Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy Herbivore, Round Two!

Back in March, Lindsay Nixon (aka The Happy Herbivore) stopped by and answered some questions for me during her blog tour for her first cookbook, The Happy Herbivore. I am happy to announce that she is back, answering some questions about her newest cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore, which I know is on a lot of your Christmas lists!

For those of you who don’t know her (and I can’t imagine that), “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.

Q1:  What was your inspiration for writing Everyday Happy Herbivore?

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 chore. 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 basics approach, which lead to the second book.  My recipes are all no fuss, everyday ingredients, quick and easy.

Q2:  How is this cookbook different from your first cookbook, The 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.

Q3:  Is writing your second cookbook easier or harder than your first?

With the first cookbook, I had a lot of recipes already written that had been on my blog, and I was able to recycle some of them and just build on that when writing the cookbook… but with my second book I had nothing on stand by. I had to write the whole book in a few months which was a challenge, but I enjoyed it. There is also the pressure to live up to the first book!

Q4:  Do you have a favorite recipe from this book?

Asking a chef to pick their favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child :)

Sarah says: Ha ha, I knew you would say that, just wanted to make sure ;)

Q5:  Any plans to write more cookbooks in the future?

I am writing my third cookbook now.

Sarah says: Yay! I know we are all excited about that!

Thanks, Lindsay, for answering my questions and also for sharing this delicious recipe with me and my readers. I can’t wait to make this one!

Apple Fritter Cups | 12 muffins

As my friend Sheree` says “These treats just jump right in to your mouth and make you dance!”

1 ½ cup chopped apple (skin optional)
1 c nondairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup light brown or raw sugar
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
nutmeg or ground ginger
Basic Glaze

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Toss 1 cup apples with a few dashes of cinnamon and a little brown sugar until well coated and set asides (“topping”). In a small bowl, whisk nondairy milk with vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ½ to ¾ tsp cinnamon (your choice) plus a dash of nutmeg or ginger, and stir to combine. Whisk in sugar then pour in milk mixture. Add vanilla and remaining ½ cup apples and stir to combine. Spoon into muffin cups just a tad more than ½-way full. Add “topping” on each. Bake 15-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Meanwhile, make glaze, substituting 1 tsp of liquid with 1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional). Drizzle warm fritters with glaze.

Tip: Once the fritters completely cool, the liners will peel off. If you plan to eat them warm, lightly spray the inside of the liner with oil-spray to prevent sticking or forgo the liners and grease your muffin tin or use a nonstick pan.

Per Fritter (without glaze) : 102 Calories, 0.4g Fat, 20.9g Carbohydrates, 2.4g Fiber, 5.5g Sugar, 2.7g Protein

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!

November goal review and December goal setting

I can’t believe it’s already December 1st! I think I say this to myself every time we enter a new month. Mostly, I can’t believe that 2011 is coming to an end. It’s been an interesting year, but I feel like I’m ending it on a high note and I feel very blessed.

Anyway, a month ago today I posted my November goals. I’m glad I only set a few because it ended up being another busy month, but let’s see how I did.

My November 2011 Goals

  1. Get at least one more room of our house “finished” - Um, sort of? I did put a lot of stuff away when I thought someone was coming to clean our house (remind me not to buy anymore Groupons for cleaning companies) and I’ve also gotten a good start on Christmas decorating. Nothing is really ever “finished” right?
  2. Send out some handwritten cards - YES! I sent out the two cards I mentioned last time and I’ve also been trying to send encouraging messages to people on Facebook and via text. It’s been good and people really seem to appreciate it.
  3. Bake, bake, bake - I have taken this one to a whole new level. I’ve baked desserts, enchiladas, vegan meatloaf for Thanksgiving, cinnamon rolls from scratch (first time ever), and a lot more that I’m sure I’m leaving out (plus some no bake things too). Very happy with this one and want to continue.
  4. Homemade Christmas presents – I’m working on this one too. I didn’t get started until the week of Thanksgiving but I’ve already got one gift nearly finished and just a few more to do before December 25th, let’s hope I can buckle down!
  5. Rest – I haven’t taken a nap in a few weeks so I definitely need to get on this. I also didn’t do enough fun shopping/browsing but hopefully I can find some small local shops to visit this month (no malls or Target for me this time of year, too much stress). But I have been spending more time at home during the week and I’m learning to say no to things from time to time when I just don’t have the energy to be somewhere.

So, in review, even though they each required a little explanation, I would say I was fairly successful at meeting my goals for November. I could have done better but at least I made some intentions and followed through on all of them to some extent.

Now, what to do for December? Hmm…

My December 2011 goals

  1. Stay active during the holidays - The colder it gets outside, the harder it is for me to stay motivated to go out, get in the car and go to the gym. It’s easy when I’m at work because the gym is here, but we get a little over a week off after Christmas and being away from work (hence, off my normal “schedule”) can make staying active more difficult. But I have plenty of options to use over the break, including a temporary membership to the YMCA and a Groupon for Zumba/Yoga classes, so no excuses. Staying active to me means getting in some sort of movement outside of your normal daily activities at least a few days a week and resting when you need to as well (it’s important to recognize resting needs vs. wants, ha ha).
  2. Keep up with reading/listening – I see a theme here. Keeping up with the things I’m already doing now while I’m off work. In the past few months I have discovered audio books and it helped me reach my goal of reading 12 books in 2011, I’m actually on #13 right now. I buy them at a used bookstore and then sell them back to buy more, but I also live down the street from a public library, so I need to utilize that more. This will be easy to do for most of the month but I think this one will be challenging at home because I won’t be at my desk with headphones on able to listen. Perhaps I will be able to read a “real” book that week! Ha ha. Maybe that’s the real goal here, read one “paper” book. If you are interested in what I read or want to swap book ideas, find me on Goodreads. I have decided to up my goal to 24 books in 2012, eek!
  3. Stay happy – This one is not just for me but for all of you as well. It’s so easy to get bogged down by this time of year. The changing weather and less sunlight can be depressing, or maybe you are just stressed out by the holidays in general, or by your family and friends. Things can get kind of crazy this time of year. My friend Rob wrote a post around Thanksgiving called GrAttitude where he talked about how we “ramp up into higher gear.  Guests coming over, visiting relatives, dinners to cook, houses to clean, games to watch, presents to buy, etc.  The purpose of the holiday gets lost, stress increases, relationships strain…” I agree with him that our attitude really determines how things go. We can make a choice to be angry or stressed out  for whatever reason or we can choose to put it all aside and give thanks to God for all our blessings. We can choose to be grateful and happy. (Disclaimer: I know this “choice” doesn’t apply to everyone, some of you are probably dealing with some very tough emotions right now, maybe you lost a loved one recently or you are just going through a difficult time in life. I just pray you are able to find joy and happiness.)
  4. Send Christmas cards - This is something I haven’t done in years, believe it or not. I just sort of got out of the habit and now that we know so many people I was always afraid that we wouldn’t be able to do one for everybody and then someone would get offended and so on. Another one of my goals for 2012 is to care less about what people think or at least don’t invent what I think people will think because I’m probably wrong anyway. But I plan to send a few or some, as many as I can and to write thoughtful messages in them and not just sign my name to a stack of cards (not that there’s anything wrong with that, ha ha).
  5. See November’s goals - I want to keep up with what I started last month. They were all good goals that I believe can apply all year long.

So what about you? What do you want to accomplish in December and the final month of 2011?

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