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by Victoria Holder
Victoria Holder: "I’ve always had a passion for travel but before long would miss my kitchen and home cooked meals. Now, I take my home and kitchen everywhere I go which offers many possibilities. I have all my spices and ingredients with me so can live off grid, stopping in remote places and eating delicious food in weird and wonderful settings"
Video Gallery Courtesy of Victoria Holder
After a stunning drive through the twisty forest roads of the Serra da Estrela national park in Portugal we parked up just 2 minutes walk from the Poco do Inferno waterfalls.
Thanks to my kitchen on wheels and thermos flask I was able to enjoy a creamy leek and celery soup right next to the cascading water.
A warming and nutritious soup is a perfect option for the adventurous traveler as you only use 1 pot to cook and it can be easily transported wherever your travels take you.
Caramelised Bananas? On the West coast of Portugal you see the sun set right over the ocean. We parked up at a free campervan stop just South of Figueira da Foz. Out of the window, rolling dunes, crashing waves and golden sand stretched as far as the eye could see. Although I have a cooking hob inside the van, the evening light was so beautiful I decided to take my portable stove out onto the beach to make an irresistible dessert, Caramelized Banana Flambé As well as lime and orange, the slosh of rum and burst of flames gives this dish a particularly decadent feel, perfect for a romantic sunset.
It was winter when we travelled along Portugal’s magnificent coast so we often had the beach to ourselves with only the sound of crashing waves. I made Chunky Chickpea Chilli at the stunning Figueira beach and it was a perfect winter warmer.
Local Markets are essential!
We often visit local markets and I get a thrill from finding exciting ingredients to develop new recipes. I am fascinated by all types of food and cooking and often feel inspired by the local cuisine in different countries and regions.
Photos: Courtesy of Victoria Holder
Do you like Gnocchi's?
When travelling long distances, instead of searching for a suitable place to eat or surviving on snacks, it can be a relief to pull over and prepare something fresh like my quick and simple Creamy Spinach Gnocchi.
Fellow travellers and local people are very interested in Manjula (our bus) and ask us questions about our lifestyle. She can be a great conversation starter and helped us to make many friends along the way. With my kitchen on wheels I love to cook for the people that we meet and show them how delicious vegan food can be. It is fun to watch their reaction when I tell them my ‘No bake Chocolate brownies’ are Vegan!
Rainbow Bean Salad?
As the journey continues our goal is to spread the joy of tasty food through beautiful photography and quirky videos. The videos demonstrate camper-van cooking in fun and unusual locations, showing that despite limited space you can still cook delicious food where ever you are.
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Our first impression of Morocco is the overwhelmingly friendly nature of the Moroccan people. The locals all smile and wave as our camper drives by and we feel very welcome and happy to be here. Families gather to picnic together and the scent of aromatic spice and home cooking fills the air. Driving along mountain roads and pastures the sweet scent of nectar from wild flowers and fields of lavender greets us.
As we travel through epic scenery, we experience an ever changing view from our camper window, with contrasting natural landscapes of dramatic coastline, magnificent gorges, snow capped mountains, lush forests and endless deserts.
We were eager to experience the Sahara and sample a taste of desert life. At Morocco’s Erg Chigaga desert we stayed with a Berber family in a typical nomad tent. We climbed the highest dune in the moonlight and I will never forget watching the sunrise over the endless sea of sand. We met a family of wild camels and it was a joy to see them unburdened and free from heavy packs or tourists. Keen to spend another night under the stars, we drove to Erg Chebbi and camped right next to the dunes. At sunset they changed colour to orange and then red and glowed until darkness fell and stars filled the sky. Our camper van allows us a little taste of home in the most unexpected places. I made a yummy No Bake Cherry Crumble and enjoyed it on the dunes.
Photos: Courtesy of Victoria Holder
We left Morocco, crossed the Gibraltar Strait and arrived back in Spain.
Our transition back to European life was simple, as everything looks so familiar and in some ways it was as if we had never left. Here you can find supermarkets and shops everywhere, selling everything you want. I had not been able to find Tofu in Morocco so really enjoyed making Crispy Tofu with a Sticky Orange & Ginger Sauce.
Despite the convenience of life here I refuse to completely revert back as I have learnt so many important lessons from our travels in Morocco. I loved shopping in vegetable markets, directly from the grower rather than through the supermarkets who massively over package our goods. In Morocco I could not believe how little waste we created from food and I would love this to continue. When buying from vegetable stalls and markets you are encouraged to purchase more local and seasonal produce which has not been imported or transported hundreds of miles so are better for the environment.
The Tapas experience in Granada was among our favourites as it came free with a drink!
Order a cold beer or wine at one of the countless tapas bars in Granada and you will receive a small plate of yummy food completely free. And they don’t stop at one, order another drink and another plate will appear. As a vegan this was a risky business and to begin with I would be upset to receive a ham “bruschetta” or a Spanish tortilla, which I couldn’t eat. Once we knew the drill though it was easy to ask for marinated olives or tomato “tostadas” instead. In some cases tapas can be chosen from a menu which avoids any awkward embarrassment of sending back unsuitable dishes. We were very excited to find a vegan tapas bar in Granada called “El Oju”, the food was great and we were really spoilt for choice. Granada’s North African influences reminded us of our adventures in Morocco. The Alhambra Palaces and grounds are the most magnificent architecture I have ever seen and I was blown away by the complex, geometric artwork and intricate decor.