Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What a trip!

Vietnam Day One: Flight Meals

Delta: JFK-->Tokyo

When purchasing my tickets on Expedia, I made sure to request a Pure Vegetarian meal. Knowing ahead of time that pure vegetarian=not necessarily vegan…I knew I had to pack my normal snacks and sammies. Therefore before heading to the airport, I made 4 mini pita whole wheat sandwiches with mustard, (2 with romaine), and tofurky. I also packed almonds, cashews, 2 larabars, pretzels, carrots, and a bag of veggie booty.

Once on board the first meal to arrive was the “dinner” service, which consisted of the following:

Pure Vegetarian Meal

Brown Rice and Mixed Veggie Curry (frozen peas, corn, carrots, string beans, cauliflower)


Salad with tomato, romaine and topped with shredded cheese (not vegan)

3 shrimp cocktail (not vegan)

butter (non vegan)

ceasar dressing (not vegan)

cocktail sauce

cream cheese brownie (not vegan)

I attempted to eat the rice and veggies, but it was so bland that I couldn’t take more than two bites. I nibbled on the roll, but was turned off at the shrimp on the tray. Oh well, good thing I brought the sammies.

A few hours later came the Midflight snack=another disappointment!

Midflight snack:


Water in a plastic carton

veg sandwich (crustless wheat bread, tomatoes, and cucumber)

pepperidge farm milano cookie

Notes: water tastes like plastic

Apple: saved for later

Veg Sandwich=soggy bread, mealy tomatoes…I also found two pieces of turkey in the sandwich and couldn't eat the cookie...again good thing I packed food!

The menu for the pre-landing meal reads option of veggie fried rice…please be good.

The arrival of the last meal was another sad disappointment.

Pre Landing Meal:

Fruit Salad


Hersheys Bar

Veggie Fried Rice with baby corn and red peppers


I took one bite of the veggie fried rice and noticed that there was egg in the meal. I was skeptical at first, but then thought it was tofu. Wrong, I bit into a small piece of egg and there goes another Pure Veg Meal. The oj and a piece of pineapple was all that I ate. I’m ready for some homemade Vietnamese food already!

Vietnam Day Two: Flight Meal

Vietnam Airlines: Tokyo-->Ho Chi Minh

This was by far the best meal on board

Dinner Service:

Roll with margarine

Garden salad with cucumber, peppers and a lite vinaigrette

Fruit salad (apples, kiwi, and pineapple)

Sushi rice with 3 different mushrooms (oyster, shiitake and straw)

Tofu with snowpeas, bamboo and peppers

I felt like I was almost home. I’m looking forward to my first bowl of veggie noodle soup and fresh summer rolls. Oh and the fresh sugarcane juice too.

After settling in to my grandmother’s house, I went and had my first homemade bowl of rice porridge. The rice was mixed with red beans (sort of like azuki) and topped with coconut milk. It was served along side a small dish of spicy pickled gourd. I also nibbled on a few rombutan. Love the fruit here. Can you believe the last time I went to Vietnam, I bought apples, grapes and oranges? I know right? I’ll stick with the local fruit for the rest of the trip.

After breakfast, we walked to the market. We picked up some fresh tofu, chopped lemongrass/chili peppers, fresh coconut juice, a green vegetable (reminds me of chayote), and fresh cilantro. Ba Ngoai is going to make me a soup with sautéed lemongrass tofu. Time for a nap while it’s hot out!

Didn’t get a picture of the soup or lemongrass tofu dish:(

For a light snack I had veggie summer rolls with brown rice noodles, lettuce and fresh mint.

Breakfast the next morning was a traditional veganize version of Bun Bo Hue. It had rice noodles, bean sprouts, scallions and veggie meat. The hot bowl of soup was a bit difficult to eat in the humid weather, but most of the locals eat hot soup or rice for breakfast so I’m just going with the flow.

For lunch, grandma made sautéed (scallion like) greens with fresh tofu and peanuts.

Snack…lychee and mini-grapefruit. I also had some fresh sugarcane juice.

More delicious Vietnam eats to come...