Tag Archives: Keepin It Kind

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It’s officially October! I already busted out my Halloween gear and thinking about where to hang all my vintage paper decorations. I cleaned my witch glasses, so I might think of an alcohol free cocktail that is a little spooky to serve with them. I’ve been thinking, but falling a little short. Hard decisions. This year we got invited to a Halloween party, so I might even get dressed up. We’ve even already watched one horror film, so I will probably do my film reviews for the month again. I hope people like them because I at least enjoy making them. XD

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Aside from Halloween I’ve been brainstorming some ideas for posts for Vegan Mofo 2016. I am hoping to post each day of the month, though I will obviously not keep to each prompt. Especially with the pregnancy. And I will be crossing my fingers there will be no early delivery that would cut my blogging short. If any readers have already signed up leave a comment! I will make sure I add you to my feedly log so we can all interact.

apple-cake

Seitan is My Motor: Santana Apple Cake

I saw this recipe and thought it might be a good thing to make. Our local orchard is starting to get some good produce in (AMAZING Asian peas BTW) after a horrible season. I asked my husband if he wanted to make this… and he gave a very weird “uh… I don’t know.” Usually he get pretty excited about recipes with apples. Maybe it is because it isn’t a pie. *rolls eyes* But I thought she had a cool technique with cutting the apples to make them look pretty.

tonkabean

The Tonka Bean: An Ingredient So Good It Has to Be Illegal

And the cake recipe made me interested in trying to find information on one of the ingredients- the tonka bean. This article was really interesting since it explains why it is illegal in the United States, and REALLY makes me want to try it. Apparently according to the article, there are some blackmarkets that sell the bean, so maybe I can get lucky trying to find a source but probably better not the break the law. XD

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Food By Mars: Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte

I love lattes, or rather warm milk based drinks. I have a bunch on the blog and I am always interested in making new ones. Heck I will hopefully have a new one posted this week even! So I might give this guy a try when I roast another pumpkin. I think the turmeric can help balance out the sweetness that most people get from Pumpkin Spice Syrups.

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Tooth Be Told: Do Natural Toothpastes Keep Your Breath Fresh?

There are lots of vegan toothpastes on the market, but many are very er… hippie dippie. I have been SLOWLY trying to move our toiletries to all vegan, but my husband is a loyalist to certain brands. He loves his soap that sucks out all the moisture in his body, mouth numbing toothpastes, and gelled shaving creams. But some of the brands that he liked made it on this list. No, this isn’t a list of vegan toothpastes- just natural ones.
Vegan Brands in Review: Desert Essence Natural Toothpaste, Earthpaste, Jason NutriSmile Toothpaste, Nature’s Gate Natural Toothpaste, The Honest Co. Toothpaste, Kiss My Face Gel Toothpaste
Unknown for Animal Testing: Himalaya Neem and Pomegranate Toothpaste, Spry Toothpaste, Weleda Natural Salt Toothpaste

characters

Keepin It Kind: Not About Food- A Real Character

Kristi from Keeping It Kind wrote a post recently about her issues with trying to come up with her three fictional character that characterize her. I had a similar experience where I had hard time picking out the third character then regretting it almost immediately. I ended up thinking about it, and the third character still represents me, but I only to a certain degree. So who did I pick? Susan from Bringing Up Baby. She has a great sense of fashion, a love of animals, and doesn’t take much very seriously. I also love how direct she was with men, which I think I was fairly direct with boys in high school.

I then picked Daria because I think she was my idol in high school. I wore boots with a pleated skirt and a quirky t-shirt almost every single day. I kept my hair largely un-styled. I also had the same attitude of making jokes, even if the people I knew didn’t get them. I think I still would have that attitude, but it seems that I am surrounded by more educated people. Maybe? I do think I am a little less cynical now than I was in high school though.

My third person was originally Elaine Bennett from Seinfeld because I think deep down inside I have a lot of similar qualities as her. Mostly the I’m secretly a terrible person part. XD I have a few issues with how Seinfeld presents Elaine (the cool girl who is a guy’s type of girl- essentially not REALLY a woman) but ignoring that, she is such a fabulous character. And at the time it was very different representation of females. 

But I then I then remembered I am totally Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. My husband always jokes how I am really Linda. I sing made up songs, I love a good drink, I’m loud, tacky, and secretly I think I am the cool mom (or will be.) Is it a little odd that I picked all character that are brunettes? And three of them wear glasses (or occasionally in Elaine’s case)? I think all are pretty educated (except Linda) but are constantly making an ass of themselves. Yup, sounds like me.


