious and vibrant flavors, sometimes spicy with your favorite vegan meat alternative and it’s just a big bowl of goodness. Unlike soup, I am never opposed to eating a curry in the heart of summer of the depths of winter.

And I recently discovered Aloo Keema, a dish that originated in Pakistan/Northern India that has the simplest of ingredients: mince, potatoes and rice with bread if you choose to double-carb it.

The flavors of the dish really appealed to me so I figured, why not?

Vegan Aloo Keema ~ Mince & Potato Curry

As far as vegan curry recipes go, this is a pretty easy one with a manageable list of vegan ingredients.

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Curry, International vegan cuisine, Travel, Vegan

Hiking, Sightseeing & Eating Vegan in Sinaia, Romania

Whenever we’re in the mood to get away for a while without actually hopping a flight somewhere, Sinaia is one of our go-to places. It’s about a sixty-minute drive from our apartment and it has gorgeous scenery if you just want to walk around, visit a castle and be in the outdoors.

Because of the events of 2020 (and beyond), as I like to call the year that wasn’t, it’s been a long time since we’ve done any real traveling, so this was a much needed trip.

The trip started with a visit to Peles Castle. I’ve been there before but there’s always so much to see, plenty of great photo opportunities and on a nice, sunny day, the perfect place to walk around for a bit.

After an hour or two in the sun, you know what it was time for.

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Posted in Bowls, Curry, Dips, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Potatoes, Vegan

Kartoffel (Potato) Vindaloo ~ Easy Vegan Potato Stew

The first time I ate Indian food, I was at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. and I hated it. The food was bland and boring and left such a bad taste in my mouth that it took me about three years before I tried it again. That time, well let’s just say that in our house, Indian food is on the menu at least once a week.

At least.

The dish was lamb vindaloo (sorry lamb!) and it was everything I had been promised Indian food would be. Well-seasoned, flavorful as hell, and spicy. It blew me away and from that moment on, I was hooked. The addiction was formed.

And it was that memory that inspired me to re-create the Kartoffel Vindaloo in all it’s spicy glory.

You’re probably wondering why I named this recipe Kartoffel Vindaloo intsead of regular ol’ potato vindaloo? The simple answer is that after spending almost a decade living in Germany, I’ve decided that I prefer the word kartoffel to the word potato, that’s all. ­čÖé

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