The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone is a pretty book. Printed on recycled paper with soy ink, it’s full of soft colors and lovely pictures of the food and author. More a lifestyle book than a cookbook, Silverstone talks about her journey into kind living and details three different eating plans: vegan, flirt, and superhero. The latter of those is a macrobiotic diet instead of just eating cruelty free. It’s full of anecdotes, suggestions for a kind life beyond eating, and tips for transforming the way you eat no matter where you are.
Many of the recipes, which are divided into vegan and superhero, are delicious. My favorite eating idea is vegan baked beans on toast–it is my breakfast staple. Her cure all tea is another favorite for when I’m feeling less than stellar. The Kind Life website is a great tool with give aways, forums, and all sorts of information about living a cruelty free life style (it’s where I first heard of the Kaeng Raeng cleanse). Silverstone’s passion is evident both on the site and in the book.
My one issue with the book is that many of the ingredients she uses are just unrealistic for a family on a budget in a small town. Our local natural grocery carries things like umeboshi plums, but they cost almost $18 for a dozen. Other things, like umeboshi vinegar and shoyu, would have to be ordered via the internet. While I might do it occasionally, I’m probably not going to build our eating habits around something I have to constantly reorder for not so pretty prices. That being said, there are a number of recipes that don’t call for these hard to find ingredients, my favorite being Cheesy, Oozy Guacamole Bean Dip.
I’m a Texas girl, so I love all forms of cheese and bean dips. Local restaurant Rosa’s queso is one of the things I have yet to find a vegan counterpart for. This, however, is still tasty and easy to prepare.
Cheesy, Oozy Guacamole Bean Dip by Alicia Silverstone
- Kid Friendly
- Meat-eater husband and kid approved
1 (16 ounce) can of vegan refried beans
3 large avocados
3 TBS lime juice
8 ounces vegan sour cream
1 packet of taco seasoning (or equal parts chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, paprika, and salt)
1/2 cup diced green chiles, drained if using canned (I use roasted ones I buy locally)
1/2 cup black olives
5 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded began cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spread a layer of beans into a glass 8 x 8.
- Mash the avocados together with the lime juice and spread on top of the beans.
- Stir together sour cream and taco seasoning and spread over the avocado layer. Sprinkle chiles over the sour cream and then top with black olives.
- Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake dip for 15 to 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is a little bit melted.
PS. Both images from The Kind Diet. I don’t have a picture of the dip and wasn’t about to make it if I couldn’t eat it!