vegan MoFo 15: Vegan A Go-Go! Lentil Quinoa Stew

After I left high school in the dust, I spent my late teens and early twenties hitchhiking and living in a van – a 1976 Dodge with the elusive slant six engine. I dubbed it Van-detta, friends called it Her-vana but I quietly ignored them, it was too hippie sounding for me. Although, now that I think of it, it is pretty funny.

IMG_3489I hopscotched in and out of college and university pursuing a theatre arts degree, constantly in motion, packing up and leaving soon as the last exam was written. Saving whatever money I had to pay for lift tickets and seasons passes at ski hills.

These formative years as a vegan meant I learned how to eat and cook on the road, with little money. It’s most likely why Sarah Kramer’s Vegan A Go-Go! A cookbook & survival manual for vegans on the road, resonates with me and is my favorite, most used cookbook.

IMG_3483Ironically, when it came out in 2008, I’d moved back to my home town and settled down considerably. I still leave a lot for work but the routine is more predictable than it use to be. Regardless, this palm sized, perfect for packing, cook book is well worn from traveling to the kitchen counter from the book shelf and back.

I love how the recipes are simple and the ingredients can be found pretty much anywhere. Most make about 2-4 servings, so you can feed the friends that are letting you crash on their couch, or have a couple meals for the road.

IMG_3486My sister is canning tomatoes this weekend and I realized I still have some from last year. With my head in the pantry I saw an almost empty jar of dry red lentils and another of quinoa. In less than a half hour, I made Vanessa’s Lentil Quinoa Stew from page sixty. Possibly the best thing about the book is the final six pages; the bottom, right hand corner turns into a flip book of Sarah smiling, waving and giving the peace sign. Guess, I am a bloody hippie after all.

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6 comments
  1. Love it! I spent the whole of 2013 vanning around my own country, picking up jobs, seeing the sights and getting up to mischief. My van was an ’82 Hiace Poptop which I named ZZ Pop. It was excellent fun, and funnily enough, that was the only cookbook I took with me in the van! So good! Love your van, it looks tough as. My partner has just bought an old bedford which he is doing up, so when that’s ready it will be onto some more adventures!

  2. lysette said:

    I actually read through a lot of those posts! hahaha, not creepy right?;) Probably when you were on the road last year. I got pretty swept up in nostalgia. I miss my van. I miss Australia.

    That picture of the van is old, maybe late 90’s? It’s super rusty now. I should have taken care of the body. The engine is still amazing. I gave it to my brother years ago when I started my carpentry apprenticeship. I was driving so much I needed a more efficient vehicle. It’s living in our parents back yard now.

    Rad, I’m totally on board for your next journey! It is a perfect road trip cook book. I love that she has some recipes you can impress hosts with, or make them cookies to say thanks. I spent a few months in the van traveling the west coast with an Australian boyfriend, who was also a chef. Each place we stayed at he made them dinner and every time it gave us open invitations to return 🙂

    • Ahh you’ve still got the van? Awesome! Billy is busy cutting rust out of his van at the moment…it sure attacks them.

      When were you in Australia? Sounds amazing having a live in chef – and the west coast, it’s the best (my hometown hehe). You’ll have to come back some time!

      • lysette said:

        The traveling I did in the van was the Canadian west coast, he came over from Australia for six months. We’re still good friends though oceans apart.

        I did spend two weeks in Western Australia in 1999 and wow, what a secret paradise! I spent about a week in Perth just bumming around by myself. Then I stayed with a family friend out in Boyanup.

        I rode a bicycle through the red country side and saw how hu-u-ge grey kangaroos are! We took road trips to Margret River and he showed me his favorite surf spots, had dinners with friends who were all wildly creative, interesting people that seemed to live in the most remote places. In two weeks my memories of Western Australia are like a wonderful surreal dream. You are so lucky to call it home 🙂

  3. I’ve been trying to look for that book at libraries here but still haven’t had any luck. I never go on the road or anything, I’m just addicted to vegan cookbooks :/

  4. lysette said:

    I hope you find it! There are no pictures of the food but every page is a color burst and there’s really fun postcard style photos of Sarah.

    Hi everybody, my name is ‘Lysette’ and I am vegan cook book-aholic;)

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