Book Review: Vegan Recipes

It’s been a while since I last wrote my last book review, so I thought I’d pull one of my favorite cookbooks off the shelf and let you know why I like this book so much.

Vegan Recipes is barely a book – the 96 pages are stapled together. The book is out of print, but (some) new and used copies are still available through Amazon.

  Here’s why I like it so much:

1) All quantities are given in both imperial and metric measures. Measures are also given in standard cups and spoons, and there’s information about the difference between Australian and American tablespoon measurements.

2) The book contains information about vegan ethics, there’s a glossary of common animal by-products, and there are tips on how to avoid animal products. (Did you know that poppadums are often coated with shellac or that dried banana chips are often glazed with honey? Me neither.) There’s also a chapter on vegan nutrition, vegan sources of nutrients, and information about how to replace dairy products and eggs in recipes. The book contains a shopping list for vegan staples, which you’ll need for a variety of recipes, and there’s a chapter on vegan nutrition for pregnant women and children. Tips for eating out and entertaining at home are also given.

3) The book contains 56 recipes, for soups and starters, main meals, salads and side dishes, desserts, and breads and baking. There are numerous photographs that’ll make your mouth water and show you how to prepare the dishes.

4) Best of all – and that’s why I really love this cookbook – for each recipe nutrition notes are listed. Many cookbooks give information about protein, fat, carbs, etc. That’s standard. But Vegan Recipes also gives information about the iron and calcium content of each recipe. For vegans, that is very useful information indeed. I don’t know any other vegan cookbook that lists this kind of information.

As a vegan, I pay special attention to nutrition. I never worry about lack of protein – but I do worry about getting enough of all the essential amino acids. Cookbooks – even vegan cookbooks – never supply this kind of information. I also need to prepare dishes which contain Omega 3 fat, something that’s also never mentioned in the nutritional notes for recipes in cookbooks. And of course I watch out for iron and calcium. A slice of Caramelized Red Onion and Thyme Tart contains 1.8 mg iron and a whopping 170 mg of calcium. A portion of Byesar – an Arab dish similar to hummus, but made with broad beans – contains 2.7 mg of iron and 44 mg of calcium. Recipes like the ones included in Vegan Recipes help me plan my diet and ensure that I get all the nutrients I need. Unfortunately, information about nutrients like iron, calcium, essential amino acids and Omega 3 fat is not standard in vegan cookbooks, and that’s a shame. Vegans do have special nutritional needs, and vegan cookbooks should acknowledge that.

Here’s hoping that in the future more and more vegan cookbooks will provide additional nutritional information about their recipes. It’ll make it easier for vegans to stay fit and healthy.

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Veganmania 2015: A mini-vacation

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

Veganmania just keeps getting bigger and better. Each year, the Veganmania summer festival tour stops in a number of cities in Austria and her neighboring countries. This year, Veganmania has tour dates in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Croatia.

In 2015, the Viennese and visiting tourists got to enjoy the Veganmania festival for four whole days, from June 3 – 6, and I managed to make it to the festival site on three separate days. It’s always fun to catch up with friends and family, but even more enjoyable, if I’m surrounded by food stalls that sell vegan food. All the drinks are vegan, too.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

At Veganmania, I can eat and drink anything I like, and don’t have to worry about (hidden) ingredients, additives, the food preparation process, or cross-contamination. I only have to decide which of the many delicious foods on offer I would like to taste first.

Veganmania is like a mini-vacation, and every year I look forward to this summer festival.

Of course, Veganmania isn’t all about food. Live bands and DJs perform on a stage, you can buy vegan shoes and clothing, purses and cosmetics, books, specialty food items, and more at the vendors’ market stalls. Several animal welfare organizations also have stalls at the festival, where you can collect information materials about their work, and educate yourself about animal welfare issues.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

By the way, the 2015 Veganmania festival tour has just started. Throughout the summer, until early September, there are nine additional Veganmania festivals scheduled this year. All the tour dates are listed on the website, so check it out. Veganmania is organised by The Vegan Society Austria.

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“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

This post was updated on August 1, 2015

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett, “Worstward Ho” (1983)

For the last six months, I’ve been neglecting this website. I was stunned to notice that I hadn’t posted anything on this site since the beginning of this year except information about upcoming vegan events in Vienna.

