Travel Vegan in Morocco

Vegan Morocco Travel

To start with is better to keep in mind that not everybody understands what vegan means so make sure they get it. I did struggle a bit when I was there in the beginning, mostly because my French is very poor and let’s not talk about my Arabic that is non-existent 🙂 

Keep in mind that sometimes for some strange reason hummus can have milk, they sometimes add chicken stock to veggie tagine, and beef broth will be used to flavour the couscous. Well, it can be hard and unfortunately, sometimes we can’t really be sure if what you are eating is 100% vegan.

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When ordering you need to be clear that it is a vegetarian dish you are ordering, because from my experience no one was really familiarized with the word vegan.

I had some screenshots from google translate in Arabic and French of what I wanted to say and ask. I also used my vegan passport.

Vegan Moroccan Food – Some options for vegan meals
How to eat Vegan in Morocco

The vegetarian tagine is probably the easiest and safest choice while in Marroco.

Tagine is a traditional Moroccan meal cooked inside a clay pot, with potatoes, carrots, turnips and zucchini topped tomato, preserved lemon and olives.

Couscous with veggies is also quite common and easy to find. If you want a break from couscous you can ask for vegetables and rice, that is literally the same dish but with rice instead of couscous.

For breakfast is common to have bread with jam or “msemmen” that is a thin, fried bread. These crepes ingredients are all vegan (sugar, salt, yeast oil, flour), but occasionally is cooked with butter. So just check how they are cooked.

The bread is known as “khobz” is served at every meal, and is absolutely divine with olive oil and olives.

It’s easy to find “Zalook” a dish made of roasted mashed eggplant with spices, or even dishes made of lentils (3eids) and beans (loubia)

Dishes with lentils and beans are easy to find in the majority of Moroccan restaurants all over the country.

You can also ask restaurants to grill some vegetables for you and have it with rice or potatoes.

The harira soup is also delicious, but some people add meat or cook harira in the broth. You should ask prior to ordering how it was prepared.

Salads are delicious in Morocco, they have a great variety of them. They make the salads mostly with zucchini, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers and beans.

Are you a fruit lover?

Morocco’s fruit markets are unbeatable for both price and quality. You have a massive range of fresh fruit to chose from but also wonderful dried fruit options, from dates to figs, and apricots.

Olives are another highlight of travelling to Morocco. I LOVE olives so I couldn’t be in a better place. They have a great variety of olives with different seasoning, they are just delicious and high quality. Just be careful they are addictive 🙂

If you want something on the go

It’s easy to find small stalls selling food on the street, and many of the food that is served is vegan.

You can buy things like corn, roasted chickpeas, bread with chickpeas, fried potato cakes on bread and also dried and fresh fruit and nuts.

Vegan Desserts

If you are on a diet just stay home, because you will love all the cookies they have.

Mostly made from nuts, seeds and of course sugar… they are really tasty and also quite beautifully designed. (just double check if they have used honey if you don’t eat it).

Other kinds of desserts are unfortunately not vegan (they add butter and dairy). But you always have fresh fruit as a safe dessert option.

Moroccan doughnuts are called Sfenjs and are basically fried dough rolled in sugar.

Drinks: mint tea, fresh squeezed juices and coffee

I highly recommend trying the Moroccan mint tea or like the locals like to call it “Moroccan whisky”. However, sometimes it will be extremely sweet. Order it sugar-free to be safe and add your own sugar if you want it!

If tea is not your thing the coffee is also delicious.

You can also get freshly squeezed juices – I would recommend taking your own cup to avoid disposable plastic. Freshly squeezed fruit juices are common and are not to be missed. The orange juice and pomegranate are my favourites.

You can’t miss

You can’t miss wandering around the markets where they sell fresh produce and spices.

I recommend using the app HappyCow and make some research about vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants that are on the rise now in Morocco.

As you can see there are options and they are easy to find, but if you are spending a long time travelling through the country it can get repetitive.

Animal welfare

So foodwise you will be fine but get ready to have your heart broken because there is a lot of animal exploitation, and can get quite hard to see some things.

Moroccans treat animals differently for western standards. Snake charmers and monkeys on leads are common in touristic areas.

