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Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)
by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

When Skinny Bitch first hit the bookstores, it became an instant bestseller for its manifesto on the vegan lifestyle, a no-holds-barred war against the supposed evils of the food world: meat, dairy and simple carbohydrates. Meat was labeled as "decomposing carcasses," dairy products were "creepy," and processed carbs made you "fat."

In part two, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, Freedman and Barnouin are back with a cookbook, offering vegan recipes that "don't taste like crap." It is a practical follow-up for Skinny Bitch converts who have no idea what to cook now that they've gutted their fridge of all meats and processed foods. Much of the book hinges on recreating American favorites using vegan products, which means stocking up on ingredients such as Ener-G Egg Replacer and Textured Soy Protein.

For vegans, the book is extremely useful. For non-vegans looking to eat healthier, dishes like Lentil Vegetable Soup offer a tasty way to get your daily dose of veggies. But fake meat dishes such as a "Chicken" Salad Sandwich made with vegan chicken or Sloppy Joes made with Bragg's Liquid Aminos just don't cut it against the real meat versions. It joins the slew of vegan cookbooks that obsess over "faking it" as opposed to making innovative dishes out of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you do not buy the vegan hype to begin with, don't buy the book — it is only going to strike acrimonious chords with your omnivorous lifestyle.

For those that do, the book offers nothing new in the way of vegan cuisine, but it is highly entertaining to hear Freedman and Barnouin talk about flatulence-causing lentils and "getting over" your hatred of eggplant. It will certainly get you to pay attention to your eating habits — and maybe make you a Skinny Bitch in the process.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Makes about 8 cups

1 T refined coconut oil
½ red bell pepper, cut into ½-in dice
½ yellow bell pepper, cut into ½-in dice
½ onion, cut into ½-in dice
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½-in slices
1 yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½-in slices
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t fine sea salt
½ t pepper
½ t dried marjoram
½ t dried thyme
&frac18 t cayenne powder
6 c low-sodium vegetable stock
1½ c lentils
1 T tamari or soy sauce
½ sesame oil
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with juices

Heat the coconut oil in a 4- to 6-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add the red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, for one minute.

Stir in the stock, lentils and tamari or soy sauce. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the sesame oil and tomatoes, stirring until the tomatoes are heated through.

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch warning: "Lentils make you toot for hours. Plan accordingly."

Reviewed by Nancy Huang

(Updated: 01/09/12 CT)

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