Hello again! It has been a while since my last post. Over the last two and a half weeks I was exploring Iceland, Denmark, Sweden (briefly!), and Holland. I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, met some of the friendliest people, explored some exciting new cities, and ate some amazing European vegan food. Before leaving for Iceland, I was told that it would be hard to find vegan food there. When I arrived, I was told the same. I guess if you're not looking for vegan options its hard to find them. But in Iceland alone, we ended up finding two ice cream places with vegan options, three vegetarian restaurants (with vegan options), one all vegan restaurant, a thai restaurant with options, and a local restaurant that was able to easily adapt a few items on their menu to meet our needs. Then there is always the supermarket full of ingredients to make your own meals, which we did half the time, partially to save money. While Scandinavia is still culturally meat focused, we found that it was easy to find options everywhere we went.
Overall, the trip went incredibly smoothly and traveling with a toddler proved to be no big deal at all. We packed three travel backpacks with enough clothes for one week, and planned to do laundry and purchase diapers as needed. I brought a few small books and activities for the airplane (play dough, stickers, etc.), and lots of healthy snacks for long layovers, train rides, etc. I was able to replenish my snack pile in local supermarkets wherever we were, and it was so much fun trying different vegan food that we can't get at home! We also brought our ergo carrier for nap time on-the-go, and a stroller which we checked plane side, but no car seat because I knew we would be taking public transportation almost everywhere, and the one time we did rent a car in Iceland, they provided a free carseat with the rental!
Each day we always had a plan of something we wanted to see and do, but made sure to break up the day with play time for my daughter. Either a kid's museum, time in a park, or my child's favorite; a gravel parking lot. Seriously, she could spend hours picking up small rocks and dumping them over her head. I don't get it, but whatever entertains her!
Now the "fun" part...recovering from jet lag! I'm currently writing this at 5am and have already been awake for an hour (along with my toddler!), but luckily I have the weekend to recover before we have to 100% get back to reality!
Before I left on my trip, I created a few recipes to share but didn't have time to post them! I guess one benefit of jet lag is productivity very early in the morning! This recipe is inspired by a family recipe for baked Mac and Cheese that my Grandmother used to make. I wanted to create a quick and easy casserole dish that tasted amazing and uses just a few easy ingredients that can be picked up at your local vegan friendly market. And whats better than an creamy cheesy pasta dish!? Unlike my other macaroni and cheese dish, this one is made with store bought vegan cheese to save time from making your own, and includes some fresh broccoli for added nutrition! Enjoy!