Category Archives: cookbooks

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Books

You know I have a cookbook problem.

SAMSUNG
A few of my favorites, including books from authors I have a girl crush on. HInt – all of them.
al fresco
I reviewed this book and still pull ideas and recipes from it from time to time.
ice cream sandwiches
Don’t think any commentary is necessary.
Supercharged-Juices-Smoothies
Because your friendly neighborhood Sherrie does not fear the green,
meal plan bb
Meal planning was in full effect here.

 

Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules!
Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules! Noms!
A classic.
A classic.
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats.
HappyHerbivoreLight-2526Lean_FrontCover
I’m digging the recipes here. They help me stick to my eating plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter if the books are from the library or part of my personal collection.  I have one within reach daily.

By the way, if you’re in or near Charleston, SC, you can meet Happy Herbivore herself, Lindsay Nixon at the College of Charleston on Thursday!  I missed her back in 2012, but will be there this time.  Hope you can make it, too!

June already? What’s your plan?

Can you believe 2014 is already six months old?  June is already 11 days old?  Where did the time go?  Are you on track?  Anywhere close to where you wanted to be?  I’ll admit it,  I’m not.   And I won’t let it throw me much.  I’ll tweak my plans and go month to month.

My plan was in part inspired by a dream.  I’ve been back and forth to the doc and specialists (yes, plural) trying to finally figure out what all ails me.   It’s exhausting and frustrating and frightening if I K et my mind wander too much.  More so if I consult Dr. Google instead of waiting to for a specific diagnosis.   According to Google,  cold symptoms could be anything from a cold to a rare syndrome that would put someone just outside death’s door.  No one needs that kind of stress or fear without knowing what’s going on inside them.

So, back to this dream.  Of course I dreamed about a doctor visit.  I mean, it’s been at least 33% of my focus for a while now.  So, I’m waiting for the doc to walk in, and it’s Kris Carr!   You know, the woman behind Crazy, Sexy Cancer.  Her.

I was so in awe and blown away.  I think seeing her was a sign.  Not that a cancer diagnosis is looming, but that I’m doing the right thing by following up with the docs and working on healing.  Another round of physical therapy starts next today   My diet is cleaning up and even more greens are coming in.  My healthier cookbooks are my main kitchen inspiration and I’m eating to live.

There they are, two of my inspirations!
There they are, two of my inspirations!
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats. Lindsay Nixon photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  This and the tahini dressing that is.
I'll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.
I’ll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.

I don’t want to just survive anymore.  I want to thrive, glow, and kick ass.

So, what’s happening with you?  Have any good dreams lately?

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.

 

What I’m reading these days

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie has a cookbook problem. I know it and own it.  I read them like novels and can tear through one in a couple of days.  I also have a money problem, so I pick most of my books up from the library, Mr. K’s (used and new, but always cheap), and free Kindle books (for reading on my Kindle app).  I’ve wanted to hold books more than reading text on a screen lately, so I’ve hit the library practically every week. Here’s a sample of what I’ve gone through in August alone.
I first heard of Angelica Home Kitchen thanks to an early 90’s copy of Vegetarian Times.  Back then I was playing with the idea of he veggie life and loved the idea of a all veg restaurant. Good book, great recipes.   

This one needs no intro.  I checked it out for more ideas on healthy whole food vegan goodness.  I like it, but don’t think I need to add this one to the permanent collection. 

Between the abundance of rain, a bad spine summer, and crazy schedules,  our garden is a sad, bare wasteland.  Except for mint and huge tomato plants which may or may not bear fruit.  Microgreens, baby vegetables, and sprouts, oh my!

And, you know, I cannot leave anything these two touch unread.  And hubby is a pie addict.  Vegan versions of his beloved blueberry, pecan, and key lime pies will be mastered! At some point.

No pictured are Crazy Sexy Kitchen and Crazy Sexy Diet.   I have the Kindle versions, but can’t spend all my time looking a a screen.

So, what are you reading?

So much to share!

Hi, all.

I guess I’ll start with the geek. What? Embracing my geek instead of hiding it relaxes me.  Relaxation is good for the cardiovascular system.  Not to mention the mind and spirit.  I can’t believe Doctor Who is over until November!  And it ended on the weekend after the kids gave me this.

Yes!  Whovian for life!  Tom Baker was my first Doctor.  Who was yours?  I feel the sadness/excitement about Supernatural, too. I love the Winchesters and still mourn Bobby.

On the home front, the dogs and kids are giving me this look a lot lately.

