Vegan in Mozambique

I don’t really want to demotivate anyone, but if you’re a vegan traveling in Mozambique you’re going to have a hard time.

1383915_10200673552109384_560808564_nAs you know they have a famous cuisine and are one of the best countries in Africa foodwise, but is all about tiger prawns, seafood, fresh fish and, chicken.

I traveled from north to south only by public transports and thought lots of rural areas, where there isn’t any infrastructures, restaurants, cafes, food stall or surprisedly not even many street markets. So you are asking the same question I did, where and what to eat?

If you are in a rural area, you need to rely on the local people and what they can do for you, but communication can be a big problem, because if they don’t speak Portuguese (what is possible and probable) they will speak one of the 43 languages spoken in the country (yes you read well 43..)

If you are in place that has a “restaurant” you will do all your meals there and again, struggling with communication, try to explain what you can eat and understand what they have. Maputo is the exception,  has good options, and its easy to find your way around.

Mozambique was colonized by Portugal in 1505, their cuisine has been deeply influenced by the Portuguese. One of the most eaten dishes is ncima a thick porridge made with ground maize and water, in my opinion just serves the propose of giving you energy.. it’s tasteless, but vegan 🙂

Here is a list of some vegan dishes that I came across:

  • Mucapata– rice with coconut, absolutely delicious, very common in Mozambique island.
  • Xiguinha – Made with cassava and cacana leaves, common in Inhambane province.
  • PĂŁo – white bread rolls, you can find it in any market baked in wood-fired ovens in villages.
  • Matapa – made from stewed cassava leaves, ground peanuts, garlic and coconut milk, more likely to get it if you end up staying with locals.
  • Collard Greens in Oil – it’s a sautĂ© of onions and collard greens.
  • Chamusas – triangle shaped pastries, asked for the potato ones.
  • Cassava with Red Sauce – sauce made with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic and  oil
  • Rice and Beans – its a very common dish.
  • Mucuane – with boiled cassava leaves, tomatoes, coconut milk, ask if is made with shrimp or Cashews.
  • Quiabo a Zambiana  Okra
  • fresh sugarcane juice
  • pĂŁo de sura – it’s a coconut sweet bread more typical in the Inhambane province
  • Cashews  – they have nut trees growing all over the place. You’ll see people selling bags of cashews on the side of the road and on the beach. they sell while plain, roasted piri-piri, roasted salt.
  • Fruits and vegetables– fruit and veggies are available at markets and on the sides of roads all over the country, depending on the season you can find good papayas, coconuts, mangoes. Avocados okra and collard greens are also seasonal, avocados only in season for a few short weeks. Others, like tomatoes, cassava or beans, are available year-round.  Green peppers, onions, and bananas seem to go through recurring phases.

    photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🚌 If you are planning to visit Mozambique, or if you are just curious.. check the post about my trip – Mozambique.. it’s maningue nice 

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Deliscious Easy Homemade Dried Tomatoes in the Microwave (tomates secos no micro-ondas, fĂĄcil e delicioso)

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I’m really enthusiastic about this recipe, since I mastered the technique I never bought sun-dried tomatoes again, the ones you can do at home have the same authentic delectable taste.

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 3-4 sliced garlic cloves
  • herbs like oregano,  rosemary, basil to taste
  • olive oil

Wash and dry the tomatoes.Cut them in halves, scoop out seeds and excess liquid with a spoon. Put them directly on the microwave carousel  without touching each other (cut-side up). Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3 minutes, then remove any excess liquid. Repeat this operation as many times as you need (time will vary depending on size of tomatoes and microwave ) but will be around 7 -8 times.

When they are dried out (but still soft) allow them to cool, they will dry out more once cooled.

When the tomatoes are cool, place them in a clean glass jar and layer with the sliced garlic and herbs,  Cover with Olive oil. They can be stored for months.

Use your tomatoes in pasta, on toast,  bread dough, green salads, hummus, homemade crackers, pizza, stir fry, pasties, etc..

PT:

Desde que comecei a secar tomates, nunca mais comprei no supermercado, na minha opinião ficam tão ou mais saborosos,  mais baratos, e podem ser adaptados ao nosso gosto.

