Hello, I am Philipp, welcome to Exceedingly Vegan!
I started this blog to show how easy and exceedingly delicious vegan food can be, not just for vegans but for omnivores alike. Cooking is all about fun and pleasure and whenever I discovered a new yummy new recipe I got so excited that I wanted to share it with everyone. The aim of Exceedingly Vegan is to be inclusive; food is about enjoyment and sharing. I want everyone to sit together at a table and enjoy amazing food. It's not about becoming a vegan, but about opening people's minds to the amazing variety of luscious vegan dishes. My aim is to inspire people and help them open their minds (and mouths). I do believe a plant based life style is better for the planet, better for your health and of course better for animals but I know for most people this is a journey. If you are vegan, just want to try a vegan dish for the first time or incorporate more plant based meals into your diet, you are all welcome. After all life is a journey and everything starts with the first step (or dish).
Growing up in Austria, the country of Schnitzel and cakes (no, really), I was raised as a typical omnivore. My mum, my auntie and my granny were very good cooks and I loved their food. That's why a lot of recipes are inspired by the rich flavours that are typical in Austrian cuisine. For me compromising flavours was not an option and I realised with a little of out of the box thinking, anything was possible. But one can't live off Schnitzel and cakes alone so there are plenty of recipes from around the world, from comfort food to healthy and light snacks.
As a typical Austrian I was also a heavy smoker. Then after a few years living in London I decided I needed to change my life and went cold turkey. It was a big struggle, I felt quite unwell and had spots in my face. So I did a 2 week detox (let's just call it that, I know medically it's not correct). After a lot of research to find out what foods would be best for me during that time and I happened to eat mostly vegan without even realising it. Within two weeks my skin didn't just clear up but it was glowing and I felt so much better. It was another few months until I did another month long detox, again eating only vegan foods. I was so interested in the whole topic of nutrition that this detox kicked off a 2 year research (this is one of my go to sites for independent research http://nutritionfacts.org/) where I was vegan on and off for most of that time. Of course, the first question I asked myself, 'will I get enough protein'. And yes I definitely got enough protein (without supplements, but from beans, tofu, quinoa, nuts, seeds, vegetables, etc.) I felt I was striving on a vegan diet and continued going to the gym and made a lot of progress. I actually noticed that I had more energy and recovered quicker whenever I was vegan (check out these vegan badass athletes: http://metro.co.uk/2015/08/26/13-vegan-athletes-sm...) Also, growing research showing the health benefits of vegan nutrition convinced me to eventually go fully vegan in summer 2014. And I haven't looked back! If you decide to go on that journey take your time and be patient with yourself. You don't all of a sudden have to love kale, broccoli and Brussel sprouts (I love kale and broccoli for example but they don't love me back unfortunately). Find the foods that do you good, start exploring new flavours, new cooking methods and remember to have fun with it. And if you don't always get it right don't worry, nobody is perfect.
My own journey inspired me to set up this website. It's a way for me to share my knowledge with my friends and other people who are interested in vegan recipes. I either come up with all recipes, invent new ones or veganise existing classic dishes. I also take all photos myself at home in my kitchen. Initially this was just a personal blog but then I got carried away and it became a bit more than that. I really wanted to give it a super professional and polished look to reach a wider audience. I came up with the name and logo, created the illustrations, designed the website and my lovely brother Georg programmed the whole thing. He really is amazing! He tirelessly performs updates, takes care everything runs smoothly and patiently deals with my perfectionism. We actually work together all the time aside from Exceedingly vegan. I run my own a design agency in London: ERTL Design, www.ertl-design.co.uk. So if you or your company need bespoke design services, get in touch.
Being vegan has actually really pushed my boundaries and has taken my cooking skills to new heights. But don't worry all recipes are actually quite easy to make and most ingredients available in your standard supermarket. It's all about making vegan food more accessible. And for the days when you don't feel like cooking you can check out the Eating Out section on this website. Furthermore you can find useful tips and answers to questions like 'where do I get my protein from' in the Tips section.
Most recipes don't require any special equipment. The only thing I would recommend is to get yourself a small blender (like the one to make smoothies). I have a Kenwood 2Go Smoothie maker and it's a real trooper; it lasted for over 8 years so far (I only had to replace the cup). It's one of the cheapest and hard wearing I've found (I don't get paid by Kenwood by the way). I couldn't cope in my kitchen without this little wonder and you will see how it will transform your cooking and take your culinary skills to new heights.
I hope you have fun with my website and please feel free to share the recipes and tips with your friends. After all, food is for sharing and bringing people together!