I spent the last few months translating my book The Vegan Tourist: Vienna into German, but I keep getting side-tracked with various projects (that actually pay the rent), and the German-language version of the book is almost – but not quite – finished. So I keep pushing back the publishing date….. Every day I look at the manuscript on my desk and feel guilty for not having finished it yet.

Time to start over!

As a first step, I’ve deleted all my postings on this website from the last six months about upcoming vegan events in Vienna. I’ll still publish information about upcoming events in my events calendar, but that’s it. I want to get back to writing about issues I care about. And clearly, I need to come up with some sort of blogging schedule to ensure that I won’t neglect this site again.

I am also going to push back the publishing date for the German-language version of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna once again. It’ll be published when it’s ready, I am not making any more promises about publishing dates! I didn’t expect it to be so much work, researching a restaurant guide book. I swear, my next book will be a work of fiction.

So there you have it. Failures, good intentions, and determined to try again…better.

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German Edition: “The Vegan Tourist: Wien” coming soon

This post was last updated on August 1, 2015

It’s a lot more work to translate “The Vegan Tourist: Vienna” into German than I thought it would be. I had hoped to publish the German version sometime at the end of November 2014,  then pushed back the publishing date several times, finally aimed for July 31, 2015,…and failed. It will be published when it’s ready. I am making no more promises about publishing dates!

Amazingly, in the short period of time since the English edition was published (early November 2014), a new vegan shoe store opened its doors, and there are also several new vegan restaurants in Vienna, which will be included in the German edition. There are a few other changes as well (opening hours, etc.), so the guide book will be very much up-to-date.

You’ll find updates to the 1st edition of the English version of the book here.

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Updates to the First Edition of “The Vegan Tourist: Vienna” (English version)

I just posted the first updates to the 1st edition of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna in the Updates section on this website (English edition, printed version and Kindle eBook).

A few restaurants changed opening hours, but there are also two new restaurants and a new vegan shoes store in Vienna. Sadly, one restaurant closed its doors at the end of October 2014.

The updates will be included in the book’s 2nd edition.

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The Vegan Tourist: Vienna – Kindle edition

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

The English-language Kindle-eBook edition of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna is now available (November 20, 2014).

I’ve updated my original blog post about the publication of this book. Instead of adding additional lengthy blog entries about each new development, I’ll only write very short posts, and refer you to the original blog entry, which contains all relevant information about the book. I’ll update this entry frequently, so it’ll be always up-to-date.

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The Vegan Tourist: Vienna

It’s taken me a while, but I finally managed to publish my first book, a vegan restaurant guide to the city of Vienna, Austria. The English-language version of The Vegan Tourist: Vienna is now available on Amazon (amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.es, amazon.it). Books ordered through the site in the UK will be printed in the UK. Books ordered through the German site will be printed in Germany – and mailed without additional costs for postage.

The book is also available worldwide through other resellers and bookstores.

If you like this book and want to buy it, please consider ordering it through my eStore, which is made available to all authors who have self-published a book through “Create Space.” Books ordered through this eStore are printed in the US and shipped from the US. https://www.createspace.com/4955524

Amazon has enabled the “Look Inside”-feature. This means that you are able to take a look inside the book, and see if you like it, before you decide to order it. 20% of the book’s pages will be made available, and chosen randomly by Amazon.

The Kindle version (also in English) is now available (November 20, 2014), and I am working on the German edition of the book.

Product Details
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (November 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1502900092
ISBN-13: 978-1502900098
Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

The Vegan Tourist: Vienna is a guide book for vegan and vegetarian tourists to the city of Vienna, Austria. It is also a valuable resource for local vegans. The book provides information about vegetarian restaurants, vegan festivals and other events, and tells tourists how to connect with local vegans in Vienna. I also provide tips for tourists traveling with their dogs. Information about vegan drinks, sugar, bread, ice cream, mock meat/fish, and other products will assist vegans with their restaurant choices and shopping decisions. This book will help vegetarians and vegans from all over the world plan their visit to Vienna, and allow them to enjoy everything the city has to offer.

