Vegan Sweet Pasta with spices (Aletria vegana com especiarias)

Aletria, is a Portuguese dessert made with angel hair pasta. This recipe is my vegan version of the traditional one.

Hope you try my recipe of vegan Sweet Pasta with spices.


  • 250g Vermicelli/ angel hair pasta
  • 1l any vegetable milk
  • peel of 1 small lemon (just yellow part)
  • 150g of dark sugar
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 3 Indian Carnations
  • 1/2 anise flower
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • cinnamon powder or sesame seeds (to decorate)
  • pinch of curcuma to give yellow color

In a saucepan, pour the milk, lemon peel, sugar and all the spices over low medium heat and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
Then add the angel hair pasta and let it cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add more sugar or milk if needed.

Remove the lemon peel and spices and pour it on a dish to serve.

Cover with cinnamon powder or sesame seeds.

  • 250g de aletria
  • 1l de leite vegetal à escolha
  • casca de 1 limão pequeno (só parte amarela)
  • 150 g de açúcar amarelo
  • 4 cardamomos
  • 3 cravos da india
  • 1/2 flor de anis
  • 1 pitada de noz moscada
  • 1 pau de canela
  • canela em pó (para decorar)
  • pitada de curcuma para dar cor amarela (opcional)
Levar o leite ao lume com as cascas de limão, especiarias e açúcar e deixar ferver em lume brando por 3 a 5 minutos. Adicionar a massa, e deixar cozer cerca de 3 minutos, mexendo sempre.
Adicionar mais leite e açúcar se necessário.
Retirar as cascas de limão e as especiarias, transferir para uma travessa e polvilhar com canela.





Vegan Lemon Curd (creme de limão vegano)

Vegan Lemon Curd:
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (1-2 large lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup non-diary milk
  • 1 cup sugar (plus more to taste) (can be also made with maple syrup)
  • A pinch of turmeric powder (for colour)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan, and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Keep whisking until is thick and smooth.

Taste and add more lemon zest if you want to increase the acidity of the curd or maple syrup/ sugar for sweetness.

Allow it to cool (the curd is going to thicken as it cools).

Place in a jar and store in the fridge for 7-10 days

Use as a topping, filling or literally  with a spoon by itself out of the jar


Creme de Limão Vegano:
  • 1/2 caneca de sumo de limão (~ 1 -2 limões grandes)
  • 2 colheres de sopa de raspas de casca de limão (opcional)
  • 4 colheres de sopa de amido de milho
  • 1 caneca de leite vegetal
  • 1 caneca de açúcar  (ou mais a gosto) (pode-se usar outro qualquer adoçante)
  • Uma pitada de tumérico em pó (para dar cor)

Combinar todos os ingredientes num liquidificador até estar homogêneo.

Colocar a mistura numa panela média e ir mexendo com uma vara de arames.
Quando começar a ferver retirar do lume.
Continuar a mexer até ficar espesso e macio.

Provar e adicionar mais raspas de limão, para aumentar a acidez ou açúcar para que fique mais doce.

Deixar arrefecer (o creme de limão vai engrossar enquanto arrefece).

Guardar no frigorifico de preferência em frascos de vidro esterilizados. 
Aguenta no frigorífico por 7 a 10 dias.

Tirta Empul, the temple of purification _ Bali

Tirta Empul is a temple complex and a holy mountain spring, located in the village of Manukaya in central Bali. It’s perfect to visit as a day out from Ubud. The village is a 30-minute drive from Ubud (approximately 15 Km~9 miles).

The temple was founded around a naturally occurring spring (Tirta Empul meaning Holy Spring) and is over a thousand years old. This temple is dedicated to Vishnu, who is the Hindu god of water.


Tirta Empul was discovered in AD 962 and believed to have magical powers, the holy springs here bubble up into a large, crystal-clear pool. The spring feeds various purification baths, pools and fish ponds, which all flow to the Tukad Pakerisan River.


Hindu worshippers stand in the pools waiting to dip their heads under the water spouts in a purification ritual known as ‘melukat’. The water in the pools is believed to have magical powers and local Balinese come here to purify themselves.


Visitors are welcome to take part in this self-cleaning process. Just bring a towel and a change of clothes if you want to take part in the purification ceremony.

Behind the purification pools, is the ‘inner courtyard’ the place where people go to pray.


How to get there: the best way is the rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day) the journey is very pleasant and beautiful through lush green rice fields and coconut trees.

