Feb 8th, 2012
Category: Book Reviews
I am so excited today to share with my readers, one of my favorite vegan cookbook authors. Lindsay Nixon of Happy Herbivore has her second cookbook out and is visiting us here as part of her online book tour.
Her first book, Happy Herbivore, is the favorite of all of my veg based cookbooks and I can’t wait to get my hands on her second book. Her recipes are super easy and packed FULL of flavor but the major selling point for me is the fact that I can find most of the ingredients at my regular grocery store. THIS makes me feel a bit more “normal” and when you are a homeschooling, vegan, barefoot runner – you need all the normal you can get.
Q. This is your second cookbook, what makes this one stand apart from Happy Herbivore?
Both books focus on wholesome “everyday” ingredients, low fat recipes… the same no fuss cooking style, but Everyday has more variety. For example, I have smoothies in Everyday (something you won’t find in the first book). I also pulled in a lot of international inspiration. You’ll find recipes with Cajun flavors, Thai, African, Indian, Italian and so many more.
My first cookbook has a lot of “comfort foods” and I’m sort of going back to basics with Everyday — focusing on fresh ingredients, celebrating vegetables and legumes rather than remaking an old family favorite like I did with the first book.
Q. How have your readers affected the types of recipes that you put together for your cookbooks?
They have! For example, after the first book came out, a few fans asked for GF recipes, so there are some GF muffins, cookies, etc. in this cookbook. Similarly a few people asked for sweetener-free (no sugar) desserts, so I included some of those as well. I write these cookbooks for my fans, so what they want is really important to me.
Q. You were off in a lovely secluded spot while getting this book together. How does travel and being in a “foreign land” affect your diet and ability to cook healthy?
I didn’t go to St. Maarten to write my cookbook, my husband was transferred there for work, so I was sort of stuck. It’s a nice place to visit, but a very challenging place to live, and an even harder place to work when your job is to write recipes. Since everything has to be flown in, I didn’t have a really wide variety of ingredients to work with and things were always running out, often for weeks at a time. For example, one week I saw a bag of sweet potatoes and I bought it… and then I never saw sweet potatoes again. I was glad I bought that bag because I can’t imagine an entire cookbook without any sweet potato recipes! This “challenge” was good for me though, because it made me go back to the basics and focus on what was available to me. I ended up utilizing a lot of beans and vegetables I normally look over because I simply had nothing else to work with.
I’ve been to over 20 countries (some 35 cities in Europe alone), a handful of Caribbean islands — and even Africa. I’ve found it possible to eat healthy, and plant-based in all these places with relative ease. One thing I liked about living (and traveling) abroad is how everyone pretty much always cooks from scratch. All the people I’ve met and gotten to know abroad make food fresh, which is so inspiring.
Q. I have prepared many recipes from your first book for my meat eating friends and family. Do you find that when you are creating recipes for your cook books that you do so thinking about converting the masses?
I started my blog (and now write cookbooks) with one mission: to show that eating healthy, plant-based meals is easy, approachable, affordable and most importantly — delicious. I’m proving that healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated or a shore. It’s possible — and fun! So, yeah, I guess I do try to think of foods that have mass appeal.
Q. What one recipe in this book do you think is your most used in your own life?
I don’t know that there is one recipe I use more than any other. My husband & I will go on kicks, and one week make something a couple of times, otherwise it’s pretty even. Right now I’m writing a third book so all we’re eating is things I’m working on but once I’m done we’ll cook through my books.
Q. I love that your recipes contain easy to find ingredients that just about everyone has access to, what is the strangest/least common ingredient that you have used in a recipe?
Q. If you could spread one message far and wide about eating a plant based diet, what would that be?
Every time you can eat a plant-based meal, do it. Your body, the animals and the earth will thank you.
My readers here know that my family has a carnivorous background prior to giving a crap about our health of course. I decided to share Lindsay’s recipe for Black Bean burgers. I use these for just about all of my health seminars because people can’t believe that these “burgers” are completely plant based.
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
Do you want to get your hands on Lindsay’s book? Head on over to Amazon and order your copy today!
Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. Lindsay’s recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women’s Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort and four-star restaurant in the French West Indies. You can learn more about Lindsay and sample some of her recipes at happyherbivore.com