  • 6 tomates
  • 3-4 dentes de alho finamente cortado
  • ervas aromĂĄticas (orgĂŁos, tomilho, manjericĂŁo, louro..) a gosto
  •  azeite

Começar por lavar bem os tomates, cortå-los ao meio e retirar as sementes. Colocar os tomates directamente no prato do micro-ondas, com a parte cortada virada para cima.

Levar ao micro-ondas na potĂȘncia maxima por 3 minutos. Retire o excesso do lĂ­quido e repetir a operação por mais 6 -7 vezes sensivelmente, pois depende sempre do tamanho do tomate e do quĂŁo maduro ele estĂĄ (ajustar o numero de vez no momento, atĂ© que fiquem relativamente secos). Deixar arrefecer para acabar de secar.

Num fraco de vidro fazer camadas  de alho, tomate, ervas aromåticas e azeite. Guardar no frigorifico e deixar repousar pelo menos por 1 dia  para que apure o sabor.

Os tomates secos ficam Ăłptimos em pratos de massa, no pĂŁo, saladas, hummus, bolachas  pizza, salteados, tortas, patĂȘs , etc.

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A taste of Vegan Thailand, testimony and tips

15I have been in Thailand twice, and visited the country from north to south, east to west and several islands from both seas. Thailand was the firsts country I visited in Southeast Asia and since then fell in love for that part of the globe.

If you are planning to travel there, be prepared to be astonished with its exotic, luxurious and unspoiled natural areas, colorful places, interesting temples, nice, smiley and laid-back people, great weather, unbelievable beaches, maniac drivers, and at last but not the least THE FOOD….

From my personal experience, I need to say that’s fairly easy to have a vegan/vegetarian diet in Thailand. Even when you adventure yourself out of the big cities and you go to places that haven’t seen many Foreigners.

I found that being vegan in Thailand is often deeply respected as Thailand is a predominately Buddhist country.  There is a big prevalence of soy products, like milk and tofu, and traditionally Thai food doesn’t contain dairy, this includes desserts 🙂 so your main concern will mainly involve the use of eggs.

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Fruit stands, fresh markets, night markets and street stalls are very abundant. You will have so many vegan options to choose from, that looks like heaven. All my meals included fresh veggies, fruit (so much fruit),  rice or rice noodles, juices and Coconut Water and may I say fruit again 🙂

The fruit is just amazing, you definitely need to try Mango, Mangosteen, Rambutan, Pineapple, dragon fruit, Custard Apple, Langsat, Longan, watermelon and, Coconut.

The fruit is so delicious that I just couldn’t have enough of it… and you will understand why…

The only problem is what they cook with. They tend to use  fish sauce, oyster sauce, and shrimp paste a lot, so be careful, prepared and relaxed knowing that most of the times communication is not the best, so make sure you explain that you are vegan/vegetarian and you don’t consume shrimp paste (gapi), oyster sauce (sot hoi naag rom), and fish sauce (nam bplaa).  In some odd occasions I even needed to add that I don’t eat chicken too 😀

If you can’t communicate your needs and you’re feeling uncomfortable just politely decline and move on to another location. you will see that everyone will smile and be kind to you. I like to eat in the street stalls and markets, from my experience people is really nice and will try to do something for you even if is not in their “menu” but be prepared to be persuaded to have their normal dish because they think what you are asking is not going to be delicious 🙂 Try not to be to picky and expect them to cook using the same pans where they did the chicken, fish and shrimps.

jclassrestaurant_thumb4I found that the easiest way is to say that you follow a jay diet, which translates as strict vegan, but with no garlic and onions. So you can look for the national sign: a bright yellow flag with “Jay” (àč€àžˆ) written in red, looks like a 17. You can find this sign almost everywhere from restaurants, food stalls or supermarket packages. The restaurants are not too expensive and the food is great.

I found that looking for Taoist temples which have also restaurants is great as well, they are vegan, the price is usually low and they use lots of really delicious textured vegetable.

It’s also good to know that Thailand hosts a great annual national vegetarian festival called teet-sa-kan kin jay, so you can always try to travel during those dates  (9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar) you will not regret.