I’m not sure what I’m doing or not doing that warrants the ‘you crazy,’ face.

I’m eating a lot of this for breakfast with fruit and extra walnuts.

Vegan, gluten-free goodness makes me happy.

On the health front,well, things are what they are.  I will be moving slower for longer than anticipated,but as long as I get back to me, I’m happy.  Until then, pain, stiffness, and physical  therapy are mainstays.  And the drugs, oy.  Caffeine is out because the mix of it and my meds are dangerous for me.  No one likes stroke level blood pressure.  And sodium consumption has to come down even more.

But that’s ok. I’m pulling out Eat to Live, my Happy Herbivore cookbook collection, The Get Healthy, Go Vegan CookbookAppetite for Reduction, Crazy, Sexy Diet, and The 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart books for inspiration. And cooking more from the heart.

Oh, and did I mention that the physician’s assistant said I should go for nutritional and alternative therapies in addition to the traditional ones?  I could have hugged her.

When I work, I stand every 30 minutes so I can stretch a bit. PT schedule is three days a week in addition to work at home.  Yoga, Pilates, Tai Cheng, and walking primarily with light resistance.  And the handy dandy foam roller  is on hand at all times, too. why did I wait so long to get you?

Until next time, do what you need to do to improve your health.  Small steps are better than standing still.

**Disclosure: The book links are affiliate links.  TheTai Cheng link goes to my Team Beachbody shop.

Merry Christmas to Me!

Yes, it was a good Christmas.  

We kicked it off with a killer breakfast – pancakes, eggs, ham, and sausage for the omnis; tofu, green pepper, red onion, and Soyrizo scramble for me; biscuits and berry salad for all.  It was lovely.  While the coffee warmed our souls and awakened our senses, the unwrapping commenced.  The kiddos scored games, hubby scored Stephen King books, and the dogs scored bones.  I scored cookbooks!  :squee:  While cookbooks may not appeal to all, they make me giddy.

Be on the lookout for post and pics from The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East, Appetite for Reduction, and Viva Vegan  in addition to goodies from Everyday Happy Herbivore, meals and snacks from Tess Challis‘ books, and whatever inspires me that day.

Today’s inspiration is due to the rainy weather outside.  Bright colors are required, so Mexican will be on the dinner plate.  

Until later, peace.

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! 

Fluctuating weight, freaky nightmares, pain, & cookbooks

Interesting title, eh? Well, I awakened in a panic, panting, and thrilled to realize it was just a dream.  I won’t bore you with details, but I had a crazy, super-powered vertical leap and had to save the family from zombie robots. Now to better topics.

I lost another pound this week, and it seems my rate of loss has slowed.  I have an idea on one of the reasons; stress.  Stress occasionally makes me eat mindlessly, but this time it hasn’t.  It made me reach for comfort food in general.  Hey, I see not overindulging as a huge plus.  I know why I reached for those foods, I just need to make sure that they are the healthier versions of my favorite go-to dishes. Between playing with recipes online (thanks Happy Herbivore and Tess Challis), I have been tweaking goodies from cookbooks past and present.

Oh, the cookbooks!  I made a trip to the main Charleston County library and went a little crazy in the cooking session. I checked out some oldies but goodies.  Linda Mccartney’s Home Cooking,The Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian, and two from Dr. Neal Barnard, Foods That Fight Pain: Revolutionary New Strategies for Maximum Pain Relief and Turn Off the Fat Genes: The Revolutionary Guide to Losing Weight.  I’d originally stopped by for Eat For Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 book set), but it was already checked out. I should have requested it.  Anyway, I’ve already blown through Linda’s and have to pick up a few more ingredients for Real Food Daily before I can go nuts there.  

Oh, if you want to check out recipes before I post here, check out my Examiner column or Facebook Examiner page.  I have quite a few articles, recipes, and photos to post there. 

The reason I’m working through Banard’s books?  The insane amount of pain I have to work through a couple times a month.  If I can successfully manage the pain without the drugs that make me loopy, I can eventually heal.  Hopefully naturally.  Right now the pain has spread to my neck, and that terrifies me.  When I don’t hurt, I want to cook, move, and do all the things I need to do in order to improve my health.  But when I’m in the middle of a major flare up, just leave me in the dark corner, please. 

Wow, I just realized that it’s 1 am.  This Wahm is sleepy once more, so I think I’m going to call it a night.  Nite, all.

Thank you fallen soldiers and their families for your sacrifice.  I don;t think my appreciation for you all is deep enough at times, but it is deep.