Updated August 1, 2015

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And Teddy Makes Three…

A year ago, I adopted a puppy from Paws Paleohora in Crete, who’s now one year old and still wants nothing more than to play all day.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

Daisy gets to play with other dogs in the dog park every day, but clearly that’s not enough! So I decided to adopt another puppy from Paws Paleohora. This organisation does great work rescuing abandoned and stray dogs on the Greek island of Crete.

Daisy needed a friend to play with at home!

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

 

 

 

On August 25, 2014, Daisy and I waited patiently for the arrival of our new puppy.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

6:30 PM: Phoebe – who I’ve renamed Teddy, because she reminds me of a Teddy Bear – arrives in Vienna, thirsty and hungry after a long flight.

According to the vet, she’s a “mixed breed.” Not sure which kinds, but I don’t care. She’s lovely and very shy in the beginning.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

Getting to know each other…

Bedtime…still keeping the distance.

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

 

3:30 AM: Let’s Play!

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

6:00 AM: First walk on a leash. Daisy leads the way, and Teddy faithfully follows her.

They do like to eat, and pee and poop ( a lot), and they also sleep quite a bit. But mostly they just play…

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

 

 

…and play…

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

…and play…

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

 

 

 

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Market Research: What Vegetarians and Vegans Want (Part 6 – Reading Labels)

Note: All the market research articles are published in the category “What Vegans Want.”

In this article of my series on vegetarian and vegan market research I want to take you back to the year 1994. This was the year when I became aware that gelatine is an animal by-product. It is derived from collagen, a protein of various connective tissues in animals. It was also the year when I started to read labels and when I extended my boycott to processed foods.

From mid-1992 to mid-1993, I lived for a year as an Au Pair in Connecticut, where I spent all my free time at the movies. I remember buying massive amounts of Gummy Bears and other kinds of candy at the theater’s concession stand, many of which contained gelatine. I was blithely unaware of gelatine’s origins back then. More importantly, I had not yet begun to read labels.

copyright Margaret Norton/NBC

copyright Margaret Norton/NBC

All this changed when I moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 1994, where I’d enrolled in an MBA-programme at Woodbury University in Burbank, CA. The following year, I started an Internship at NBC Entertainment Press & Publicity in Burbank, CA, where I continued to work until my graduation in June 1996 and all through early 1997, when I decided to return to Austria.

At that point in my life I’d already progressed as a consumer: I bought organic dairy, eggs, yoghurt, and cheese – but not exclusively so. All that changed when I moved to California. I was unfamiliar with the food items at the supermarket, and therefore started to read labels straight away. I remember my shock when I read the ingredients list on a tub of yoghurt: it contained gelatine (and many more ingredients). Sometime before the fall of 1994 – when I started food shopping in Los Angeles – I had learned where gelatine came from and stopped buying it.

I read labels religiously during my time in California and stopped buying non-organic dairy, eggs, and cheese, and processed items that contained non-organic animal-derived ingredients. I was appalled and outright disgusted by what I read on many of the labels. Many of the ingredients on those labels where unrecognizable – and outright unpronounceable – to me. They did not exist in nature. I did not want to eat that kind of crap – which I simply didn’t consider “food.”

To this day, I read the labels of all new food items I buy, and occasionally re-read labels of items I have been buying for years. One never knows – the ingredients list might change. This is very time-consuming. As a result, I now buy very few processed foods, and cook most of my lunches & dinners from scratch. I only buy processed food items, if I recognize the ingredients and know where they come from.

My time in California marked another step in my evolution as a consumer. I made a decision to only buy organic dairy, eggs, and cheese (and not to buy gelatine) – and that decision now included processed foods.  I started to “make do without.”

I also bought more and more food at organic supermarkets, like Whole Foods, which in the mid-1990s already owned & operated several branches in the Los Angeles area. I had shopped at organic grocery stores in Vienna before I moved to Los Angeles, but the stores where all tiny compared to the Whole Foods markets, which were proper supermarkets. I could buy everything I needed there in organic quality, and I did: I now bought more and more organic fruits and vegetables, which had nothing to do with animal welfare reasons (my primary motivator for all shopping decisions). But I’d become aware of the issue of pesticides, and wanted to avoid them. In addition to animal welfare reasons, I now also cared about health issues. I rapidly evolved as a consumer.

