Tag Archives: Happy Herbivore

Happy Herbivore Abroad – Another QandA with Lindsay Nixon and Giveaway!

I’m a big big fan of Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon. Her cookbooks helped me make the transition into a vegan diet, and recipes from her two cookbooks are some of my favorites.

I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing her during blog tours for Happy Herbivore and Everyday Happy Herbivore.

More on the giveaway after the interview!

HappyHerbivoreAbroad_FrontCover

How does Happy Herbivore Abroad differ from HHC and EHH?

HHA is international themed and has a lot of me in it — personal stories and such. You won’t find that in my other books. This book is so personal, and I really love that about it.
You are a world traveler! What destinations have influenced your cooking the most?

Living abroad and traveling throughout Europe has really shaped me as a person, which I’m sure has translated to or effected my cooking and approach to meals/recipes in some way. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific country or even city that has influenced me more than the others — I think all the experience together have influenced me.
What are some of your favorite places that you have visited?

Many of the places I traveled to were so different from each other you can’t really compare them to have favorites. How can you compare the mountains to the desert, for example? There were places with mesmerizing vistas that I could stare at for days, but then there were other places, with no vistas, but such beautiful architecture… or a culture that was so rich and vibrant it was intoxicating… I guess if I had to pick, I’d say Germany, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands…

What are some of the biggest challenges you face for eating vegan abroad, and how do you deal with them?

As with domestic travel, you have to have patience. I’ve never had trouble finding vegan fare (anywhere in the world) but it wasn’t always the most convenient choice. A little creativity and persistence is key.

You are going overseas – what’s in your carry-on bag?

I take my backpack on board as my carryon — which as all my clothes and toiletries in it. In my purse I have my passport, peepers (eye shades) and ear plugs for the ride, my kindle, money, chap stick, a few snacks for the plane and important papers – like travel reservations.

Would you like to win a copy of Happy Herbivore Abroad? Enter below! Giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canada. Giveaway closes at midnight on Dec. 28. Winner will be chosen at random.

Enter to win Happy Herbivore Abroad!

A Very Vegan Hanukkah – and cookbook giveaway preview!

Saturday marked the last night of Hanukkah and we celebrated with our annual family gathering hosted at my sister’s house. It was a great night exchanging presents, spending time with family, and enjoying some yummy vegan versions of our favorite Hanukkah foods!

Let’s take a little tour of my plate, shall we?

hanukkah dinner

At the bottom right of this delicious plate, you’ll see my mom’s famous potato latkes. Mom makes the best latkes in the world. Seriously. I’ve never found any that stand up to hers. And, it’s family tradition that my sister and I help mom fry and flip the latkes on the stove before dinner. So they are fresh! Never frozen! If you don’t come out of Hanukkah dinner smelling like vegetable oil, then it’s not a real Hanukkah dinner! and of course, served with apple sauce and Tofutti sour cream.

Moving to the left, you’ll see the maple roasted Brussels sprouts that I’ve started to make for everything. I don’t even think my family likes Brussels sprouts. But I do. So I make them.

Next, you’ll see my veganized Brisket! It was so easy, and turned out delish! I based the recipe on my mom’s traditional brisket recipe, which calls for  one packet of onion soup mix, two bottles of chili sauce, water (fill up the two bottles and add that to the pot), potatoes and baby carrots, but substituted Gardein beef tips in place of the brisket meat. I also threw everything in the slow cooker and set it on low for the day.

My aunt made a yummy salad and left the cheese on the side for the vegans. My Brother-in-Law also made a vegan peach pie, which was pretty tasty too!

Mom also brought her yummy mock chopped liver, based on this recipe. It gets better and better each time she makes it, and it was yummy to begin with! All the taste without the guilt or the cholesterol!

It was such a great night and we all rolled ourselves home and slept well with full hearts and tummies.

Giveaway Alert!! On Monday, December 24, I am excited to be participating in The Happy Herbivore’s 31 Days of Giveaways for her new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad. So please check back in on Monday to read a Q&A with the Happy Herbivore and enter to win a copy of the book!

