My husband, Phil, and I have been traveling for 3 months, and have learned a lot about how to travel and be vegan along the way.
Today, I wanted to share with you my top 3 vegan travel tips, links and recipes from our adventure.
1. Take your spices. The first vegan travel video I posted was the spice mixes I put together to take with us. They have made the difference between a bunch of food thrown together and real meals while we've been traveling. The onion and garlic powder mix was one of the most useful, making raw vegetable and bean salads a thing of beauty.
The dried herbs and the Indian spice mix got a fair share of use. Two things I would add to my pack next time would be salt and pepper. I expected to find these everywhere, but some hostels didn't have any and there were times where we didn't have a kitchen. When you can't cook vegetables, a sprinkle of salt goes a long way in softening and blending their flavors to make a meal out of raw chopped veggies.
2. Take a few small cooking tools. I brought with us 2 small plastic containers, 2 forks, 2 spoons, 1 butter knife and one paring knife, a corkscrew and a bunch of sandwich bags. All of these things have come in so handy, particularly when we stay in places that don't have a kitchen and when we make a meal to take with us on a bus or a train.
I would add a tiny cutting board to your vegan travel pack, although I managed by carefully cutting on the lid of one of my containers.
3. Keep eating your veggies. Fresh vegetables and fruit are the best source of vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidants and enzymes, all of which help to keep you healthy. Eating lots of them while at home is important, but during vegan travel they help you keep up your energy levels and immune system.
Some countries have issues with water sanitation and pesticide use, but do what you can to get lots of vegetables and fruit in your vegan travel diet. Get a fruit and veggie wash, use bottled water to wash, and try to find organic or local produce markets.
1. Vegan Backbacker. Jill has an awesome site with tips on everything to do with how to travel and be vegan: from what to pack, to finding vegan gelato in Berlin. She is a fellow Canadian who has been traveling with her husband longer than us, to more countries than us, and also getting contributions from other vegan travelers.
2. Couchsurfing. Although we didn't wind up actually couchsurfing too much on our trip because we've been working the whole time, it is a fantastic resource and we've met a lot of great people through it. It is an excellent way to connect with local vegans, and you can use the site to meet up with people even if you don't want to stay over at their place. Vegan travel can be so much easier when you have a local guide, so set up a profile and start connecting.
3. Happy Cow. Most people go to Happy Cow when planning vegan travel to find restaurants in the cities they're visiting, and it is definitely helpful for that. What I found even more helpful on the site is the listing of organic and health food stores down below the restaurant listings. When you ask for a grocery store in a hostel or pension, they point you in the direction of the nearest grocery store.
Quick Healthy Apple Crisp
1. Quick Healthy Apple Crisp. This recipe is fantastic - very delicious, simple and healthy, especially if you limit the amount of sweetener you use. I made it on the stove since we didn't have an oven, but it would get much crispier if you baked it. Sometimes you just really need something sweet, and it can be hard to find vegan travel treats. We liked this one so much that we made it quite a few times along the way. It can be made with very few ingredients, or you can add some fun things to it like coconut and raisins.
2. Spicy Potatoes with Avocado Dip. Potatoes belong more in the grain category than the vegetable one, so when you find a total absence of whole grains in your vegan travels you can call on potatoes to make a delicious filling meal. Spiced up, they make an excellent choice to dip into a creamy avocado dip along with some fresh vegetables. Phil is more of a potato fan than I am, but we both loved this meal and had it again that same week.
3. Pizza. Pretty much everyone loves pizza, and there are ways to make it much healthier than the fast food version. There are some tricks to making a really good homemade vegan pizza, that I share in this video, and in Italy you can find such simple, healthy pizzas that you might be tempted to eat it every day. Vegan travel in Italy is a lot of fun.