Interview by Natalie Tabone
Photos by Nada El Barshoumi
Nada – it’s pronounced Ned-a and means dew drops in Arabic.
Where do you live?
On the sunny little island of Bahrain – but I’m originally Egyptian.
What do you do?
I’m an account manager at a local PR firm by day and a vegan blogger meets amateur chef by night! (Not really night – but you know what I mean).
What does veganism mean to you?
Veganism to me is so much more than a plant-based diet. It’s about embracing a compassionate lifestyle that causes the least amount of harm to all living beings. I originally went vegan for health reasons but stayed vegan for the animals, the environment, and of course the delicious food.
What is your most memorable dining/eating experience?
On my trip to Bali last year I decided to trek all the way up to the rice paddies in Ubud on a particularly rainy and miserable day. The walk was exhausting, our clothes were soaked and feet were blistered but when we made it to the top there was a lovely vegetarian restaurant called Sari Organik. The food was impeccably cooked and the view stunningly beautiful.
If you could invite 3 people (historical or current) to dinner who would they be?
Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Gena Hamshaw, and Peter Singer.
What would you serve?
A Middle Eastern vegan spread! Maybe a lentil and eggplant mousakka, beetroot hummus, kale fattoush and tofu halloumi.
Sweet or savoury?
Definitely savoury – I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth.
Where is your favourite food destination?
I lived in the UK for four years as a student, so I have to say London – the sheer variety of plant-based options is every vegan’s dream!
What’s your speciality dish?
Pumpkin kibbeh stuffed with spinach chickpeas and walnuts with a tahini dipping sauce.
What’s your favourite thing to eat on a hot summers day?
A big bowl of salad with lots of fresh veggies, chickpeas, and of course avocado.
Cold winters night?
Chunky lentil and zucchini soup.
If you were a vegetable what would you be?
An eggplant – irregular in shape, colourful, shiny and an acquired taste.
Describe a normal day in the life of Nada.
I’m a big fan of routines, so this will sound pretty boring. Most days I’ll get up at around 5:30 AM to make breakfast and go to the gym. I get to work at 8:30 and have my morning Yogi tea while reading e-mails and catching up on the news. Days at the office are pretty hectic so I usually eat a packed lunch at my desk in between meetings. I get home at around 7:00 PM, make dinner and spend some time working on my blog or editing photos. Occasionally if I’m not too brain dead I’ll watch a little TV or read before going to bed early – yes I know I sound 84 not 24.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sea salted dark chocolate. And vegan ice cream.
What did you have for breakfast?
A green smoothie made with coconut water, spinach, blueberries, banana and chia seeds.
You’re on death row and it’s your last meal. What do you eat?
A Tempeh burger with all the trimmings, sweet potato fries, avocado salad. Skillet cookie pie for dessert with vanilla ice cream.
What are your plans for 2015?
See more of the world! I love to travel.