While there isn’t a large variety of local Moroccan foods that are vegan, it is definitely possible to travel in Morocco as a vegan. You might find it more difficult in rural areas compared to the larger Moroccan cities.

I hope this is helpful if you’re planning to travel to Morocco💚

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Travel Vegan in Indonesia

Indonesia is an incredibly vast country, with over 18,000 islands to explore. On one hand, that means that you have plenty to choose from, on the other hand, it makes it harder to make decisions 🙂

I started my trip on the island of Bali, and from there I explored other islands, I travelled through Lombok, Sumbawa and Java. It was a long trip full of adventures some good and others not so much, like experiencing uncountable earthquakes and tsunami alerts.

Indonesia is a beautiful country, that is incredibly diverse and breathtaking in many ways… and a pot of many cultures, customs and religions, that is shown in their rich food scene.

Vegan Food in Indonesia

In Indonesia, a lot of common dishes are actually vegan by default. I was relieved to find that I could go pretty much anywhere and find something delicious to eat. I didn’t feel limited at all during my trip. Don’t be afraid to try everything including the street food, and going to night markets.

Bali receives more tourists than anywhere else in Indonesia and many of them are health-focused, especially in Ubud. So that means that here the vegan food scene is quite strong.

You can’t talk about vegan food in Indonesia without mention Tempeh and Tofu!!

Tempeh is made of fermented soybeans a delicious high-protein food. Like Tempeh, Tofu can be found pretty much everywhere. Both are quite versatile and tasty, so even if you eat them all the time, like I did, its unlikely that you get fed up.

Indonesian Vegan Dishes

Gado Gado: Boiled vegetables and rice with peanut sauce.

Vegetable curry: The name is quite explanatory is a dish made with veggies and curry.

Meaty gudeg: Made from unripe jackfruit and coconut milk.

Urap-Urap: Salad dish of steamed vegetables mixed with spicy grated coconut served with rice.

Capcay: A stir-fry vegetable dish.

Sayur lodeh: Is a vegetable soup/stew with coconut milk served with rice or rice cakes.

Keripik tempeh pedas: Fried thin tempeh slices.

Jogja gudeg: Made with boiled young jackfruit, and marinated with coconut milk and sugar.

Lontong Cap Gomeh: a vegetable stew cooked in coconut milk served with or over rice cakes.

Vegan Indonesian snacks and sweets

Indonesia has plenty of fresh tropical fruit like mangoes, mangosteen, dukuh, papaya, snake fruit, pineapple, sirsak, dragonfruit, between others.

They also have plenty delicious desserts like sweets, cakes and puddings that can easily be found at the local markets. They are usually made with rice flour, coconut milk, palm sugar, shredded coconut, cassava, yam and banana, they are really tasty and cheap.

Es Teler is made with young shredded coconut, avocado and jackfruit.

Klepon are sweet coconut rice balls, that can be made with rice flour or black sticky rice.

Be wary of…

*Dairy isn’t really a big thing in Southeast Asia but is always better to double check.

*Fish sauce and shrimp paste (terasi), are very common and used as a base for a lot of foods. It’s easily hidden in soups, stews, and other vegetable dishes.

*Eggs can be found in many dishes and is not always obvious, so just ask.

*Many dishes also come with a side of prawn crackers.

If you’re like me and you like to go off the beaten path, it’s sensible to learn some of the local lingo.

I’m sure you will be impressed by how easy (and tasty) it is to be vegan in Indonesia.

Animal Attractions

Sadly, like many places around the world, animals in Indonesia are exploited in the tourism industry. So make sure you do your research beforehand so you don’t end supporting terrible practices.  Do responsible tourism and keep your self away from cruel attractions such as Luwak coffee farms or shows and performances with elephants.

What else is special about Indonesia:
    • Beaches
    • Volcanoes
    • Wild animals in their natural habitat
    • Rich marine life
    • Translucent ocean
    • Majestic mountains
    • World’s largest volcanic lake
    • Valleys
    • Cliffs
    • Waterfalls
    • Rice paddies
    • Lotus ponds
    • Culture
    • Rituals
    • Temples

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

vegan wholemeal beetroot pancakes (panquecas integrais de beterraba)

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup any unsweetened dairy-free milk
  • 1 large raw beetroot
  • 3 flax eggs (1egg= 1 tablespoon of flaxseed flour+ 3 tablespoons water, let rest for 5 minutes to thicken)
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

optional:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cardamom

Blend the beetroot with the milk  and the sunflower seeds until smooth. Pour into a bowl with the rest of the pancake ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Put a few drops of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Drop about 3-4 tbsp of the pancake mixture onto or pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with your favourite pancake toppings!

