Week 47: Happy Herbivore

No Thanksgiving post from me this week, others have that handled.  Since I was seeing so many mouth-watering whole food plant based Thanksgiving posts on my facebook timeline I did post a Dandelion Wishes Extra mid-week with a blogroll of some great online resources for WFPB living and included links to various Thanksgiving recipe resources.  If you read it mid-week, I’ve since updated the post to add a couple of sites I had missed first post.

Week 47 was all about Happy Herbivore.  When I posted a Forks Over Knives post a few week’s back I knew I wanted to dedicate a full post to Happy Herbivore.  A half can of lite coconut milk and a recipe for Thai Green Curry decided that this would be the week.  Lindsay Nixon is the Happy Herbivore.  I would say that Lindsay is the Rachel Ray of the Whole Foods Plant Based world.  She is not  a trained chef, her recipes are generally easy to put together with food on hand supplemented with minimal and easily accessible ingredient shopping, and most can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.  Happy Herbivore is a great place for someone new to WFPB living to start, or for a curious omnivore to plan a meatless Monday.  In addition to the website, and meal plan options (only $5 for a one week plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes) Lindsay’s recipes can be found in her four cookbooks.

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The thing that sets Happy Herbivore Cookbooks apart from others is there are a lot of pictures!  The lack of pictures in cookbooks is a pet peeve of mine but that’s not an issue with any of the Happy Herbivore Cookbooks, they are beautiful and have a user-friendly lay-out.  They also have nutritional information, something missing from many other cookbooks.  This is helpful to me; though I do not count calories I have a general idea of the number of calories I need in a meal to not be searching for snacks later so it’s really helps to know how many calories are in my lunches and if I should throw an extra snack in the bag for later.

I decided to make Week 47 a cookbook tour and will go book by book from oldest to newest.

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook

The first cookbook  has some great dishes, my favorite meal from this book is probably the combination of burger, onion rings and baked beans (which reminds me I need to make those baked beans again!).  This book does have recipes using tempeh and meat substitutes, which I don’t eat but there are a lot of other options to choose from.  I made three new to me recipes from Happy Herbivore Cookbook for Week 47.  Tortilla Soup (1) with Crispy Tortilla Sticks (2) and Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips (3).  I had never made tortilla soup before but it was actually quite easy, and delicious.  This soup is packed with flavor from green chillies, garlic, cumin and chili powder.  It is not quite creamy but not a broth either.   The Tortilla Stick recipe is an example of one of the overly simplistic recipes in the book that is more of a technique than a recipe.  That said, normally I would by tortilla chips that have far more fat and salt than this simple idea of baking my own.  These recipes are a great reminder of how easy it is to prepare your own food that allows you to control the quality of ingredients.

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Homemade applesauce (I add fresh cranberries and a cinnamon stick, hence the color) is a dish I make often without any recipe. Since I had tortillas left in the package and knew I’d need a snack in the afternoon if I just had soup for lunch, I made the HHC Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla chips for an added crunch to serve along side the applesauce. Delicious!

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Everyday Happy Herbivore

IMG_5179Everyday Happy Herbivore often gets forgotten because, until recently, it was the only Happy Herbivore cookbook that I did not have a hard copy of; I had bought the kindle version, but it was recently on sale so I now have the physical copy too.  This is my favorite Happy Herbivore book for breads and muffins, though the dish I’ve probably made most from this book is Chickpea Tikka Masala.  I love making my own version of Indian Buffets at home and this dish is always on the menu.

Week 47’s new to me recipes were Jalapeno Cornbread (4), which was great with the soup, and Glazed Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits (5).  These were a deliciously moist biscuit with a lovely cake-like texture.  The recipe calls the basic glaze a separate recipe so I’ll count it (6).

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Happy Herbivore Abroad

This is my favorite book.  To keep things interesting I try to vary my diet…Mexican one week, Indian another, Italian, Classic American.  I think I’ve probably made more recipes from Happy Herbivore Abroad than any other cookbook.  The dishes are still simple and generally quick to throw together and a great reminder how adding spices and seasoning is replacement for salt and fat.  Cheater Pad Thai is the favorite and most often made form this cookbook.

In Week 47 I made Swedish Meatballs (7).  The recipe called for tempeh, which as mentioned I do not eat, so it seemed a good excuse to make some beetballs; swedish meatballs are really all about the gravy anyway.  I made the gravy as called for in the recipe.  The book suggested serving over brown rice but in my Irish family Swedish meatballs were always served over egg noodles;  perusing the pasta aisle campanelle seemed a good egg-free replacement and it was.  The gravy was lovely, light but flavorful and the beetballs were a great substitute for the tempeh.

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Happy Herbivore Light & Lean

I cannot say much about Light & Lean because it quite literally arrived at my doorstep yesterday.  Skimming quickly through my first impression is that a lot of these recipes are more ideas of how to quickly put together a quick, homemade, low-calorie dish than a new recipe per se.  For example, there are lots of wraps, burritos and salads that are pretty intuitive.  However, if you are like me and get stuck in a rut (especially with lunches) I think you (and I) will find it an inspiring and helpful guide on how to mix things up and stay interested.  There are more novel and substantial stir-fries and pasta dishes in the book as well.  The book is different than the other books as the recipes are indexed both by type and by calorie levels.  There is also a section on working out.

IMG_5169Though I just received the book yesterday Lindsay had sent a few preview recipes in her blog posts, one of which is the new to me recipe for Week 47, Thai Green Curry (8).  This one surprised me with how good it was despite the fact it took about 10 minutes to make (no exaggeration).  It calls for 8 oz frozen vegetables of your choice but I had a broccoli, carrot, water chestnut steam-in-bag blend that was 11 oz  and used that.  While that was steaming I made the sauce.  The extra vegetables were fine without adjusting the sauce recipe.  The base is light coconut milk and the Thai flavors come from green curry paste, ginger and basil.  I served this over brown rice for a very satisfying lunch ( you get the packed and ready to go pic of this one).  The curry is not too spicy but all the flavors of Thai cooking come through.

There you have it, a tour of the Happy Herbivore brand!  A great resource that is highly recommended.

New Recipes Made This Week: 8

New Recipe Tally 2013: 137

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