I went to Cuba recently for a very belated honeymoon. And let me tell you, Cuba is no place for vegans. And especially especially no place for vegans who cannot eat gluten. I was very lucky that my hotel at least had an amazing salad bar. And even luckier that I love love love salad. But even still, seven says of salad, 2x a day, everyday...well, it can leave a food-happy vegan girl a little...unsatisfied. And this is coming from someone who ate salad for a year straight. But at least that salad had beans.
I think I could have made it through a little better if there had been coconuts, the soy yogurt that's supposedly ubiquitous in cuba, or even cuba's "famous dish" of beans and rice. But, nada. I tried, quite hard and in my brand of broken spanish I might add, to monetarily convince someone - anyone - to send some soygurt my way. No one was having it. And you should have seen the looks of confusion and, dare I say it, concern at my sanity when I asked for beans and rice. And other than my last day there when some beautiful cuban soul gave me a coconut, no one was giving me any of those either!
While the salad bar got me through the first half of the week, by the fourth or fifth day, what got me through was the excitement of the meal that awaited me upon my return. I knew my mom was going to leave me something delicious - specifically this beautiful salad - for when I returned at some ungodly hour of the morning. Oh especially when I was on that plane dying from my most horrible choice I ever made in cuba - chicoticos, an evil corn puff chip thing full of "authorized flavours", i.e. PARASITES - I was so so excited for an incredibly delicious lentil carrot salad.
2 cups green lentils, cooked, rinsed and drained
1 cup carrots, grated (using the grating disc of a food processor)
1/2 c parsley or corriander, chopped
1/2 cup chives, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
olive oil, dash
hot sauce or cayenne pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
Mix everything together and enjoy a satisfying, hearty and unbelievably tasty dish. For an extra treat, add some sundried olives and chopped sundried tomatoes and serve on a bed of greens.
Oh, and just so you know, my story had an unhappy ending: came home to no salad and a nasty strain of some stomach bug due to the evil chicoticos. Well, at least I still have an awesome tan.
Pixie stealing some lettuce. Notice how in the first picture her tongue is sticking out? Silly cat.