The decision to study abroad is a very prudent one indeed. Embracing a new culture, taking advantage of great academic facilities and often the weather, are all great reasons to choose a different country for your degree course. However, if you are one of the millions of people who has a particular diet such as vegetarianism, adhering to this can be somewhat tricky when you’re living in a foreign country.
The language barrier, lack of supermarkets as we know them here in the UK or just the fact that certain foods aren’t readily available, can make being a vegetarian quite a task and if this regimen is important to you for dietary or humanitarian reasons, then it can make your time a lot more arduous than it should be. In the latest feature here at the Collegiate blog, we take a look at how you can be a vegetarian in Madrid with ease, including recipes and meals that are readily available in the Spanish capital.
Vegetarian Recipes Available in Madrid
The staple of many local’s diet, the Spanish tortilla is eaten all over the country and indeed, across the world at tapas restaurants. Tortilla Espanola and Tortilla Francesca should be available at pretty much every eatery in the city and is also incredibly easy to make at home too. It is effectively a nice puffed omelette with potato and onion giving you all the carbohydrates you need for a busy day on campus.
Another dish you will most likely have seen back in the UK at Spanish restaurants and for a very good reason. Fried potatoes topped with a delicious tomato-based sauce, this one is also really easy to make as long as you get your recipe right. The great thing is you can put your own twist on the topping depending on taste, but we recommend you get some tasty organic red peppers from your local market and add to fresh tomato and onion before frying off and adding to your golden potatoes, a really delicious meal at any time of the day.
Berenjena con Miel
If you’re on the lookout for vegetarian recipes and you have a bit of a sweet tooth, then this meal could be perfect. Thinly sliced aubergine (or berenjena or even eggplant as some call it in Madrid) is fried to perfection before topping with fresh honey. This may sound like an off combination, but it is very popular in Spain and can be eaten as a snack or even a dessert after your evening meal.
Finally, a really versatile example of vegetarian food you can make with ease in Madrid, are Croquetas. Referred to as croquettes here in the UK, these are a classic Spanish tapas dish served all around the country. The only hitch with this one is that when eating out, they are often served with fish or pork but if you are looking to make vegetarian meals at home, they are perfect. Some more specialist restaurants may well do a vegetarian version, but you could make at home using courgette, mushroom, spinach and of course plenty of cheese. Just cover your chosen filling with breadcrumbs and fry gently until crispy and golden.
Finding Your Produce
Thankfully, finding fresh fruit and vegetables in Madrid is pretty easy due to the climate and the fact there are markets scattered all across the city. From the Mercado San Miguel which all students will discover before long to Platea, you will be spoiled for choice, but you can always read this great guide from The Guardian which profiles the best of the best. They all sell organic and non-organic produce and you can of course sample some great beers and wines when you are out and about getting your groceries. Perfect!
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