 

Vegan Crab Cake FAIL

Sometimes, we whip up delicious dishes. Dishes so beautiful that we boast and brag to our friends. We post photos of the dish on instagram, and we forward the recipe so that others may enjoy the divine happiness of a dish gone right.

And sometimes. . . well, not so much. This was one of those times.

In my pregan days, I really enjoyed crab. One of my favorite parts of coming to the beach was ordering crab cakes.

So, on this trip to Florida, Mom wanted me to try to make the vegan version of crab cakes from the Vegan Cooking for Carnivores Cookbook. I probably should have stuck with this recipe.

However, I was feeling lazy, and I didn’t want to fry the crab cakes. I thought the baked version from Happy Herbivore sounded easier (and a little healthier), and I was on Beach time – I didn’t want to miss 5 p.m. cocktail hour on the porch (a daily occurrence), because I was slaving away, frying on the hot stove. I’m much more of a “set it and forget it” type of girl.

See that mush in the top left corner. . .yeah, that’s not supposed to look like that.

I can’t blame Happy Herbivore, because people make and enjoy her recipe all the time. I think I might have processed the tofu too much, because what we ended up with was not crab cake-like AT ALL. The consistency was more like scrambled eggs, and it looked. . .well, it looked like one of those fake vomit discs you would buy at the dollar store to gross out your friends.

The taste was fine, once you got past the look of it, but the consistency was all wrong.

So, next time, I’ll try frying them.

*Sigh* You can’t win ‘em all.

ETL Week One

ETL Six Week Challenge is going well. I’m already down three pounds!

It’s been a busy busy week, but I’ve managed to find easy meals that fit the Eat to Live guidelines, and that satisfy my hubbers too.

What did we eat this week?

I found this recipe on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen for No-Pasta Eggplant Lasagna. I actually used the recipe from Happy Herbivore Cookbook for the Tofu Ricotta as the filling, since I like it and it’s a super simple recipe. Since the “salad is the main course” I also had a HUGE mixed greens salad, topped with Chickpeas and Nooch.

From Fat Free Vegan’s website. Not my photo.

Another night, we enjoyed the Asparagus and Chickpea Casserole from Fat Free Vegan. I actually used green beans instead of asparagus.  I also took Susan’s recommendation and made gluten free with cornstarch instead of using flour. D loved it, especially because it was topped with hash browns!

R. Thomas vegan yummies

On Tuesday, I had a doctor’s appointment at Piedmont Hospital. D wanted to treat me to lunch following the appointment, so we decided to try out R. Thomas Deluxe Grill, a funky 24-hour diner that has a ton of vegetarian and vegan friendly options. I ordered the Lucky Green Tea Bowl, which had quinoa, tofu and a plethora of other veggies. It was topped with a kale/collard salad. They probably used more oil than Dr. Fuhrman would have liked, but it was delicious.

D enjoyed a tofu scramble, with vegan sausage and the kale/collard salad. Although he said the tofu scramble wasn’t as good as my tofu scramble (shh. Don’t tell him it’s really Happy Herbivore’s Tofu Scramble).

I’ll be posting more eats from week two!

DSCN3653

Easy Burgers

On the weekends, I’m always looking for easy lunch recipes. This weekend, I turned to the Happy Herbivore and her Quick & Easy Black Bean Burgers.

Only, I didn’t use black beans. I used Pinto Beans.

And they were delish!

They are super easy to mix and assemble (only six ingredients!!)

They are also super tasty and hold together really well.

I topped the burger with shredded daiya and a little bit of salsa and paired it with some steamed mixed veggies. A healthy and filling weekend lunch!

 

A few of my favorite meals

While cooking my way through Happy Herbivore’s and other vegan cookbooks, D and I have found some clear winners that we’ve repeated quite often.

1) Chili Sans Carne, Happy Herbivore Cookbook: It’s SO simple to make. It does take a little time, but the chili is delicious. The flavor is even better the second (and third) day too. Definitely a dish to make that will please everyone, even the omnivores. I like to garnish with Daiya Cheddar and Tofutti Sour Cream.

