Our Vegan Favourites in Turkey
Since going vegan, Cody and I have truly gained a new appreciation for food.
We become so excited to try new vegan dishes we have never seen before, and it is an added bonus when we know these dishes are healthy.
You won’t have a problem eating vegan while travelling in Turkey. There are plenty of beautiful plant based dishes to choose from.
Unlike our stir fried vegetables with steam rice option when there was nothing else to choose from in South East Asia, we ate lentil soup almost everyday in Turkey when we had other options and never got tired of it.
The lentil soup in Turkey is amazing, but be sure to ask whether it is made with butter. Some restaurants will add butter to it while they are cooking it, and others will add it to the top. There are plenty of restaurants that make it without animal products.
Simit is Turkey’s famous bread. It is similar to a bagel, crunchy on the out side, soft on the inside, and always delicious. You can find it all over Turkey, in the tourist areas, and local bakeries.
They usually have sesame seeds all over them. Make sure to choose the simit that is not shiny. The shiny one is washed with egg. When we were in a hurry, we would pick up a few simits and bananas, and head out.
The jewel of the fruit world. A fruit I love so much that I got it tattooed on my shin!
Bursting with ruby red juice, these seeds pack a superfood punch, and add such simple beauty to any dish. We found pomegranate juice vendors all over Turkey, and definitely got our fix during our time there. Grab a cup of fresh squeezed pom juice, and a simit, and you have a great simple light lunch.
STEAMED CORN AND ROASTED CHESTNUTS
You can find steamed corn and roasted chestnuts in the tourist area of Sultanahmet in Istanbul (check out our post on out top 5 things to do in Istanbul)
You can’t miss the wonderful smell. There are also dark chocolate covered chestnuts around Turkey as well, but we weren’t sure whether the dark chocolate was real dark chocolate with no milk so we opted out.
STUFFED PEPPERS AND VINE LEAVES
The stuffed peppers and vine leaves are one of my favourite dishes. They are usually stuffed with rice, tomatoes, and spices.
The stuffed red peppers are sweet, and the vine leaves are made with many spices including lemon salt, giving them an aromatic flavour.
Eggplant is amazing any way you cook it, but this aubergine dish is grilled, chopped up, and garlic and olive oil is added. It’s simple and so delicious. It is traditionally eaten as a cold starter or “meze” but it was always one of our main dishes.
Oh my god, Baklava. I am not ashamed to say that while in Turkey I obsessively seeked out vegan baklava in every city we stopped in. It’s just that good!! It is such a beautiful, light, sweet, and simple dessert.
Made with light layers of flaky pastry, all types of nuts, and sugar syrup. Again, it is not always vegan. A lot of the time it is made with butter. We told people we were allergic to butter so we wouldn’t be lied to just so they could make a few bucks.
We found a handful of places that made it with oil instead of butter, and it was amaaaaaaaazing.
Pismaniye is pretty much cotton candy. It is flour blended and roasted in butter or oil, and then pulled in sugar.
We found several brands made with oil rather than butter. It is sweet, light and stringy.
I was told that turkish delight is made with bovine gelatine which is really really gross, but the traditional recipe for turkish delight is actually made with corn starch, which made us very happy.
We didn’t try any that was sold by the kg as we weren’t sure about the ingredients, but we found plenty of turkish delight in boxes with the ingredients in plain english. The best we had was coconut and pistachio. So sweet, and chewy. It reminded me of marshmallow.
I could go on with all of the vegan food, but I’ll leave it up to you to find more vegan eats.
(Check out our blog on vegan food in the country of Georgia)
It’s all part of the adventure!!