Today A Tempeh Tantrum is featuring a brief question and answer with chef and author Lindsay S. Nixon. After the Q&A, there will also be a recipe to be featured in her newest book, Everyday Happy Herbivore.
Buy her two cookbooks here: Happy Herbivore Cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore
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
After vegan chef Lindsay S. Nixon wrapped up her popular cookbook The Happy Herbivore Cookbook last year, she went back to her kitchen in her new home of St. Maarten. Island living encouraged Nixon to come up with simpler fare, which led to a follow-up cookbook focusing on recipes that bring tasty back to quick-and-easy.
Now, in Nixon's much-anticipated follow-up cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore, readers will see, once again, that just because plant-based eating is optimal for health, it doesn't have to also be expensive or time-consuming.
Everyday Happy Herbivore includes more than 175 doable recipes--recipes that are so quick and easy, you could cook three healthy meals from scratch every day like Nixon does.
Each of Nixon's recipes are made with wholesome, easy-to-find, fresh ingredients and include no added fats. With additional notes indicating recipes that are ideal for preparing ahead of time and those you can whip up with just a few dollars, Everyday Happy Herbivore will be the must-have cookbook for anyone desiring a healthier, happier menu!
So, Lindsay, how is Everyday Happy Herbivore different from your first book, Happy Herbivore?
They both focus on wholesome "everyday" ingredients, low fat recipes... a no fuss cooking style, but Everyday has more vareity. 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.
Where did your inspiration for this book come from?
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!
Everyday Happy Herbivore is just an extension on that. I was living on a small island in the Caribbean where I had to make three meals a day from scratch -- I developed a sort of "quick and easy" back to the basic approach, which lead to the second book. My recipes are all no fuss, everyday ingredients, quick and easy.
I'm going to be buying it for my mom for Christmas (If you're reading this, Mom, you didn't see that). Are there any recipes that are quick and easy to make for 1 person?
A ton! I actually have a special "serves 1" icon -- indicating recipes that serve 1 and ALL the recipes are quick and easy.
Do you have a favorite recipe from Everyday Happy Herbivore?
No, that's like asking a parent to pick their favorite child :-)
Are there any recipes in this book that would be appropriate for a holiday meal?
Absolutely. Although there are more holiday driven recipes in my first book (i.e. Thanksgiving Gravy) plenty of the meals in Everyday would be nice at a holiday dinner. I'll probably cook our Winter Solstice feast from Everyday.
Were there any obstacles in writing this book? If so, how did you overcome them?
I wrote this book living on a small Caribbean island where ingredients were limited, always changing, and would run out for weeks on end. It sounds like hell, but it was a great creative challenge for me. I had to cook three meals a day to feed my family, and it had to be from scratch. I needed meals that were fresh, fast and effortless but also felt varied and were satisfying... my streamlined "make it work" approach and attitude is what led to Everyday Happy Herbivore.
When you were growing up, did you do a lot of cooking or is this a passion that you developed as an adult?
Hahahah no. I didn't know how to cook anything until a few years ago. The few times I tried to cook in college, I nearly killed my boyfriend and roommates. When I decided to adopt a plant-based diet, I knew if I was going to eat, I had to learn to make it myself... and so in to the kitchen I went. Something happened once I got in there, I fell in love with cooking, and now it's my job. It's very natural for me.
I plan on doing a post soon about the difference between a "plant based diet" and the word "vegan". Can you tell us what a Happy Herbivore (my favorite term) is?
I wrote a post, "why I'm not 'vegan' anymore" where I gave up the title vegan, and decided to identify as a Happy Herbivore.
The reason I did this was because I was tired of the vegan police telling people (like me!) they are not vegan enough. I don't feel this approach benefits anyone --- so I will never define what a Happy Herbivore is or isn't. No one will ever be told they're not Happy Herbivore enough. My Herbies are perfect just as they are.
I have to ask, beccause I know very few herbivores.... and I'm a little nosey, what lead you down this veggie path?
I was motivated by my health and the plight of farm animals. I'd met some vegans who told me if I went vegan (from vegetarian) my skin would clear, I'd have fewer migraines and I'd lose weight -- and p.s. they were right. Then, the more i learned about the horrors of the egg and dairy industries the more I could not support them. The reason I continue to follow a plant-based diet today are long and vast, but it's all still deeply rooted in concerns for my health, concerns for the animals and concerns for the environment.
What's in the future for Happy Herbivore?
I'm in the process of writing my third cookbook, and as soon as I finish I'll be starting my fourth book.
There are lots of other projects going on with HH... we just did a charitable necklace project, and we might do another one of those in the future... right now we're selling 2012 calendars -- the proceeds are going to a student who designed the calendars; and I've recently launched Happy Herbivore Meal Plans. Lots of new and fun things. It's very exciting at HHHQ!
Thanks for your time, Lindsay!
And now for one of her delicious recipes!
Chocolate Mug Cake - serves 1
Chocolate cake? check. Single-Serving? check. Made nearly instantly? Oh yeah! This whole-wheat chocolate cake goes from flour to in your mouth in under 5 minutes.
4 tbsp white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp nondairy milk
¼+ cup unsweetened applesauce
2-3 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
In a small bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon together, set aside. For a really sweet cake, add more sugar. In another small bowl, whisk ¼ cup applesauce, nondairy milk, and a drop or two of vanilla extract together. Pour wet into dry, then add chips, stirring to combine. Add another 1-2 tbsp of applesauce, until the batter is wet and resembles regular cake batter. Pour batter into a coffee cup, and microwave for three minutes (at 1000 watts).
Per Serving: 276 Calories, 4.1g Fat, 59.3g Carbohydrates, 7.8g Fiber, 31.6g Sugar, 8.3g
Congrats on the new books, Lindsay. Can't wait for the third. :)