Image borrowed from Amazon.com

 

2) BBQ Beans and Rice, The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook: This is a simpler bean dish, only takes 15 minutes. I like to use Organicville BBQ Sauce, because as far as I can tell, it’s oil free. I serve over quinoa or brown rice.

Dr. McD's Cookbook is a must have for new vegans

 

3) Lasagna Rolls: Also from the HH Cookbook. I’ve blogged about these before. The rolls are a staple in our rotating weekly menus.

Lasagna Rolls, HH Cookbook

 

4) Hippie Loaf: And another favorite from the HH Cookbook. Also blogged about before. Super easy and super filling. A great winter dish. Perhaps I’ll make this tonight. Or another bowl of chili.

Photo from HappyHerbivore.com

5) Tofu and Kale Stir Fry: My own recipe. It’s super easy and I make it in our new wok that we got for the wedding!

-Extra Firm Tofu – cubed

-Kale

-Tamari

-Brown Sugar – I don’t really measure, maybe a couple tablespoons

-Vegetable broth – enough to line the pan and coat the tofu

Mix it all together in the wok. Stir around until tofu get a little golden. Serve over brown rice or quinoa. mmmm.

What’s your favorite Vegan meal?

She’s Back! 5 Questions with Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon

I had the pleasure of interviewing the Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon earlier this year. So I was psyched when I saw she was doing another book tour to promote her new cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore! I asked Linsday five questions about her favorite recipes, cookbooks, and advice for a new vegan. Check it out below!

1) I’m SO EXCITED for Everyday Happy Herbivore, I’ve been cooking through the first cookbook religiously. What is your favorite recipe from the new cookbook?

Asking a chef to pick their favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child :-)

 

2) What’s your go-to recipe when you’ve had a long day and want a quick and easy dinner on the table?

Our “Defaults are either the 6-ingredient black bean burgers (in Everyday) or Tofu Scramble (also in Everyday). I particularly like the Scramble because I can throw in whatever we have in the fridge — leftover veggies, beans, etc.

 

3) My husband and I recently “came out” to our families about our switch to vegan eating. Do you have any advice for how we can educate the family about veganism so it doesn’t seem so scary to them?

I believe in leading by example and answering questions without getting mad or offended or frustrated — a cool head is important. If you can get them to watch Forks Over Knives, that would be a big help too! It’s also important to think about your audience and cater the message to them. For example, my mom lost her mom to cancer, so I always talk about food and it’s relationship to cancer because I know she won’t tune that out, like she’d tune out if I rambled on about how pigs are smarter than dogs and she shouldn’t eat them.

 

4) You’ve featured your own parents on the blog and mention some of their favorite recipes. Do you have any holiday recipe suggestions that are most “omnivore-friendly”?

My advice is to always go for something that is inherently vegetarian or vegan — pasta casserole, nice grain salad, vegetable dish or soup, rather than mock meats and fake cheeses. It’s also important to think about your guests and pick foods you know they’d like. For example, I know my parents love cornbread, so I always serve that. I also know that my dad doesn’t do raisins, and my mom is scared of tofu, so I keep these quirks in mind when planning our menu.

5) Do you have any favorite cookbooks (other than your own)? Or any cookbooks you can recommend to a new vegan cook?

I do own other cookbooks, and I’m friends with a few cookbook authors, but I tend to stick to my own recipes. The problem with other cookbooks is I have to heavily adapt the recipes. We don’t use oil, or added fats, or white flour, and my sister is allergic to the pepper family, so it’s often time consuming for me to figure out substitutes or how to change cooking methods, etc… and often it doesn’t go right with all my changes and then I’m just frustrated. I do like 30-Minute Vegan by Mark Reinfeld a lot, though — and Vegan Celebrations by Alicia Simpson is handy during the holidays. I also know Mark & Alicia — they’re amazing and so talented.