Tips: just add more milk or oats till you have the right consistency.

PT:

  • 1 caneca de farinha de aveia
  • 1 caneca de farinha integral
  • 1 caneca de leite vegetal
  • 1  beterraba crua grande
  • 3 “ovos de linhaça (1 ovo = 1 colher de sopa de farinha de linhaça + 3 colheres de sopa de água, deixa de repousar por 5min)
  • 2 colheres de sopa de sementes de girassol
  • 1 colher de chá de fermento em pó
  • uma pitada de sal

opcional:

  • 2 colheres de chá de canela em pó
  • 1/2 colher (chá) de cardamomo moído

Liquidificar a beterraba com o leite e as sementes de girassol até ficar homogêneo. Numa tigela colocar este liquido com os restantes ingredientes e bater até que fique uma massa homogénea.

Colocar umas gotas de azeite numa frigideira anti-aderente. Colocar cerca de 3-4 colheres de sopa da mistura das panquecas e deixar cozinhar em lume médio  por 3 minutos de cada lado.

Servir com o recheio favorito!

Dicas: adicionar mais leite ou aveia para obter a consistência desejada.

Cameron Highlands_ what to do & where to eat

We got the bus from Ipoh to the cameron Highlands (18RM). It’s a beautiful journey but very hard for those who get sick easily, so get ready.

We decided to stay at Tanah Rata just because it has more affordable options of restaurants and hotels. Tanah Rata is no doubt the most convenient place but don’t expect a particularly charming place.

In town there are many shops/hotels offering tours, but we decided to go on our own. We looked at the different options like renting a bike or a scooter, but that turned out to be difficult. So we sticked with the last option available hitchhiking 👍🏼 and I’m so glad we did, the people we meet were so nice and gave us lots of great tips. Hitchhiking was perfectly safe.

During the time we spend there we visited the Boh and the Bonet tea plantation were we did some trekking. The surrounding landscape covered in tea is beautiful. You can visit both for free.

If you like to hike there are many great jungle treks with streams and waterfalls to be found. You can also hike to the Peak of Brinchang Mountain and explore Mossy Forest. The views are breathtaking.

EAT:

There are some options available however don’t expect any food heaven 🙂

At Tanah Rata there are plenty of  indian restaurantes so banana leaf meals and dosas for all 😀 I specially recommend the Sri Brinchang and the restaurant Kumar both have some variety of vegan dishes and the food is quite tasty.

They also have a small evening market with a few local specialities, like the Apam Balik (pancakes with peanuts).

Nearby Brinchang we found a local not-for-profit vegan restaurant, and a great vegan buffet restaurant near the night market – Fu Guang Vegetarian.

The Night Market at Brinchang its good for cheap local food. They also have a weekend market selling fresh fruit and vegetables.

You can’t miss Cameron Highlands mostly if you like to hike, the other attractions probably don’t worth the time and money 🙂

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

A vegan in Melaka

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We attempted to go to the Night Market on Jonker Street but was choc-a-bloc with people, so we gave up on that, but not on the idea of finding a good market away from the heavy tourist wave. So we talked with a few locals and cycled to the suburbs to find a great market thrumming with locals and fresh vegan treats, and we also found a good small night market  with the best popiahs in the world 🙂

Malaysia is one of the easiest places in South East Asia to find vegan and vegetarian food, and  Melaka wasn’t an exception. You have great street food,  eateries and restaurants, among the places I tried, I do recommend the Soon Wong Vegetarian Restaurant,  the Mori Vegetarian Tea House, the indian restaurant Selvam Restrain, and the Veggie Planet 

Once in Melaka if you want to try something different and delicious don’t miss:

  • Lei Cha, a traditional hakka rice dish,
  • Roti canai,
  • mock meat,
  • fresh spring rolls (popiahs),
  • Barley drink,
  • one of this great sweets, kuih, ondeh-ondeh, putu piring (steamed rice flour cake with gula melaka filling), Putu Bambu (rice flour and shredded coconut with a filling of gula melaka), Apam Balik (pancakes filled with sweetcorn and peanuts),

