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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Self Catering in France

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
I have just come back from France for my warm, summer Holiday.
 This was my first time out of the UK following a Vegan Diet with my intolerance's too. Me & my family normally like to take our own food away with us as we don't know what is in different Supermarkets and eating out can be very hard.

I have visited France on many occasions and this time noticed a big difference in the variety of Organic and FreeFrom Food. Unfortunatly, Vegan food is still hard to get. I managed to source a few Vegan products from the main Local Supermarkets (SuperU & InterMarché)

I decided it would be a good idea to share these foods with you as it really helped me with my dietary needs on Holiday and i hope it would help you too find some new and exciting food.

When on Holiday, it can be very time consuming to prepare and cook meals. Convenience food (especially with dietary needs) are much easier and less time consuming in the kitchen (giving you more time to soak up the Sun)
I also prefer to eat a lot of Fresh and Healthy food which you can add to these dishes (Salads, Rice etc...) 
I took quite a lot of Food Supplements like Chia Seeds, Linseed and Pea-protein (which is great to add into rice dishes) I didn't know if i could get these over in France, hence why i took my own. In fact, i didn't see any of these sold in the Supermarkets or around where i was staying. 

As we were travelling by Car, i was able to take Vegan Snacks, Drinks and Food with me, for example-
-Uncle Bens Rice/Tilda Rice
-Jamie Oliver Chickpea Curry (in a packet for easy use)
-Trek Protein Bars
-Nuts & Seeds
-Kallo Stock Cubes
-Soya Milk (You can easily get this over in France)
-DS Gluten-free Brown Chiabatta Rolls & Pizza Base
Gluten free pasta 
......

I was alittle concerned about the Journey as we planned to stay over in a Hotel outside Paris for 1 night before travelling to our self-catering destination. As you probably know how hard it is to get Vegan food, especially in France. I didn't know if the Hotel Restaurant would cater for my Diet, so i decided to prepare a Curried Lentil Casserole in advance and freeze it. This acted as a good, freeze block to keep my Salad/Lunch cool and fresh, and by the time we reached the Hotel, the Casserole was defrosted, ready to be heated up.
Thankfully the Hotel had a Microwave and they kindly heated up my Curry along with some Brown Wholemeal Rice. I don't like to use Microwaves normally, but on this occasion it was convenient and meant i didn't go hungry for the night.

I will link below the Casserole for you to give a try-
http://thelittleblogofvegan.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/protein-packed-spicy-lentil-casserole.html

I prepared this dish again for my journey back. 

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I would like to share with you some of my favourite Vegan finds and what i cooked along with them. Also some self-catering Vegan meal ideas anyone can make.



My favourite find were the Sojasun Indienne Steaks. These are chilled Soya Burgers with a Mild, Indian flavour which are rich in Protein. They are easy to cook as they only take 5 minutes on the Hob. 
Ingredients-
Water, Soya, Tomato Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Onions, Sugar, Mustard, Salt, Wheat Fibre (without Gluten), Gelling Agent- Methylselulolse.

These Burgers are a great source of protein as they contain 16.6g of Protein per Burger. 
They are low in Saturated Fats and have 5.2g of Sugar, which isn't too bad.

They are a lovely accompaniment with a fresh Salad or Vegetables/New potatoes. I paired mine with some Spicy rice and Rocket with Chia seed and Carrot Rapee (which you can purchase literally anywhere in France) and i hope to replicate the recipe soon (as its sooooo yummy)

...

I am a sucker for a nice rice dish, i eat rice almost every day as its convenient and versatile.
I found this rice whilst in SuperU, down the Rice Isle.
It is Long grain Rice, with Provençal Spices (Savoury with Marjoram.

This Rice can be cooked in the Microwave for 2 minutes but i prefer to heat it up on the Hob. All you need to do is break up the Rice in the packet and add a little water to a small Pan.

Ingredients-
Long grain Rice, Pepper, Tomato Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tomato Powder, Onion, Salt, Colorant (paprika), Thyme, Sugar, Marjoram, Xantham Gum.

This Rice is low in Saturated Fat, contains 8.3g of Protein for the 1 sachet, its a little high in Sugar at 10g, but it makes a great accompaniment with Salads, Sausages...
Its quick and easy, just what you want when on Holiday.

