Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy Herbivore Light and Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon - Review and Q&A with Lindsay - Plus Breakfast Taco Recipe!

As I've begun to eat more and more plant-based, I've had to venture into a realm of new cookbooks and new ingredients.  Many of the vegan cookbooks I initially found made me a bit wary about how complicated eating this new way was.  That was until I found The Everyday Happy Herbivore on Amazon and bought the Kindle edition.  First of all, as a person who often works with designing ebooks and knows how difficult it can be, this book has the best design and layout of any non-novel ebook I've seen.  So thank you to the publisher who put the effort into making it a great print and digital book.  And then to the actual content!   Everything was easy, familiar, and tasty.  I started following the Happy Herbivore blog, and I was hooked!

Lindsay's newest book Happy Herbivore Light and Lean is a great addition to my cookbook library and a great resource for your everyday eating plan.  This book's low calorie density approach was inspired by the 7-Day Meal Plans offered each week by Lindsay.  I myself have used the meal plans to get inspired to eat more of a variety during the week as I can get into a food rut when just cooking for one.

The book is beautifully designed and an interesting read.  Lindsay shares her journey to health at the beginning of the book and then adds interesting tidbits before each recipe.  I sat down and read the whole thing on my recent flight to Chicago and tagged recipes that caught my eye.  So far I've made Taco Burgers and Leftovers Potpie.  On my to make list is the Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe!

Potpie in progress

Taco burgers
I was able to ask Lindsay a few questions about her experience as the Happy Herbivore and some food tips, please enjoy:

1) I really enjoy your meals plans, but I am more of a snacker and can only eat about half of the suggested portion size at a time.  Do you have any suggestions for how to make the meal plans work for those who like to graze throughout the day rather than having big meals?

-Break the meals up -- eat half at lunch, then the rest a few hours later when you’re hungry again. 

2) When I have made a dish that comes out truly horrible, it really sucks away my confidence as a cook.  How do you get over kitchen failures when you're creating new recipes?

-You win some you lose some. You learn more from your mistakes than your wins.

3) I really enjoy reading your blog posts about changing your career course and transitioning to become an entrepreneur.  As a graduate student soon to graduate in May and looking for work, what advice do you have for picking your first job?  Would you have liked to have started Happy Herbivore from the very beginning of your career?

-Check out the free video series at Exit Strategy School ( video 2 talks about this specifically.

4) I love a good crunchy snack, but buying a bag of chips leads to me eating the entire bag all at once.  I've tried to substitute carrots, but it's just not the same.  Do you have any good healthy, crunchy snack suggestions?

-The healthy potato chips in Light and Lean!

5) I have eaten a red delicious apple almost everyday of my life, I love them!  What's your favorite type of apple?

-I’m not a big apple person. I do like them from time to time but they’re almost too sweet for me. I think I lean more towards citrus fruits. I love a pink grapefruit!


Though it may be hard to get over Lindsay not being an apple person (blasphemy!), she kindly shared her recipe for breakfast tacos.  If only my food photos looked as beautiful as those in her book!  I highly recommend all the Happy Herbivore cookbooks, and if you're not sold yet, go to her website and try out one of her free recipes.  As soon as you make a recipe that's so quick, easy, tasty, and healthy you will definitely want more.  Happy cooking!

Breakfast Tacos
Makes 3
Soy-free, Gluten-free, Budget

I'm always looking for ways to slip more vegetables into my diet (particularly at breakfast) and these tacos hit the nail on the head: greens, beans, and sweet potatoes before lunch? I can feel good about that! Bonus: They are really filling and leave me satisfied for hours. I tend to make these tacos for breakfast when I have leftover cooked greens and sweet potatoes from the day before.

3 corn tortillas
1 sweet potato, cooked
½ c cooked black beans
½ c cooked greens (e.g., steamed kale or collards)
2 green onions, sliced
hot sauce
salsa (optional)
nutritional yeast (optional)
guacamole (optional)

Warm corn tortillas if they've been in your fridge. I like to heat each side over a low flame for 10–15 seconds on my gas stove, but a few seconds in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel also works. Mash sweet potato with a fork (you can mix in spices like ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne if you like, or even a basic fajita or taco seasoning with a splash of nondairy milk) and spread into the center of the tortilla. Top with beans, greens, and green onions, plus hot sauce, salsa, nutritional yeast, and guacamole as desired (I overflow my tacos so they are really filled). Enjoy!

Chef’s Note Make a “taco bar” and serve these for brunch when you have a big crowd.
Tofu Scramble (pg. 35) is another great filling option

Per taco
Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3g
Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29.1g
Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.6g
Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3g
Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.2g
WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

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