Ellen Jaffe Jones, the plant-based athlete and famed author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day is back with Kitchen Divided: a book full of vegan dishes and sound advice for semi-vegan households. Her ideas and methods in the book will be a life-line for many, her approach is love: teaching tolerance within partnerships despite difference in diet choices. The recipes are simple to prepare, delicious and straightforward. They will be enjoyed all family members.
While many of you know that I run a vegan household, you may not know that my husband is the type that “eats vegan at home” Meaning he’s gracious enough to support my diet choices and sees the benefit of a plant-based diet for health purposes, but he still occasionally eats animal products when we dine out. In the beginning, I thought I had “converted” him. So the first time he ordered steak at a restaurant when we were out on a date, I was baffled, angry and a little heartbroken.
I could have taken that experience and allowed it to become a divide in our relationship. I could have fostered bitterness and carried a grudge. Instead, I respected his decision, just like he respects mine. I feel grateful that he allows me to run a kitchen were it’s 100% plant-based and that we don’t have to divide pantry or refrigerator shelves. Though I do recognize that a divided kitchen is a stark reality for many vegans. I’m one of the lucky ones.
Ellen’s book was born out of circumstances similar to mine. Her husband eats steak and takes statin medications, yet, they share so many other profound connections that food isn’t something worth arguing over. She states “Some vegans choose to break off a relationship when their diet becomes incompatible with their partner’s. In many instances though, there are compelling emotional, personal and financial reasons to mend rather than end the relationship.”
She took this idea to her readers and found that many lived in “Kitchen Divided” households. I would compare it to having a difference in religion, race or political backgrounds with your partner. There are definitely going to be disagreements over points of view, however, that doesn’t mean there can’t be harmony in the home.
Ellen offers this advice: “Developing acceptance is the task I’ve set before you. Instead of asking your partner to change, see how you can bridge your differences and make life in the kitchen easier, calmer, and more pleasant for the both of you. Incredible things can happen when joyfulness, tolerance and great food joins forces.”
I think Ellen Jaffe Jones would make an amazing Marriage and Family Counselor. This book would benefit anyone with a divided kitchen or anyone with extended family that isn’t vegan (which means almost all of us).
Date and Nut Cake, this amazing “snack cake” has no added sugars or oil
Now for this homely cake. It doesn’t look like much, but after one taste, I think it may quickly become a family favorite in your home as it has in mine.
Date and Nut Cake
This cake is simplicity incarnate. One of the joys of vegan cooking is how unfussy recipes can be, as this scrumptious cake attests. (recipe used with permission)
- 1 1/4 C. whole wheat flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 cup chopped soft dates, preferably medjool
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or mist it with cooking spray.
Put the flour and the baking soda in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the dates and walnuts and stir until evenly distributed.
Stir the vanilla extract into the water. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly in the lined pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Testers note: Since my medjool dates were too sticky to chop small, I processed my dates with the flour until they were in small bits then proceeded with the recipe. I also baked my cake in an 8 inch round instead of a square baking pan. GF peeps, I made a second cake with this gluten-free flour blend and a flax egg (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water mixed and allowed to gel for a few minutes). It was every bit as delicious as the first cake and didn’t crumble like many GF cakes do.
Buy Kitchen Divided here.
For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA and Canada only. You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday the 16th of August to enter! I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 19th of August. GO!!