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I'm back! Has it really been almost a month since my last post?! It's been just over a week since I returned from my holiday & I'm still swamped with a million things to do, but I can't help but get the ball rolling on the details of my adventure. I have so much to share; the good, the bad, & the inedible! Of course I have to start with the inedible; AIRLINE FOOD!
Our trip began with a flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt on United on which two meals were served, dinner & breakfast. The dinner consisted of some sort of grain with vegetables & an oily sauce, a salad, random bread in a bag, & a chocolate chip cookie. I tossed the bread, as it had no ingredients listed & when I moved on to the salad I found that the dressing had MILK SOLIDS in it! I quickly asked the flight attendant, if this was in fact the vegetarian non-dairy meal, but she could only confirm it was vegetarian. The code on the meal was correct, VGML, so I suspiciously continued to pick at my meal. I felt a bit better to see the cookie emblazoned with VEGAN on the packaging, but sadly, it the cookie downright inedible!
Breakfast fared a bit better & while corn syrup filled applesauce is not to my liking & I could take or leave raisins, I was happy to see the other option on my tray, A DONUT! A Nutrilicious Cinnamon Glazed Donut, no less. I've not had one of these before & I am a huge fan of Mighty O & making my own donuts, so I was excited to have a shot at trying one. I found the cake donut to be a bit dense, but it had a nice flavor & was topped with a delicious cinnamon glaze. Not bad!
The trip from Frankfurt to San Francisco consisted of lunch & a snack being provided & turned out to be yet another meal of mystery foods. Suspicious from my earlier discovery of milk solids, I asked questions, read labels, sniffed & poked at everything, & was downright frustrated! The lunch provided condiments of "non dairy" creamer with milk solids & margarine of undetermined origin, so those were out right away. The salad dressing was actually suitable for vegans this time, but not anyone with actual tastebuds! The roll was once again tossed as it was a brick & had no information with it. The entree was a sort of saffron rice with mushrooms, a raw tomato wedge, romanesco broccoli, & a suspicious sort of creamy sauce. The vegetables were surprisingly decent & the little tray of fruit also included was very much appreciated.
Snack time came around & what a disaster! A Muesly bar with multiple milk varieties in it, as well as honey, wasn't even a option. The baguette contained limp lettuce, cucumber slices, & tomato with a suspicious spread that seemed to be an herbed cream cheese. Additionally, a mostly green banana was included. Needless to say, it all went untouched, which is sad when there's plenty of people out there who could use a meal.
All in all United's vegan options are sad & they don't seem to grasp that many "non dairy" products have milk solids in them. It is unfortunate that waste is created due to their choice to not accommodate people with dietary needs or choices & I made sure to write them a letter to express this. I shudder to think how many people with allergies or religious food practices have consumed products unfit for them as well. I highly advise you pack options for yourself when taking a long flight or trip. Not to worry, I had a gallon sized bag with bars, jerky, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, crackers, & other treats in it in case we were stuck at any point on the trip!
I was lucky enough to come home to the March installation of the Vegan Brunch Cartel. Not quite ready to take on any major dishes, I made Maple Ginger Tempeh Strips, a tester recipe for the next cookbook by Joanna of Yellow Rose Recipes. These strips were easy to make & very flavorful; perfect as a side for our many brunch dishes some which included a frittata, potato & white bean casserole, fried plantains, french toast, a south Indian vermicelli dish, & a beautiful pear clafoutis, inspired by Hezbollah Tofu!
While I miss exploring Europe, I'm happy to be home in my own surroundings & already have new projects brewing! I've been doing some baking in the past week & plan to be doing much more in the future; more on that later. In the meantime, I'll be here enjoying the Alpro soya dessert I brought home for myself.
In the coming weeks I'll be posting dessert reviews & restaurant round ups from London, Berlin, & Prague. Additionally there will be a special review of Rebecca's Cakes in the UK, complete with a recipe from Rebecca herself! The recipe she's provided is for a fabulous cake I think you'll all enjoy. Stay tuned!