After a delicious & decadent Thanksgiving (details to come soon!) plus a few days of leftovers, I find my body craving much lighter fare this week. Who else feels the same way?
I’m planning to answer my cravings this week by cooking up a few more recipes from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, Lindsay Nixon’s newest book.
This is Lindsay’s 4th book, and as you know I’m a huge fan of her amazingly easy & super-healthy recipes.
I especially love the recipes in Lindsay’s meal-plan service which are even quicker and lighter, and chock-full of fruits & veggies (plus her meal plans are gluten-free & soy-free too).
When I found out that Happy Herbivore Light & Lean would follow a formula similar to the meal-plan recipes, I was so excited that pre-ordered my copy right away – 6 months before the release date!
I’m also very excited to have been selected to be a part of the Blog Book Tour for Happy Herbivore Light & Lean (which means I get to host a giveaway & share a recipe in an upcoming post – stay tuned!), though of course all opinions are my own.
With my wedding now less than 30 days away (gasp!), there simply couldn’t have been a better time for me to test out a few Light & Lean recipes. Here’s what I’ve made so far:
One of my favorite pages in the entire book is her “Oatmeal 300″ page (tip: it’s included in the Amazon Preview), which lists 10 different oatmeal ideas, each under 300 calories.
I started with her option for “Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal” which was fantastic. Both Mike and I enjoyed having this for breakfast all last week.
I didn’t mind a few extra calories so I used half soy-milk, half water, plus I added in some Chia seeds for a delicious, hearty meal that was tasty both warm & cold.
The book also features a chapter on Bowls and Wraps, since “Bowls” are one of the most popular food genres on her 7-day meal plans. I especially like that many of the bowls can be turned into wraps and vice versa.
I recently made the Caribbean Bowls for my lunches for the week and am eager to try the wrap version of this recipe as well.
This simple bowl built around Quinoa, Kale, Black Beans, and Pineapple tasted anything but simple. The pineapple really made the dish special.
Last week, I also packed “Cheese” and crackers for an afternoon snack at work, using Lindsay’s “Cheese” Ball Recipe. While most vegan cheese balls are nut-based, Lindsay’s is much lower in fat & higher in protein thanks to a base of Chickpeas & Tofu. I was impressed that thanks to this combination, the texture was Spot-On: exactly like an old-fashioned Cheese-ball.
Now, as for the flavor, I don’t think you’d be able to fool any omnivores into thinking it was cheese (and in fact, Mike didn’t like it at all)… But while my first few bites took a little bit of getting used to, I soon found it to be strangely addicting. It was a nice “sharp” cheese thanks to the use of nooch, miso & mustard and was fantastic paired with my favorite crackers (365 brand Wheat Square crackers at Whole Foods Market).
I suppose this is a “Cheese” Ball only a Vegan could love
The dinner recipe I tried was perhaps my favorite dish of all. This Thai Green Curry came together in JUST 10 MINUTES – including the prep time!
The use of Frozen Stir-Fry veggies and Store-bought Green Chili Paste made this quick enough for a perfect week-night meal. I served ours over Brown Rice and Baked Tofu Cubes.
And last but definitely not least!, I also did a little bit of baking. Baked goods are one of Lindsay’s specialties. It’s pretty impressive what she can create without any oil and very little refined sugar.
I made the Ruby Chocolate Muffins (tip: the recipe is included in the Amazon Preview) for breakfast, though they would also make a great dessert or snack. Fresh cranberries are the “Rubies” and there are chocolate chips in these babies too!
The recipe calls for 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1/4 – 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Since I was making a breakfast version, I used the lesser amount for both ingredients, though I used Mini Chocolate Chips and Coconut Palm Sugar to get even more flavor in each bite. Lastly, I also added a sprinkle of Wheat Germ to the top of each muffin.
They were a hit! Mike and I easily polished off the double-batch I made.
Overall, I’m really enjoying cooking from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean and I’ve been packing especially tasty food for the office the past couple of weeks, with more to come for the week ahead! True to the book’s promise, everything I have made so far has been incredibly simple, quick & tasty.
Below is a sneak-peek into the bags I’ve been packing with Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks for work lately:
Light & LEAN
Unlike Lindsay’s other 3 books, Light & Lean has an additional section (the “LEAN” part) focused on Fitness. I like that she included this section as an important reminder that, while activity isn’t necessary to lose weight, it IS a key part of attaining optimal HEALTH.
That being said, since my interest (and Lindsay’s specialty) is really the FOOD, I was happy to see that the Lean section was rather short – only 13 pages. It’s main feature is a workout routine of11 no-equipment-needed exercises, with modifications to make each exercise easier or harder. I love that the exercises are demonstrated with plenty of pictures – including a picture of Lindsay doing each move!
She may need to think about changing her name from Happy Herbivore to Happy, Healthy Herbivore!
Stay tuned – later this month I’ll be back with a Happy Herbivore Light & Lean RECIPE to share, plus I’ll be giving away not one but TWO copies of the book!
I’d love to hear from you!
What questions do you have about Happy Herbivore Light & Lean?
What’s your plan to stay healthy this Holiday season?
Just for fun, I thought I’d share my submission.
Wish me luck!