Happy Herbivore Light & Lean is coming!

I’ve made no secret of my love for Happy Herbivore Lindsay Nixon.  I found the blog while searching for cleaner and lighter vegan alternatives for the food I love.  Her cookbooks are my go-to when someone asks me for healthy recipes and I’ve picked up her meal plans from time to time.  Her twists on Southern favorites are loved by the omni family, too, and as I’ve mentioned before, pleasing the man and boy is not always easy.

When Lindsay made the announcement about her newest book, I pre-ordered it (In March) and scored!  I receive an excerpt with 14 recipes and a bonus book.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean includes more of the low fat,whole food vegan recipes I love and workout plans. If you pre-ordered,you’ve seen some of the goodness this book has in store.  The Meatloaf Bites and Carol’s Cabbage Soup are particularly yummy.  If you’re looking for something sweet, her Blueberry Yogurt Muffins are a delight.  Pair one with fruit or hash browns for breakfast, snag one for a snack with coffee or tea, or have it for dessert.  

For the blog tour, I asked Lindsay three questions about her her favorite forms of exercise and her advice for someone new to the clean plant-based way of eating.  

Me:  In your blog you mention snowboarding a lot.  Besides hitting the board, what is your favorite type
of exercise?

LN: I go hiking almost every day when it’s not winter. I also really enjoy yoga year-round.

Me:  That’s great!  I love yoga, too. Finding activities I love helps me look at exercise as fun and not a chore. Now on to making a change in general.  Do you have any advice for someone just making the change from a sedentary lifestyle and SAD to active and whole food plant-based?  Should he/she go all in or take it one step at a time?

LN:  I can’t recommend the meal plans enough!  Or my 3-day reboot or 10-day cleanse immersion 
 program. Every person is different. I find most people have the best success doing
 a 180-approach, just rip off the band aid, as I say. Other people need a more gradual approach. Make every meal you can a healthy plant-based one, and start walking on your lunch break. Start with 5 minutes if you have to, then add on. Then start walking in the morning before work. Little by little!

Me:  I thought I was a 180-degree person, but with the family I’ve found it easier to make gradual changes. Converting their favorite recipes is sometimes a challenge.  Have you converted all of your favorite foods into whole food goodness?  How difficult was it?

LN:  Yes! Some recipes proved more challenging than others but for the most part everything has translated quite beautifully and many times, I like the new healthy version way better.

Appreciate your time, Lindsay – thanks!

While I recover and figure out how to get into a sustainable workout routine, eating clean helps me keep on track.  If you want affordable, easy, clean, quick, and delicious recipes with wide appeal, check out the Happy Herbivore blog and books.  Light & Lean is going to be awesome!  Get a sneak peek on Amazon and keep your eyes open for more from me on the recipes.

 

Showing Love for Everyday Happy Herbivore

I have lots of love for Happy Herbivore.  I can’t remember when or how I first stumbled across Lindsay Nixon’s blog, but I have been drooling over and cooking from it ever since. The omni family has loved most of her goodies, too.  I have a well worn copy of The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and received my copy of Everyday Happy Herbivore a couple of weeks ago.  I’m digging it, too.

When Lindsay put out a call for stops on her blog tour, I jumped at the chance to pick her brain a little.


Me:  You’ve mentioned Charleston in both of your books.  How much did the Lowcountry inspire your cooking?  Were you introduced to many new ingredients or techniques?


Lindsay:  I lived in Charleston, SC for four years to attend the College of Charleston (c/o 2004). My husband is a graduate of The Citadel (Hotel, 2000) and he was also raised in Summerville, South Carolina. 
My experience with Southern food and cooking was none before I moved to Charleston. I’d never had or heard of grits or collard greens or she crab soup… so I was constantly dazzled by all these new ingredients and foods when I lived there. Even after we left, my husband was always after me to make low country staples he grew up with — and when we switched to a vegan diet, he insisted I learn how to recreate all these dishes that were traditions in his family and had been staples in our diets. (That’s how they ended up in my cookbooks!)

I have a soft spot for Low Country cuisine — and cajun, too. They’re magnificent and really understand the concept of sticking to the basics, using hot spices and fresh, local foods to make something amazing. 
Was it difficult it find a variety of vegan eats when dining out? 

In Charleston? No. I was actually pleasantly surprised when we went back to visit last November (2010). I contacted the Charleston Vegetarian Group on Facebook before I went for some restaurant recommendations, but some of our friends wanted to go to other places, and I admit I was worried I’d be limited to salads. Boy was I wrong! Every restaurant we went to had something on the menu that was already vegan (not necessarily identified as such — but no dairy, meat, etc) or something that could be made vegan if we left off cheese. I thought FOR SURE when Scott’s friends made us go to Wild Wings I’d starve and I actually had a really delicious meal there!
In Everyday Happy Herbivore, most of the items can be on the table in 30 minutes or less.  Are there any other quick cooking tips that work for you?

I can’t stress the importance of a well stocked pantry and spice rack — that is the secret to fast cooking.

We’ve all had kitchen failures.  My most recent involved misreading a recipe and adding 1/2 cup of agave nectar instead of 1/s TBS to bread.  What was your most memorable kitchen fail?

I once turned my blender on without the top on. Green smoothie EVERYWHERE. Seitan also blew up once and splattered on the wall and ceiling. That was awesome.
The holidays are upon us and omnivore family members sometimes have low expectations of the vegan’s contribution to the family meal.  Should herbies stick with appetizers, entrees, sides, or desserts?  What knockout recipes do you recommend?  Desserts have won over my family 

Desserts are always a safe bet — but I try NOT to bring a vegetable side or a soup because I want to dispel the notion that we only eat the side dish or vegetables only compliment meat. I like to show off how beans and vegetables ARE the meal and not just a side. BUT it’s important to do whats right for your situation — we all know our family and friends pretty well and that can help us decide what to bring. When in doubt, Cake.



While cake helped bring my family on to the herbie train, burgers and fries keep them coming back time and again.  Lindsay shared one of her burger recipes from EHH.  Not only is it quick and easy, it’s pretty cheap, too.  This would make a great quick lunch or dinner on a crazy night. 



Quick Burgers | makes 4 

I developed these burgers in a hotel room: they’re quick, easy and require very few ingredients. (In fact, except for the beans and a seasoning packet, I sourced all the ingredients from the complimentary “breakfast bar”). I make these burgers any time I need a super fast meal or I’m really low on ingredients.

15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
1/3 c instant oats

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl, mash black beans with a fork until mostly pureed but still some half beans and bean parts are left. Stir in condiments and spices until well combined. Then mix in oats. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into thin patties with your hands. Bake for 7 minutes, carefully flip over and bake for another 7 minutes, or until crusty on the outside. Slap into a bun with extra condiments and eat!

Chef’s note: If you only have rolled oats, chop them up in a food processor or blender so they are smaller and more like instant oats. Rolled oats left whole tend to make the burgers fall apart. 

Per Burger: 109 Calories, 0.5g Fat, 17.6g Carbohydrates, 3g Fiber, 2.2g Sugars, 5g Protein


Thanks again, Lindsay for the inspiration, tips, and fantastic food.  Go Cougars!