Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Clueless"? Silverstone's "Diet" is kind, but kinda naive

Here's a short cookbook review that got rather short shrift in the Washington Post's redesigned Health section yesterday:

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet (Rodale Books, $29.95)

Alicia Silverstone is famous for her role in the '90s teen film "Clueless" and as a real-life vegan activist. In "The Kind Diet," Silverstone provides three approaches to cooking vegan: "Flirting," for people trying out meat- and dairy-free foods; "Vegan," for experienced flirts; and "Superhero," which is basically vegan with fresh, local foods grown in-season. The book feels straight out of La-La Land: lots of exclamation points, italics and such sentences as, "Get ready to meet the beautiful, delicious, God-given foods that will rock your world." Her intentions are good, if a little naive - "I believe that following the Kind Diet can lead to world peace" - and, to her credit, she gets preachy only when criticizing the "Nasty Diet" of meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods. The book is like a hijiki-tofu croquette (a seaweed appetizer that Silverstone recommends in the recipe section): People already interested in veganism might like a bite, but for everyone else, it's easy to turn down.
- Rachel Saslow

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