...


All of these next 3 products are by the same French Company.

Cereal Bio are a French company with 80 years of History based in Cestelnaudary Revel in France. They produce a good range of Organic Products. They do supply Meat & Fish dishes, but have a great selection of Vegan & Vegetarian products.
You can buy products by Cereal Bio in most Large Supermarkets throughout France.

I found a few products which i tried and really liked and would like to share them with you :)

The first product is a Lentil, Rice and Soya Dish.
Ingredients-
Carrots, Green Lentils, Water, Basmati Rice, Onions, Olive Oil, Soya, Soya Sauce, Wheat and Salt.

This is a 220g Pack, each Sachet contains 15g of Protein, 15g of Fibre, 2.6g of Saturated Fat(which is Low), 4g of Salt.
You can Microwave this dish for 2 minutes, but i prefer (again) to heat it up on the hob. It states on the packet, you can place the unopened Sachet into Hot water on the Hob for 10 minutes until fully cooked.

This is a great dish to have on its own for Lunch or Supper, or it can be paired with a DS Gluten-free Chiabatta Roll or Salad.

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I found these Burgers in the Organic Isle in the Intermarché(but i think you can get them in SuperU too)
Again, these are a Cereal Bio product, and so are certified Organic. 

These are un-chilled Burgers with Provençal flavours and are rich in Protein & Fibre (14g of Protein per burger and 7g of Fibre Per Burger)

Ingredients-
Tofu 76.6%, Water, Soya, gelling agents, Onions, Tomato Concentrate, Oatmeal Flakes(Gluten), Millet, Soya protein, Garlic, Parsley, Seasalt, Sunflower Oil, Chives, Yeast extract, Pepper, Thyme, Oregano. 

These Soyabean & Tofu Burgers are easy & fast to cook which take only 2 minutes on each side in a lightly oiled Frying Pan, or 8 minutes in the Oven at Gas Mark 210 degrees C or in a Microwave for 1-2 minutes maximum.

You can have these in a Bun with Salad & homemade Sauce, or Potato wedges. You can also pair them with homemade Guacamole. Il leave my delightful Guacamole recipe below for you to give a go :)

http://thelittleblogofvegan.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/spicy-mexican-cups-and-tangy-guacamole.html

...

Again, this product is by Cereal Bio and i found it next to the Burgers above. 
This is a Ravioli meal with Tomato, Tofu and Basil. It can take only 2 minutes in the Microwave to Cook, but again i prefer to cook it on the Hob. It states on the packet, you can place the Sachet into Hot water on the Hob for 10 minutes until fully cooked.
Ingredients-
Water, Tomato Concentrate, Wheat Pasta, Semolina Wheat(Grain), Onions, Vegetable Oil, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, Carrot, Mushrooms, Breadcrumbs, Seasalt, Brown Cane Sugar, Spices, Basil, Garlic, Celery, Rice Flour, Yeast Extract.

Although this Ravioli contains Wheat, i can tolerate a small amount occasionally, but if you don't have a problem/are intolerant to Wheat, then this i a great Vegan Meal to have whilst away on holiday, especially if you are self catering & don't want to spend too much time slaving in the kitchen. 

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You can check out Cereal Bio's website here. I have linked the translation to English page. so you can check out more of their delicious products,



All of these Products mentioned are a great source of Energy as they contain a high source of protein, which is needed if you are on an active holiday (cycling etc)
I also like to add in extra Protein wherever i can (like adding Pea protein to Rice dishes & Chia Seeds on-top of the Burgers etc...)


These Foods really helped me out when i was over in France, as i got to try some new and exciting readymade dishes which is always fun, but i like to add a lot of fresh products along side these foods..Salads, homemade Guacamole & Salsa...



If anyone who reads this post has any other recommendations or ideas eating abroad, especially France, let me know in the comments below.
I really hope this post helps some of you venturing on your Holidays, i know this post would have really helped me.




Please comment if you have any questions , i'll be happy to answer and hopefully advise you :)

Make sure to follow me so you dont miss out on my latest yummy posts and advice!
Holly x
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