Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Interview with Attila Hildmann - German Vegan Cookbook Author

I was thrilled when approached to do an email interview with German bestselling author and celebrity chef, Attila Hildmann.  Attila is a self-taught chef and Germany’s most famous vegan chef.  He is the author of several  bestselling cookbooks including his newest cookbooks  Vegan for Fit - Attila Hildmann's 30-Day Challenge  and  Vegan for Fun. Attila lives in Berlin.

I hope you enjoy the interview and sample recipes !

 When did you become vegan ?

That was 14 years ago, back in 2000. Back then I could never have imagined that I would stay a vegan for longer than a couple of days. 

What made you decide to become a vegan?

In 2000 my father died of a heart attack. The tragedy made me think about cholesterol. The foods that contain it are all animal based. So I cut them out and it worked for me. I've lost 77 pounds and my cholesterol level went down to a normal level. 

How hard was it for you to change to a vegan diet ?

Damn hard! After a couple of days on a vegan diet I felt terrible because I didn't know what to eat. I was hungry and had huge cravings. So out of desperation I started cooking and developing recipes. Now it's so easy that even after 14 years I won't go back to eating meat. 

Is there one specific vegan person that inspired you after you decided to become vegan ?

Not really. I do my own thing. When it comes to cooking, Jamie Oliver certainly inspired me, even though he is not vegan. 

You believe that eating vegan 1 or 2 days a week will considerably improve one’s health - why is that ?

It's the most anti-oxidant rich diet that's out there. Anti-oxidants are substances that protect your body from free radicals and aging. Plant-based foods are also cholesterol free, that makes them heart friendly and some of them contain molecules that are even able to fight cancer, like EGCG from matcha green. 

What are the benefits by eating vegan some of the time ?

Every little step helps. If you try out my Vegan for Fit 30 day challenge you will lose weight easily and eat delicious meals without feeling hungry. If you would go back to eating steak after the challenge, that's perfectly fine with me. You could also try to eat vegan once a week, that's also great for your health. 

What types of food do you recommend eating on a vegan diet ? Mostly fruits and vegetables ?

Mostly vegetables, legumes, green leafy veggies, some fruits and lots of green tea. I am a Matcha green tea junkie ;) 

Do you eat vegan 100% of the time ?

Yes I do, but I am easy on others. Everyone should eat what he or she wants. 

What is your favorite vegan recipe ?

My Spaghetti Bolognese recipe, it won on TV against a star chef's veal bolognese! 

Do you have advice for how to grocery shop when following a vegan diet ?

Just take your time and go to Whole Foods and buy basic ingredients. You won't regret spending some money on your body‘s fuel. 

Do you have any tips for eating for those vegans that are on-the-go ?

Prepare food in advance and try to find easy recipes. My books like Vegan For Fun and Vegan For Fit are packed with easy to-go recipes with short ingredient lists.  I also snack on fresh fruits when I am on the road or eat a handful of nuts. 

Do you have any great vegan snack ideas ?

I love vegan sandwiches and quinoa and noodle salads. It's so easy if you know how to do it. 

Do you have any delicious recipes that people would not know were vegan ?

You can make delicious Spaghetti Carbonara Sauce with a white almond butter sauce.  Nobody will be able to tell it’s not dairy ☺ 

What is your 30 day vegan challenge ?

Vegan for Fit is the No. 1 diet in Europe right now, millions have been successful with it. It’s a very easy 30-day program for losing weight and getting in shape. It's incredibly effective, and the cool thing is the people aren't hungry while they are doing it! There's no suffering! During these 30 days you can eat delicious meals and you don‘t have the feeling that you're missing anything. Part of the book is also a very simple fitness program. No gym, no club, nothing to be afraid of! That's what makes it different from other diets. I tested the program on a hundred people. These 100 people lost a total of 1000 lbs in 30 days, an average of 10 lbs per person. That's incredible. And this is why I've sold 750,000 books in Germany in the past two years. Vegan for Fit was Number 1 of the Amazon bestseller list because people like doing it . It's fun, it's effective, it's easy! 

Will a person have to go hungry on the 30 day vegan challenge ?

No, absolutely not. That's what makes it so special and successful. You will feel totally satisfied. 

How successful have people been who have done the challenge ?

About 95% have been successful when they tried the challenge. Many got inspired to eat organic, do sports and live a healthier life. 

What type of food or equipment is needed for the 30 day vegan challenge ? 

Not much, just basic cooking supplies like a frying pan, a stove, a pot,  and a blender.

What are your thoughts about the cost of food when following a  vegan diet ?  I’ve heard many people comment that it is expensive to buy food for a vegan diet.

