The Conscientious Nomad

I have an idea.

So, I’m a vegan. My reasoning is basically that the number one cause of land usage and water usage and one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions is, quite astonishingly, livestock and animal agriculture. I am a vegan to reduce my impact on the environment, and also to put pressure on the factory farm system.

Politics aside, I wanted to create a vegan restaurant chain that incorporates food from every single country on earth (193 UN members +4 with observer/partial UN recognition). This hypothetical restaurant would have the power to inspire people in every city to eat ethically and healthily, while increasing their appreciation for the cultures of the world.

NOTE: Although the majority of recipes on the menu are naturally vegan, some would need to have the meat/eggs/dairy either removed or replaced with an alternative. One of my priorities was to pick a food original, traditional, and popular in the given country.

So, without further ado, I announce my hypothetical restaurant chain, featuring vegan foods from every country, The Conscientious Nomad.


Afghanistan – Qabli Pulao – a rice dish from Kabul with nuts and vegetables

Albania – Stuffed Eggplant – an eggplant stuffed with tomato sauce.

Algeria – Couscous – vegetables on a tender pad of couscous

Andorra – Trinxat – a hearty Alpine dish featuring cabbage and potatoes

Angola – Farofa – cooked manioc flour with smoky taste (manioc/cassava is Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest staple food; 500 million, or half, of all Africans rely on it as their main source of calories)

Antigua and Barbuda – Fungee – cornmeal and okra in a salted water

Argentina – Empanadas – pepper, green olives, and onions in dough

Armenia – Ghapama – a pumpkin stew with rice, raisins, apples, and cinnamon

Australia – Raw Banana Macadamia Coconut Pie – banana-coconut filling with macadamia cream topping

Austria – Palatschinken – Austrian pancakes with apricot jam and powdered sugar

Azerbaijan – Dolma – grape leaves with rice filling

Bahamas – Guava Duff – a guava-based pastry

Bahrain – Muhammar – rice served with dates

Bangladesh – Niramish – potatoes and vegetables in a blend of masalas and spices

Barbados – Conkies – a banana leaf cooked with coconut, pumpkin, cornmeal, and sweet potatoes inside

Belarus – Draniki – potato pancakes

Belgium – Waffles – covered in strawberries

Belize – Rice and beans – served with pepper and onion

Benin – Yams in Peanut Sauce – yams are the staple of northern Benin

Bhutan – Eue Chum – a nutty flavored pink rice unique to the country

Bolivia Plato Paceno – a popular almuerzo (lunch), with potatoes, corn, and lima beans. In the words of the founder’s Bolivian Spanish teacher, “es de (it’s from) La Paz.”

Bosnia and Herzengovina – Guvec– a vegetable stew with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, herbs, and spices

Botswana – Ting – maize porridge with spinach sauce

Brazil– Fejioada – Brazil’s natural dish turned vegan, a base of black beans topped with pepper, onion, and garlic, served with rice and salsa

Brunei – Ambuyat – traditional sticky goo from the interior of sago palm trees

Bulgaria – Bob Chorba – national dish combining dry beans, onions, and tomato

Burkina Faso – To – a Burkinabe staple food; millet porridge with vegetables inside

Burundi Beans and bananas – beans, the main ingredient in Burundi, served with plantains

Cabo VerdeCatchupa – fishless version of a traditional hominy/bean soup

CambodiaGreen Mango Salad – green, pre-ripe mangoes topped with shallots and pepper

Cameroon Njama Njama and FuFu – an exotic African stir fry with pepper, kale, and fufu corn

CanadaSaskatoon berry pie – double crusted pie with fresh berries

Central African RepublicSpinach Stew – served with tomatoes, peanut butter, onions, and peppers

Chad Daraba – okra with tomato, spinach, potato, eggplant, and peanut butter

Chile Porotos con Riendas – a unique combination of beans, spaghetti, and pumpkin

ChinaKnife Cut Noodles – noodles cooked with tofu and vegetables

Colombia – Ajiaco – a soup made of corn, potato, carrot, and guasca herb

Comoros – Mkatra Sinya – a festival cake made with rice and coconut milk

Costa Rica – Gallo Pinto – traditional rice and beans

Cote D’Ivoire – Alloco – fried plantain in a sauce of chili and onion

Croatia – Istrian Stew – a stew of potatoes, beans, and sauerkraut

Cuba – Moros y Cristianos – named after the wars between the Moors and Spanish Christians in the 700s, this dish has flavorful beans and rice cooked together

Cyprus – Fasolada – soup made of white beans and vegetables

Czech Republic Smazenice – shallow-fried mushrooms with onion and spices

Democratic Republic of the Congo – Saka Saka – cassava greens with spinach, onion, pepper, and peanut