Entrance Fee: Rp15,000/ adult ($1) and Rp.2,000 ($0.13) to park your scooter

Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temple as parts of the site are considered holy. Sarongs are available at the temple’s entrance to be and can be rented for a small donation.

Other information: 

There are lockers and a changing area available, and women should wear a shirt, preferably one that covers the shoulders.


🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Cashew-Leek Veggie Burgers (hambúrguer de castanha de caju e alho francês)


  • 1/2 cup cashews – roasted in the oven
  • 1/3 cup red lentils (or green lentils)
  • 1/3 cup bulgur wheat (or rice)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 flax eggs
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Spread the cashew nuts on to a baking sheet and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or buy roasted, unsalted cashew nuts.

Cook the lentils on boiling water until tender and falling apart, ~ about 20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.

Cook the bulgur wheat on boiling water until tender. Drain the excess water and reserve.

Prepare the flax eggs

In a wok or frying pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, the thyme and coriander and cook until tender and beginning to caramelize. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer, until fragrant.

In a food processor, pulse the cashews, flax eggs, salt, and pepper until combined. Add the leeks, lentils and bulgur and pulse until roughly combined.

Shape the mixture into 6 patties.

In a large frying pan, heat the remaining 2 olive oil tablespoons over medium heat. Cook until browned on the bottom, and then flip to brown the other side, about 3 minutes per side.

  • 1/2 caneca de castanha de caju – tostada no forno
  • 1/3 caneca de lentilhas vermelhas (ou lentilhas verdes)
  • 1/3 caneca de bulgur de trigo (ou arroz)
  • 4 colheres de sopa de azeite
  • 2 alhos franceses médios, finamente cortados
  • 1 colher de chá de tomilho fresco
  • 2 colheres de sopa de coentro fresco
  • 2 dentes de alho picados
  • 2 ovos de linhaça
  • sal e pimenta preta a gosto

Pré-aquecer o forno a 180ºC. Espalhar as castanhas de caju num tabuleiro e tostar por 5 a 8 minutos, (ou comprar cajus já torrados).

Cozinhar as lentilhas em água a ferver até que estejam macias por ~ cerca de 20 minutos. Escorrer a água e reservar.

Cozinhar o bulgur em água a ferver até ficar macio. Escorrer o excesso de água e reservar.

Prepare os ovos de linhaça.

Em uma wok ou frigideira aquecer 2 colheres de sopa de azeite em lume médio. Adicionar o alho francês, o tomilho e os coentros e cozinhar até que estejam macios e a começar a caramelizar. De seguida, adicionar o alho e cozinhe por mais 1 ou 2 minutos.

Num processador de alimentos, triturar os cajus, ovos de linhaça, sal e pimenta até combinado. Adicionar o alho francês, lentilhas e bulgur e combinar.

Moldar 6 hambúrgueres.

Numa frigideira grande, aquecer duas colheres de sopa de azeite em lume médio. Cozinhar os hambúrgueres até que estejam dourados em ambos os lados.



Gunung kawi Temple _ Bali

Pura Gunung Kawi is a beautiful archeological site, and a sacred place for Hindus located in the island of Bali, in the heart of the village of Tampak Siring, roughly 15KM from Ubud.

Is a gorgeous place full of art history, stunning views, and the environment in Gunung Kawi still is very natural and untouched, this temple is also known as the ‘Valley of The Kings’.

The temple is built into a steep valley overlooking the Pakserian River, a river that also snakes its way past the sacred Pura Tirta Empul.

It’s best to visit the temple early in the morning if you want to have a relaxing and peaceful experience, although you will not miss all the vendors.

There are more than 100 stairs to the temple, with great views over rice fields, the river and, jungle. Once you reach the temple you will find 10 candi (shrines) that are memorials cut out of the rock face in imitation of actual statues and alters dating back to the 11th century. The shrines are carved into some eight-meter high sheer cliff faces.

This temple is quite a unique archaeological sites in Bali due to its impressive carved rock structures.


How to get there: the best way is the rent a scooter (~Rp.60,000 $4 day) the journey is very pleasant and beautiful through lush green rice fields and coconut trees.

Entrance Fee: Rp15,000/ adult ($1) and Rp.2,000 ($0.13) to park your scooter

Dress Code: Sarong is required to enter the temple as parts of the site are considered holy.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

spinach and chickpeas vegan burger (hambúrgueres de espinafres e grão de bico)

Spinach and Chickpeas vegan burger

spinach and chickpeas vegan burger

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 cups firmly packed fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1+1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 5 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • handful of nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour

Prepare the flax eggs.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a big frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and spinach and cook for 2 minutes.