Happy Cow is a very useful tool to find restaurants.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

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RawVegan chocolate Truffles (Trufas vegan)

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Vegan, raw, gluten free and dairy-free truffles, easy, creamy, and delicious. You can’t ask for more..

  • 250g dates
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Nuts (optional)

Soak the dates in warm water for 10 minutes and drain, place them in a food processor and process until smooth. Add in the cocoa powder and process again until you have a smooth uniform consistency.

Add the nuts (I like to use raw walnut and almonds) and pulse for 3-4 seconds, just to break them in small pieces. With your hands form small amounts of dough into balls.

(if you need wet or lightly coat your hands with coconut oil) To finish roll the balls into the cacao powder.

Notes:

*Store the truffles in the refrigerator up to 5 days
*if you want to spice them you can always add cinnamon, cayenne, vanilla, himalayan salt, nutmeg,  or ginger!
*You can freeze them to have a more chewier texture changes and is chewier.
*Feel free to use any toppings you like, such as chopped nuts, goji berries, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, finely grated lime zest, matcha powder, maca powder, cinnamon, etc.
PT- 
Trufas de tĂąmaras e cacau, uma receita rĂĄpida, saborosa e saudĂĄvel.
  • 250g  TĂąmaras sem caroço
  • 3 Colheres sopa de cacau cru em pĂł (sem adição de açĂșcar)
  • Frutos secos (quantidade opcional)

Colocar as tùmaras de molho por 10 minutos, escorrer e processar até obter uma pasta cremosa, adicionar  o cacau  e triturar outra vez até obter uma massa homogénea.

Adicionar os fruto secos (eu gosto de colocar nozes e amĂȘndoas) triturar por 3-4 segundos, atĂ© que fiquem cortados em pedaços mais pequenos. Com as mĂŁos fazer pequenas bolas com a massa. Envolver em cacau. 

Dicas:

*Guardar as  trufas no frigorífico até 5 dias.

* para dar um toque ainda mais especial pode-se adicionar canela,  pimenta cayenne, baunilha, sal , noz-moscada, ou até gengibre!

* Pode-se congelar as trufas para obter uma textura diferente.

* Pode-se também ser criativo com as coberturas, frutos secos picados, bagas de goji trituradas, coco ralado, raspas finas de lima, matcha pó, Canela, etc.

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Bali – Indonesia

Sofia Fernandes, is a 22 years old Portuguese women, that works in Cambridge in the tourism area. Sofia is an easy-going and sociable person that enjoys spending time with her friends, travel and to do exercise. Last month she did her first solo travel trip to Bali – Indonesia. Have a read, and feel free to leave any comments and questions.

“Traveling solo was a life-changing experience.

New cultures, new people, different costumes and food, you find yourself at home because everyone is so friendly.

Mainly, I consider it’s quite easy to find vegetarian options. They serve the typical fried rice or noodles with vegetables that is actually quite tasty. It usually comes with a fried egg on top, so if you are vegan, just ditch the egg. They have a vast selection of fresh juices that you can order for breakfast, so sweet, refreshing and all natural. My favorite was the watermelon juice that we got as a welcome drink in one of the places we stayed in. The locals are so welcoming and genuine, definitely fell in love with the people, always willing to help with a smile on their face. Since it’s a very poor country, they normally grow their own food,

Since it’s a very poor country, they normally grow their own food, obviously, everything is organic and tastier. We had the amazing chance to try home cooked food by one Balinese family and it was incredible. They offered a buffet with a lot of vegetarian options including tempeh and tofu so you wouldn’t miss out. They had the famous Bakwan Jagun which is basically corn fritter served with rice and chili sauce, my favorite – Keripik tempeh pedas – thinly sliced tempeh, fried, and doused in spicy, sweet sauce and much more. However, they mainly eat pork and chicken. Kuta is probably the easiest place to eat because it offers a lot of different restaurants with all kinds of food, it’s more western since it’s a very touristic place. I definitely recommend visiting, it’s a piece of heaven with a lot of healthy options!!”

 

photography – all rights reserved – Sofia Fernandes