We are officially on holiday! Yay! We will be spending our free time
here at home. We decided not to go away during our summer break from
work partly because summer in Sweden is just amazing, partly because
we live in a beautiful part of Sweden – two minutes walk from the
beach and in an area where people actually come to spend their
summers – and partly because we have just bought the house and our
little pockets didn’t really want to be emptied to pay for a holiday
away.

So how to have a holiday at home? One way is to do things that you
would do when you are on a holiday away from home. Do things that you
wouldn’t normally do and eat things that you don’t usually eat. And
for me, who usually eats mostly raw food, this meant sampling some
cooked goodies!

So yesterday, after a leisurely breakfast, we went into Stockholm for
lunch and a mooch around. We had decided to eat at Ekobar – a new
‘accidentally vegan’, healthier and more environmentally friendly
alternative to fast food places. It’s located just a couple of
streets away from my part-time job so I know that part of town pretty
well, but Christoffer suggested an alternative route to get there and
we discovered some new streets, shops and a further appreciation of
the lovely buildings in that area. (I always remember the advice I
read somewhere about experiencing new places: always look up. And
it’s true! There are some lovely old buildings around Stockholm and
looking up instead of down or straight ahead reveals beautiful
details on the facades and interesting balconies.)

At Ekobar I had a yummy cheeseburger and oven baked fries and Chris
had a burrito. All vegan and mostly organic and 100% tasty! And since they are not
greasy and fried you really don’t feel bad after eating them (well, a
strict and long-term raw fooder probably would, as it would be a bit
of a shock to the system!)

After a very nice chat with the gorgeous owners, we pottered along to
our favorite food shop, Goodstore, which has a brilliant selection of
vegan and organic foods. Seriously, this store means that I don’t
miss the UK like I used to, as we can get all our vegan goodies from
there.

To follow the holiday theme we decided to try….wait for it….fake salmon! Yes, it does in fact exist. Over the past few years more and
more ‘fake’ food products have come on to the market, so you can now
find vegan alternatives to: cheese, ice-cream, chocolate, burgers,
bacon, ham, roasts, caviar, salami, prawns…and now fish!

I am sure opinions are divided over these fake products. Some people
may argue that it seems illogical to try and fake meat. Some veggies/
vegans really don’t want to eat anything that resembles meat and some
people believe that we shouldn’t encourage the consumption of
processed foods.

However, many people who don’t eat meat for various reasons actually
used to enjoy the taste/experience of meat/fish-based dishes and
these foods are a good replacement and incentive to give up the
animal-based versions. I personally was never a fan of meat or fish.
Well, except for the things you don’t actually really want to eat,
namely burgers and sausages, which to me didn’t resemble the flesh of
a dead animal too much. But since these ‘foods’ (if you can even
class them as that) are, as how one person put it, ‘ground up lips
and arse holes’ they are not the most appetizing of things to put in
your mouth once you think about it. Interestingly enough it was the
discovery of a hairy piece of cow skin in a burger that pushed me to
give up meat. Those burgers had suddenly become a lot more animal for
my liking! And now, if I do want a burger, then I can get a 100%
vegan one, without the bits of skin!

These fake meat/fish products also mean that animals and fish are not
subjected to suffering and death in the name of a meal, are better
for our health since they are free from toxins, cholesterol and
saturated fat, and are also less of a burden on the environment since
the meat, dairy and fish industries are incredibly destructive and
energy demanding. For more info see www.vegansociety.com/environment

So back to the ‘fish’. Once defrosted we lightly fried it in coconut
oil and served it with salad, new potatoes and a yummy creamy dill
sauce that turned out to be totally raw when I made it!

The verdict? Well, potatoes are a novelty to me, and were most
appreciated, and the fake fish was in fact very yummy. I never liked
fish before turning veggie but since eating more raw food I have
developed a penchant for seaweed and thought this fake fish with the
raw dill sauce (recipe to be posted shortly) was pretty good. Chris thought it had a good and
convincing taste and texture (I can’t remember what real fish is
like) and was also impressed with it.

But I have to admit it did feel weird eating something so fish-like.
My brain was sending thousands of ‘does not compute’ messages. I
kept checking the packet to make sure that it really wasn’t fish.
It’s made from seaweed, soya and wheat protein and spices but since
it in an imported product from China we are at the mercy of the
translator. Maybe it’s a cruel joke played upon us veggies…

I am definitely not giving up my beautiful health-giving and tasty
raw food in favour of food like this on a regular basis but it really
was an interesting experience and gives one less excuse to continue
eating meat and fish products.

So it was a good holiday-day yesterday. The only thing that made it
not feel like a holiday was the washing-up. Maybe we need to invite
some people over for dinner. They are often more than willing to help
clean-up in return for some beautiful food. Any offers?…. 🙂

(For your info, this fake salmon is distributed by K.F. Enterprise in the Netherlands. Tel +31 24 3773698)