I’ve only been vegan for 4 years.
I wasn’t born vegan, nor was I a chef in another life.
Quite the opposite, actually.
For several reasons, I only learned how to cook 3 years ago..
Going vegan is one of the main reasons for the switch.
Living in one of the least vegan-friendly cities in France (and Europe), I had no other choice but to learn how to “veganize” my favorite dishes, drinks and snacks.
And so I did.
But first, I called mom.
Mom used to be a chef. She gave me the best tips to get the ball rollin’, but it wasn’t enough.
So I did what anyone trying to learn anything would do: I opened YouTube, and then Instagram.
But first, let me tell you something about me (that I haven’t shared on this blog yet).
- Blah-blah about me (that you can skip)
You see, my family and I are extremely different.
I love them to death, but we were brought up in different cultures, environments and have different characters and standards. That said, we share the same values.
My parents and siblings are
somewhat conformists. They love being “normal”, fitting in, which was never my thing.
(Btw, conformism is NOT a bad thing, I’m just stating our differences ^^)
After leaving the family nest at the age of 18, I deconstructed what I was taught and took on the heavy – but necessary – task to relearn everything on my own.
It’s one of the things I’m most proud of, tbh.
I’ve always dreamed and hoped for a life that fits me and my standards, not that of my family, certainly not that of society.
It was a long, tiring process. Conforming and acting in accordance to what you were told would’ve been much easier, but costly.
- Authenticity is priceless
Deconstructing your beliefs and rebuilding your character are the most rewarding things you can do for yourself.
Doing so is one of the main reasons I hardly ever feel “lost” in life, the other reason being my faith.
That said, my parents and I share the same Polaris, that being our love of God, his prophets (PBUT) and religion.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand
- Topic at hand
Having traveled so much wasn’t just a treat on the cultural, educational and spiritual level, it’s a privilege because we got to taste and cook foods from all over the world.
Travel is a powerful thing, fam. It introduces you to people from distinct backgrounds, cultures and habits.
The cool (and maybe my favorite) thing about people is that they all have this one thing in common: they cook, and they eat.
Inevitably, travel introduced me to foreign cuisine.
The list below serves as a reminder that veganized, international cuisine is where it’s at. These are some of my favorite mouth-watering dishes, desserts and drinks, most of which can easily be made at home.
🇩🇿 Algerian boureks and bricks (north african samoussa), rechta (local noodles with a veggie sauce), couscous, dolma (stuffed veggies with vegan mince or plant-based meat), karantika (aka garantita, calentica and karantita, chickpea thick pancake) khobz el bey (cake made from almond meal and breadcrumbs, soaked in a syrup flavored with orange blossom water)
🇪🇹 Ethiopian teff and spinach lasagna, teff injera (Ethiopian crepe), zucchini wot, spinach lasagna with local teff (cereal)
🇲🇱 Malian and Western Saharan tea (the best I’ve ever had!)
🇲🇿 Mozambique pao (fresh, local bread), mucapata (mung beans, coconut milk and rice)
🇹🇬 Togolese Nougbagba with rice
🇸🇨 Seychelles plantain chips (aka chips bannann, a creole delicacy)
West African maafé with rice and veggies
West and east african Karkadi (aka Bissap, hibiscus drink)
North and South America:
🇺🇸 American burgers, hotdogs, buffalo wings, tater tots, rainbow cake, donuts, cupcakes, layer cakes, mac n’ cheese (esp. when I was young), potato chips (yes, it’s an american invention just like ketchup), PB&J, popcorns, fried chicken similis, WHITE vegan chocolate-chip cookies, blueberry cobbler, nachos..
