Review of Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Lindsay S. Nixon
Even as a young child, Lindsay Nixon has loved animals. So much so, that she gave up meat after seeing cows grazing through the window of the car where she sat eating a burger.
Like so many kids, however, teen-aged Lindsay succumbed to peer pressure and started eating meat again. She returned to vegetarianism after a health scare in her 20s.
But it took three of my favorite plant-based books — The China Study, Eat to Live and Skinny Bitch — to persuade the author of Everyday Happy Herbivore that only a permanent, low-fat whole-food vegan lifestyle was right for her.
Lindsay introduces the book with her answer to anyone asking why she made that choice:
“For my health, my pocketbook, the animals, the environment…and for you.”
I admit her last reason caught me by surprise. But then I read her explanation: The “you” means all of us:
“Humanity: It has been said that if the world went vegetarian, we would almost immediately end world hunger. One acre of land can produce either 20,000 pounds of potatoes or a measly 165 pounds of meat.”
Eager to spread the low-fat vegan word, Lindsay began the Happy Herbivore blog in 2006 and wrote her first cookbook (by the same name) five years later. Shortly after that, she and her husband were transferred to St. Maarten for a year. But, as she discovered to her dismay:
“Prepared and prepackaged vegan foods are not available in St. Maarten and the local restaurants… do not have… vegan-friendly options… The reality was, if we were going to eat, I had to make it myself.”
Preparing three meals every day with the island’s limited, constantly changing vegan ingredients was a definite challenge! As Lindsay puts it, “I needed meals that were fresh, fast and effortless to avoid feeling overwhelmed by constant cooking… but I also needed meals that were exciting and satisfying…”
Fortunately for vegans everywhere, 175 of the made-from-scratch dishes she created in St. Maarten now grace Happy Everyday Herbivore’s pages. Loaded with practical, oil-free recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prepare, this cookbook meets both my marks for becoming a household favorite!
These three recipes are typical of Lindsay’s “make-it-work” approach. Each takes advantage of ingredients scavenged while cleaning the fridge:
· Shitake Miso Soup (with a pinch of red pepper flakes) is her ”feel better” choice whenever she’s ill.
· Everything Minestrone, an end-of-the-week blend of “carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, but you can use whatever you have on hand.”
· Greens Quiche, a mouthwatering combination of tofu, nutritional yeast and “… any leafy greens you have on hand. Who knew wilty leftovers could taste so good?”
And don’t overlook the Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie, a frozen-banana, peanut butter and cocoa-kissed concoction that’s become her blog’s most popular smoothie!