Travel opens your mind to a whole host of experiences, including your taste buds. Each culture offers their specialties and a variety of unique flavours and dishes to try on your travels. Vegan food is growing in popularity and another sustainable idea to take on as you’re travelling - and it doesn’t fall short of flavour either.
Whether it’s heading to street food markets or dining in family-run restaurants, the authenticity of worldwide foods is everything - and if you’d like to recreate that holiday food magic at home, we’ve got a list of vegan foods to try out.
Pad Thai with tofu and vegetables
Travelling around Asia, specifically Thailand, you’ll see Pad Thai pop up at every street vendor or restaurant you dine in. It's a traditional, popular and inexpensive dish that is absolutely delicious and will please all of your dinner guests. The vegan alternative to Pad Thai can be created very easily with tofu and as many vegetables as you’d like with a sprinkle of peanuts on top and lime for garnish - and the fish sauce can be swapped out with soy sauce. This noodle-based dish is packed with a flavour combination of salty, sweet and sour flavours and they all balance each other out for an aromatic meal that is the taste of Thailand.
You’re probably thinking that sounds like a pretty boring dish, however, this is where you're wrong. Similar to Pad Thai, fried rice is a very popular and cheap dish as you backpack through Asia, with it sold on every street stall for about £1. Typically it’s made with egg to give it that ‘fried’ effect, however you can easily serve it with tofu and vegetables, and replace the egg component with a soy/peanut butter sauce which you can find here.
It’s a simple dish to have on the side or as a main - that's all down to your dinner etiquette.
Travelling around Thailand, you’ll notice a lot of their meals are actually already plant-based or they provide plant-based alternatives making them incredibly easy to recreate from home. With a classic Thai curry, coconut milk is already used as the bulk liquid and it just means swapping out the meat for any type of vegetable you like or tofu/beans. Some traditional recipes also include fish sauce, but you can easily use soy sauce instead. Thai curry is the perfect shareable meal to enjoy with piles of rice - and if you’re hosting, consider making a red and a green version.
Butter ‘chicken’ curry
Butter chicken is a very popular dish in India and ideal for those who aren’t big on very spicy food, or those who have a milder palette. The creamy and mildly spiced dish is easy to recreate in a vegan alternative, replacing the butter and chicken with vegan substitutes. The flavoursome dish will still have all the traditional spices and herbs running through it.
Ramen is traditionally from Japan and a dish widely enjoyed all over Asia, and across the world. The dish is a broth filled with meat and vegetables, but vegan options are also available and easy to make. The broth can be made out of miso, which is derived from fermented soya beans and you can pack the meal out with lots of delicious vegetables, beans, tofu and of course, noodles.
Moussaka is a favourite dish within the Greek culture and packed with different flavour, and traditionally made with aubergine or potato as the base. In between the layers will be a tomato style sauce with meat and vegetables. Moussaka can have many different vegan alternatives, using chickpeas and lentils as the meat alternative, and swapping out the dairy for plant-based ingredients to make the bechamel sauce. It’s a wholesome dish, perfect with vegan Greek salad and pitta bread on the side.
Widely loved wherever you go, lasagna is a traditional Italian dish that is made differently from place to place. But with Italian food, as long as the heart is in it, you can guarantee a wholesome experience. Lasagna can be altered quite easily utilising lentils, vegetables and spinach to pack out the filling and plant-based alternatives for the bechamel sauce. The pomodoro sauce covering the vegetables for the main bulk of the filling is already a vegan recipe - and a completely delicious combination.
It’s carb central with the German traditional dish of potato pancakes. Made out of shredded potatoes and formed into flattened, dumpling-like pancakes, the wholesome and savory dish is typically served as a side with a main meal. The pancakes are made up of shredded potatoes, seasoning and flour and cooked in a pan. Although beloved in Germany, these pancakes are a staple in a lot of European countries including Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Finland, to name a couple.
The most famous dish in all of Austria, you can’t really go amiss without trying schnitzel - and as it’s incredibly easy to cook, you can make it at home too. Schnitzel is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and can easily be made into a vegan alternative using plant-based foods as the schnitzel base including celeriac slices, aubergine, mushrooms, tofu and more.
The taste of Mexico has to come in the form of tacos and they’re the ideal dish to serve up for a party of people, surrounded by different side dishes. The beautiful art of tacos is packing them with all the goodness of the meat filling, creamy guacamole, sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes. Traditionally made with mincemeat, tacos can easily be made vegan with plenty of plant-based meat alternatives and the combination of mexican spices and creamy guacamole will be like heaven in your mouth.
Alternatively known as potato soup, this dish is a wholesome one-pot meal made with three different types of potatoes and served with capers, cream and avocado. It’s one of those dishes that’s completely unique and different - and your taste buds will thank you later, especially on a cold day. The hearty soup is common in Colombia, Cuba and Peru, and each country prepares it slightly differently from the next. The capers and avocado replace the traditional meat ingredient used in the soup.
Moroccan vegetable tagine
If you love a dish packed with flavours, this is the kind of dish to serve on a dull Monday evening. The dish is made up of plenty of delicious vegetables, fragrant herbs and fiery spices and gives you a taste of the traditional Moroccan culture. There is a basic way to make the tagine but traditionally in Morocco, it really depends on what you have ingredient-wise.
The most popular street food dish and national dish, Koshari is the true way to taste Egypt’s delicacies. Koshari is a wholesome meal made with a combination of beans, grains and topped with a spicy tomato sauce. There’s nothing better if you need a dish with a kick!
Don’t leave it too long in reliving the worldly taste of these dishes and book your next trip away. And remember, grab your insurance as soon as you can.
Alpha Travel Insurance is a trading name of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN306537. tifgroup is trading name of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc registered in England No. 3220410. tifgroup; all rights reserved. Registered Office: 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UY. All policies offered are on a non-advised basis