Vegetable Casserole

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Recently, I only write about the vegetarian restaurants we visited during our Europe trip. Although, I have another two to go, I’d like to publish a recipe before I finish the whole lot. Luckily, I always have a few half-baked recipes in my workbook. And this vegetable casserole is one of them…

Recipe Note: You will need a good quality, glazed clay pot (with a lid) for this dish. Ceramic or glass ones don’t do the job properly and they create more mess too.

Vegetable Casserole

8 pieces Lamyong soy chunks, thawed
1 large potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 small carrot, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 tomato, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Vegetable oil
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
Salt and pepper

• Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan forced), Gas Mark 4, 350F.
• Heat ½ tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the soy chunks until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
• Place the carrot, potato, onion, chopped tomato, garlic, parsley, green beans and spices in casserole and mix well. Drizzle with a little bit of oil, put the lid on and place the casserole in the middle of the oven.
• It usually takes 40 minutes to cook although I check it half way through and give it a good stir. When a knife goes through potato easily, it’s done.
• Serve warm and enjoy!

Lehka Hlava (Clear Head) Vegetarian Restaurant and Tea Room, Prague

Lehka Hlava means easy head or clear head and is the sister restaurant of Maitre. We were told about Clear Head during our first and second visit to Maitre so we had to check it out.

Clear Head is tucked in on a little side street which is said to be the shortest street in Prague. The whole area has a renovated medieval charm to it. But, that’s outside. Inside, the décor is quite unique; it’s so colourful from the ceilings to the lamps. In certain areas you feel as if you have just stepped into a different galaxy.

The vibe is also different to Maitre I must say. It is more hip and edgy; mostly frequented by young people –naturally. But boy they do wicked gyros here. It was so good, I didn’t care about what my husband had there; I was busy enjoying my seitan gyros :)

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Seitan Gyros with tzatziki, pita bread, cherry tomatoes and lettuce (above)
I have never had seitan gyros that soft before. It was an absolute triumph in the taste department as well as the texture. We tried to get the recipe unsuccessfully.

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If you ever find yourselves in Prague, check this place out.
Lehka Hlava (Clear Head) Vegetarian Restaurant and Tea Room
Address: Borsov 2/280, Prague 1 – Old Town

Bok Sushi Bar and Vegetarian Restaurant, Vienna

I never thought I would type in “shit” to be published on VegFusion one day but the name of this restaurant (Bok) means exactly that in Turkish!

I found out about this place during my search for vegetarian restaurants in parts of Europe before we even got to Vienna. Not because of their reputation or anything, simply because of the meaning of “Bok” in Turkish. If only they had known… Of course, we didn’t tell them but we had to try it out.

We took the bus (or tram) to go and find this place but it was worth it. I don’t know about you but after trying vegetarian versions of every single local dish we end up missing a large dose of vegetables. When that happens, we start searching for a vegetarian Asian restaurant. So, this is exactly what happened: The urge for vegetable dishes kicked in and we found ourselves at the door of Bok Restaurant.

It’s a small place with an air of family-run restaurant. They are specialised in sushi and other Asian delicacies. They have a menu with pictures which helps as they don’t speak very good English there.

As for the starters, we had Hana Sushi. It is the inside out style of sushi which was fresh and delicious. It came with pickled ginger and wasabi paste.

Hana Sushi (below)

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As for the main, we had Crispy Chicken in Teriyaki Sauce to share. This was also quite delicious. The teriyaki sauce was not too heavy or sticky. The vegetables were cooked lightly so they were nice and crispy.

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Bok Sushi Bar and Vegetarian Restaurant
Favoritenstrasse 8,

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Website (not in English)

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LoVeg Vegan Cuisine and Specialties, Prague

We were on our way to Prague Castle and surprised to see a sign saying “LoVeg Vegan Restaurant 222m” in an area called The Lesser Town (see the left corner of the photo below). It was lunch time and we decided to go and have a bite to eat without questioning the ingredients –although Prague has been really good with our kind of food.

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After 222 metres, we found the place and started to climb the stairs. It was kind of eerie and dark but you get there.

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When you do get there… this is what it looks like. There is another staircase (the iron one in the photo) to go upstairs, to the roof which we haven’t been.

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Menu at LoVeg is bilingual and quite an international one too. From Asian to Czech specialties, everything is pretty much covered. There is nothing special about the food, I must say; it’s just vegan food. Since we stopped by for lunch, we didn’t want anything too big. So, John had Thai coconut curry (tofu, mushroom, sweet peas and spring onion) which is served with jasmine rice. I didn’t take a photo of it as I find curries not so photogenic. I, on the other hand, opted for LoVeg Burger which is made of beetroot, chickpeas, tempeh, “vegan bacon” and served with salad leaves, tomato, Dijon mustard and baked potato. And I do have a photo of it.

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To drink we both had a glass of home-made lemonade with a citrus mix (orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon). The waitress made it fresh behind the bar where we could see it.

