Tag Archives: Cookbook Review

Happy Herbivore Light and Lean Giveaway… Finally!

As you may remember, way back in October I participated in a pre-release blog tour for Lindsay Nixon’s newest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean (check the post out for an interview with Lindsay and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!). A few weeks later I received my copy and promised a giveaway. Giveaways are marvelous, am I right? 😉

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Well, today’s the day I am going to deliver! I wanted to wait until the holidays had settled down and we were all back to regular blogging activities before hosting this giveaway. I know several bloggers took breaks and just returned recently to posting. Also, I personally didn’t do as much blog reading for my three weeks of winter break and I’m sure many of you were the same. So in light of all of this I didn’t want anyone to come back and find they missed out on this opportunity!

Disclaimer: Although I received a free copy of Happy Herbivore Light and Lean to review, I did not receive any monetary compensation and all thoughts and opinions are entirely (100%) my own.

LIGHT

Review

As I’ve mentioned before, I am kind of atypical in the sense that I like to read cookbooks like I would any other fiction novel. And the night I received Happy Herbivore I got into bed and read through the entire thing just like I do when I get the newest release from my other favorite authors.

Here are my brief thoughts on the overall presentation:

The first thing I noticed as I flipped through the pages was the COLOR. There was not a single page that lacked color. With today’s technology I don’t think there is any excuse for black and white cookbooks (save for those spiral bound fundraising books made by the occasional old lady’s church group). Unlike most cookbooks that I’ve found where the only color is in the pictures of the food, each page had a complimentary color scheme and was just as fun to look at as the pictures themselves.

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On each page there are extremely helpful sections to denote everything you would ever want to know about the recipe. You have allergen information at the top, nutrition information in the corners, and chef notes listed at the bottom. The majority of the page of course is taken up by the recipe with the ingredients and serving amounts on the side, and the directions written in paragraph format under the recipe description. As someone who usually writes recipes using numbers, I was at first a little surprised by how the directions were written out. After reading through the first few though, I began to like the flow and it made cooking seem more like the art it should be and less like some robotic GPS making you complete the first step before carrying onto the next (it’s something that I’m considering changing with my own recipes, but we’ll see!).

Also important to point out is that the pictures are not included on the recipe page but on the opposite facing page of the cookbook, making the directions and instructions less cluttered and giving room for a full page, full color shot of whatever you’re making.

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That was the middle essence of the cookbook. The beginning consists of an introduction with a personal note from Lindsay, an index for all of the recipes listed by calorie count, tips on getting started, a shopping list, an explanation of caloric density, tips on lightening up your day, her personal health journey (loved this!) and an explanation of how to use the icons featured in the book.

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At the end there is the appendix which has a glossary of ingredient descriptions, substitution ideas, kitchen prep “lingo,” additional resources, metric conversions, and an index where you can find a recipe both by its name and by ingredient.

Personal Note

When I spoke of this cookbook last, a few people commented to me that they didn’t understand why I was promoting something vegan. “Don’t you eat meat?” Yes, yes I do. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t eat meat and I’m not going to apologize for it either. My motivation behind reviewing this book was not to promote a vegan diet (or plant-based as many call it). I came at this from the position of someone who has food allergies, and recipes that are vegan are naturally perfect for those who are allergic to animal products like eggs, dairy, meat, fish, etc. Also, since Lindsay promotes mostly lower fat recipes, about 99% of the food is also peanut-free, nut-free and coconut-free too!

Food Allergies

So, with that point made, here are a few recipes that I think would be great for those with food allergies or various other dietary needs when it comes to food:

  • Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette (pg. 137)
  • Homemade Ketchup (pg. 8)
  • Chocolate Surprise Frosting (pg. 12)
  • Brody’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend (pg. 267)
  • Everyday Mushroom Gravy (pg. 189)
  • Deviled “Eggs” (pg. 203)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte (pg. 256)
  • Oatmeal Pancakes (pg. 97)
  • Sweet Potato Ice Cream (pg. 236)
  • Microwave Peach Cobbler (pg. 137)
  • Breakfast Tacos (pg. 145)
  • Smoky Apple Baked Beans (pg. 172)
  • Asian Orange Kale Salad (pg. 179)
  • Loaded Mexican Potato (pg. 195)
  • Carrot Soup (pg. 236)
  • Skinny Pad Thai (pg. 161)
  • Nacho Bowl (pg. 93)
  • Leftovers Pot Pie (pg. 121)
  • Caribbean Chili (pg. 116)

Other Reviews

If you want to check out all of the other bloggers who participated in the tours (along with their reviews and some sneak peak recipes!) check out this post and this post.

A few highlights were Kaila from Healthy Helper Blog who shared Meatloaf Bites:

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Laura from Plant-Based Junkies with a Thai Crunch Salad:

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And the Herbivore herself with a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes:

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LEAN

Review

Finally, as indicated in the title, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean also features an exercise section with a list of exercise suggestions that are 30, 20, 15 or 10 minutes in length and all burn 100 calories. Next she gives tips on how to fit exercise into your day and continues on with pages of workouts along with her personal trainer friend Jon Warren. My favorite part of this section was “Lindsay’s Body Blast” at the end where there is a page long description of a workout that Lindsay frequently does.