That might be the first impression but if you cook with basic ingredients like veggies, legumes and grains you will certainly eat less expensive! It's just a question of know how. Many people on earth are forced to eat vegan because veggies and grains are the cheapest ingredients. 

Do you want to tell us about any of your books ?

I put my whole soul and knowledge into Vegan For Fit and Fun. You can buy them on  ( Vegan for Fit - Attila Hildmann's 30-Day Challenge  and  Vegan for Fun  ) -  you won't regret it. They have fantastic food pics, easy-to-follow and tasty recipes, a workout schedule and motivational chapters. That's what made them so successful in Europe. In 2013, I  sold more books in Germany, Austria and Switzerland than Jamie Oliver. 

If someone could buy only 1 of your books, which one would you  recommend and why ?

Vegan For Fit, no question about it! You will love it! :)

THANKS Attila for the FUN interview and recipes !!!!!

Now, Attila was VERY kind and is sharing 2 of his recipes with us !!!
Chocolate Croissants from Vegan for Fit and Coconut Chocolate Bars from Vegan for Fun.

Chocolate Croissants and Quick Strawberry Jam

for approx. 4 croissants
1 pkg. frozen organic whole grain or classic puff pastry sheets (10. 5 ounces or 300 g, 6 pastry squares)
3.5 ounces dark chocolate (100 g) (50% cocoa)

For One Jar Strawberry Jam
(9 ounces or 250 g):
2 1/4 cups strawberries (250 g)
1/2 teaspoon agar agar
6 1/2 tablespoons agave syrup (100 mL)

Preparation time: 
20 minutes plus 30 minutes thawing time, 
15 minutes bake time,
and 30 minutes cooling time

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Let the puff pastry thaw for about 30 minutes. Place 3 pastry squares on top of each other and use a rolling pin to thinly roll them out into a rectangle that is 12 x 6 inches or 30 x 15 cm. Do the same for the other 3 pastry squares. Cut both large rectangles
diagonally so that you end up with triangles.  Coarsely chop the dark chocolate with a knife.

Sprinkle the chocolate on the shorter sides—leaving a little space free on the edges—of the pastry triangles, and then roll each one up from the long side to the tip. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a hot oven approx. 15 minutes. 

If you want less work, you can fill and roll up the puff pastry right out of the box, but then you’ll end up with funny looking mini croissants.  They’ll still taste good, though.

 For the strawberry jam, wash, clean, and finely purée the strawberries.  Combine the agar agar with 1 tablespoon water and add this mixture to the strawberries. Boil the strawberries 5 minutes while stirring, sweeten with agave syrup as desired, and let cool 30 minutes. The jam can be stored in the refrigerator for 1–2 days.

Coconut Chocolate Bars

Ingredients for 10 bars

Coconut Bars:
10 cups coconut flakes (300 g)
1/4 cup agave syrup (60 g)
1 pinch iodized sea salt
1/2 cup coconut milk cream from 1 can of coconut milk (90 g)

Chocolate Coating:
4 ounces cocoa butter (120 g)
1/2 cup white almond butter (120 g)
1/2 cup organic cocoa (60 g)
1/4 cup agave syrup (60 g)
1 pinch iodized sea salt
4 pinches ground vanilla

Preparation time: approx. 30 minutes
plus approx. 15 minutes cooling time

Grind the coconut flakes in a blender until they are medium fine. Mix together with the remaining ingredients for the bars with a fork. Shape the mixture together with your hands into 10 chocolate bars. Place the bars onto a plate lined with parchment paper and let stand in the freezer for 10 minutes.

For the chocolate coating, melt the cocoa butter over a water bath. Remove from heat and fold in the remaining ingredients for the coating with a whisk. 

Take the coconut bars out of the freezer and place them on a wire rack. Put a piece of parchment paper under the rack. Spoon the chocolate mixture onto
the bars, coating all sides of the bars by using the back of a spoon or a brush. Make the wave form in the chocolate bars using the back of a spoon. 

Put the bars back into the freezer for another 5 minutes on a piece of parchment paper. After that, the bars are ready to snack on. It’s best to store them in the refrigerator.

Coconut Chocolate Bars
AH! “It’s important that you don’t confuse coconut milk cream with
coconut oil. What the recipe calls for is the coconut milk cream that
separates out and rises to the top of organic coconut milk, and not
the more transparent coconut oil, which you can buy in jars and use
for frying. In conventional coconut milk, the cream doesn’t separate out
because chemical additives such as emulsifiers are used to make sure
that everything remains liquid.”


  1. I am going to try the 30 day challenge soon :) can't wait!

    1. GREAT !!!! Good for you !!!!! I would be interested in knowing how you like the 30 day challenge and your results !!!! - Denise


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