I read Feeding the Hungry Ghost a few years ago and have thought about it so many times since then. Part cookbook/part memoir Ellen Kanner kept my attention right through to the end.
In Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner, Ellen Kanner shares her history, her wisdom and her experiences alongside a collection of some of the best vegan recipes I’ve seen in a long time. The recipes in this book aren’t processed; they’re primal. They embrace all cultures and are made from real food from the earth, food that goes back centuries. Kanner takes these old recipes steeped in culture and tradition and turns them into vegan comfort food at its best.
One of the things that appealed to me the most about this book was the author’s and my mutual connection with cooking as therapy. In describing one of the recipes called the Hungry Ghost Mood Modifier, she warns the reader that the recipe requires a lot of vegetables and a bit of prep. Embrace the process, she says, it’s there to get you out of your own head. Whenever I’m in a bad mood, I head to the kitchen to get myself into a better one. The steps required in a recipe will always pull me out of that funk. There’s no better cure for overthinking than chopping and sauteing vegetables and creating one of nature’s most aromatic anti-depressants and Kanner knows this as well as I do.
I was pulled out of many funks during the reading of this delicious book as Kanner stirs fun humor into her writing as evidenced in the recipe instructions for Tuscan White Beans and Winter Greens Soup:
Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer unattended for 90 minutes. Check your e-mail, have a quickie, watch Mad Men, whatever.
Even if you’re not interested in making a particular recipe, you will want to read each one to see how Kanner has incorporated her warm, funny humor into them.
This book is food for the soul.