Ellen Clifford
Updated Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:39 pm
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It feels funny to say this but Happy Healthy Vegan Kitchen feels like a friend. Already. I hadn’t been a reader of author Kathy Patalsky’s popular blog Healthy.Happy.Life but am now a convert. It’s really funny how some things just have this ineffable ability to make you dance inside just a little bit harder. At least my butt was jiggling in the chair. TMI, sorry. Maybe it’s Patalsky’s friendly words, maybe it is the recipes, maybe it is the color scheme. I just know this book warmed me. It is a beautiful book that is simple, bright, and all-inclusive. Patalsky welcomes all readers, vegan or not.

She starts it off with various lists of tips. There are tips for becoming vegan, tips for “wellness”, and lists of ingredients and equipment you’ll need. Lists are super popular these days. So much so I wanted to avoid a list just to stick it to society. But then I remembered that lists make people happy and that is the main goal of this column, so I am giving you a list. Just be forewarned of impending rebellious refusal to use gifs. I draw the line there. Among Patalsky’s wellness tips is one to write a list of things that make you happy, so I decided I would give you a list of the top six reasons Happy Healthy Vegan Kitchen made me happy.

6)She endorses making an entire meal of vegetable side dishes. YES! That is why I am a vegetarian who loves steakhouses. Vegetable sides are boss.

5)She lists a Vitamix in her list of essential tools even saying “I simply could not cook without it!” Wait, actually that doesn’t make me totally happy since I don’t have one. But in theory it would make me really happy.

4) She stresses that one shouldn’t get too obsessed with their diet. Amen.

3)Her story of how she became a vegetarian reminds me of mine. Animal lovers, both. For some people eating meat feels difficult. Abstaining from it is a relief.

2)Patalsky advises not be scared of pairing ingredients that seem like they won’t be good together. I LOVE when I discover a pairing that you wouldn’t think would work, but does. Glad that Patalsky is on board! Now I’m off to put whipped cream on my kale. Garnished with love.

1)This beautiful recipe makes me not just happy but downright giddy. It is beautiful to see, good for the body and soul and best of all TASTES like happiness. And I have an undying affection for pink food.

Pink Beet Walnut Dip adapted from Happy Healthy Vegan Kitchen by Kathy Patalsky

  • 1 cup walnuts (I soaked mine overnight to make them easier to blend)
  • 3/4 cup drained and rinsed canned white beans
  • 1/2 cup peeled chopped or shredded raw beets
  • 2 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon or orange juice (I went for lemon)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne
  • a few optional splashes of extra liquid if you need it-water, almond milk, more juice-take your pick

Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend it up smooth. If it is too dry and needs to loosen up a bit you can buy it a drink…or just add the optional extra liquid. Depends on how much you like to take advantage of your dip. I dip hard. Enjoy!

Note: I was given this cookbook for review, all opinions are mine and given freely.

(Image via Shutterstock)