Denmark – Rodkal – red cabbage covered in sweet and sour spices

Djibouti – Yetakelt Wet – spicy mixed vegetable stew

Dominica – Fig Croquettes – made with bananas and onions

Dominican Republic – Mofongo – plantains seasoned with garlic and olive oil

Ecuador – Choclo – dried Andean corn that is a popular Ecuadorian snack

Egypt – Kushari – rice, macaroni, and lentils in a tomato-vinegar sauce

El Salvador – Pupusa – a thick corn tortilla with refried beans inside, served with “curtido” cabbage slaw

Equatorial Guinea – Akwadu – four plantains in an orange juice batter, with shredded coconut

Eritrea Tshebi Birsen – traditional lentil recipe with onion, tomato, and Berbere spice

Estonia Leviasupp – a soup consisting of raisins, bread, brandy, apples, cranberries, cinnamon, and prunes

Ethiopia Gomen Kitfo – collard greens with chili and spices; native to the Gurange people of Ethiopia

Fiji Rourou Peti – dalo leaves with chili pepper, onion, and coconut milk

Finland Mammi – a Finnish Easter desert with molasses and orange zest

France Apple Cinnamon Crepes – apples and cinnamon with powdered sugar

Gabon Atanga on Bread – also known as “bushbutter”, this fruit goes great on toast

Gambia Benachin – rice with tomatoes, salt, and spices

Georgia Churchkhela – made by dipping almonds into a mixture of flour, sugar, and grape juice

Germany Kartoffelputter – potato pancakes with blueberries, sugar, and cinnamon

Ghana Banku – a national dish of dough balls made of cassava and corn

Greece – Spanakopita – spinach and greens in filo dough. In the words of the founder’s Greek friend, Andreas, “I had some yesterday”.

Grenada – Oil down – meatless “chicken” with Caribbean all over it: breadfruit, pepper, banana, coconut, and much more!

Guatemala – Paches – potato tamales with jalapeno

Guinea – Patates – fried sweet potatoes with boiled mango on the side

Guinea-Bissau Palm nut stew – cassava tuber with palm nut

Guyana – Metemgee – one of the only dishes original to Guyana, this is a coconut milk stew with corn, okra, potato, plantain, and cassava

Haiti – Dirt Cookies – Haiti has many wonderful vegan foods, but this one is not a culinary treat. It does, however, expose a sad truth – that thousands of impoverished Haitians in Cite Soleil are eating dirt to stay alive.

Honduras Baleada – flour tortilla with mashed fried beans

Hungary Goulash – stew with tofu and vegetables, seasoned with paprika

Iceland Vinarterta – a cake, with dough and prunes in alternating layers

India Undhiyu – Gujarati vegetable stew, served with samosas and naan

Indonesia Nasi Goreng – fried rice with vegetables, soy sauce, and spices

Iran – Ghormeh Sabzi – a popular Persian herb stew

Iraq – Baytinijan Maqli – fried eggplant with tahini sauce, tomato, lettuce, and parsley, served with pita bread

Ireland – Colcannon – mashed potatoes, kale, and cabbage

Israel – Falafel – chickpea balls with hummus an tahini

Italy – Spinach-Tomato Tortellini – pasta covered and filled with spinach and tomato

Jamaica – Jerk tofu – tofu in a barbecue-curry-like sauce

Japan – Sushi – rice padding wrapped around asparagus and avocado

Jordan – Freekeh – high fiber greenwheat with roasted vegetabless

Kazakhstan – Shalgam – radish salad with pepper, onion, carrot, and garlic

Kenya Ugali and sukuma wiki – a lump of cornflour dough with sukuma wiki, a kale-like collard green

Kiribati Palu sami – coconut cream, curry powder, and onion wrapped in taro leaves

Kosovo Stuffed Peppers – peppers with rice and vegetables

Kuwait Margoog – vegetables including eggplant and squash covered in wheat flour dough

Kyrgyzstan Uyghur Laghman – noodles covered in tomatoes and vegetables

Laos Mango Curry – tofu, pineapple, mango, squash, and potatoes in a curry and peanut sauce

Latvia – Cold Beet Soup – pink beet soup with kefir, cucumbers, and dill

Lebanon – Tabbouleh – an Arabic salad, featuring tomato, parsley, and bulgur

Lesotho Afrikaanse Stoofschotel – potato, onion, and cabbage topped with tomato and curry powder

Liberia Kanyah – ground peanuts mixed with rice flour and sugar

Libya Rishda – pasta with chickpea, tomato, and onion

Liechtenstein Muesli – a cereal dish with rolled oats, dried fruit, banana, and almond milk

