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Wednesday 19 June 2013

Big Fat Spanish Holiday Post

I just got back on Friday from a lovely week in Spain with one of my BFFs, Jojo, her husband and friend Tabitha, where we were celebrating Jojo's 30th Birthday.

And we ate a LOT of awesome food, so strap yourself in, because there's a load of food porn in this post.  And if you want to see slightly* better food photography from this trip, keep an eye on Jojo's blog, as no doubt the pics will be up soon! (* way WAY better)

Let's start with dinner on the first night.  Our first stop after leaving the airport was a massive Carrefour Supermarket.  We bought a crap tonne of food as we were planning on mainly staying in and eating at the villa.  So the first night we went for easy food; potato wedges roasted with olive oil, garlic and smoked paprika.  The seitan steaks were from Carrefour and we just pan fried them and the a simple salad.

On the second day, the weather was still kinda cloudy and rubbish, so we jumped in the car and headed for a day trip to Seville, mainly because there is a vegan bakery there called Veganitessen.  Look how cute their cake boxes are... 
But I digress.  We pretty much bought half the stuff on the counter, much to the annoyance of the people waiting behind us I think.
I think we all got one of these, it was a croissant covered in chocolate. Genius.

Also, a mini cream puff sort of thing.  The cream was almost moussey and pretty nice.
I also got a piece of their chocolate coconut cake, which had the same cream on top. But by the time I ate it 2 days later, it was a little dry.  Tabitha ate hers in Seville though and said it was really good.
Lunch in Seville.  We found a health food store and next door was a vegetarian restaurant called Gaia, with their vegan items pretty clearly marked.  They brought out this dish of potatoes and tomatoes and I dunno what they did to them but they were seriously both magical. MAGICAL!!!  Those tomatoes were amazing, and I speak as someone who doesn't really care for raw tomatoes.

They gave us bread too.
Tabitha had falafel, which looked rad.

Mine was called 'Bulgur Salteado con Veduras, Seitan y Tofu Ahumado'. Basically it was bulgur wheat with seitan, tofu and veggies and it was mighty fine.  Jojo's husband Nick had this also.
Jojo had gazpacho but my photo didn't turn out well and then the hummus/dips plate.  I tried the beetroot hummus (guess which one that is, guess!) and the Moroccan dip (top right) and both were delicious.
Random breakfast pic!  Scramble, leftover potatoes, fried mushrooms and toast. Yes.
Fancy food pic, because Jojo was taking hers outside and I'm a copycat.
Another thing we bought from Carre Four was balls.  You guys know I love me some balls (hey, settle down there dirty birdies!).  I can't remember who cooked this, I think it was a joint effort between Jojo & Tabitha but it was pretty great.
And then Monday morning was Jojo's birthday.  So we decorated the apartment with some balloons and we made breakfast of oreo pancakes.  Being in Spain I was totally winging these and so was amazed they came out ok.  Tabitha made a syrup with the cherries that were in our fridge to go with them and it was the perfect accompaniment. (I swear they didn't look that anaemic in real life!)
And the night before, Nick's (not so) secret mission was to make Jojo a birthday cake.  We again were trying to make do without cake tins and it overflowed in the oven.

But, no fear, it still tasted rad and it looked pretty awesome once it was decorated.  It was lemon drizzle cake by the way.

And we had pink champagne out of a hello kitty cup, because we knows how to bring the classy!

Here is dinner from one night and I probably shouldn't post this pic because it looks a hot mess. But there was no way to get a decent pic!  It was mushroom burgers from Carrefour, field roast hotdogs that Jojo brought back from her trip to the US, in a massive sandwich with some corn and a craptonne of nooch.

And dessert was churros. We found these in the frozen aisle in Carrefour and they were cooked in the oven, so none of us special-tons had to burn ourselves trying to deep-fry churros! Win.
For some reason I cannot get this photo to sit the right way up, even though it is landscape on my computer and photobucket. Blogger is an anus.  Anyway, we found these in the supermercado!  They are like mini magnums, for vegans! YAY.  Ooh looked at my chipped nail! ugh.
SHKOFF!  (In the car on the way back from the supermarket!)
And this was a lunch made up partly of leftovers and partly of stuff we needed to use up from the fridge.  Starting with carrots, roasted with apricot jam & garlic.  I know that sounds weird, but they were good!
Roasted aubergines, courgettes and garlic again, I think.

Jojo made a fancy salad with some pan fried tofu and tomatoes - fancy!
Leftover pasta salad I'd made the day before.  It was just pasta (obvs!), sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and vegan mayo, thinned out with some apple cider vinegar.
Leftover stuff in fridge salad.
Plateful of win.

On our last night, we took a drive to a town called Zahara de la Sierra, which has a gorgeous lake and scenery.  We found a restaurant called Al Lago, which had the most beautiful views of the lake.  The owner was English and we explained we were vegan and they made us this amazing paella.  Seriously, best paella I've ever eaten. Ever. So good.

And there was sorbet too for afterwards, I picked green apple but they also had mango, lemon and berry flavours I think.  Although now I think of it, possibly the lemon wasn't vegan, but the others were. Sorry this picture blows, but I took loads and this is the only one that is remotely usable.  It was about 9.30 at night by then.

Sangria!!! Because, Spain.
And JELLEEEEE!! Because it was Jojo's birthday. You can't tell but the top one is a dinosaur shape!


OK on the day we left spain, we drove to Malaga, as that's where we flew from. Jojo had happy cow'd in advance so we knew too look for a place called El Piano.  It was a teeny little shop with a few tables outside, but it was all vegan.

This is the selection...

Basically you pick a small or large 'boat' (we all picked large of course) and in the large you pick four items.  Mine was a crepe, filled with mushroomy filling, black beans, roasted potatoes with herbs and the 4th was something I forget the name of, but it tasted like seasoned TVP with peas in. It was good.

The also did dessert. Nick & Tabitha both picked the brownie and I tried a little bit.  As Nick put it, 'yeah, you can tell this place is "sin gluten"'.  They were kinda dry but apparently the icing was good. 

Jojo and I shared the berry cake and the orangey cake.  I didn't care for the berry one, it was kind of weird textured, like dried out jelly.  But the orange one was good. The base was chocolatey and the orange topping was like custard.

OK, now I'm done. 

Kind of...  Just wanted to say that anyone who wants to see some scenery from Andalucía, I've created an album on my facebook. Spain really is beautiful; the town we stayed in was called El Gastor, located a couple of hours from Malaga and an hour or so from Seville (both of which we visited) and was basically in a mountain.  I took lots of pics of the scenery and the lake nearby, so if you want to see those pics, they are here.