If you’ve seen my twitter feed, you surely know I’m an Herbie… that is, a huge fan of Happy Herbivore (HH), also known as Lindsay Nixon. I’m always making HH’s recipes, or learning something new from her fantastic blog. I even have the Happy Herbivore 2012 calendar hanging on my desk at work, for healthy inspiration. When I heard Lindsay was coming out with her second cookbook, I pre-ordered my copy of Everyday Happy Herbivore, and it’s now earned a permanent spot, not on the bookshelf, but right on my kitchen counter.
Why am I such a big fan of Happy Herbivore? While I have a huge library of cookbooks that I absolutely adore, when I’m really hungry, I know with HH recipes I can get something filling and flavorful on the table fast. When I’m planning out my weekly meals, the majority of my weeknight recipes come from Happy Herbivore’s books or website.
Take, for example, the Sweet Potato Dal (p. 114 & at the end of this post), a new favorite of mine. This was ready in less than 30 minutes, and since, like all HH recipes, it uses no added oil and loads of plant-based foods (sweet potatoes, lentils & spinach – yum!), it was incredibly filling & healthy. The entire bowl pictured below had only 232 calories, just 0.9 grams of fat, and it packed in 17 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein! It was so good & easy, that when it was all gone, I immediately cooked another batch.
When I saw on the Happy Herbivore blog back in December that Lindsay was inviting bloggers to participate in a “Virtual Book Tour” for Everyday Happy Herbivore, including the opportunity interview Lindsay and share one of her newest recipes, I was so eager to participate! Unfortunately, this opportunity came up just as I was working to clear out my fridge & pantry for my big Asia trip, and my pre-ordered copy of the cookbook had only just arrived… so I’m incredibly belated in writing this post.
I’ve been cooking up a storm ever since I returned from Asia. In addition to the Dal, here are some of my favorite recipes from Everyday Happy Herbivore so far:
Blueberry Breakfast Cake (p. 70)
Last weekend, Mike and I had a few friends over to our place and we served them brunch. While our entire menu wasn’t vegan, I wanted to show them how good vegan food can be, so I whipped up this Blueberry Breakfast Cake. Not a single piece was left after the meal, and several friends requested the recipe.
Deity Dressing (p. 128)
This is Lindsay’s take on Annie’s Goddess dressing. While the flavor profile was similar, it wasn’t an exact match to Annie’s, but I loved it all the same. It was so thick and creamy and only about 20 calories for 2 TBSP vs. about 120 calories in Annie’s. I was dipping all sorts of veggies into this dressing, and wish I had made a double-batch! (Note: I forgot to buy green onions so I used white instead. I imagine it would be much prettier with flecks of green in the dressing!)
Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce (p. 208)
This simple sauce is whipped up in a blender or food processor. Lindsay recommended making it ahead so that the flavors intensify the next day. Not only did this maximize the flavor, but it also made for a super convenient dinner. The next day, Mike simply cooked some pasta and heated up the sauce, and dinner was ready & waiting for me when I got home from work!
I’ve had many more great meals from this book (including Fiesta Bake, Chickpea Tenders, Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits, etc…), but this post is getting rather long, and I still haven’t shared the interview yet!
Meet Lindsay Nixon, the Happy Herbivore!
Q: For any readers that aren’t familiar with Happy Herbivore, give us a quick background about yourself – how long have you been vegan and what inspired you to make the change?
I’m motivated by the health benefits, the environmental and humanitarian aspects as well as the plight of farm animals.
Sweet Potato Dal | serves 2
This soup is Dal-icious! It’s so flavorful you’ll want seconds. and thirds!
1 small sweet potato, skinned
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala, plus extra
1 cup vegetable broth, plus extra
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups spinach, or more
Dice sweet potato into small ½-inch cubes, and set aside. Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water and saute onions and garlic for a minute. Add a pinch or two red pepper flakes and continue to cook until all the water has cooked off. Add turmeric, ¼ tsp garam masala and stir to coat. Add 1 cup broth, uncooked lentils, and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to low, cover, and simmer for a few minutes, about 5. Add sweet potatoes, bring to a boil again and reduce to low and simmer, until lentils are fully cooked (they expand and the sauce thickens), about 5 minutes more. Check periodically to see if you need additional broth (I tend to add an extra ½ cup but it can vary). Once lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are fork tender, taste, adding more garam masala as desired (I like to add another ¼ tsp but some blends are stronger than others). Add spinach, continuing to stir until spinach cooks down and softens. Add salt to taste and serve.
Per Serving: 232 Calories, 0.9g Fat, 42.2g Carbohydrates, 17.7g Fiber, 4.7g Sugar, 15.4g Protein
I’d love to hear from you!
Have you tried any Happy Herbivore recipes?
What question would you have asked Lindsay?
Coming up Next: Dinner with the non-profit Mercy for Animals, and then stay tuned for my adventures in Cambodia!