To come to the point, we did a lot of really good eating, which always makes us happy. Malaysia and Melaka is full of foodie surprises…

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🚌 More about Melaka here 🚌

How to make Rice Milk (como fazer Leite de arroz em casa)

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Rice milk can be expensive specially if you buy an organic one, the good news are rice milk is delicious,easy and quick to do at home 🙂

I do my rice milk soaking brown rice but any variety will work. If you have a nut-allergies this is the perfect non-dairy milk alternative.

  • 1 cup brown rice (soaked overnight)
  • 4 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)

Put all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high speed for about 2minutes and half, (until fully liquified). Strain the pulp through a milk bag or a cheesecloth. Store in a glass container in the fridge for up to a week, remember to shake every time you are about to use.

TIPS:

*Sweetened: add a few Medjool dates to the mix or 3-4 tbsp or agave nectar

*chocolate milk: add  3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the mix, and 4-6 dates or other natural sweetener to taste.

DON’T throw away the pulp, you can do many things with it, the last time I did some mini bites filled with chocolate and date caramel. You can add it into crackers, throw it into granola, bars, muffins, soup…the possibilities are endless!!!

 

PT:

O leite de arroz  é bastante caro quando comprado no supermercado, principalmente se procurarmos um orgânico, a boa noticia é que para além de delicioso é fácil de fazer em casa.

Eu gosto de usar arroz integral demolhado (mas qualquer tipo de arroz funciona)

  • 1 caneca de arroz integral  (demolhado durante a noite)
  • 4 canecas de água 
  • um apitada de sal
  • ¼tsp de pasta de baunilha (optional)

Colocar o arroz num processador de alimentos (liquidificador, bimby, etc.) e adicionar a agua. Triturar na velocidade máxima por 2 minuto e meio aproximadamente. Coar num coador de rede ou pano e colocar o leite vegetal num frasco de vidro. Guardar no frigorifico, dura até uma semana. Agitar sempre antes de beber.

DICAS:

* Leite adocicado: adicionar algumas tâmaras à mistura ou 3-4 tbsp ou outro qualquer adoçante a gosto

* Leite achocolatado: adicionar 2 colheres de sopa de cacau em pó na mistura, e 4-6 tâmaras.

Existem infinitas possibilidades para aproveitar os resíduos sólidos que sobram do arroz, da ultima vez fiz pequenos bolinho recheados com chocolate e caramelo de tâmaras.

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how to make homemade Hemp Milk (como fazer Leite de cânhamo em casa)

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Hemp milk is delicious,easy and quick to do at home.

If you have a nut-allergies this is the perfect non-dairy milk alternative.

  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds (whole seeds soaked overnight if using shelled no need to soak)
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)

Put all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high speed for about 2minutes and half, (until fully liquified). Strain the pulp through a milk bag or a cheesecloth. Store in a glass container in the fridge for up to a week, remember to shake every time you are about to use.

TIPS:

*Sweetened hemp milk: add a few Medjool dates to the mix or 3-4 tbsp or agave nectar

*chocolate hemp milk: add  3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the mix, and 4-6 dates or other natural sweetener to taste.

PT:

O leite de cânhamo é  delicioso e fácil de fazer em casa.

  • 1/2 caneca de sementes de cânhamo (se forem com casca demolhar, sem casca não é preciso)
  • 4 canecas de água 
  • ¼tsp de pasta de baunilha (optional)

Colocar as sementes num processador de alimentos (liquidificador, bimby, etc.) e adicionar a agua. Triturar na velocidade máxima por 2 minuto e meio aproximadamente. Coar num coador de rede ou pano e colocar o leite vegetal num frasco de vidro. Guardar no frigorifico, dura até uma semana. Agitar sempre antes de beber.

DICAS:

* Leite de cânhamo adocicado: adicionar algumas tâmaras à mistura ou 3-4 tbsp de néctar de agave (ou outro qualquer adoçante a gosto)

* Leite achocolatado de cânhamo: adicionar 3 colheres de sopa de cacau em pó na mistura, e 4-6 tâmaras.