The Skinny Bitch is back…and she brought food.

January 4th, 2011 · Lisa · book review, Review · Comments

In the past few years no other book has received as much attention, both positive and negative, than Skinny Bitch. Many people felt the title and tone of the book was harsh, offensive and disrespectful. For others, it was the first book that opened their eyes to the realities of factory farming and the health benefits of a plant-based diet. I know many people who credit Skinny Bitch for being the catalyst that helped them to transform their lives.

I was quite impressed with the amount of attention the book garnered. It is pretty rare to hear news anchors chatting about vegan titles, but Skinny Bitch was also in magazines and on bookstore displays everywhere. People, who would never have picked up a book about veganism were recommending it to anyone who would listen. The authors responded with more titles (for pregnant women, a cookbook, for men) and exercise DVDs.

The newest book from Kim Barnouin (a co-author of all the previous Skinny Bitch titles) has a very different, look and feel than what has preceded it. Although the title is Skinny Bitch: The Ultimate Everyday Cookbook,it would otherwise be hard to tell that this is an addition to the line.

In the introduction, Kim shares the journey her own diet has taken over the years, the recipes certainly reflect her evolution. The focus is more on whole foods and less faux animal-products than those in Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. You will still find a few recipes that call for packaged products (soy yogurt, match meats, soy cream cheese) but the majority simply call for a combination of beans, greens, tofu, tempeh, veggies or fruit.

It is a gorgeous cookbook. The information is beautifully presented and incredibly comprehensive. The first few chapters provide facts about the impact of our dietary choices on the environment, animals and our health. The recipes are complimented with general information about equipping your kitchen, cooking vegetables, beans and grains, excellent substitutions for animal-products and processed foods. You’ll find interesting charts and lists on aphrodisiac foods, the clean 15, brain boosters, and fabulous herb and spice pairings.

After a quick reminder about ‘how to build a greener diet’, I flipped through the pages and picked five recipes that enticed me enough to venture out to the grocery store (remember, it is winter in Canada):

Jicama, Papaya, and Grapefruit Salad with Citrus Mint Vinaigrette
Orange-Kissed Beet and Arugula Salad
Kale with Peanut Dressing
Tomato and Tofu Stew
Looking at these pictures, reminds me of how much I loved that citrus-mint dressing. I cut back on the oil and it was still amazing. 

I really enjoyed all of the recipes I’ve made from this book except one. The ginger cookies. I fully admit that chewy, ginger cookies are my favourite. I’m sure many of you would love Kim’s version – but I found them too cakey. Having cakey things in your life is not a terrible problem…but I thought you should know. 

I think, like many of the books in the Skinny Bitch series, this cookbook is ideal for people who are newer to eating a plant-based diet. The recipes are complimented with lots of helpful tips and tidbits such as shopping lists and pantry staples. As I mentioned, some of the recipes use prepared products like: vegan cheeses, mayonnaise, pudding mix and egg replacer. I know these are convenient to have on hand and can make following a vegan diet easier but they just aren’t products I buy. I prefer to whip up my own cashew cream or avocado mayonnaise when a creamy texture is required. 

I think the real power of this book is that it will be in the middle of the bookstore. The beautiful photographs will encourage people to eat more plants and less meat and hopefully open their eyes to the delicious, diversity of a vegan diet.

Have you read Skinny Bitch? Would you recommend it to a friend?

Don’t miss my Appetite for Reduction giveaway. Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win.

11 Comments

  1. Posted January 4, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Great review! You are making me want to buy this right now. I like that she included less faux meat products in this book because I'm not a fan of those.

  2. Posted January 4, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    How interesting that both of your reviews in the last couple days have been about 'reduction' oriented books but have shared a message of abundance too.

    I am a fiend for making things from scratch: recipes that say 'open a box of this and add a can of that' don't even seem like recipes to me, so I totally relate. But I love the idea of making plant-based diets seem more universally accessible.

  3. Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Nicole – me either! There are a few recipes that use "match meats" which I assume are available in the US. I've never seen them in Canada.

    Ela – I guess the publishers line up the release of certain books with people's healthy resolutions. I agree with you, I would prefer to make my own almond milk, but if a recipe that uses packaged non-dairy milk enables people to enjoy a vegan meal than I think that's fantastic.

  4. Posted January 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I have never read Skinny Bitch, but I have heard about it. I followed Rory on GLiving Blog before the book came out.

  5. Posted January 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Another fantastic review, Lisa.I'm thinking of buying this book for my mom, as I think it would make a very beautiful gift.

    I really enjoy the Skinny Bitch series. The way the information is presented may be seen as sarcastic and harsh, but it's all true! Somtimes people need that kind of wake-up call to realize eating animals is wrong on so many levels.

  6. Posted January 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    You forgot to mention I was one of the contributors for the book!! I'm glad you are enjoying it. :)

  7. Posted January 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Wow! All of that looks really good! So bright and colorful.

  8. Posted January 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    thank you Lisa, I read your review while at Costco… and ended up buying the book.
    I did Read Skinny Bitch but found the "meal plan" in that book not something I would follow, too much faux meat products.
    I have to admit I NOT a fan of Tempeh and neither is Sara.

  9. Posted January 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    This is a book I don't have yet…but intend to get at some point. I've heard pretty consistently good things about it.

  10. Posted January 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Hi Lisa! I was not sure how to contact you, so I thought I'd leave a note here. I saw that you are doing 105degrees Level 1 beginning on Jan. 31? So am I! I look forward to meetng you!

    Jennifer Robertson
    jmarierobertson@yahoo.co.in

  11. Posted January 12, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Nicole – I bet your Mom would love it. An omni friend of mine got it for Christmas and is really enjoying it.

    Christy – I didn't realize you had contributed. You're amazing!

    Claudia – have you made anything yet? I hope you enjoy it.

    Yay Jennifer! We're going to have so much fun at 105 in February.

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