Lithuania Cepelinai – potato rolls stuffed with onion and mushroom, in a creamy mushroom sauce

Luxembourg Bouneschlupp – green bean soup with potato, carrot, and onion

Macedonia Tavce Gravce – beans with paprika and onion

Madagascar Kobindravina – ground peanuts, mashed bananas, and corn flour baked as cakes in banana leaves

Malawi Mbatata – Malawian cookies made of sweet potato, cinnamon, sugar, and raisins

Malaysia Laksa – noodles in a mixture of coconut curry and sour asam tamarind curry

Maldives Kavaabu – fried snacks made of rice, spices, and lentils, made without tuna

Mali Grains with Baobab leaves – grains covered in both baobab leaf sauce and tomato peanut sauce

Malta Pastizz – filo-like dough holding mushy peas

Marshall Islands Baked Papaya with Sweet Coconut Cream – papaya, with coconut and pandan leaves inside

Mauritania Thieboudienne – rice with tomato, onion, cassava, okra, eggplant, and carrot, left without fish

Mauritius Dholl puri – flatbreads cooked with yellow split peas, surrounded by curries and chutneys

Mexico Sweet Potato Mole – sweet potato enchiladas covered in mole sauce

MicronesiaPuna – these hard coconut-taro balls are widely known across the Federated States

Moldova Mamaliga – cornmeal mush

Monaco Fougasse – orange-infused pastry topped with nuts and seeds

Mongolia Buuz – Mongolian steamed dumpling with tofu inside

Montenegro Montenegrin Soul Soup – beans packed with greens, carrot, and onion

Morocco Tagine – exotic warm Maghrebian stew with squash, carrot, and garbanzo beans over couscous

Mozambique Matapa – cassava leaves with ground peanut, garlic, and coconut milk

Myanmar – Let Thok Sohn – a salad-like dish of carrot, green papaya, ogonori sea moss, and wheat noodles

Namibia – Chakalaka – spicy vegetable relish served with pap porridge

Nauru – Grilled Fries – Nauru, with a minuscule agricultural sector, often eats these grilled potato fries

Nepal – Dal Bhat – rice with vegetables, lentils, and chutney

Netherlands – Poffertjes – small, fluffy buckwheat pancakes with powdered sugar

New Zealand – Hangi – kumara sweet potato, cabbage, and pumpkin cooked in the Maori style of Hangi

Nicaragua – Vigoron – popular street food made of lime and cabbage slaw with yuca (cassava)

Niger – Efo Riro – Yoruba classic of spinach, pepper, tomato, and onion

Nigeria – Jollof Rice – rice, tomato, onion, salt, and spices

North Korea Mul Naengmyeon – buckwheat noodles with potatoes in dongchimi broth

Norway – Krumkake– dairy/egg-less version of the Norwegian rolled-up waffle cookie

OmanSakhana – Ramadan soup made with dates, molasses, and wheat

PakistanSindhi Biryani – mixed rice dish with spices, tofu, prunes, potatoes, and vegetables

Palau Halo-Halo – coconut milk, plantain, jackfruit, and yams

Palestine Mujaddara – lentils with rice, carrot, and onion

PanamaPatacones and Arroz Con Guandu – Panama’s top two sides: fried sweet green plantains with a rice and guandu bean mixture

Paraguay – Dia – an ancestral culinary art of Paraguy, combining pumpkin, cornmeal, and onion with almond milk

Peru – Lima Bean Salad – 6,000 year old Peruvian recipe of lima beans, tomato, onion, and aji chilis

Philippines – Sinigang – tofu soup with lemon grass, water spinach, potato and tomato, coconut milk, Philippine lime, onion, and tamarind

Poland Pierogi – eggless pierogi dough with potato-onion filling

Portugal – Caldo Verde – potato soup with salty collard green broth

Qatar – Balaleet – Noodles mixed with saffron, cinnamon, sugar, and cardamom

Republic of the Congo Peanut Stew – peanut stew with vegetables

Romania – Bors de Burechiuse – ravioli-shaped dough containing wild mushrooms

Russia – Shchi – cabbage soup with potato and vegetables

Rwanda – Ibihaza – pumpkin pieces with beans

St Kitts and Nevis – Mango Chutney – placed on tofu

St Lucia – Callaloo Soup – callaloo, a leafy green, in soup

St Vincent and the Grenadines Roasted Breadfruit – the country’s national dish

Samoa – Palusami Lu’au – coconut and onion, wrapped in taro leaves

San Marino – Torta Tre Monti – thin waffle wafers glued together by chocolate cream

