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Hi, my name is Constanze and I love to eat and bake. I have been a vegetarian since my early teens and became vegan in 2007 after finding out that cakes could be veganised. No, I am not kidding. The fact that I loved all things sweet so much was holding me back to ditch dairy products. So I got myself a copy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ and Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and started Seitan is my Motor.
The name for this site was inspired by a Cake song. I apologise to all of you who came here looking for seitan recipes. While there are some – check out the Main Dish section – the focus of Seitan is my Motor is on baking. This blog documents my journey as a vegan home-baker.
I am German and was born in a small village in the North of Germany. After finishing school, I attended college in several German cities and I spent a year abroad. That gave me a whole new perspective. I am still very curious about other cultures and countries and love to travel. In the same way I love to explore new ingredients, techniques, and recipes. I also like to keep things simple. My goal is always to find a balance between applying a new technique and making recipes as accessible as possible at the same time.
Of course that doesn’t always work perfectly. This site has a lot of international readers. While some ingredients might be easily to find in Germany they might be difficult to get a hold of in another country. Also, whenever I use processed vegan alternatives like cheeses, meats, or yoghurts, I use them from preferably vegan or small companies. I don’t believe that we will change the world by supporting big meat and dairy companies who have jumped on the vegan meat and cheese alternative waggon. Of course not everyone can make these choices (or has a different opinion) and that is why I try to keep things simple, by using basic ingredients.
These days I live with my (vegetarian) family in Saxony, which is a state in the east of Germany. I have one daughter and work full time. My blog and the things that go along with it (developing recipes, photographing food, writing) are my favourite thing to do. This wasn’t always the case. It’s been a bumpy road and you can read more about the ups and downs of this site here. Right now I do not earn any money from this site and all the recipes are completely free to use.
About the recipes on Seitan is my Motor
My recipes are of course very much shaped by my German upbringing. German food is what I know best. I grew up with Schnitzel, Currywurst, and Frankfurter Kranz. But when it comes to baking, I love experimenting. To me exploring new techniques and ingredients is the core of vegan baking and cooking. When I went vegan in 2007, many of us spent their time replicate all kinds of non-vegan foods. We were all used to convenience and fast-food and not much of it was vegan. We were used to our traditional recipes and didn’t know much else. This urge to replicate things lead to something new. Vegan foods and recipes have a tradition of innovation, creativity and uniqueness.
I write this keeping in mind that plant-based meals and recipes have been and are an essential component in many diets. But I didn’t grow up like that. I grew up in an environment where nobody questioned meat eating or the consumption of animal products in general. People thought they were important for health reasons.
Also, animal products have complex functions in German cooking and baking. Meat and sausages are used to season soups and sauces. The flavour profiles they offer are the base you rely on for taste. Eggs are an essential part of baking. Rarely their necessity is questioned. Cream or other dairy products are used to thicken, to mellow an acidic flavour, to add fat and creaminess to dishes. And then there is cheese that you can just slab on anything and it will taste good.
In my childhood, cheese and cold cuts were an essential part of sandwiches, too and you’d eat them at breakfast and dinner. Bread was a staple in anyone’s diet. And how would you eat your bread if there was no cheese or salami?
When I became vegan I had to rethink all of my dietary habits and restructure my diet. While many people might consider this as a huge hurdle (in fact, this keeps most from going vegan), I took it as a challenge. So I found my love for experimenting and I over the years I have developed a huge confidence in my abilities to make almost everything vegan and to create something new. I want to walk off the beaten path.
I hope you do find a recipe or two that you like on this site. If you make something, leave a comment. This helps others who consider making this recipe, too. And please share your photos with me on Instagram, tag @seitanismymotor and #seitanismymotor. I love seeing your recreations!
If you have any questions, the fastest and most reliable way to get them answered is to email me at contact[at]seitanismymotor.com!