It was some sort of elusive thing, almost mythical: the Dutch Weed Burger. 100% vegan, made from Dutch seaweed on a algae bun, with sea lettuce sauce.
In the beginning it was mainly served on festivals, where I hardly ever go. Some highway restaurants added it to their menu, but when I decided to eat there, the weed burger being my sole reason to, it was out of stock. I was starting to believe I would never eat this burger from legend.
But I did! In a town not far from where I live in said highway restaurant the burger was available. At first I was taken aback by it being on the lunch menu, since I was there for dinner. Luckily, it made no difference and the mythical burger was served with a side of sweet potato fries.
In no way does it taste like a burger made from dead animals, but it is not supposed to. It is a flavour in itself and I aim to eat it at least once a month.
Every year on the 10th of March we eat cake. It is some sort of tradition in memory of our mom. Since I turned to veganism recently, buying a cake is proving to be a challenge, so I decided pretty soon to bake one myself. Luckily the internet is full of vegan cake recipes and with a title like The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake it was an easy choice
This cake is an almost no-fail, success guaranteed, always perfect cake. Because chocolate. And tons of sugar, so it is not exactly a healthy cake. To be honest, the cake is just cake. But the frosting! I mean seriously, the FROSTING! It must be what heaven tastes like. This frosting is really amazing. And because it’s vegan, you can eat it by the spoonful. Best advice, make a double portion of the frosting, or nothing will be left to put on the cake.
The only addition I made to the recipe are the little sugar hearts on the side. That was basically just to give it a little colour, the cake doesn’t need it. Needless to say, the cake was a big success. I WILL be making this cake again.
The Netherlands isn’t a very big country and I live in the dead-center of it, meaning it is never an excruciating long drive to the farthest regions. Groningen is our most northern large city and quite big on vegan stuff. Maybe because of all the students there. So for a day with my sister, that is where we went.
We had made reservations at 11AM in one of Groningen’s cat-cafe’s Op z’n Kop for coffee. Besides the tea, the soy-cappuccino was really all the vegan they had to offer. It was kinda crowded and not really for the amount of people or cats that were there. But some of both the cats and humans were really young and wanted to play relentlessly and luckily the space was big enough to do so. Along the walls and close to the ceiling steps and catwalks were made for the cats to get away. Some did not seem to be bothered by people and noises, and just slept where they felt like, being right next to your coffee off-course!
I am still not entirely sure how I feel about cat-cafe’s. They are really booming in The Netherlands these days, which scares me a bit. You really need to have extensive knowledge about cat (and human!) behavior to start this. The Dutch government solely looks at the hygienic part of these cafe’s, stating the kitchen and the cats living-area need to be separated. There are no rules regarding the welfare of the animals, leaving room for error. Then again, I have only visited two, so who am I to judge.
For lunch we met with a friend of mine I dearly love, truly one of the most beautiful and inspiring people I know. We went to De Herbivoor, one of Groningen’s main vegan hotspots. I had the best wrap ever! Filled with greens, lentils, mini vegan-burgers, all freshly made and bio. I stuck to tea, but they had many drinks to offer, including of course various juices and smoothies. This could really become my go-to lunch place when visiting Groningen.
We continued the day shopping, both buying most stuff for my niece and nephew. The last place we went was on my sister’s list of things to see, a shop called Lovely Little Living. They also served coffee, tea and loads of sweets, besides the tea non of which were vegan. But it made her happy and I had my fresh mint tea and some inspirational posters. It was a good day, pleasing both vegan and non-vegan.