Lindsay also graciously shared a recipe with us for her Quick Burgers. I’m all about anything that’s quick and easy, that I can slap together at the end of the day!

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 Lindsay! I can’t wait to try Everyday Happy Herbivore!!

Hippie Loaf

The weeks leading up to the holidays have been crazy, but luckily it’s all good stuff.

Two weeks ago, we added a new member to our family. 5 readers, meet River!

River

 He’s a two year old Great Pyrenees and a big bundle of snuggle. He’s a lap dog, even though he’s 65 pounds.  He likes long walks, and licking peanut butter out of his Kong.

In other news, Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. We have two Thanksgiving dinners this year, one at noon in Gainesville and one in the evening at my aunt’s house. We are making a green bean casserole, twice baked potato casserole, and a sweet potato casserole. I’m also thinking of making and bringing HH’s Hippie Loaf, so that we have some protein alternative to Turkey this year.

I LOVE HH’s Hippie Loaf. It’s seriously easy, and SO tasty.

Yum on your face
If you click on the image, it’ll take you to HH’s recipe. I’ve made this about 4 times in the past month. It takes a little time to cook, about 45 minutes, but it only takes about 10 minutes to throw everything together! Hubbers doesn’t like mushrooms, so I omitted those, and I was lazy the last two times and didn’t include the carrots or celery either.
 
To me, it’s the same consistency of meatloaf, but tastes way better. It also makes you feel way better. I usually serve it with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. Yum!
 
Happy Holidays!
 

Myths and Lasagna

Happy Monday!

I promised a post about Vegan myths, but I thought I would let the “experts” dispel some myths and found a great article from the Washington Post about the top five vegan myths. Click the link to learn: is it expensive to be a vegan? Are you still manly if you are a vegan? and, BUT, WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?!?!!? (The top question of vegans).

There is a lot of good reading out there. See my previous post about transitioning for ideas. Also, just use the power of google and you’ll find loads of articles and research.

I throw around the term “vegan,” but I really can’t call myself a vegan. It’s an easy moniker to use, because most people don’t realize that vegans are Vegan about their whole life, from what they wear to the household products they buy, to reducing the amount of trash they produce.

I’m “plant-strong” or “veganish” or just an herbivore. But I’m of the belief that everyone starts somewhere, and if you cut out animal products, you are leaving less of a footprint on this earth. I’m not perfect, I’ve made stumbles, but I’m trying and committing myself to this.

But, let me step off of the soap box and tell you about DINNER. Tonight I made Happy Herbivore’s Lasagna Rolls and they were delicious. I even took my own photo for once!

Yummmmm

It’s super easy to make. The tofu mixture tasted just like ricotta. I love the single portions, it makes for a good lunch (or repeat dinner) the next day! Also, I’m completely addicted to Daiya “cheese” now.  We had Mellow Mushroom yesterday and they carry Daiya too!

I used fresh spinach instead of frozen. And instead of mixing the spinach in with the tofu, I just place the spinach leaves on top of the mixture on the noodles. Bon Appetit!

 

 

A perfect fall dish!

It’s cold in Atlanta. Like, winter cold. I’m not sure what happened to fall. I hope the bright, crisp days come back, when it’s still warm enough to sit on the porch, but chilly enough to snuggle up on a blanket with a cup of tea.

When it’s cold out, I just want soup. In the past, I would just  open up a can of soup. But last night, to stick with the new diet/lifestyle, I decided to make my own.

Happy Herbivore’s Moroccan Lentil Soup

I made the Happy Herbivore’s Moroccan Lentil Soup. It’s a great and easy recipe (took about 20 minutes total), perfect for those days when you want something light and warm.

 
I actually altered the recipe a bit. I didn’t have carrots or celery on hand, so I threw in a few handfuls of raw baby spinach. I also dumped in a full teaspoon of cinnamon, because we are big fans of cinnamon in our house.
 
The recipe is online, so click on over to HH’s website to try it out tonight!
 
BTW – The photo is linked from HH’s site and I take no credit for it. I wish I could take beautiful food photos. It’s one of my goals for 2012.