Just before Christmas, I spent two months in South America with my sister travelling around Colombia and Peru. One of us spent a little more of her money on rum than she should of and so we ended up cooking for ourselves in hostels as much as we could. As one vegetarian and one vegan in two meat-orientated countries, this wasn’t always simple.
Apparently, there are no cans of chopped tomatoes or passata in the whole of Colombia. I didn’t think I would find this such a challenge. Very occasionally you can find it in a bag… but it isn’t quite the same.
Not all food bloggers are great chefs… desperate times call for desperate measures…
Here are a few of my go-to recipes for hangovers and financial regrets:
Guacamole and crisps:
- Cut two avocados in half, remove the stone and scoop the fresh into a bowl.
- Mash the avocado with a fork and mix in as many of the following as you can be bothered to buy for the occasion: juice of a lime, fresh coriander, garlic (granules are good for travelling), salt and pepper, freshly diced tomatoes, chilli (fresh or flakes).
- Dip your crisps in the guac and enjoy
The fresh taste of the avocado will remind you what vegetables taste like, while the crisps will maintain that wonderfully unhealthy streak that only appears to be acceptable when you are 8,500km from home.
If they have a toastie machine:
- Heat a tin of refried beans in a pan and mix with a little cumin or chilli until soft.
- Spread the bean mixture across one half of a tortilla wrap, fold the plain side over the top and toast in a toastie machine until crisp and piping hot.
- Serve with any kind of dip you can find, preferably guacamole or salsa.
- Add cheese if you have the money/the hangover is particularly bad.
If there is no toastie machine buy tortilla crips and cover with tomatoes, refried beans and guacamole for instant vegan nachos…
Granola, always granola.
It is impressive how much of this you can eat straight from the packet on a bus journey or lazing on a hostel sofa.
My saviour, my love, my light. We must have had a tub of peanut butter each for every week we were in Colombia, and God was it good. There was a particularly sweet, vaguely synthetic tasting one with chia seeds mixed into it that became our favourite. Lucy is usually quite a Meridian peanut butter purist but this one wormed its way into both of our hearts.
- Peanut butter with slices of apple
- Peanut butter sandwich
- Peanut butter on toast
- Peanut butter thrown in a stir fry
- Peanut butter straight from the spoon
If every resource has failed you, the humble crisp sandwich is always there as a happy, healthy (not) backup. We had more of these than I can count and were never disappointed.
Don’t worry, we also ate very well at other times! Have a look at my travel posts on Colombia and Peru for more…