🇦🇷 Argentinian empanadas, bombas de papa, vegan choripan (hotdogs), chimichurri (some sort of local pesto), alfajores (heavenly stuff), medialunas (argentine croissants), argentine style pizza (triple-layered with so much vegan mozzarella and a thick crust), humita (corn and plant milk with spices and onions) and of course yerba mate
🇧🇷 Brazilian bolas de papas, pao de queijo and vegan feijoada
🇨🇴 Colombian arepas, lulada (local, fruity drink), obleas, cocadas (coconut sugar cookies), empanadas (you’ll find those in many south american countries tbh) and cholao (a sort of frappe, fruit salad, and dessert all in one)
Hawaiian toasts and bowls, as well as hawaiian pizza (yes, with pineapples on top)
🇲🇽 Mexican burritos, tacos, tostadas, tamale breakfast bowls and jackfruit tamales, 4-layer enchilada cakes and guacamole, of course
🇻🇪 Venezuelan empanadas and arepas
Asian noodles (of all sorts!)
🇮🇳 Indian naan and curries (veggies, curry, coconut cream and rice)
🇯🇵 Japanese: sushi rolls, mochis, crispy rolls, udon, tofu (fried) with gluey rice, veggie tempura, ramen, kashipan, miso soup (my personal fave), onigiri (rice balls with a filling), gyoza, edamame, wagashi (desserts)
🇰🇷 Korean bibimbap, Jjajangmyeon (korean thick noodles) and kimchi (I LUHV kimchi !!)
🇲🇾 Malaysian apam balik, teh tarik (pulled tea, with oat milk), barley juice, water chestnut juice, longan juice, and lychee juice (street vendors make the best litchi juice btw) – needless to say, malaysians make some of the best juices out there !
🇻🇳Vietnamese spring rolls, cauliflower and rice, soy balls
🇧🇪 Belgian waffles and fries
🇫🇷 French tacos, baguette, crêpes, macarons, croissants (too good !), joie gras (vegan and cruelty-free foie gras), vegan rillettes, raclette, pain perdu
🇮🇹 Italian: pizza (alla napolitana), lasagna, panini, pasta, pesto alla Genovese, ravioli, focaccia, panzerotto fritto..
🇬🇷 Greek tzatziki (soy yogurt, cucumber, garlic powder, chive and lemon) and mushrooms (stifado)
🇵🇹 Portuguese bolas de berlim (not a big fan of portuguese cuisine)
🇮🇹 Sicilian pizza and arancini
🇪🇸 Spanish vegan croquetas, tortillas, gazpacho, patatas bravas and tapas
🇸🇪 Swedish vegan cinnamon rolls
Hummus, falafel and dolma (stuffed vine leaves) can be found in many middle-eastern countries
🇵🇸 Jordanian and palestinian Maqluba (aka Makloubeh: spiced rice dish that is mix with fried cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, and veggie meat)
🇱🇧 Lebanese baba ganoush (aka moutabal: roasted eggplant dip, heavenly stuff) and tabbouleh
🇹🇷 Turkish lahmacun (turkish-style pizza), kebabs, vegan döner (turkish sub or sandwich), corba (red soup), pide (patty), Yaprak Sarma (steamed vine leaves wrapped around a filling of rice and onion flavored with mint, currant, pepper and cinnamon), Imam Bayildi (aubergine entree, filled with rice, bulgur and other veggies and stuffed with a tomato, onion and garlic mixture, baked in an oven), borek (spinach puffs), Kumpir (made of jacket potato with a crisp outer skin and soft inside, available with a variety of toppings – veggie cheese, sausage, pickles..), Mercimek Köftesi (vegetarian meatballs) Simit (turkish pretzels), baklavas (pastries), lokum (jellies), halva (tahini and sugar)..turkish cuisine is CLEARLY one my my all-time favorites bruh ^^
It’s quite obvious that I couldn’t fit everything I’ve ever eaten into this list, but you get the idea.
The more you travel, the more you’ll want to know about the world and all it has to offer.
“The best of mankind is a farmer, the best of food is fruit” – Ethiopian saying
Below are photos of our favorite vegan foods, snacks and desserts. All pictures were taken by me.
Find out more on VeganBordeaux 🙂