La Pasionaria on Avenue de Stalingrad
I'm back! After a bout of bad internet connectivity and the loss of my camera cord, I thought VeganMOFO was going to be more like VeganNO-Fo for me, but now things are relatively straightened out.
And not just with the internet. After weeks of constant stress, I have now basically figured out everything I needed to know, from how to print at the Flemish copy shop, how to order a beer in french, where to find seitan and tempeh and vegan chocolate, and most critically, how to cook without burning my apartment down. (Although that last one took rather more attention then one might think.) Despite constant reminders of my own stupidity, my general outlook is now very sunny. Brussels is beautiful, dirty and bizarre... but certainly filled with amazing food. I don't think I've ever eaten so well in my life! The trick is to not spend all your money on food, which is something I accomplish by shopping the Sunday markets for fruits, veggies, and spices, the organic market just for the most hard-to-find luxuries (since its so expensive) and the corner bodega for everything else.
One thing I've gotten very obsessed with is soy yogurt. They sell it in huge containers at the organic market, and in every flavor under the sun. (Including plum and apricot!) I like to get the plain and cover it in strawberries, puffed quinoa "soufflé" (another amazing discovery) and a drizzle of agave nectar. Another way to use it is my own version of a Waldorf Salad: thinly sliced roasted beets, apples, and carrots with walnuts and a bunch of lemon juice, tossed in yogurt, salt and pepper. I feel like I ought to be sitting at a fancy hotel in the fifties when I eat this, and its also a good way to use up the yogurt since everything here goes bad in about two days. (I guess they don't like preservatives here? So un-American.) The same is true for fruits and vegetables, which I don't really understand. Have they been injecting our strawberries and broccoli with preservatives? Or is my American fridge just stronger?
Either way, I essentially need to empty the contents of my fridge bi-weekly to be able to eat things before they deteriorate, so I've been experimenting with simple-as-possible meals with very few elements. A winner the other day was smoky tempeh and broccoli in some garlic-chili hot sauce. This was one of the meals that nearly set my flat on fire ("smoky" tempeh indeed), but it was still quite good.
And I had missed tempeh so much. It may mean having to go to 3 different grocery stores to stock up on things, but at least I have a routine now.
Song of the Day: Of Montreal- An Eluardian Instance