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Shop on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Back in December I entered a book giveaway on a blog, and won. A few weeks later I got a copy of But I Could Never Go Vegan directly from the publishers. Before the book, I wasn’t really familiar with the blog Keepin It Kind. I might of stumbled on the page once or twice, but never really read the website in depth. So I read this book from the point of view of an established vegan who had never heard of the author before. I read the book with any knowing the author’s preference of foods, styles, and writing.

Photos

There are photos for, I think, every recipe in the book. If the photo isn’t next to the recipe there is a reference number to where you could find the photo, usually found on the chapter dividers. This gives the reader plenty of visual inspiration, and a good look at the food to figure out if you totally fudged up a recipe. I think this is great since this is a book for new vegans. If you haven’t done lots of cooking with vegan foods, it can be hard to imagine what the end result will be, and might discourage people from making a recipe (I know it did when I first started going vegan).

There are also a few step by step photos for slightly more complicated recipes. For example for the tofu cheese log, there are a few step by step photos showing how to form the log. This is a really helpful visual since I find reading reading steps confusing if you don’t already have some knowledge on how to do it.

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Set-up

The book starts with a brief introduction. Although this is a book targeted to new vegans or flexatarians, there is little information about actual veganism. I don’t think this is a bad thing. If you are picking up this book, you probably know the basics. What Turner does is talk about the lesser known vegan foods, like for example she covers why sugar isn’t vegan.

Each chapter is organized by a common excuse for not being vegan, but I could never give up cheese, substitutes are too expensive, etc. Now this idea is fun and novel, but I was worried how well it would “work.” When picking out recipes I am usually concerned with using up a certain ingredient before it goes bad, or trying to find a soup to balance out the menu for the week. Surely how helpful will this new organization system be?

It wasn’t until I hit the chapter called “But Nobody Will Come Over to Eat!” that’s when it all clicked. This book in some ways is more helpful this way. I found myself thinking “next family get together I should make all these recipes.” As a new or veteran vegan you might hit a bump in the road thinking about what to make for brunch, to serve for a family get together, or have a longing for cheese, and you just need to open to those chapters. That said some of these chapters would be made this way regardless in a normal cookbook, they just have a witty name. And I am still a little annoyed to find a smoothie randomly placed in a chapter mostly filled with dinner dishes. But this system sets a new vegan up for random experimentation rather than meal planning, which can be pretty fun for the reader.

Writing

What I like about books by bloggers is that the writing style is informal and feels like they are talking to you personally. Without knowing the Keepin It Kind blog, I could easily recognize a specific voice in the book. In fact, once I started to follow the blog after picking up the book, I can say I think the book reads better than the blog.

Errors seem to be non-existant, or hard to find. The only one I know about Kristy addresses on her blog. For the Jackfruit Nacho Supreme the published recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of agar-agar when it should call for 2 tablespoons. I would assume there will be a correction in the second pressing. Otherwise, everything seems pretty solid.

Overview

This book is great, I find it great for days where you want to cook or bake to enjoy yourself. Some recipes work well during a busy weekday, but most recipes call for a little planning or a little extra time. The book still needs the reader to flip through with an open mind. It might be a little hard to “choose” things if you are looking for just a pasta dish, or something that uses chickpeas. This is a cookbook for someone who is adventurous, or doesn’t mind a spur of the moment trip to the grocery store.

There is only two complaint about this book, one is an odd odor. This is pretty silly to point out, but it is rather odd and off putting when flipping through a book full of food. I have never picked up a book with this odd odor before, and I think I am more curious about what that smell is more than anything. Anyone have a clue?

My second complaint is more a worry. I think the people who will benefit the most from this book are flexitarians, or family and friends who are trying to understand their vegan friend. Mothers who are trying to tailor dinner time for vegans and omnivores might find this book handy. My biggest worry is if this book will sell to these people. Sure it is fun to pick it up as a vegan, but the chapters are just something fun rather than helpful. I think this book has a lot of potential to reach and convert a lot people, and I hope it does. So my “problem” with this book is more about if it was properly marketed and is reaching people who want to eat more plant based foods.

Recipes

As with most cookbooks, I tried my best to try a recipe from as many sections as possible. This will hopefully give an idea of any particular strengths in the recipe selection. But there were so many sections in this book that I could only cover some  of the recipes. If there was any recipes posted online to promote the book, I left a link.
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