November 29, 2010

The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life

The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life is the perfect title for Melisser Elliot's colorful and charming new book. A book with attitude, it truly is a guide to everything one needs to know about being vegan. Melisser says, "Being vegan is so much more than what a vegan can and can't eat; it is an ethical stance against the mistreatment of all animals. More than a diet, it is truly a lifestyle." The book begins with a story about the author's background, and evolution to veganism, and continues with an explanation of the many different aspects of a vegan diet and lifestyle.

There is an informative chapter on nutrition, and another on vegan living, as well as a chapter on shopping for vegan-appropriate non-food items such as makeup, shoes, clothing and household cleaning products.

A chapter devoted to food begins with helpful information about stocking the pantry, and also contains clever hints about what, and what not, to feed an omnivore friend. (Don't give them tofu and do give them chili.) Once Melisser leads you into the kitchen, she doesn't leave you wondering what to cook; the recipe chapter contains an eclectic selection of deliciously interesting but doable dishes that would appeal to both inexperienced and advanced vegan cooks.

The handbook's final chapter provides do-it-yourself information and advice on everything from gardening to making a knitted cupcake potholder!

This would be an especially wonderful gift for any new or aspiring vegan on your list. But really, you don't have to be a new vegan (or a young vegan!) to enjoy The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life.

About the Author:
Melisser Elliott, twenty nine, is the founder of Sugar Beat Sweets bakery and the author of the blog, The Urban Housewife. She has won awards from VegNews magazine, has been featured by Bust, The Washington Post, Vegetarian Times, Craft, Make, Cupcakes Take the Cake, All Things Cupcake, SuperVegan, Crazy Sexy Life, and Vegan Nutritionista; and has appeared on Everyday Dish TV.

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this book by the publisher, Skyhorse Publishing. I was not required to review it, nor was I paid for this review. All opinions are my own.


  1. I wish I was sent a free copy to review it! I'm dying to read this book!!!

  2. I bought the book recently and love it. I'm almost 50, but decided that anyone who is Vegan is "hip". I'm glad I didn't think the book was more for the younger set. Great photos too.

  3. Sounds like a great book. Again, I'm so impressed with these young folks! I really like the "what not to feed omnivores" topic, which is very welcome. It's true, you want to feed omnivores dishes that they will enjoy so they don't going away thinking that vegan food is dull or odd. Thanks for the review.

  4. Adding it to my ever-growing wishlist! Thanks for the great review!

  5. This book is perfect for my aunt who's a vegan - although she's not a teenager anymore.

  6. Jessica, If you lived closer I'd lend it to you.

    I'd have to agree with you that a person of any age could enjoy this book. Thanks for your comment; I inserted a little age-related note in the post because of it.

    Yes, the omnivore food page made some good points. I will refer to it next time we have omnis over for dinner, so I don't freak anyone out with "weird vegan food." :D

    You're welcome. I hope all your wishes come true! :D

    Like Rox said, age isn't a factor for enjoying this book. And, as a non-teenager myself, I agree.

  7. Great review. I can't wait to purchase this for myself and my girlfriends.

  8. I could have used this book as a 19 year old vegan.

    I personally LOVE to freak people out with my weird vegan and raw food. And usually they enjoy it. :-)

  9. Awesome! She's such a cool chick and I'm glad she's sharing her knowledge with the world.

    btw, I LOVED salad turned to soup! I do think marinating for two days helped the depth of flavor.. and all that oil probably helped the spices really bloom.. also, there was probably acid in the salad, which always helps soups.

  10. This sounds like yet another inspiring vegan book. As I can't buy every book I'm tempted to, I think I'll try to get my library to add this into their collection. :)

  11. Woot for Melisser & her rockin' book. So many great gift options this year (I've got a review up on my blog for a children's book). Love it!

  12. JoLynn,
    Thanks. I think you'll love it!

    I think we all could have used a book like this. I've toned down my vegan cooking for omnivores over the years, unless I know them well enough to be sure of their preferences and adventurousness. I don't want to inflict jalapeno salsa on people who don't like heat, so to speak. :D

    The book is as awesome as she is.

    Thanks! I kind of think the marinating helped, too, but I will probably shorten the time when I make the soup again on purpose. The oil and acid (which I usually add to squash soup) also enhanced the flavor, as did the dried Bing cherries. The soup had an exotic, dark flavor that was really great. I'd like to write out a recipe to post.

    Great idea to get the library to add Melisser's book. You can be the first to check it out!

    I'm headed over to your blog now to see the review.

  13. Looks like a good book! I SO agree with not giving onmnis tofu, but chilli. I always give them something that they would eat anyway, like chilli or some kind of curry, but NEVER tofu. You have to grow to love tofu! :o)

  14. I have Melisser's book on my Christmas list. You can bet that if I don't get it, I'll be buying it right after Christmas! It sounds like my kind of book. :o) I can't wait to read it.

  15. Penny,
    Maybe I was an anomaly, but I loved tofu from the first bite, but you're right I think. Some people are just not ready for tofu's charms. Chili or curry, on the other hand, is so "normal."

    I hope you get it for Christmas! I thought the book was very cool.

  16. Your recipes look delicious! I like your blog :)

  17. I recommend this book too it's amazing just what I needed

  18. Blissfullyvegantraci,
    Thanks, Traci.

    Thanks for adding your opinion. I agree that it's a very thorough and well-done book — a great resource.


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