What do my decisions at that time mean for vegetarian and vegan market researchers? When I started reading labels, all of a sudden literally thousands of food items ended up on my “boycott” list.

Also, when I started to shop more and more at organic supermarkets, and considerably less at the large well-known supermarket chains, many products stopped existing in my mind, as they were not available at Whole Foods supermarkets. I developed “tunnel vision,” only mentally registering those kinds of products that I would consider buying and which were available at organic supermarkets, and blocked out advertisement for products which didn’t meet my standards or which I didn’t see on the shelves at the supermarkets of my choice. I became immune to many food products which are advertised on television, in newspapers, and in magazines. I was well on my way of becoming a very selective consumer.

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Gasthaus Schillinger (Großmugl, Austria)

I finally made it to the vegan restaurant Schillinger last Sunday. The restaurant has a stellar reputation amongst vegans in Austria. I don’t think there’s a single vegan in the country who’s never heard of it. It is that famous.

So it was high time that I made the trek there myself. And it is quite a trek. Schillinger is located about an hour north of Vienna, in the county Lower Austria, in a tiny village called Großmugl. It is only accessible by car (there’s no train station in the village). As I don’t own a car, I never quite managed to make it all the way to Großmugl. But last Sunday I finally got my chance: a car, three people, and a motion-sick dog (who threw up thrice in the car during this trip) arrived at Schillinger at 4:30 PM in the afternoon – quite famished – and sampled the menu.

All the food at Schillinger is vegan, and there are many dishes to choose from. I am happy to report that the restaurant’s excellent reputation is justified.

Between the three of us, we shared two appetizers, a double-sized entree, and two desserts. I didn’t get to taste one of the appetizers, Frittatensuppe, but apparently it was very good (2.80 Euros including tax). Frittaten are crepes cut into small pieces, and Frittatensuppe is an Austrian specialty.

I ordered the fried (mock meat) “duck,” which was served hot. It was marinated in a soy & chilli sauce, and served with sweet peppers on a bed of salad. Very good! (4.90 Euros).

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© http://www.vegantourist.com

As an entree, the three of us shared the so-called “house plate,” meant for two people (24.00 Euros), which is basically a sampler of various mock meats with French fries, coleslaw, salad, and herb butter (all vegan, of course). The platter was so big, and there was so much food, even the three of us couldn’t quite finish it. It was delicious.

For dessert, we ordered panna cotta (with mango pulp, pistachios, and whipped cream (3.50 Euros), and tiramisu dumplings with strawberry pulp and a compote of peaches (4.50 Euros). I liked the tiramisu dumplings, but I loved the panna cotta.

© http://www.vegantourist.com

© http://www.vegantourist.com

All in all – food, plus three soft drinks, three glasses of wine, one double espresso -, we spent 55.10 Euros (including taxes), plus tips. The restaurant is so popular that guests kept showing up all through the afternoon to eat, and it started to really fill up when we left at about 6:30 PM. If you want to visit Schillinger – and you should – you absolutely have to send them an Email and make a reservation at least a week in advance.

The restaurant is currently owned by Karl “Charlie” Schillinger and his wife Irene. The restaurant first opened its doors in 1793 – that’s not a typo. Eight generations of “Schillinger” have continuously owned and managed the restaurant. The current owners decided to turn it into a vegan restaurant – due to huge demand. According to the information on their website, they first started cooking vegetarian dishes for friends, who told their friends about it, who spread the word even further, and so on. That’s why one of the best vegan restaurants in the country is located in a tiny village in Lower Austria. It’s a huge success story, and proof that there’s great demand for vegan restaurants everywhere.

© http://www.vegantourist.com

© http://www.vegantourist.com

Address:
Hauptstraße 46, 2002 Großmugl, Austria

Opening hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 1:00 AM; Thursdays 4:00 PM – 1:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM;

Reduced opening hours for the kitchen: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays: 12:00 noon – 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM; Thursdays 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM; Saturdays & Sundays: 12:00 noon – 11:00 PM

Phone: +43-(0)2268-6672
Email: info@schillinger.co
Website: http://www.charlys.at/

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