Allow the spinach to cool and then and squeeze out as much liquid as possible and chop them finely.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. The mixture is a bit sticky if you can’t shape it add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Shape into 5 or 6 burgers.

Heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, followed by burgers. Fry for ~ 5 minutes, until is browning and has become crisp on the outside. Flip, cook for another 5 or so minutes until the burger is cooked through and crisp on both sides.

They can also be baked.

  • 3 colheres de sopa de azeite
  • 1 colher de chá de sementes de cominho tostadas
  • 4 canecas de espinafres frescos
  • 1 colher de sopa de molho de soja
  • 1+1/2 canecas de grão de bico cozido
  • 2 ovos de linhaça
  • 1 colher de sopa de vinagre balsâmico
  • 5 dentes de alho picado
  • punhado de frutos secos
  • 1 colher de chá de paprika fumada
  • Sal e pimenta a gosto
  • 1/3 caneca de farinha de grão de bico

Preparar os ovos de linhaça.

Aquecer 1 colher de sopa de azeite numa frigideira. Adicionar as sementes de cominho e os espinafres e cozinhar por 2 minutos.

Deixe o espinafre arrefecer e escorrer o máximo de líquido possível, depois cortar finamente.

Combinar todos os ingredientes em um processador de alimentos. A mistura é um pouco pegajosa. Se não der para moldar adicionar mais farinha, 1 colher de chá de cada vez.

moldar 5 ou 6 hambúrgueres.

Aquecer uma frigideira em lume médio-baixo. Adicionar 2 colheres de sopa de azeite, seguido dos hambúrgueres. Fritar por ~ 5 minutos, até estarem dourados e crocante por fora. Virar, e cozinhar por mais 5 minutos, até que esteja cozido e crocante de ambos os lados.

Estes hambúrgueres podem também ser feitos no forno.

The Central Mountains _ Gunung Batur area _ Bali

Bali it’s not only beaches and temples it’s also mountains and volcanoes. The Gunung Batur area is located in the center of the island of Bali, and since 2012 was added to the Unesco list of geologic wonders. Central Bali is the most mountainous area of Bali, and also the more isolated and thus more traditional.

Mount Batur has a height of 1717m above sea level the higher elevation also means that the temperatures are much cooler than in other parts of Bali. This region is perfect for trekkers and nature lovers.

Mount Batur is an active volcano, that has erupted several times over the time and has produced ‘black lava‘ which you can still see today. The most recent was eruption was in 2000. 

The crater has stunning views and there are a couple of villages around to explore. Kintamani is the main one.

Kintamani has a network of traditional mountain villages resting along the rim of the Mount Batur caldera. Kintamani is also home to Pura Ulun Danu Batur, one of the holiest of the nine directional temples of Bali.

To the west of Kintamani lies Bedugul, situated at the shores of mountain lake Beratan.

To get the best views, get up before the sun rises to climb Mount Batur, its a relatively easy 2-hour trek. The hike is mostly off-road trails and rocky terrain.

If you are looking for something more challenging the Mount Agung is the right one for you located in the east side of Bali. You can do a trekking to watch a breathtaking sunrise at Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali. This climbing is rather a challenge and requires physical fitness, so for serious mountain climbers

Central Mountains Highlights

Munduk area (mountain and waterfall)

Besakih Temple (the largest and holiest Hindu in Bali)

Pura Luhur Batukua (Temple)

Ulun Danu Bratan (Temple in Bedugul)

Danau Tamblingan (volcanic lake) 

Gunung Batur (active volcano)

villages around Danau Batur (scenic views up the surrounding peaks)

Antosari Road (rural drives through rice terraces)

Jatiluwih (Unesco recognized rice terraces)

Botanical gardens (close to Candi Kuning)

🏍 find out more easy day trips from Ubud 🚌

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Vegan-Friendly Places to Eat in Cambridge

2013-05-14 00.24.53.jpegIf you are vegan or vegetarian you know that sometimes can be difficult to find a place to eat, but you don’t need to worry, Cambridge has plenty of options. As a vegan living in Cambridge for 4 years, I will give you an insight of the best places to eat while you are visiting this extraordinary city.

Stem + Glory, Chesterton Road or Kings street –  it’s a strict vegan place more suitable for breakfast, lunch or brunch.

Stir, Chesterton Road – Delicious coffees and cakes plus veggie brunches and lunches.

Rainbow Vegetarian Café, King’s Parade – this is a well-known multi-award winning veggie cafe and restaurant specializing in vegan and gluten-free food.