Sao Tome and Principe – Arroz Duce – sweet corn and rice with coconut milk and sugar

Saudi Arabia – Kabsa – mixed rice dish with vegetables and many spices

Senegal – Black Eyed Pea Salad – only-in-Africa black eyed peas with tomato, parsley, and cucumber

Serbia – Sataras – vegetable stew including tomato, onion, and pepper

Seychelles – Coconut Curry – rich coconut curry with rice

Sierra Leone Lady’s Fingers – okra stew

Singapore Chin Chow Grass Jelly – made from an herb with a Jello-like texture, purporting to lower blood pressure and cure indigestion

Slovakia Strapacky – potato dumplings covered in sauerkraut

Slovenia Ajdovi Zganci – “the pillar of Carniola”, this essential Slovenian buckwheat dish literally translates to “buckwheat spoonbread”

Solomon Islands Breadfruit Dessert – breadfruit and other exotic fruits in pearl cassavas, with caramel

Somalia Cambuulo – the preferred dinner of 83% of Mogadishu’s residents, these are adzuki beans with sugar

South Africa Carrot Bredie – a mashed-potato-like stew of carrots, potatoes, and leeks

South Korea Bibimbap – rice with sauteed vegetables and chili pepper paste

South Sudan Aseeda – sorghum, potato-like bafra, and mouloukhiya leaves, covered in peanut butter

Spain Gazpacho – cold tomato soup with pepper, onion, and cucumber

Sri Lanka Kottu Roti – spicy stir-fried noodles with roti bread

Sudan Fuul – a dish with fuul musri, which are brown-colored beans

Suriname Brown Beans and Rice – brown beans and spice on rice

Swaziland Sishwala – corn maize porridge with pumpkin tops and a relish of vegetables

Sweden Blabarspalt – dumplings with blueberries

Switzerland Papet Vaudois – leeks and potatoes

Syria Yalanji – essentially dolma: vine leaves stuffed with rice and vegetables

Taiwan Stinky Tofu – a challenge surely, this dish may smell strongly like rotten sewage, but it’s a Taiwanese favorite

Tajikistan Osh – the Central Asian version of pilaf, a rice dish

Tanzania Coconut Bean Soup – kidney beans with rice, coconut, and vegetables

Thailand Pad Thai – stir-fried noodles with peanuts, vegetables, tofu, and herbs

Timor-Leste Batar Daan – corn, mung beans, and pumpkin on rice

Togo Akume – maize porridge, or pate, with a light stew of vegetables

Tonga Topai – doughballs with syrup and coconut milk

Trinidad and Tobago Doubles – bara flatbread filled with channa chickpeas, covered in mango

Tunisia Lablabi – a garlic/cumin-flavored soup based on chickpeas

Turkey Lahmacun – vegan Turkish pizza, made of beetroot, artichoke, and mushrooms

Turkmenistan Kadili Gutap – fritters with squash inside

Tuvalu Pulaka – coconut and onion with the leaves of taro, banana, and breadfruit

Uganda Luwombo – mushrooms steamed in banana leaves

Ukraine Borscht – vegetable soup with beetroot as the main ingredient

United Arab Emirates Kebab – cooked vegetables on a skewer

United Kingdom Christmas Plum Pudding – raisin pudding with Medieval origins

United States Apple Pie – nostalgic American country pie

Uruguay Chivito – veggie beef sandwich with pickles and olives

Uzbekistan Oshi Piyozi – stuffed onion of the Bukharan Jews

Vanuatu Banana Lap Lap – cooked banana smothered in coconut cream

Vatican City Pizza – cheeseless pizza with your choice of toppings

Venezuela Arepa – maize flatbread accompanied by black beans and avocado

Vietnam Spring Rolls – greens, herbs, and tofu, wrapped in rice

Yemen Addas – lentils with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices

Zambia Nshima – fluffy, sticky, cornmeal with tomato gravy and okra

Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Greens – collard-like greens with tomato, onion, and peanut butter


Yes, this completely a dream. I mean, look at it at…almost 200 menu items! Think of how many chefs you would need at each and every restaurant to have all of the dishes covered! And how could this be a fast food restaurant when so many of these dishes take hours to make? Clearly there are problems, although perhaps we can agree that this idea is feasibly possible.

Either way, I find it incredibly fulfilling, as a vegan, to know that I can eat food from every culture! It entices me that we don’t need meat and dairy to enjoy mealtime. I am not an expert on food whatsoever, but after a few weeks of research, I have much more appreciation for the culinary tradition around the world!

Thanks for reading this article!

-LB, 2015


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s