Do you follow the way of the vegetable? Want to see some suggestions about where to travel next if you do? Read on
The local markets in Mexico are a great source of delicious meat-free ingredients and dishes. There are taco carts that serve vegetarian tacos so no need to miss out on this iconic dish. The same goes for quesadillas, really.
Another traditional Mexican food that happens to be delicious in the vegetarian form is chiles rellenos, which are mild poblano peppers stuffed with various ingredients, fried, and often served in tomato sauce.
There are plenty of other meal options for vegetarians, including various soups, salsas, chilaquiles (leftover tortillas with all manner of toppings), antojitos (quick snacks served all day long), and countless more.
The meat is easily substituted by ingredients such as beans, corn, peppers, cheese, mushrooms, and so on. All with bold flavours and colours.
Bali is great for vegetarian (and vegan) food. In particular, the city of Ubud is said to be a mecca of veganism.
My personal favourite is gado-gado salad, especially when I manage to scoop up a forkful of string beans with egg and a thick layer of delicious peanut sauce.
Many other dishes come in versions with or without meat. They are equally as delicious, unlike some other dishes in the world that would, unfortunately, be completely tasteless without meat.
Two of such dishes are mie goreng and nasi goreng, in other words, fried noodles and fried rice. Without the added meat, they are just as tasty (arguably even more so), with vegetables and eggs being the biggest taste carriers instead.
A lot of other meals contain tofu or tempeh, which are amazing meat substitutes and both prove that going meat-free can be comparably as fun, tasty, and nutritious.
Morocco is an up-and-coming destination for vegetarians, even though there are many dishes that base themselves on meat.
To name a few, there is the fava bean or split pea soup — bessara. There is also spiced couscous, which is somewhat of a national dish, and it has been perfected with seasonal vegetables, spices, fresh mint, and sweetened with raisins.
Although they can be prepared with meat, briouats can be a delicious vegetarian dish as well. There are meatless versions featuring beetroot, pumpkin, carrot, or perhaps spinach, and pepped up with the Moroccan spice palette.
In Morocco, meat is considered a sign of wealth. Not everyone will thus have an understanding of what it means to be a vegetarian. Especially in smaller places, make sure the host or staff remembers to prepare your food without meat.
Bulgaria is big on meat. However, there are a number of dishes that work just wonderfully without it. Here it’s where it gets interesting, though.
There’s the tarator soup, which, as you might assume, should be hot. Well, it’s not. It’s a yoghurt-based cold soup with cucumber and dill, and it can also contain walnuts and garlic.
Another one of the country’s favourites is pepper burek — peppers stuffed with a mixture of feta cheese, eggs, and spices. Once filled up, the peppers are covered with batter and fried.
Banitsa is another dish worth showcasing. It’s a mixture of whisked eggs with white cheese (for example the traditional sirene cheese) layered between filo pastry and baked in the oven.
Israel can hardly be left out from this list. A lot of dishes which originated in the region have spread worldwide.
The Israelis grow most of their ingredients locally. They are of high quality, which makes all the difference when it comes to the taste and colour of the meals.
Already well known to most are hummus and baba ganoush, both vegetable dips mostly eaten with pita bread. They are very similar in ingredients but hummus is made from chickpeas while baba ganoush is made from aubergine.
Another one on the list is falafel. Falafel looks more or less like meatballs but it’s made from chickpeas or fava beans and usually served in white bread with loads of vegetables and sauces.
Perhaps less known but equally as tempting is sabich, which is an Israeli sandwich consisting of pita stuffed with fried aubergine and hard-boiled eggs.
The countries in the Middle Eastern region influence each other heavily when it comes to food. The origin of some dishes is hard to trace back properly.
Georgia is somewhat of an overlooked country when it comes to vegetarian food. Wrongly so. Its cuisine is rich in mouthwatering meatless dishes.
To start you off with a bang, let’s introduce nigvzinai badrijani. This dish is considered one of the best Georgian dishes. Its perfection comes from the simplicity of its main ingredients, being “just” an aubergine stuffed with walnuts.
Supposedly, Alan Rickman (professor Snape from the Harry Potter series) took a liking to one Georgian dish — pkhali — a dip made from chopped vegetables, such as cabbage, beets, or spinach, and combined with ground walnuts.
The less obvious one would be khinkali, which is a large dumpling traditionally prepared with meat, but even vegetarians can enjoy it if they substitute the meat with cheese, mushrooms, or potatoes.
For more veggie inspiration, read one of our previous articles.