Archive | July, 2012

Review of Eating Animals

29 Jul

Eating AnimalsEating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book, very difficult to read at times because of the particular topic. It’s very well written and researched and Jonathan Safran Foer lets people from all areas that come in play when it comes to eating animals. He never tries to come across as better than people who aren’t vegetarians, it’s simply informing about any things that are of concern when it comes to this topic and whether you are a vegetarian/vegan or you eat meat every day, people should be better informed about where their food comes from.

It was an especially interesting read because he included his own decision and decision making to become a vegetarian as well. Especially I have recently made the same decision it was interesting to read about his process and motives. The book only made me feel stronger about the decision I made to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. I definitely recommend it to everybody who wants to know more about the topic!

I admire Jonathan Safran Foer for writing this book in the way he did, touching and informative and he never tries to tell people what to do and that his lifestyle is the best one.

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Review of The Glimpse by Claire Merle

20 Jul

Thanks to Netgalley and Faber and Faber for an arc to review!

The Glimpse by Claire Merle deals with a future London that is divided into two sections, one is the Community where the “Pures” live, the people that don’t have a mental disability, the other part is the outside world, the city, where the “Crazies”, people with a gene that could lead to a mental illness live; they are the people that are considered dangerous and a risk to society. The protagonist, Ana, was considered a ‘Pure’ and she lives in the Community. However it turns out there has been made a mistake in her DNA test and she does actually carry the gene that would make her prone to a mental illness according to society. Because she is bound to me married to Jasper, a Pure boy, Ana is allowed to keep living in the Community unless she does become ill or Jasper decides not to marry her.

This is the premise of the book and how it starts, however shortly before their bounding date ceremony, Jasper is abducted by a sect like group of people and because the authorities don’t do anything about it, Ana decides to try and find him herself and sneaks out of the Community. As she makes her way in the City looking for clues that might lead her to Jasper she meets a group of people believed to be involved in the abduction. However as Ana slowly finds out, things she has believed to be true her whole life aren’t as she thinks they are.

It seems like this book has stirred up quite some controversy because of it’s theme of mental illness. I think, however, that the fact Claire Merle decided to take up this kind of theme for a dystopian novel is quite interesting and it’s a daring concept to tackle. Surely, she didn’t mean to offend any people with it and it’s just another way for a government to oppress a society and enforce their rules on people. Besides throughout the book, it’s quite obvious that Merle does not approve of a society like this (and I doubt any writer of a dystopian novel would, they are just showing us yet another way of a possible future).

It took me quite a while to get into the book and I think I never really completely felt it. Sometimes it seemed to slow and at other times it seemed like random plot developments were thrown in. There were certain passages that really engaged me, especially in the third half of the books, but it didn’t put me completely under its spell and I’m not sure I can put a finger on what it was exactly. I did like the brutal honestly some parts were written with, especially the passages in the mental institution and I think that was when I really got into the book and where I finally found what I was missing before.

I’m not really convinced by Ana, the protagonist, but I can see how others might like her but I didn’t think she was as strong as other female leads but this could obviously be explained by the fact that she has been fed lies all her life and grew up in the protected Community. In general I wasn’t really convinced by other characters in the book either, they could have been fleshed out a bit more and given a bit more detail. Another thing that didn’t really work for me, was the romance part of the book because it didn’t really feel real and it was done way too quickly in my opinion. In the end I also feel that too much value is put on the romance story instead of delving more into what’s wrong in society.

I will probably pick up the second book of this series as well to see how the story develops and hopefully we will get to know more about what is wrong with the world and an actual kind of revolution. I’m also looking forward to reading more about the glimpse the book get its title from and the Enlightenment project, both of which we didn’t really get to know a lot about in this first installment.

Lastly, props to whoever designed the cover!

Black Bean Adventures

13 Jul

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I had some black beans that I really wanted to try cooking with because I had never used them before. I did actually buy them to make a veggie burger I once saw a recipe for but then I stumbled across this Mexican Pasta recipe so I ended up trying that because it sounded delicious. I often stray away a bit from recipes either because I don’t have one of the ingredients or I don’t like one or I think something else would work better. This time I used dry beans (that I obviously soaked over night and cooked before using them) and I added a bit of sour cream to the sauce. Oh, and I didn’t have taco seasoning so I just seasoned it to my liking. It was delicious! The olives do take over the dish a bit so if you’re not all too fond of olives, I’d use a bit less of them but don’t leave them out completely because the whole dish together is an interesting mix of tastes. Next time I’ll probably add some garlic as well.

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Here’s the recipe as I made it:

Ingredients

Pasta
75 gr corn
50 gr black beans (dried)
35 gr black olives
1 can of peeled and diced tomatoes
1 onion
1 bell pepper
60 ml salsa sauce
salt
pepper
cayenne pepper
pesto mix
100 gr sour cream
Olive oil

Cook the pasta and in the meantime saute the onion and pepper in the oil, when they’re brown add the corn, beans, sliced olives and salsa and season as you like it. Lastly stir in the sour cream and then serve over the pasta.

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As I had soaked and cooked too many beans I decided to make a sandwich spread/dip with what was left over. Looking around online I found several recipes with several ingredients but a staple seemed to be beans, lemon or lime juice and sometimes olive oil. I decided to just throw in anything I had and thought would taste good. Started with the black beans which I mashed in the food processor adding some lemon juice and olive oil. I also had some corn left from dinner so I threw that in as well. I then proceeded with a fresh tomato and an onion. Added some salsa to make it more moist and then tasted with salt, pepper, cilantro, cayenne pepper and pesto mix. I did add some more olive oil and lemon juice as I went going by the texture and moistness it was getting. It ended up being delicious! I’ll definitely be playing around making these some more! Got a recipe for lentil spread and eggplant spread and I’m planning on making a chickpea spread.

Review of Veggie Burgery Every Which Way

13 Jul

Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Fresh, Flavorful & Healthy Vegan & Vegetarian Burgers: Plus Toppings, Sides, Buns & MoreVeggie Burgers Every Which Way: Fresh, Flavorful & Healthy Vegan & Vegetarian Burgers: Plus Toppings, Sides, Buns & More by Lukas Volger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Haven’t made something out of the book yet but there are some really nice and healthy ideas in there and he covers everything, from the burgers to making your own buns, toppings, salads and other side dishes. It’s completed with some extra information about how to prepare certain ingredients. Will definitely be trying some recipes!

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