Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Crazy in Copenhagen & Mingling in Malmö!

Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!

Well, I've made my way back to the United States & have had a few days to recover. While I wouldn't say the jet lag is entirely behind me, I can't let that deter me from bringing you the goods on vegan treats all over Europe! While it wasn't my first destination, I thought I would start with Copenhagen, Denmark & also cover my day trip to Malmö, Sweden.

Copenhagen is a gorgeous city full of bike riders & amazing architecture! We made the quick journey from Berlin to Copenhagen & were greeted at the train station by our hostess Ditte & Jojo, who had come from Brighton to hang out as well! Once we arrived at her flat, we were thrilled to find Ditte had made brunch for us! A spread of pancakes, fresh fruit, Alpro yogurt, jams, bread, & the infamous chocolate croissants from a local organic bakery were covering the table & we were downright thrilled! In fact, Ditte continued to be a fabulous hostess as she made us quite a few meals during our stay. How did we get so lucky?

Det Rene Brød an organic bakery with 3 locations in Copenhagen. While not everything is vegan, they have quite a few things that are, including plain or chocolate filled croissants, cinnamon rolls, traditional Danish pastries, & breads. The pastries are amazingly flaky & light, a texture not easily produced, & I found myself back in the bakery daily. The staff is helpful, although they may give you a crazy look when you come in for the 3rd time & take away another round of pastries. Just ask them what is vegan & you'll be all set. If you find yourself in Copenhagen, do not miss this place, or you'll be sorry!

Det Rene Brød
is located at Elmegade 6, Rosenvængets Allé 17, & Ndr. Frihavnsgade 54.

Christiania is a neighborhood in Copenhagen built in the 1970's on a former military area. It's considered controversial as the residents built houses there without permission, are self governed, & drug use is not uncommon to see on the streets. Within this fun & quirky area, you'll find Morgenstedet, a vegetarian cafe with a daily rotating menu & many vegan options. Ryan & I opted to split the daily entree; mixed rice with a bean sauce & steamed vegetables, a bean salad, plus some carrot & leek soup with bread. Everything was hearty & filling with organic vegetables & although nothing was amazing here, it was a solid meal that really hit the spot. Known as one of the inexpensive spots in town, we were a bit surprised when this set us back $25, but quickly found out Copenhagen is a pricey city.

Morgenstedet is located at Fabriksområdet 134 in Christiania, 1440 Copenhagen.

The weather was mainly good to us, but if it began to drizzle, we would pop in to a cafe or coffeehouse from time to time. Folkets Hus, aka "house for the people" is a hub for art & culture & their Café Under Konstruktion is a great place to grab a beer, cup of coffee, or vegan hot chocolate & hang with friends until the weather clears up. While we didn't have any food here, I have heard they have vegan options for very reasonable prices. You'll also find free classes, movies, & other events in this great spot.

Folkets Hus is located at Stengade 50, 2200 Copenhagen.

About a 30 minute train ride away from Copenhagen is the Swedish city, Malmö. Not only is Malmö a beautiful, veg friendly place, it's also where we met up with the lovely Emmie of VegBitch & her fiancé Alex! While we had planned to go to Vegegården, it turned out it was closed for holiday. Additionally, a new all vegan cafe Astrid & Aporna– KÖK was opening the day AFTER we were there! No worries, though there were still many options to be found.

Kaptensbrons Kiosk is a large, unassuming box located in the middle of a square near the busy shopping area of Malmö. Hardly a place you would consider looking for vegan food, they actually have a full vegetarian menu, most of which is vegan! While Ryan went for the "Vegan Cheeseburger" with onion rings, I opted for a vegan version of a traditional Swedish dish called a'la Lindström. The dish consistent of two patties made of beets & beans & came with scoops of mashed potatoes topped with Lingonberry Jam, as well as a salad & pickles. It was almost like a Thanksgiving feast for lunch! For a quick meal in between sightseeing, this kiosk is a great option.

Kaptensbrons Kiosk is located at Lilla Nygatan, 211 38 Malmö.

After our tasty meal, we headed to Astrid and Aporna, a large vegetarian grocery store. I love to explore grocery stores, so this place was right up my alley & I found myself getting lost in the aisles for far too long. Every European veg product you could want from Cheezly to Alpro, gummy coke bottles to white chocolate bars is contained here. Each product has a guide on the label letting you know if it contains dairy, wheat, soy, or other allergens, so you need not brush up on Swedish to shop here! I snagged a bag full of goodies, including Tofuline Banana Chocolate ice cream to share with everyone & we headed out to our next destination.

Astrid and Aporna is located at Gustav Möllers gata 2, 211 51 Malmö.

