Eating Vegan in Kadiköy



We took the school service into Istanbul on Sunday so that we could pick up a few things for our Spring Break trip next week.  Much to our surprise, the bus was nearly empty.  Also surprising, in a much less pleasant way, was the hour delay and the horribly bumpy ride all the way there.  I guess the driver wanted to make up for lost time.


Someone did not want to wait for me to take a picture of the food before eating it

I can really feel change in the air with this new season.  I’ve always loved the sense of renewal that comes with spring.  It makes me feel inspired to try new things and keep pursuing abandoned goals.  Lately, I’ve been trying to focus more on my health, something I’ve pretty much ignored since moving to Turkey.  With all of the change in my  life, I had pretty much given up hope on trying to establish any kind of workout routine or eating habits.  Now that I’ve been here awhile, I felt like it was time to give it a go.  I’ve decided to eat vegan for 30 days; a sort of Spring Cleaning, if you will.


A glorious spread of hummus, lentil stew, lentil “meat”balls, and grilled bread.

I was vegan for nearly a year in the States, so the concept wasn’t new to me.  However, eating vegan here is substantially more difficult and not something I was ready to try when I first arrived.  Anyway, after a week of basically just eating salad, bananas, and nuts, I was happy to have access to some good vegan restaurants this weekend.  We stopped at a vegan cafe on the edge of Kadiköy and were not at all disappointed.  In fact, it was some of the best food we’ve eaten since we moved here.  Also, they had an adorable cat.

We couldn’t leave without dessert.


Kabak tatlisi (pumpkin soaked in sugar and topped with tahini, nuts, coconut, and other delicious things.)

And on the way back to the bus, we stopped at our favorite coffee place for cortados with almond milk.


Horrible photo, but you get the idea.

So far, this whole vegan thing has been going well and it’s felt amazing to eat healthier foods.  I don’t know if I’ll stick with it indefinitely, but I’m for sure going to see it through the 30 days.  It won’t be easy…I will have to resist a lot of temptation in Greece next week!  If nothing else, this will be a healthy cleanse and a great exercise in discipline.

It feels good to be in this place on my expat journey…to have the confidence to try new things and set goals for myself that go beyond just learning how to survive here.  I’m also happy to have a new favorite lunch spot for my Sunday trips to Istanbul!


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