Guest post – Hannah Rollings talks Ethiopia and vegan cuisine!

Welcome to The Plantbased Jetsetter’s first guest post, courtesy of Hannah Rollings (www.drifterhannah.com).

The subject matter is a country whose cuisine is very dear to my heart – Ethiopia!

Las Vegas, my home for now, has some amazing Ethiopian restaurants that I patronize; their ‘vegetarian platters’ just so happen to be vegan, so I consume a good amount of Ethiopian food on the regular.

Thanks so much to Hannah for her insight on Ethiopia and their amazing food!

~~~~~~~~~~

thumb_IMG_0699_1024
Photo via Hannah Rollings – beyenetu: a fasting mixed plate

Ethiopia is a dream for vegans. Not something commonly known. But why?

A large proportion of the population is Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, an ancient form of Christianity, and quite a strict one at that. An enormous 250 days/year are spent fasting. This mostly comprises of the days leading up to big religious celebrations, like Easter. But these devout people also fast every Wednesday and Friday.

OK, so this isn’t fasting in the absolute sense of the word. When Orthodox Christians say they’re fasting, what they really mean is that they’re not eating or drinking any animal products – meat and dairy. So they’re essentially vegans for over two thirds of the year.

When you have to forego these products for so long, of course you’re going to come up with some super tasty alternatives. In the place of meat and dairy, Ethiopians eat rich chickpea and lentil stews, mopped up by their staple and somewhat sour (gluten-free) ‘pancake’, made of the endemic grain called teff.

I’m sure many of you have tried Ethiopian food. In fact, it’s become quite hipster recently. Beware if you’re gluten-intolerant and trying this outside of Ethiopia because most establishments mix teff with wheat.

The Ethiopian government limits the export of teff in order to regulate the price. The locals eat this three times a day. It’s their staple and lifeblood. It would be a tragedy if the increased popularity of Ethiopian food increased the demand and export of teff, in turn increasing the price on the market and effectively pricing out the locals. Farmers would then prefer to sell for export, rather than the lower price on the local market. This has happened with quinoa and so the Ethiopian government is adamant that this will not happen with teff, and rightly so!

So if you’re vegan and/or lactose/gluten intolerant, and you find yourself in an Ethiopian restaurant, make sure that you order yourself a fasting shiro (chickpea based stew without butter) and a meser wot (lentil based stew), maybe also a tomato salad to accompany. It’ll come atop of injera and it will be delicious. Enjoy!

fastingshiro
Photo via Hannah Rollings – fasting shiro (one of my personal favorites!)

Published by

The Plantbased Jetsetter

A little about me:

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I have always been a fan of fashion, good food, music, movies, fitness, and fun times.

Having dreamed of being a singer in Japan since I was a little girl, I went to UCLA to get my BA in English Literature, then trolled around in Downtown LA for a bit before selling my car to run away to Tokyo.

I got a rock band of Japanese/Chinese men together and collaborated with them to create the band ‘19 Mirrors’. Some of our performances are still on youtube, albeit accompanied by terrible sound quality. Whoops.

I was the lead singer of 19 Mirrors for almost 3 years; we played a ton of venues in Tokyo, and even booked a 10-day tour of Beijing, China. Then came the March 2011 tsunami/earthquake disaster. I stayed in Tokyo until November 2011, when I ultimately decided to make the move back to LA.

While still living in Tokyo, I was going through the process of becoming plant based. I kept happening across books and articles that described the inherent cruelty that comes with eating animal products, the complete lack of balance my body felt while consuming them, and found that I couldn’t reconcile my love of animals with eating them and wearing their skin.

Therefore, when I moved back to LA, I promptly became a whirlwind of plant based, cruelty free fervor, wanting to discover fashion, food, and cosmetics alike that aligned themselves with my newfound beliefs.

To my delight, anything I ever craved or wanted to wear was available in a plant based, cruelty free form! Joy! I was super happy to discover that I didn’t have to sacrifice style, appetite, or health to be plant based, balanced, healthy, and cruelty free. I now live in Las Vegas, and intend to blog full time about a compassionate, luxury, cruelty free lifestyle!

~Come fly with me~

Leave a Reply