Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is:
8. Reach out! Make a new vegan friend & tell us about it.
So I totally stepped out of my comfort zone and reached out to a fellow vegan blogger, asking lamely if they wanted to be my friend, haha. Luckily, Bianca from Elephantastic Vegan is really sweet and nice, and agreed to be my new vegan friend :)
We decided to interview each other for today’s MoFo post, so here are Bianca’s answers to my questions.
What is your favourite recipe from your blog?
Mhhh… that’s a hard one.. but I’ve had to choose one I’d probably go with the Falafel Curry, because I love Falafel and I love curries and both in one dish is just.. unexpectedly delicious. It’s rich and creamy and perfect for rainy autumn days. I always make a huge batch of Falafel and freeze them, so the curry itself is super quick to make. Obviously the Falafel Curry isn’t complete without Naan (the typical Indian flatbread) and basmati rice – those are must-have sides :D
What is your favourite cookbook?
Lately I’ve been cooking a lot of recipes from the vegan & glutenfree cookbook “Cook With Kindness” by Chantal Coolen. I’ve reviewed it on my blog and liked every single recipe I made. I don’t follow a gluten-free diet but I still enjoy the cookbook and the recipes most of the recipes are super easy and quick to make. Those are just my types of recipes.
What inspired you to start blogging vegan recipes?
I’ve got asked a lot by friends, family members, and colleagues what I would eat as a vegan. I always told them a couple of my favorite dishes, but I still had the impression that they wouldn’t believe that I was eating really, really good stuff. Especially my mum was seriously concerned that I wouldn’t eat enough. So to show everyone that a vegan diet didn’t mean living off grass and stones but rather is a creative, delicious and awesome way to eat, I started Elephantastic Vegan.
Why did you decide to go vegan?
When I was in the U.S. (on vacation) in 2012 I learned about veganism while eating in a completely vegan restaurant – I loved it and was excited that there were so many possibilities! I’ve bought “Eating Animals” on the same trip and read it on the flight home. I’ve started to realize that there is another way of living and to be more conscious about dietary choices. After watching Earthlings, I’ve made the choice to go vegan and I haven’t looked back ever since. I think it was a combination of reasons why I went vegan – because of the animals (of course), because of the planet and because I’ve found my love for cooking with fresh produce (cooking with meat and eggs is gross! :D).
I see you’ve been growing a raspberry plant on your balcony, which is really awesome! Do you grow other fruits or vegetables too?
Oh yes, I’m really proud of my raspberry plant – it’s the first year I’ve had it and I couldn’t stop posting photos on Instagram about it. I’m really terrible at throwing out seeds, so I plant pretty much any seed that I can get. I especially love exotic, tropical plants that wouldn’t normally grow here in Austria. Therefore I do have a couple of avocado trees that are about 2-3 years old and about 1 ½ meters high, a mango plant, a pineapple plant and a goji berry plant. I do have a couple of regular plants too like bell peppers, chilis, strawberries, eggplant and tomatoes. Homegrown fruits and veggies are simply the best. I wish I’d had a larger balcony for even more plants.
Is Austria a vegan-friendly place? Are there many vegan places to dine out, many specialty vegan products available, etc?
You have to know Austria is a very meat-focused country! Most of our traditional dishes contain one meat or another. But it’s not too bad after all and it’s getting better with every day now! In Vienna we have a couple of completely vegan restaurants and the best vegan ice cream parlor anyone can think of! Vienna is a 90-minute train ride away from where I live, which is actually not that far but I’d still like to go there more often. It’s great! In Linz, we’ve now got our first completely vegan restaurant and we do have a couple of awesome vegan dishes in other vegan-friendly restaurants. I’d say we have it pretty good here. Also, we have vegan austrian brands in the supermarkets. When I went vegan in 2012, I couldn’t buy vegan cheese in a “normal” supermarket. The variety of choices has increased incredibly over that time and I love it!
I read that you are a fan of video games. What game are you currently playing?
Oh I’m a sucker for indie games. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing Don’t Starve which is a survival game and it’s still my favorite game right now. I get really easily addicted to video games. When I was young I was playing Sims non-stop and I still, when I get into a game I find it very hard to stop. Then I have to play it a few days, weeks straight and then it’s mostly over and I can continue with my life :D
I also see that you are a student – what are you studying? What are your career aspirations?
I’m currently studying Web Sciences with the focus on Social Web. But I’m rather at the end of the study – I’ve finished all the courses, now I only have to write the Master Thesis, which I’m currently working on. My research subject are Let’s Plays (you know.. when people are watching are people play videogames on youtube or dedicated websites like twitch). I find it highly interesting and there isn’t much research about it yet, so I found it to be the ideal subject for a gamer-girl like me. As of career aspirations, I’m not completely sure what I want to work after graduating but I wouldn’t mind working in the social media sphere.
Tell me a few random facts about yourself.
My mood depends on the weather. When it rains, I’m grumpy; when the sun shines, I’m smiling all day long.
I don’t like the taste of beets but love to color desserts with beet juice.
I moved out from my parents’ house when I became 18 and have been learning to cook from that point on.
I’m super introvert and am extremely nervous when I have to meet new people.
Thank you so much Bianca for being my new vegan friend!
You can find out more about Bianca at Elephantastic Vegan – she posts the most amazing, droolworthy recipes <3 you can also find my answers to her interview here (plus – there’s a cat photo involved :D)