In Taiwan, eating out is certainly the cheaper option. You can get a bowl of noodles for as little as NT$40 (88p). For me though, there really is nothing like home-cooking.
In my first post about vegetarianism outside the house in Taiwan, I mentioned that as vegetarians we often get asked the same question by incredulous meat-eaters: Is that not really difficult in Taiwan? Irrevocably followed by: What do you eat?
In Taiwan, local supermarkets are really rather poor compared to the UK, and many people buy their fruit, veg and grains at the local market instead. If you’re up early enough in the morning or not adventuring on the weekend then this is the way go. The difference from back home, where everything is on offer whenever we want it, is that only seasonal produce is available in Taiwan.
For breakfasting, since university, I’ve always been keen to bake my own granola. With walnuts, and pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds all bought at the local market, I can bake up a healthy batch even in our small-sized toaster oven. On a lazy weekend, I’m always keen to make honey, banana and walnut pancakes.
In the winter, using seasonal veg to make soups was definitely worth while. Wholemeal bread is easy to get at any local bakery here too.
That said, Luke is the master of homemade wholemeal flatbreads that are delicious with just freshly made hummus, or with red lentil burgers.
Red lentils, which you can buy in bulk for cheaps from the same market lady who sells walnuts and seeds, are versatile and filling. My absolute love is lentil bolognese using onion, carrot and celery.
Another regular eats for us is chilli. I love eating beans and pulses, so chilli is awesome – you can use up leftover veg, mix with tomatoes, kidney beans, any other kind of bean, and throw on top of a baked potato.
We’ve always got too many eggs in our store cupboard, so if we’re not desperate to eat immediately, then we can make Spanish tortillas with layers of potato, and hot quiche by making some shortcrust pasty with flour, butter and water.
A bit more funky and Asian are rainbow noodles, which you can buy at the health store across the road. So there you have it, a heap of stuff that vegetarians like to cook.
Read: I’m an avid food blog searcher when I’m look for something completely new or even an old favourite. There are some great food blogs around, but my current favourites are I Can Has Cook? and whole foods blog Cookie+Kate.