Alicia Silverstone The Kind Diet
Has anybody out there looked at a copy or heard about Alicia Silverstone's Vegan Cookbook "The Kind Diet"? I'm not necissarly pro or anti vegan or meat, (although I do eat meat.) I'm just wondering if this is a well written tome or more celebrity fluff.
A lot of Amazon reviewers seem to love it, but I suspect the Oprah effect is very strong there. I leafed through it at the store, and it sure calls for a lot of expensive, non-Western-grocery-store ingredients (even things you don't find at Whole Foods). And it has the inevitable pseudo-science that crops up in much vegan literature. I have many better vegan books than this one.
Based on my many years in the lifestyle, I'd also advise you that you're going to hear opinions based more on the quasi-religious aspect of veganism than on real judgment of this particular book.
I have it. I'm not vegan or vegetarian I just like non-meat based meals. The cookbook section has recipes which are easier to find and some which are downright impossible to get for many people unless they live close to a Whole Foods or a Japanese food store. I've tried a few recipes and I've liked them. I constantly sub things in recipes all the time so for me taking one of the recipes with more exotic ingredients and changing it around isn't a problem.
As for the pro-vegetarian part, I found it was evenly written. Of course, it encourages you to be vegan and underlines the reasons why it doesn't really moralize about it.
I bought the book before she was on Oprah, even thought I'm not vegan. Reading her opinions on why we should do things was a bit much. Of course I expected her to talk about animal cruelty (it's the reason many become vegans.) But after her telling me to stop sugar (both natural and artificial), caffeine, lose the microwave, and turn my dog vegan, I decided she's a little far gone.
The only problem I have with vegan cooking is all of the substitutions can be either very expensive or time consuming. Soaking cashews overnight so that I can blend them up the next day and substitute that for milk is a little much for me, but if you were strict vegan, I could see why it's necessary. So, unless you are willing to buy all of the vegan products and go through the hassle, vegetarian cooking is probably more realistic.
Her recipes are an equal mix of common and difficult ingredients. Nori, Shoyu, umeboshi plum paste, dark miso, seitan, shiso powder, kombu, gomashio, barley malt syrup, and hijiki.... those were some of the ingredients I remember seeing in her recipes.
A dog or cat is going to crave meat whether it's pc or not. There was a show on briefly last summer called "The Good Family." Basically it's was about a very liberal family who were also vegans. They tried to turn there dog vegan but it ended up kiling all the smaller animals in their neighborhood.