As a huge fan of Lindsay’s Happy Herbivore cookbooks and a traveler myself – currently in Kansas City, I was really excited to be part of her third blog tour. Lindsay’s recipes are always easy, delicious and make a great addition to your plant-based menus.
Her third book is a great read. It’s the most personal of her books and the photos are amazing. The selection of recipes are fantastic. There really is something here that everyone will love, even if they haven’t ventured into the plant-based landscape. For foodies and travelers, this book makes a great gift for yourself or for someone on your holiday list! I have given several copies of Happy Herbivore cookbooks as gifts over the past couple of years and they are always well received. Know someone new to plant-based living – give the trio of books to help get them started on their plant-based adventure!
Lindsay S. Nixon answers some questions about her travels…
PBA: In America, attitudes are starting to change about plant-based lifestyles, but we are still considered outside the norm. How are plant-based lifestyles received abroad?
Lindsay: The term “plant-based” doesn’t really exist internationally, but “vegan” is fairly common, especially in the bigger cities. “Vegetarian” is widely understood, fairly common and accepted socially in many countries. Of course, there is always the chance that in a small village people will look at you strangely and have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’ve experienced that in America too
What I found the most fascinating, was the places that are traditionally very meat heavy, seemed to be the most vegetarian and vegan minded. For example, everyone told me I’d starve in Germany, and yet I’ve been all over that country, twice, and found it perhaps the most vegan-friendly.
PBA: Was there any place in particular that was super easy to find places to eat?
Lindsay: Germany had a lot of vegan restaurants (there is even an all-vegan supermarket in Berlin), but vegan and vegetarian fare was easily found on menus in Switzerland and England, too. The cuisine and culture of Italian food makes Italy and easy place to be plant-based; same with Spain. Then, too, the countries with large fresh markets — like Croatia, made eating plant-based a breeze.
PBA: There must have been some interesting options for local plant-based food that we just wouldn’t have the opportunity to try here. What was your favorite local dish?
Lindsay: I’ve had a hard time eating bread, chocolate and olives since leaving Europe, which I suppose is probably not a bad thing!!! But nothing beats the artisan (whole-grain!) breads in Europe, or the fresh olives in the Mediterranean, or German chocolate (seriously). One “dish” I always long for and miss is Gazpacho in Spain, though it’s so cold now I’m not sure I’m antsy for a cold soup There were also these sandwich spreads in Germany I went wild for. I talk about them in the book. I have a homemade recipe for them, at least.
PBA: Shopping for groceries in Europe in comparison to the US, fresh food, specialized ingredients etc… overall was it more or less difficult in a city to find what you needed?
Lindsay: I lived abroad for a year and always found it fascinating that a “supermarket” in Europe — the entire supermarket! could fit into the produce section of the chain supermarkets we have in the states There are plenty of fresh foods in European supermarkets, but the “farmers market” stands are where it’s at. Those fresh produce stands are amazing. I talk about them a lot in the book — and how I’d gorge myself in the middle of the street on fruits and vegetables that were as vibrant as the rainbow.
Specialty ingredients like soy milk or soy yogurt are easily found in their supermarkets, but you won’t find things like Daiya, or fake meat, which I don’t really eat anyway, so it wasn’t a problem. They also don’t have endless isles of packaged junk foods like we do in America.
The year I lived abroad was the healthiest year of my life. I cooked from scratch everyday and used only the basic, fresh foods. That’s how we ended up with Everyday Happy Herbivore — all those back to basics. I miss it.
PBA: Traveling abroad in places like train stations, airports, hotels, do they score better than we do? Sometimes these are the hardest places to find plant-based food in the US.
Lindsay: It depends. In larger airports, in larger cities in the U.S. I find plenty of plant-based (vegan) and healthy options. The smaller airports are harder. Same is true for Europe. What’s available on a train, depends on the train, too — where it’s going, where it’s coming from, who is operating it. Overall, I found it pretty manageable, but did try to pack a meal and snacks whenever I could.
PBA: Since you travel so much, was there any place in particular that just fit for you? A place you could call your European home base? If so, what made it just right for you?
Lindsay: I feel very at home in The Netherlands and really love Germany. My husband’s family just moved there, too, so I think we’re going to relocate there as well, at least for a few months. At the same time, we’re planning to spend the summer in France — which is part business, part pleasure. Eventually, I hope to spend most of my year abroad again.
PBA: Fast food is everywhere in America. It’s spreading throughout the world as well. Most, if not all of it is junk. Did you find any healthy plant-based fast food abroad?
Lindsay: Falafel stands are everywhere. Perhaps not the most healthy, but at least plant-based!
PBA: If you could bring one cafe or other establishment from your trip, back to the US and park it in your neighborhood, what would it be?
Lindsay: I’d bring a Germany bakery — assuming they could bring all their flours too. I really miss German bread.
Thanks go out to Lindsay for answering my questions and sharing so much with us!
A winner has been chosen and notified by email. Thanks so much for sharing your plant-based adventures with us! You have given a lot of great tips to fellow plant-based travelers!