A bit of rain started to fall on us, so we headed to a vegetarian cafe for warm drinks & ice cream eating. Kulturcenter Glassfabriken is a spot for local activists that holds meetings & demos, sells animal rights merchandise, & serves vegetarian / vegan food & drinks. While we stuck to our delicious ice cream & didn't partake in the food, the warm drinks hit the spot as we hid from the weather outside. The atmosphere was cozy & it was the perfect place to chat with our new found friends!

Kulturcenter Glassfabriken is located at Kristianstadsgatan 16, 21435 Malmö.

All in all, vegan dining in Copenhagen, Denmark & Malmö, Sweden is a breeze! I highly recommend visiting these beautiful cities for the architecture & culture, especially if you can score some croissants while taking it all in, yum! In addition to delicious food, you'll find fabulous people as well & I'm lucky to have spent time with some of them. Stay tuned for adventures in Berlin, Vienna, & Stockholm!

Monday, March 16, 2009

So many treats, so little time..

Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!

Greetings from Stockholm!

My adventures have taken me many places so far, from Berlin to Copenhagen, Malmö & Vienna, & at the moment, snowy Stockholm!

As you can see, I've been hitting the bio markets pretty hard, which has produced LOTS of sweet treats I'll be sharing with you in the near future.

Once I return home, there should be quite a bit of information on vegan travel, so stay tuned to The Urban Housewife!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

VegNews 20 under 30, Sweet Earth Chocolates, Delicious Danishes, & Food Not Bombs!

Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!

As some of you may have already seen, VegNews magazine did a feature on 20 activists under 30 years old in the March / April issue. I was lucky enough to be one of the people featured in the article! They mainly talked about my culinary activism, which is one of the ways I advocate for animals. People love food & I love to show them it's easy & delicious to partake without the use of animals. Thank you to those who have sent me notes about the article! If you haven't seen it, you should be able to click on the picture for a larger version, but you can also support a vegan business & pick up a copy! Thanks again to VegNews for including me with an amazing group of people.

Another stop on my little weekend trip to Southern California was in anticipation of a guest. Knowing Evan, king of all things peanut butter, was headed to San Francisco, I decided to stop at Splash Cafe in San Luis Obispo, a spot Amey blogged about in the past. While Splash Cafe is not exactly known for it's vegan options, it does house a large selection of vegan chocolates by Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates. These delicious, fair trade morsels come in a range of options from Cranberry Ginger clusters to Peppermint & Roasted Coconut cups & everything in between. In my opinion, the showstopper of their line is the Turtles; dark chocolate clusters filled with caramel, rice crispies, & cashews! These little babies are so good, I may have to order some online to tide me over until my next trip South!

Having another baker in your house can be an interesting experience, especially when they're baking for you. Evan of BjorkedOff came over & took over my kitchen for a night & the result was insanely delicious danishes! I made some of the fillings, so I didn't feel entirely useless, but I must admit it was tough watching someone else do the dirty work! We opted for 4 different flavors; White Chocolate Macadamia, Lemon Curd, Apple Butter, & the elusive Speculoos spread, an amazing treat & a gift from a friend in the Netherlands. The danishes all turned out flaky & buttery, just how a pastry should be! We took some to a Food Not Bombs meeting & everyone was floored by how good they were. I'm pretty sure I'll be trying my hand at danish making in the future, especially if I can get my hands on Evan's recipe!

Lately, I have been working with my local chapter of Food Not Bombs to serve vegan food to the homeless & hungry. San Francisco Food Not Bombs is very active & currently serves 6 days a week! It's a great way to get people to eat a vegan meal, but it also utilizes food that would otherwise go to waste. We're lucky enough to have local shops that donate the goods they pull from their shelves, from day old bread to bruised produce. Every week is like an Iron Chef challenge! You may only have rice, beans, & a few mushrooms one week, then the next you have 5 boxes of food, including 30 loaves of artisan bread to work with! Last Friday, we had an abundance of goods to choose from, so Jordan, Jenn, Evan, & I set to work to create a meal. We made a Moroccan Couscous Salad with Pear Ginger Dressing, a hearty Bean Stew, & Banana, Apple, Walnut Bread Pudding and headed out to "Hippie Hill" to serve it all up. We also had bagels, bread, & fresh fruit for the taking. Seeing how much food could have gone to waste when there are hungry people is an eye opener. If you like to cook & want to do something good for the community that also promotes peaceful animal free dining, consider getting involved with your local Food Not Bombs!

Well, it's only 2 days until I jet off to Europe! I'll be making my triumphant return to Berlin, but not to worry, I already have my eye on new spots to dine & report on! Additionally, I have been sussing out Copenhagen, Vienna, & Stockholm, so be ready for a full report when I return. As usual, if you want to meet up or have any must see places, please get in touch!