Well today was the start of what I had been waiting for, Luxembourg’s signature festive season event, which I hadn’t been able to attend for about six years I think… The International Bazaar.
A weekend of opportunities to discover different cultures through foods, crafts, produce and music – over 50 national stands, selling fresh food and drink, local produce, and souvenirs. Many people come in traditional dress, and everyone is happy and enthusiastic. And all of the proceeds go to charity!
Now I had been looking forward to this for a long time, mainly for the food, but all of a sudden I realised that perhaps the vegan experience of the International Bazaar might not live up to expectations.
In fact, it was quite a good way to sum up to non-vegans (and new vegans) what you can count on when you eat out; we headed straight for the Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Israeli and Turkish stands to have a closer look. It was only after we had eaten that we stumbled upon the Sri Lankan and Lebanese stands which also seemed to have plenty of vegan food. Iran and the Philippines looked like they may have had some vegan-friendly options too.
In the end I had some mezze from the Turkish stand, where the lady was very helpful in recommending dishes with “no meat or butter or cheese” (I didn’t bother to use the v-word).
It’s a shame they put these little nibbles on such a huge plate because I felt unsatisfied looking at them, but they turned out to be incredible, some of the most flavourful food I have ever tasted! Starting with the bulghur, which was fluffy and lightly salty with some sharp vinegary crunches of pickle, moving clockwise to the aubergine dolmades, which was stuffed with an almost sweet spiced rice mixture, every bit as delicious as the traditional vine leave dolmades, which tasted nothing like the briny slimy things you get in most Turkish or Lebanese restaurants, and finally the bulghur patty of which I’ve forgotten the name which was again delicately spiced and pleasantly palatable, though a little pastier that I’d expected.
Unfortunately that little collection set me back €8 but as it was for charity and it was genuinely so incredibly delicious, I’m not going to whinge.
I also had a couple of little bites of falafel samples dipped in tahini sauce from the Lebanese stand, a few dried cranberries from the Canadian stand, a salted macadamia nut from the Australian stand, and a sample of some feijoa juice, a fruit I had never heard of, from the New Zealand stand.
By the time we had wandered back in the freezing cold frosty weather I was very much in need of a snack, so I had some of my mum’s homemade soup with a cup of mango & ginger green tea, as well as a lovely juicy pear and my last piece of raspberry white chocolate.
I have no idea what’s in that soup, except that it’s delicious!
Breakfast this morning was just a scoop of protein and a banana along with some green tea and a multivitamin – not all in that order; I had the green tea first after I did a set of press-ups to failure and an abs circuit, just enough to remind the muscles that they will have a job to do in a few days, then the rest later.
My mum also picked up some dried apple chips (or crisps, whatever you want to call them) from the supermarket:
They look like those chewy dried apple pieces that always look and sound so much better than they are… But they are crispy and crunchy and surprisingly sweet and almost juicy, they are incredible! I don’t normally get this excited about healthy fruit snacks, but these are great! Ben likes them too which says a lot… Ha.
Dinner was leftovers… Leftovers at home are always so much more exciting than the term “leftovers” gives them credit for. Yesterday‘s risotto with some lightly sautéed cubed smoked tempeh, and a small salad with cherry tomatoes, toasted sunflower seeds and raspberry vinaigrette.
I may be eating too much for my level of activity, but I should really sit down and work out my macro- and micro-nutrient intake with this sort of diet because I’m pretty sure I’m soaking up all sorts of health. And if not, well, it’s too delicious to care. I am having such a good time, sometimes I forget I’m vegan… 😉