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For many, change is not a comfortable concept. Even if this change is, in reality, simple to accomplish, the idea of altering one’s habits can be daunting. Going vegan is easy to do, but the thought of change can hold people back. They think of the research they will have to put in, the foods they will miss, and the extra time it will take to adjust to this new lifestyle. When faced with this kind of trepidation, many decide to forgo change in favor of their familiar habits. However, a new vegan lifestyle guide not only supports those in transition; it makes the process fun, light-hearted, and entertaining. “Simple Happy Kitchen” is the first plant-based illustrated guide to vegan living, offering readers an easy-to-understand and accessible resource to everything they need to know about basic vegan nutrition and cuisine.

Authored and illustrated by Miki Mottes, this colorful book combines play with education; it is simple enough for a young adolescent to understand, yet the information is applicable to all ages. Each chapter walks the reader through their transition, beginning with the “Why,” moving on to “How,” and concluding with an easy-to-follow checklist of ways the reader can implement and maintain what they learned. Each page delights the audience with vibrant illustrated characters, making for an engaging, creative, and informational read.

This book is not only for the veg-curious or new vegans; the in-depth information can prove useful for anyone who follows a plant-based or health-focused diet. The pages contain a great deal of nutritional information, including how to read labels, an extensive breakdown of macro and micronutrient sources, and how to fuel for weight loss and muscle gain. Further, this book provides helpful tips on storing produce for optimum freshness, how to cook (and soak) a wide variety of beans and grains, and a detailed spice guide for those who want to branch out beyond salt and pepper.

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The “Simple Happy Kitchen” book would not be complete without a few recipes. The reader is first introduced to specific ingredients that serve as staples in the plant-based world, such as tofu and meat alternatives, various egg replacers, vegan cheeses, legumes, and raw foods. Each section is followed by various recipes, many of which are customizable. Learn to make hummus, veggie burgers, plant-based cheeses, energizing smoothies, homemade plant-milk, and more. Those who have mastered the basics can also try their hand at making aquafaba or fermenting their own vegetables following the fool-proof step-by-step guide.

Beyond the recipes and nutritional information, this resource also provides useful kitchen and life hacks sprinkled throughout the book. For example, one learns how to cut a cake without smearing the frosting (use unflavored dental floss for a clean cut every time). This guide is truly worth a cover to cover read to find all of these hidden tips that will take the effort out of everyday tasks.

simple happy kitchen book

Of course, practicing a plant-based diet is easy to do at home when cooking for oneself, but what about family and social life? Mottes recognized that this social component is a struggle for many and offered helpful advice on how to maintain a cruelty-free lifestyle while interacting with others. One chapter is entirely devoted to family and touches upon everything from vegan pregnancy to raising vegan children. For the skeptics, Mottes includes a plethora of facts that support the vegan lifestyle so people can effectively communicate their choice to go vegan (and perhaps convince others to do the same).

“Simple Happy Kitchen” is an excellent resource and lifestyle guide for a wide range of audiences. Whether one is looking to cook more at home, eat a bit healthier, learn about nutrition, or fully transition to a vegan diet, this book is a new essential. At the very least, it makes for an adorable coffee table book for guests to peruse. Who knows, they may become enamored with the illustrations and try the plant-based diet themselves.

“Simple Happy Kitchen” is will be available on June 25 in stores and online.


Image Credit: Miki Mottes of Simple Happy Kitchen