We knew that becoming vegetarians in the place where brats (sausage) and schnitzel (veal, pork or other meat pounded flat, breaded and fried) reign supreme would be a challenge but it has been fun to learn new recipes and adapt old favorites to be healthier, vegan or vegetarian dishes.
I have been an on and off vegetarian for the past few years but moving to Germany and traveling around Europe, made this far more difficult. A few months before traveling to Mauritius, I had eliminated meat almost completely and flirted with the idea of going vegetarian but I struggled with recipes and finding the right balance of nutrition as a runner.
While in Mauritius, we were invited to have dinner with Ryan’s friend’s family. Happy that we would have a home-cooked meal with life-long vegetarians, we excitedly accepted.
This was a fantastic meal. The next morning, I decided that we could eat healthy, flavorful, vegetarian food that was more than just “meat replacements.” I gave up meat that day and asked Ryan to call the airline to change my meal on the return flight to low-sodium, vegetarian. The rest of the time in Mauritius, was a bit of a challenge but we were lucky to find good vegetarian food. The high population of Hindi people in Mauritius made this a little easier. Ryan’s mom was also very accommodating and made wonderful dishes for Christmas so that I could have a nice vegetarian meal.
Sadly, we had to leave Mauritius but I got a happy surprise when we did. After we boarded the swanky Air Emirates plane and settled in for the long trip home, the flight attendant brought us two vegetarian meals. I told Ryan they must have made a mistake. He just looked at me and said “no, I’m going to do this with you” without a care like he wasn’t making a major life adjustment. Later he told me that he wanted to be healthy with me and that it would just make things easier. Not only does it make life easier, it is much more fun sharing this change with him.
We’ve found that traveling in Europe as vegetarians is a huge challenge but we are learning and finding this to be a fun adventure in healthy food. I hope to be able to document and share this adventure and our new recipes (some of which are inspired by our travels) on this blog.