Arjuna Wholefoods, Mill Roadit’s a worker’s cooperative, and great to grab a snack or a vegan lunch.

Fudge KitchenKings Parade – they make artisan fudge and offer dairy-free fudge made with soy cream.

Curry King, Jordans Yard Bridge Street – it’s an Indian restaurant and almost all the menu can be served with vegetables instead of meat.

Espresso Library, East Road – This cafe has plenty of vegan options for breakfast and lunch.

Market HillMarket Square (10am-4pm) – this is the local market, not all vendors show up every day, so you never know exactly what you’ll find, but for sure you have a couple of options to choose from, like falafel, smoothies, breads, cakes, churros, noodles, cookies, muffins, flapjacks and, dumplings.

DopplegangerTrinity Street, delicious vegan burgers.

Cham Cafe, Mill Road, small place that serves vegan turkish food like meze platters, vegan Gózleme, vegan börek, soups and cakes.

Always check if there is a vegan market or the  Cambridge Vegan Fair happening while you are visiting the city. It’s an immense sea of stalls, serving a bit of literary everything.

If you are with friends that are not vegan, all restaurants (one better than others) will have options for you, even the pubs. If you don’t want to waste time and money, you can always grab a packed meal at one of the many small street shops.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🚌  Tips of what to visit in Cambridge 🚌



Cambridge, where to go?

You have many reasons to visit this extraordinary university town. Cambridge has a unique vibe and will amaze you with its history, architecture, and natural beauty.

2013-06-02 03.59.091.jpeg

When visiting Cambridge you can’t miss the colleges and it’s gardens, the riverside, all the green meadows surrounding the city and the Backs (gardens and parks line up beside the river behind the colleges).

Walking and cycling are the best ways to visit the city.

The town is full of cyclists, students and tourists, but still has a nice vibe and it’s far from being a big chaotic city.

The Colleges are truly amazing even if you only contemplate them from the outside.

Before your arrival, you should check on the internet if the King’s College Chapel or the Trinity College are hosting a concert during your visit. This is excellent way to visit both of this emblematic places (sometimes for free).

Most of the museums are free in Cambridge, if you have time you should visit them all, if not I recommend the fabulous Fitzwilliam Museum, the Kettle’s Yard and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

If you are a fan of Sir Isaac Newton, stop at Trinity College to see the famed apple tree where it was said to be the inspiration for his theory of gravity after being bopped on the head by one of the fallen fruits. 2015-01-09 23.58.30.jpg

If the weather invites for a picnic the Botanic Gardens are a must or a punting session through the river Cam.

It is always something happening in Cambridge, so make sure you do your research and don’t miss what this city has to offer.

If you visit cambridge be prepared to fall in love with this town.

Cambridge is very accessible by bus or train from London.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha 

🍜 More about vegan food in Cambridge 🍜


Portuguese red pepper paste (Massa de Pimentão)

What is massa de pimentão (red pepper paste)?

Its a popular paste/condiment used in Portuguese gastronomy to season just about anything with loads of flavor, most typically before roasting or grilling. This paste adds flavour to any dish.

The Massa de pimentão is mostly made at home. The process is long, but really easy and rewarding.

How to make Portugal’s famous massa de pimentão (red pepper paste)?
  • 6 Red Bell Peppers
  • Large quantity sea salt
  •  Olive Oil

Wash peppers and remove the stems, seeds and white ribbing. Cut them into long wide strips.

Place the pepper strips on a large bowl or tray and sprinkle with salt on both sides, pressing the layers between each other.

Let them cure for 5 to 7 days.

Drain all the liquid and any remaining salt and purée them  in a food processor until smooth.

Sterilise a glass jar in the microwave.

Put the paste inside and cover with olive oil to conserve. Store it in the fridge to use for weeks and weeks.

  • 6 pimentões vermelhos
  • sal marinho
  • Azeite

Lavar os pimentos, remover as hastes, sementes e nervuras brancas. Cortá-los em tiras longas e largas.

Colocar as tiras de pimento numa tigela grande ou tabuleiro e polvilhar com sal dos dois lados, pressionando as camadas entre si. Deixar os pimentos curar por 5 a 7 dias.

Escorrer todo o líquido e qualquer sal restante num processador de alimentos processar as tiras de pimento até ficar homogêneo.

Esterilizar um frasco de vidro no microondas.

Coloque a pasta dentro do frasco e cobrir com azeite para conservar. Guardar no frigorifico.

Usar com cuidado ao adicionar sal a pratos que incluam pasta de pimentão.