10/15/09

Back on track

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

9 comments:

Ms. T (of haiku tofu) said...

Wow, that puffed quinoa looks amazing!!! I thought it was israeli cous cous cereal or something at first. Glad to hear you're getting on well in a new place... those big adventures can sometimes be trying!!! Welcome back to MoFo!!!!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Isn't Brussels a strange place? No matter how many times I visit the place I can't quite seem to get the handle on it. But I am glad to hear that things are smoothing out for you! Sounds like you've got all the important things down, especially the chocolate part, that is absolute critical, vital to a beautiful life! Enjoy yourself, can't wait to see more posts.

Synaura said...

Dark colored leafy veggies are known to have a wide range of nutrients. Eating such food is good for digestion and brings out all essential nutrients our body requires.
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The Right Place. The Right Time

Sophia.Pflieger said...

That waldorf salad looks very tasty and crunchy!
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Bliss Doubt said...

Here, I notice that organic fruits and veg ast longer. I can leave strawberries un-refrigerated for at least a couple of days, and several days in the fridge, but the non-organic ones start getting mushy and moldy right away. Anyway, glad you're beginning to enjoy yourself.

jessy said...

hooray for feeling awesome 'n getting into the swing of things, T. that rocks socks! i'm glad you're more happyfaced and relaxed, too. i feel so lost without a schedule and a rhythm to things - i know how ya feel.

so awesome on the soy yogurt in so many great flavors (and being offered in large container), the puffed quinoa looks so cool (i need to see if i can find myself some), and i'm in love with your waldorf salad (totally gonna have to try something like it. hooray for roasted beets!). i love a tasty simple meal with just a few components - those are the best! for me, lately, it's been simply roasting veggies with a little olive 'n sea salt. so good... chili sauce 'n tempeh sound absolutely delicious - especially paired with broccoli.

i can't wait to see more of your delicious eats and read all about your adventures in brussels!

Mihl said...

I am glad you finally feel at home in Brussels. Eating soy yoghurt every day is one of my passions, too. Is it the soyade brand? I once tried their plum yoghurt and it was excellent.

Lacey said...

cool blog! i think you might like http://www.greenerfolks.com

Kate said...

Hey, Can you tell me about the puffed quinoa and the organic market with the soy yogurt? I'm a veggie and live in Brussels as well so would love some tips!

Thank you