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Although, as a vegetarian, I ask for food without a face but my burger bun had one :) as you can see in the photo above.

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The view from the window (above)

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LoVeg Vegan Cuisine and Specialties can be found in this address:
Nerudova 221/36, 118 00 Praha 1
Website (not in English, by the way)

Yamm! Vegetarian Restaurant, Vienna

In Vienna, Yamm! was a great find; we really enjoyed this place. It was close to our hotel and pretty much everything else we wanted to go and see. Sometimes, we even popped in for a drink or two.

IMG_4641 (1024x768)Yamm! is conveniently located right across from the university –the one Sigmund Freud attended. The décor is quite contemporary. There are tables outside and the weather is just perfect in the summer to sit there and enjoy a balmy Viennese evening.

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The Buffet

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The food here is presented as a vegetarian buffet (above) and you pay by the weight. Here’s how it works: Once you go inside, they give you a card which is very much like Sydney’s Opal card or London’s Oyster card. It’s just green; happy green. You go to the buffet and pick a plate (there are different sizes) and start filling it up with whatever you choose. Then you go the scales. That part a little tricky but if you’re struggling –like me –waiters/waitresses help you. Then, you sit down and order your drinks.

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The style of food here is international. The buffet is reasonably big with neon lights at the top. It’s full of a large variety of warm and cold foods from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and European cuisines. Although, it’s a vegetarian buffet, vegan dishes are labelled. So are gluten free and dairy free dishes.

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My plate (below).

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There is a soup section with bowls on one side, against the wall and the dessert section on the other side.

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And the Wine…
We did fall in love with Austrian wines. For us it was love at first sip. To top it all up, the wines at Yamm! are organic. We tried: Muskateller, Reisling and a pinot noir. Here’s the details:

Gelber Muskateller 2012 from an organic vineyard called Zillinger. Austrians know how to make aromatics with fruity notes. For me, this was the winner.

Reisling DAC Sprinzenberg 2010 from an organic vineyard called Geyerhof. I do enjoy dry style white wines and this was one of the elegant examples of that style.

Pinot Noir Steinbügel from Castle Graf Hardegg
This was stunning the first time we had it. The second time around it wasn’t good so we sent it back and they opened a new bottle. It wasn’t a problem, they said and it was back to stunning again.

Yamm! has its own cookbook for sale, too. It’s €19.95 and it looks like this:

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Yamm! Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: Universitätsring 10,
1010 Wien,

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Samadhi Vegetarian Restaurant, Berlin

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This wasn’t the friendliest place but the food was good. We already knew that there was a vegetarian restaurant called Samadhi around the area but I noticed their sign on our way to Brandenburg Gate. So, we popped in on the way back to have lunch (late lunch).

We ordered a mix starter plate (below). It was the right amount of food and was quite delicious too.

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When we came back to Samadhi for the second time, we had these two dishes below. Normally, I take notes at the time of ordering the food. If not, then I match my photos with the menu online based on the description of the dishes. Although their website has an English interface, they only have samples from their menu under the name of “Specialties” and it is not helpful. The second photo looks like a sweet and sour dish and that’s all I have to say about that. Then again, the food here is good.

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Samadhi Vegetarian Restaurant
Wilhelm Strasse 77

Viasko Vegan Restaurant, Berlin

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I must admit, Viasko was close to fiasco. The area was bad; we didn’t feel safe there. We had to walk for quite some time to get to the restaurant after taking the bus.

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Our waitress was very much like a walking catalog of a tattoo and piercing parlor and it wasn’t a good first impression. The décor was dull and pretty much everything had this “cheaply done” kind of look.

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In my opinion, the only good thing going for the place is the book nook (below).

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Viasko is a fully vegan restaurant so you expect some compromise in taste but it was more compromise than we would have like to have. Food was actually average.

As a starter we shared Antipasti (olives, hummus and sun-dried tomatoes) which came with a small basket of bread. €3.90

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Hummus was thick, sun-dried tomatoes tasted like they came out of a jar and the olives weren’t even marinated.

As for the mains we had:

Breaded soy medallions with white asparagus, baked cherry tomatoes, arugula and steamed potatoes. €15.90

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Breaded soy medallions were dry.

Cheese “spätzle” with onion rings and cucumber salad in dill cream dressing. €11.90

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Onion rings were not covered with the batter properly, cheese “spätzle” was just okay and dill cream salad dressing had the taste of moisture.

If you really must go, Viasko can be found at this address below:

Viasko Vegan Restaurant
Erkelenzdamm 49,
10999 Berlin

Sacher Café, Vienna

Café Sacher is known for its chocolate cake: Sacher-Torte. It was the creation of Chef Franz Sacher who was asked to make a desert for a party in 1832 when he was only 16 years old. The reputation of the Sacher’s cake quickly spread and an overwhelming number of orders made his family very rich. Later on, Sacher’s son Ed opened the Sacher Hotel and Café in 1876. When he died 16 years later his wife Anna took over. This famous cake with a secret recipe is still around. So is Hotel Sacher and Café.

