I think everyone will agree that cooking in a kitchen that is not your own can be somewhat of a challenge. Cooking in a kitchen in a holiday home however, were the inhabitants change on a weekly basis if not more frequent, proofs to be even a bigger challenge. You have to deal with other equipment, other knives and only a limited amount of herbs and spices because most of the time people will have dinner in a restaurant and if they do buy spices to have a homemade dinner, they take them with them when they leave.
I find myself in France at the moment, first in the mountains where the menu in the restaurants consisted almost entirely of pizza and raclette. at this moment I am in the Provence-Côte d’Azur region and to my utter surprise the thing to eat here seems to be again pizza. Every other building is a restaurant and the signs shout out: Pizza!. Luckily for the non pizza lovers, if you get closer to the coast there are lots of restaurants that serve fish. Now I have been in France before, but that was before I changed my lifestyle to a plant based one. And when you think of France I am sure that everyone agrees that great food and wine springs to mind. And by great food I mean culinary food! So I must confess I am a little bit disappointed, but I am trying to adapt and not being fussy, so I did eat a salad with goats cheese and even a pizza. But I managed to avoid meat, poultry and fish so far. I am happy to share with you that the wine proves to be no problem what so ever!
The good news however is that I am more than pleased about the variety of fresh vegetables and fruits in the Mega supermarkets here in France! I mean, there is nothing to complain about in the Netherlands but if you compare the figs, the apricots, the garlic and so on, France is sheer heaven! (I will not start talking about the climate…) So since the chance of having a plant based or vegetarian meal in a restaurant here is reduced to almost zero I prepare a homemade dinner every now and than, like a real French woman would do. The owner of our rented house said so himself: “we are French, we cook…!”
So I bought a large sweet potato, mushrooms, lemons, fresh parsley, a big bulb of beautiful garlic, lettuce and a small bottle of rash el hanout spices and chili pepper. I had brought with me black pepper, sea salt and olive oil. I sprinkled the rash el hanout, some sea salt and black pepper over the sweet potato, mixed it well with olive oil and roasted it in the oven at 200℃ for 25 minutes. In the meantime fried the sliced mushrooms, a big clove of chopped garlic, fresh parsley chopped fine and seasoned them with black pepper and a pinch of salt. The dressing for the lettuce is one of olive oil, lemon juice, chili pepper, sea salt and black pepper. I turned out really good and for a small moment there I felt a little bit French….!