My name is Heidi, and I was born in beautiful Vienna (capital of Austria) where I am also living with my sweetheart Karla (born in November 2020) and our three cats. I am a vegetarian since I am ten years old and since 2013 I am living a vegan life. The great thing about a vegan life is not only that I can avoid animal suffering and make a contribution to climate protection: The cuisine is so diverse and delicious. It makes me very happy to share my fave recipes with you and showing you that cooking vegan is neither boring nor rocket science or expensive. I hope you love them as much as I do – no matter if you are vegan or not.
Please continue reading if you are interested in the longer version of my story and why I started this vegan recipes blog plantbasedredhead.com
How I became vegan
I never really liked to eat meat and was already quite picky in my childhood, at least from the age of four (before I ate the worst things, even pigs brain! Yes, my mother cooked things like this for me, puh). I could only eat meat that didn’t look like an animal, like a few sausages or fried fish fingers. I think the reason for my early connection was because we have farmers in our family. But forget any nice pictures in your head of a small little farm: they had thousands of chickens who all suffered in terribly small cages. When we visited them I had to go through these huge halls to collect the eggs of these poor beings.
Becoming a vegetarian as a child
There was not one specific day when I stopped eating meat, it just got less and less until I was so disgusted from it that I couldn’t eat it anymore (and didn’t do it since then). This was when I was ten years old. So I lived a vegetarian life since then (for a while without even knowing that a name for this choice exists) – at least on the plate: I bought jackets and blankets with down, woolen pullovers, leather shoes, etc. as I thought that all this doesn’t hurt an animal or is just waste. And I thought so too about eggs and dairy: No animal gets hurt. Because they are alive to “give” milk and eggs, that is what they do anyway. As long as I don’t want their meat they won’t suffer. So wrong on all levels.
In 2013, it all started with a picture of dead buffaloes. The story behind it was, that only female buffaloes “produce” (I don’t like this word in combination with animals as they aren’t machines) milk for the famous mozzarella. The young boy-buffaloes are unnecessary because no one wants buffalo meat plus the boys don’t give milk. So what to do with them… But still, even with this information, I kept on drinking milk and eating cheese, as it is from cows and not from buffaloes. I was very good at suppressing the facts until then, probably because I just loved dairy and cheese. Speaking of facts: The picture mentioned is supposedly from India and not from Italy, which does not make animal suffering any better.
Then I heard a similar story but with chicken: Male chicken are “useless” as they don’t have that much meat and don’t lay eggs. So they are getting killed just after they were born. Millions of dead male baby chicken – each year – only in Austria. We kill more male chickens every year than we have inhabitants (and I am not even talking about pigs, cows, lambs, turkeys …). I watched several videos about the way they get killed because I wanted to know if these horror stories were true. They were. I had a terrible nightmare from it. After this dream, I never touched an egg again – but kept on with cheese.
Enough! Let’s go vegan
As the stories I heard about this cruel industry got more and more I thought of eating cheese only once a week, like something special on Sundays. Then I started to have a lot of discussions in my head, like that I talked to cows and told them “it’s ok that someone exploits you, takes your child from you, and maybe even hurts you – because it is Sunday”. I tried to find sources telling me “it’s ok – cows are happy if you eat their milk in the form of Parmesan or Gouda”. But the more I researched, the more I got into a conflict with myself. Until I finally cut off all animal products in autumn 2013. First I started with food before cosmetics, clothes, etc. followed. Now I can say: going vegan was the best, or at least one of the best, decisions in my life.
My motivation behind plantbasedredhead.com
At the beginning of my vegan journey, I was a bit lost. I just cooked as I used to cook but skipped everything non-vegan which first led to a much smaller choice. And I was missing all the calories I usually consumed via cheese or sour cream and stuff like this. This immediately changed when I started to read vegan blogs, cookbooks and spent time in vegan Facebook groups. But also trying out vegan food at restaurants opened my horizon. Now I can say that I have a bigger choice than I ever had in my fridge and kitchen pantry. I have an endless list of things I love to cook and eat. Before I had a few meals I usually made. I am happy to show you my best-of on my vegan recipes blog plantbasedredhead.com. Whenever I have time I will try to post another recipe for you.
Cooking was my first love
I always loved to cook and experience new food. When I was a child I went to the library and borrowed children’s cookbooks. Or I read the cookbooks of my mother. Or I watched cooking on TV (even if they mostly cooked with meat). I love to cook “real food” with ingredients you can easily buy at supermarkets. Sometimes I use ingredients from Indian or Turkish stores. I seldom use anything very special, and hardly any substitutes like vegan cheese (even if I like to eat it from time to time). I would call my food most of the time comfort food, like a nice hug for the soul. It is important for me that I am nourished but also full. Therefore my portion size might always be a bit big.
Selfish Reasons for My Blog
I also always loved to cook for friends. They often ask me for the recipe if they liked something. Now I can easily say “you can find it on my vegan recipes blog plantbasedredhead.com” instead of writing everything down. I don’t reinvent the world – my recipes are often a mixture of different sources, combined with my own ideas. My blog is therefore also for selfish reasons, hehe. From now on, I don’t have to open different tabs again and try to remember what I liked from which recipe! And I have a nice encyclopedia with only my fave recipes. So if I have no idea what to cook, I would browse through my own site. Besides these “selfish reasons” I am very happy if you will cook my recipes. And even happier if you enjoy the result as much as I do.
Any more questions?
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the vegan lifestyle. Or in case any questions about food, recipes, preparations or kitchen appliances may come up. Or if you just want to know more about me and my vegan recipes blog plantbasedredhead.com. I look forward to reading from you. 💚