When in Rome do what Romans do. When in Vienna, go and have a slice of rich Sacher-Torte and don’t just stop there: have Vienna style coffee, too.

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Famous Sacher-Torte (above). It’s soft, rich and something quite special. It just melts in your mouth and yet the taste lingers for some time. Just divine.

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A little bit about Viennese style of coffee: It is a cream-based coffee made of strong black coffee and whipped cream. Unfortunately, mine was lukewarm.

Café Sacher
Philharmonikerstrasse 4,
A-1010 Vienna
Phone: +43 (0)1 – 51 456 661

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Upper Belvedere, Vienna.

Maitrea Vegetarian Restaurant, Prague – Czech Republic

When we arrived in Prague train station, we needed a taxi straight away but the taxi situation was scary. The signs led us to a wrong spot and the real taxi rank had a long queue already. We rang the guy who rented us an apartment in Old Town Square (Thomas) and asked what to do. He sent us a taxi immediately and we helped two ladies from California to call their hotel for their own transportation by allowing them to use our phone. It was all sorted in the end, however, we couldn’t help but thinking where the hell are were?

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Astronomical Clock, Old Town Square, Prague – Czech Republic.

When we got to the apartment, Thomas was waiting for us. We took over the keys to the apartment and after a brief orientation to the place we asked the ultimate question of vegetarian places to eat in Prague. The answer was brief: Maitrea. He said: “You can’t go wrong with Maitrea. Besides, it’s just around the corner.” And he showed us the exact location on our city map.

I did a little research around Czech food at the time of planning for this trip and was hoping to find some interesting Jewish vegetarian dishes around town. When you think about the number of Jews living in Prague, there’s bound to be some restaurants but we didn’t need any of that in the end. Because, Maitrea was enough and it really was “just around the corner” as we spotted the place when we were out and about for the first time.

The place looks like a dark cave decorated with Zen principles -check out the water feature video which was right next to our table. It is even darker downstairs (check out the photos taken downstairs) but it feels cozy because of it.

The menu at Maitrea is quite international. However, on our first night, we decided to try some original Czech dishes which have been vegetarianised. Here’s what we had on our first visit to Maitrea:

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Czech special: Spicy goulash with vegetarian “meat” pieces, served with wholemeal dumplings/or baked potatoes 175 CZK The seitan in this dish was exquisite; the size, texture and flavour were like no other seitan I have ever had in my life. Apparently, they make their own.

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Another Czech special: Traditional “Svíčková“ – vegetarian “meat” slices seitan with a tangy vegetable cream sauce, served with wholemeal dumplings, lime, whipped cream, and cranberries 170 CZK

The second time we visited Maitrea, we tried Paella a la Barcelona (it was by far the best vegetarian paella we have ever had!) and Meatless “chicken“and mushroom balls.

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Paella a la Barcelona with sun-dried tomatoes, champignons, and shiitake mushrooms, onion, stir-fry sauce, vegetarian “chicken” pieces and parmesan. 175 CZK

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Meatless “chicken“and mushroom balls with oven-roasted vegetables, basil pesto and homemade tofunnaise 175 CZK

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Maitrea Vegetarian Restaurant
Týnská ulička 1064/6,
110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic

Maitrea has a complete spiritual center right next door with a bookstore. If you are interested in books and workshops in spirituality, you might like to check it out too. Their working hours are different to the restaurant, though.

Corn Omelette with Tomato and Cucumber Salad

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Corn Omelette with Tomato and Cucumber Salad is perfect lunch for 2. I make this omelette in an electric non-stick pan, then cut it in half. Serving an omelette with a little bit of salad lightens things up a great deal. It is also nice with a dollop of mayonnaise mixed with Dijon mustard on the side.

Corn Omelette with Tomato and Cucumber Salad

4 eggs
½ cup frozen corn kernels
1 spring onion
2 twigs continental parsley
1 tbsp or 2 vegetable oil
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
A pinch black pepper

For Tomato and Cucumber Salad:
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber (Lebanese), chopped
2 twigs fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt to taste

• To make the salad: Mix together the tomatoes, cucumber and dill. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and salt and drizzle over the salad.
• Cook corn kernels in a small pot. Remove from the heat and rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside.
• In a bowl, lightly whisk eggs with a pinch of salt. Add sweet paprika and black pepper. Add chopped spring onion and parsley.
• Heat the oil in a pan. Whisk the egg mixture one more time and add it to your pan. Swirl it around for even distribution. Sprinkle the cooked corn around and make sure they are submerged in the mixture well.
• When one side of your omelette is browned well, flip it over –you might like to use 2 spatulas for the job. Once it is all browned well, cut it into two with one of the spatulas in the frying pan. Serve immediately with the salad.

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