Finding Yourself in the Kitchen

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A book review of Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Kitchen Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook by Dana Velden.

Stars: ***

Rodale Books (2015)
270 pages

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Summary: Many books teach the mechanics of cooking and even inspire us to cook; not many dwell on the kitchen’s ability to be a place of awakening and joy. In Finding Yourself in the Kitchen, Dana Velden asks you to seek deeper meaning in this space and explores what cooking can teach about intimacy, failure, curiosity, and beauty.

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen is a book of essays, each focused on a cooking theme that explores how to practice mindfulness in the kitchen–and beyond–to discover a more deeply experienced life. It also offers meditation techniques and practical kitchen tips, including 15 of Velden’s own favorite recipes.

What happens when we find ourselves in the kitchen? What vitalizes, challenges, and delights us there? An extension of her popular “Weekend Meditation” column on, this book offers you the chance to step back and examine your life in a more inspired way. The result is a reading experience that satisfies, nourishes and inspires.

Finding Yourself in the Kitchen

I picked this book up from the book store because I love learning more about cooking but this seemed different from a cookbook and that’s because it is. It’s more about being at home in your kitchen, presence of mind and adding meditations into your kitchen use.

If you are picturing yourself sitting in the middle of your kitchen in a typical meditation pose saying om, you have the wrong idea. Kitchen meditations have more to do with going into a meditative state while doing everyday tasks in the kitchen such as chopping vegetables or stirring soups or stews. It’s about having a zen kitchen.

The book includes a few recipes too such as a Simple Weeknight Curry, Lemon Curd, Yogurt, Sautéed Tiny Turnips with Their Greens and Salsa Verde.

It was a nice read but nothing over the top amazing. If you want to bring more Zen or meditation into your kitchen and cooking, you’ll enjoy this book.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.