Kitchen Divided by Ellen Jaffe Jones. Review, 100% Guilt Free Cake Recipe and Giveaway.

Garden Pizza 2Garden Pizza, the recipe in the book calls for asparagus and fresh basil. Oops, I forgot to pick up both at the store. As you can see, it was still SO delicious.

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.

Good-as-Gold SoupGood-as-Gold Soup, I blended it to make it creamy and added a dollop of vegan sour cream.

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.

Energy Rich Green SmoothiesI can’t get enough of these smoothies, they’ve become my go to breakfast for the last couple of weeks.

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.

Seeded MeusliFull of fiber, protein and nutrients. A beautiful way to start your day.

Ellen’s book was born out of circumstances similar to mine. ย 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.”

Stealth Egg SaladStealth Egg Salad, featured here as an open faced sandwich.

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.

Naturally Sweet SlawDates instead of sugar give this slaw it’s sweet taste.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย 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

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.

Date and Nut close up

Kitchen Divided_COVER_CMYK

Buyย Kitchen Dividedย here.

Buy it on the Publisherโ€™s Site,ย Book Pulishing Company,ย here, or the authors site, VegCoach, here.

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter theย Giveaway! This contest isย open to entrants in the USA and Canada only.ย You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify.ย You have until Friday the 16th of August to enter! ย I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 19th of August.ย GO!!

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  1. When I am at home, I am cooking for my family which includes my two brothers and father (meat must be eaten at dinner mentality), my mom (semi-vegetarian), and me (vegetarian). This cookbook would be tremendously helpful!

    1. Yes, this would be fantastic for your situation. Remember you’re not alone, most of us have someone in our lives who think dinner isn’t dinner without meat.

  2. I struggle with ideas for my husband’s meals, as he eats meat and I do not. This would be great to have!!

  3. My husband won’t eat “my” food… He calls all vegan food “my” food. Says he’s not ready and it tastes too healthy. So he cooks his own food, I cook mine. I would love to have recipes to try that work for both of us! I heard all about this book on main street vegan podcast, and would love love love a copy!

    1. The good thing about this book is that it offers plenty of meat and dairy substitute ideas that will work well for everyone involved. Good luck with your entry!

  4. Wow! This book could be a marriage lifesaver! I’m sure it could come in handy in any relationship actually. I’m thinking forward to the holidays…

  5. My husband is a grudging vegan, and only at home. There have been some hits and some misses, and he has learned to make some of his own foods like grilled chicken to go along with whatever I’ve made. I need this book because I need recipes that will satisfy him and convince him that vegan food is not boring or insubstantial.

    1. The recipes (as you can see from the photos above) are totally satisfying! I think with a little patience you’ll get there ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I am new at plant-based eating. We do still eat fish on occasion. I think the book would help me when entertaining non-vegan friends. Thanks!

  7. Thanks so much for the kind words, Vedged and everyone! I really appreciate your time and effort to make these recipes to show it is possible to smooth the way in divided households. I started polling in social media and in my audiences, and I was really surprised at the number of people who face this with partners, families and friends.

  8. This book sounds awesome! My husband also โ€œeats vegan at homeโ€ and that does frustrate me a little but as we don’t eat out often I’m trying to roll with it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yeah, I totally understand. We worry about the ones we love because we want them to be healthy and share the same compassion we do, but we can’t force others. This is all about how to make it work with love. Awesome.

  9. My husband also “eats vegan at home” it’s a little frustrating but as we don’t eat out that often I’m trying to roll with it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks for so many kind words. As I’m fond of saying, it’s more important to have someone who loves and respects you than a clone at the table. Sure, it would be more convenient. But I know especially for those who have been in a bad relationship, agreeing on everything may not be as important as agreeing on a few other priorities.

    1. Haha! Aren’t we all! Glad to hear you’re dating, and be patient with your man, whether or not he comes around. Some relationships are too good to be passed up on, vegan or not.

  10. What a great book! I’m incredibly fortunate to have a household AND immediate circle of friends who are all vegan, but I know that I’m an unusual case ๐Ÿ™‚ I can think of many other friends that this would benefit HUGELY…. Such beautiful photos as always, Somer ~ they make me want all of it!

    1. Somer’s pix are amazing!! It’s expensive for publishers to use photos in books (although this one does have them). It’s helpful to have bloggers take the time to not only cook the recipes, but then to take so many pix. My dh has become used to my going, “Wait just a second until I get this angle.” My pix usually only make it to Facebook. So much to do, I don’t take the time to blog as much as I should. Thanks again for the kind words all!!

  11. Yummy date recipe. I’ll need to try that.
    The book would be awesome to have. I know John likes his meat. The problem is I do too. The real problem is I need to create an arsenal of recipes that we both like so I don’t fall back on the easy meat ones. (or maybe not as frequently).
    Keep up the awesome blog. Miss you bunches.

  12. I’m dating a guy who grew up on lots of meat eating, and while I’ve been very lucky with how open he is to vegan options, this books sounds like it would come in very handy for us!

  13. Mmm date and nut cake sounds heavenly! And I would love to finally have a good vegan egg salad recipe. I would love to try out all the recipes this book has to offer!

  14. This cookbook would be perfect in my family’s kitchen. There are quite a few of us, and omnivores outnumber the vegans! O_o I feel lonely sometimes…

  15. I live in a house of carnivores. I often make two different dinners. One for me, one for them. As time has gone one, I’ve learned to just make a bigger vegan meal and offer a little meat on the side for them to add if they want to. It funny how many times the meat is the only thing leftover!

    1. Funny how often that happens, Mary! When I have parties that include non-vegans (like for my running club), I love to pull out all the stops and make chocolate mousse or my chocolate surprise cake. The ones they would never believe are vegan. Then when I get asked for the recipe and hand them a copy, the reaction is priceless.

  16. I had no idea how lucky I am to have a partner that has decided (on his own) to become a full fledged vegan along with me – I have believed the same as you 100% vegan in my home and when we go out then he can make his own decisions- he was a vegetarian prior to us meeting so the transition to vegan was easier , it wasn’t as hard of a transition as he though it would be. This books sounds like an amazing tool for those homes that are divided in the sense of diet- thanks for sharing somer!

  17. I’m in transition, learning how to eat plant-based, for about nine months now. This cookbook would be such a wonderful help.

  18. I really just need some more vegan cookbooks. I’ve been vegan for a year and i only own one! Also, I’m the only vegan in my family and my partner is not vegan either.

  19. I became vegan 6 months ago (My husband is not) and I am have a hard time figuring it out. Just taking meat and dairy out of my diet wasn’t working. I recently started looking online for the foods I need to eat. I think this book would really help me ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I had the same experience; thought I had converted my husband, only to find out that he’s awesome enough to eat what I cook at home, but does enjoy meat when we eat out. At first, I saw it as a challenge and dug in my heels. But, in the end – I love my husband, and honestly (as well as many others out there feel towards their significant others), I just want him to be healthy and happy. Winning every battle is not a task I want to undertake. He is a man, and it is his right to make his own decisions.
    Thanks for the book reviews. I’ve never heard about the “Eat Vegan on $4 a day” book; and it seems right up my alley ๐Ÿ™‚

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