Here is a little snippet from the book explaining what the “Body Blast” is:

“This all-in-one exercise is what I do when my time (and space) is limited. It’s a little on the advanced side, so you may need to work up to it. It’s a killer circuit and I have a lot of fun challenging myself, drill-instructor style, to see how fast I can move through the exercise (while still keeping proper form!) and how many rounds I can go through before I’m wasted. (Usually two, but I’m a work in progress!)”

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I have yet to try this out myself, but from just reading it over I think “killer” is the perfect description. One day when I build up the guts to do it I’ll report back and tell you how far I got!

Conclusion

Really, there’s nothing much more to say other than I am confident that you will love this book if you love cooking and baking as much as I do. This is my second book of Lindsay’s and I have enjoyed it just as much as the first. I know the soup recipes will come in hand this winter and the fresh delicious salad ideas will be welcome during spring. The true test of a good cookbook is its versatility across not only seasons, but also palettes (in this case, I am referring to food allergies) and this book truly has something for everyone.

Giveaway

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If you made it through all of that, bravo! And if you just skipped to the bottom to win the giveaway, I can’t really blame you for that either. This giveaway goes live as soon as I publish this post. It will end one week from tonight and I will announce the winner next Monday morning after using Random Number Generator to pick who wins the cookbook.

Unfortunately this giveaway is limited to just U.S. and Canadian citizens (I can already hear the groans… I’m sorry!). However, if you would still like to participate and someone outside of the United States or Canada wins, I will give a consolation prize of allowing you to write a guest post on my blog about whatever your heart desires (within reason of course). Sound fair?

After I announce the winner, you will have three days to contact me via e-mail with a viable address or I will be forced to pick someone else.

Like with all of my past giveaways, I am going to include a number of ways that you can enter. I do this so that if you aren’t able to complete one of them for whatever reason then you still have several opportunities to win. You don’t have to do them all, but make sure to leave a separate comment for each below::

  1. Tell me what your #1 deal breaker is for a cookbook (Mine is obviously good pictures and color!).
  2. Follow me on Bloglovin or by e-mail (there is an entry box in the right side bar below my social media icons).
  3. Follow me on Instagram.
  4. Follow me on Pinterest.
  5. Follow Happy Herbivore on any of her social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

And if by some chance you don’t win, make sure to check the cookbook out on Amazon where you can purchase it in e-book format for $9.99 or in paperback for $11.97. Really great prices for over a 300 page cookbook!

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Cookbook Pre-Release Tour and Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

I bet you are surprised to hear from me on a Sunday! I know it’s not my usual posting day, but I just wanted to pop in and share a little bit about another upcoming cookbook from BenBella Books. (The close dates of my review on The China Study Cookbook and then this post are purely coincidental and don’t worry about it becoming a regular occurrence… unless everyone likes cookbook reviews, and then I would consider doing them more often because I myself love them too. )

Getting onto the cookbook though, this one has actually not even been released yet, making it even more special and tempting. Once again I am featuring a new book from Lindsay called Happy Herbivore Light & Lean:

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With easy, no-fuss recipes, the bestselling Happy Herbivore cookbooks show how easy, affordable, and delicious eating healthy can be. Now, in her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon provides recipes that put a special emphasis on weight-loss and a set of exercises that, like her recipes, are quick, easy, and produce great results.

Like all Happy Herbivore cookbooks, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean contains filling, flavorful, plant-based recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. But this time, Nixon takes healthy to an all-new level, with low-calorie, satisfying meals that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals—and without deprivation.

True to its title, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean also includes “recipes” for your body with basic workouts, plus tips and tricks that will inspire you to move more for a trimmer, more-toned you. As always, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean recipes are free from oils, processed foods, and diet chemicals such as artificial sweeteners.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean keeps it healthy, keeps it simple, and keeps it delicious.

As the official release date isn’t until December 3, 2013 (although there is word that some people can get it earlier!), I won’t be able to include a review with this post. However, to give you a little insight into the world of The Happy Herbivore I was able to have an interview with Lindsay herself and ask a few questions:

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Me: When movies come out there are so many behind-the-scenes promotional videos and backstage glances at what happens when the movie is filming. We don’t usually get to see those aspects with things like books and cookbooks. Some may not find it as exciting as watching Jennifer Lawrence practice her archery skills for The Hunger Games, but I think I speak for all of us food-lovers in saying that we’re very intrigued about the whole process! What have been some of the most exciting and/or terrifying times in the Happy Herbivore kitchen when working on your cookbooks?

Lindsay: I usually share a lot of behind the scenes stuff, actually 🙂 I’ve done videos and lots of pictures in the past — and I always tweet and Instagram pics of recipes as I’m writing them 🙂 and I love showing off photo bloopers from the shoots!

