Last week it was my birthday and for a couple of years now I've decided to celebrate it with one of my favourite things to do, travelling! This time it was Portugal with my loved one and a couple of friends.
I have to be honest, I broke my vegan diet. In a country with such rich variety of sea food I couldn't not eat some of it, but why does a 5 day trip have to be so difficult when you are trying to eat healthy?
Hotel breakfast buffets with almost no vegetarian or vegan options, unknown cities where you can't spot a vegan friendly restaurant, indulging in sweets and alcohol and no exercising add up to the stress level while on holidays and takes our attention off the things that really matter.
My suggestion is to try to focus on the positives while enjoying your trip - love, fun, friendship, feeling adventurous and amazed of visiting a new place. We all know that holidays are not just to eat what you usually eat at home, so enjoy your time off! When you come home, go back to your healthy eating habits, relax, and try a juice detox for a couple of days. Relax while you look thorough all the pictures you took on your trip, your battery will be recharged and you will feel as good as new!
Vegan Spring Rolls
Spring is finally here! Its a colourful and fresh time - like these amazing Vegan Spring Rolls. They are easy and fun to do and really delicious, believe me you will not stop eating them until you literally can't have one more! These rolls are a great addition to your spring detox since they are packed with fresh raw veggies and apple cider vinegar (find the raw one and not the pasteurised).
2 cups vegetables (carrots, Chinese cabbage and red radish, julienned)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
4-5 Tbsp agave syrup (or honey if not vegan)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 lime, juiced
1 block extra firm tofu
1 Tbsp soy sauce
12 spring roll rice papers
1 bunch of cilantro or parsley and mint
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 green onion, thinly sliced and added to dipping sauce
Ginger peanut butter sauce
1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
Hot water to thin
1. Combine apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and lime juice in a jar and shaking to combine. Transfer to fridge to chill.
2. Next, prep vegetables by julienning or thinly slicing radish, carrot and any other desired fillings. Add to vinegar mixture to quick pickle in the fridge.
3. Cut tofu in 1cm thigh slices and fried in a hot pan with a drizzle of oil until they turn brown-gold. Move them to a plate with a paper towel to absorb extra oil.
4. Prepare peanut sauce by adding all ingredients except water to a mixing bowl and whisking. Add hot water 1 Tbsp at a time and whisk until desired consistency.
5. Prepare station for making spring rolls by getting a big plate to lay rice papers on, and heat on a big pan 2-3 cups water to boiling, then turn off heat.
6. Drain pickled veggies and reserve liquid for dipping.
7. To prepare a spring roll, dip rice paper in hot water for 15-20 seconds, turning them with your fingers until soft and transfer to plate to work. Then add 2 pieces tofu, pickled vegetables, and a large handful of cilantro or parsley and mint. Fold over the bottom edge, tuck in side edges and roll from down to up.
8. Serve with leftover vinegar sauce and butter sauce.
Enjoy, and Happy Easter!
Food photo credits: daniekunzphoto.com