I’ve lit things on fire. Set the fire alarm off at least 5 times. burned and cut myself more times than I can count and stained my ceiling a not-so-nice shade of green when I used the blender without the top on… just to name a few 😉 (Me: Doesn’t it make you feel so much better that the professionals burn and cut themselves too?!)

Me: I’m so used to your past three books being entirely food-related that the additional exercise component in HH Light & Lean has definitely caught my attention. I remember you mentioning before that you used to be a personal trainer. Was that an influencing factor in your fourth book? Why did you decide to include “‘recipes’ for your body” this time with workouts and fitness tips?

Lindsay: I added memoir pieces to my third book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, and really liked that personal connection to my work. I knew I wanted to do that again in future books (and I did with Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, and I am now with my 5th book I’m currently working on). (Me: This mention of a 5th book has got me very excited!)

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean was very much inspired by my meal plans (getmealplans.com). The recipes in the book are different than what I provide my clients with my meal plan service, but the approach I use in the meal plans — caloric density; more food less calories—is what my focus was with this new book. I also wanted to make it about the whole body, not just what we put in our mouth 😉 so I added workout sections. It was nice to revisit (and incorporate) my past experiences as a trainer. Writing Happy Herbivore Light & Lean had a very full-circle feeling for me.

Me: One of my favorite features on HappyHerbivore.com is your Minimalist Monday posts. You provide some fantastic advice for creating the life that we want and deserve to have, without all of the unnecessary fluff and negativity. Where did you learn about minimalism and what tips do you have for beginning to incorporate it into our own lives?

Lindsay: My minimalism was, at least initially, forced on me. I lost my job. My husband was being laid off. We had to sell most of our possessions so we could move into a tiny studio that truly fit the definition of shoebox. We had no money, etc. It was means for survival at first, but I quickly realized how much happier I was living with less. Before long I was embracing minimalism. As our system improved, and it would have been too easy to slip back into old habits, our minimalism kept us grounded and has been one of the key ingredients to building the life we now have (and love). I talk about my minimalism and give tips every Monday on the blog. Click the “minimalist” tag on the blog to get the laundry list of all the old posts. I also did a “how to be a minimalist” blog post that’s a great starting point. (Me: I’ve included the links to these specific pages that Lindsay mentioned if anyone is interested.)

Me: For my final question I want to focus on food again, as of course we are here mainly to talk about your upcoming cookbook! Today as part of your pre-release tour I am sharing your Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. What are some of the other recipes from the cookbook that you are most excited for people to try, and which are your personal favorites?

Lindsay: Asking a chef to pick a favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick a favorite kid 😛 (Me: Or a book lover to pick a favorite book… next to impossible! This was kind of an unfair question 😉 )

I’m excited for all of them 🙂

Every time I release a new book, I am certain which recipes will be really popular, and usually I’m right with most, but then there are a few that become crazy popular and I never saw it. I look forward to those surprises most.

And with that cue from Lindsay, I am happy to share today a recipe straight from the pages of her cookbook. One that I am sure will be extremely popular with her readers, and I hope with you as well!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 16

Soy-free, Fat-free, Quick, Budget, Pantry

These are the best low-fat chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever eat! They’re ridiculously addictive fresh out of the oven. You’ve been warned.

 

 Ingredients:

  • 1⁄3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ c light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ c nondairy milk
  • 1 c whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • few dashes of ground cinnamon
  • ½ c vegan chocolate chips

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, vanilla extract, and nondairy milk.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and ground cinnamon together.
  4. Transfer the dry mixture into the wet mixture in three batches. Stir until almost combined. Fold in chips.
  5. Drop spoonfuls on cookie sheet and bake for 7–10 minutes for a soft and light cookie or a few minutes more for a firmer cookie, being careful not to burn.

Variation: 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: Replace 2 tbsp of flour with 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa.

Chef’s Note: 

For a firmer cookie, work a fresh banana into the flour (crumble it in until you have clumps). If your banana is ripe, reduce sugar.

Per Cookie:

Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.7g

Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.5g

Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0g

Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.2g

Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0g

WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

My note: I haven’t personally had the chance to make this recipe yet, but here are a few others that I found online who have. And of course all of them gave it glowing reviews! The Healthy Vegan Plate, Veggie Burgher, Vegan Yogini, and many more…

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Thank you so much to both Lindsay and BenBella Books for allowing me to be a part of the pre-release tour for Happy Herbivore Light & Lean!

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If you haven’t already seen it, I have also done a review of Lindsay’s previous cookbook Happy Herbivore Abroad last year.

She has four cookbooks in total now, and I would recommend that you check them all out!

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore, Happy Herbivore Abroad, and of course her newest.

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Questions for you:

Do you have any of the previous Happy Herbivore books?

Are you a fan of chocolate chip cookies?

How do you feel about minimalism? Do you try to practice it in your own life?

Are you frequently burning or cutting yourself in the kitchen too?