During the beginning of November last year I was playing with the idea of committing to veganism 100%. I decided that if was going to do it, I was going to non-neurotically consume all the information I could to ensure that I mentally felt like I could thrive on this lifestyle.
It would not be like when I learned about raw foodism and everything I read had me worrying and believing cooked food was poison, it’s an awful thing to have to teach your brain to unlearn.
So, I read a lot of books and skimmed through a lot of books. I checked most of them out at the library before deciding which (if any) to purchase. I think I read all of the plant-based/vegan Idiot’s Guide books, great resources—except Low Fat Vegan Cooking, there was nothing low-fat about that book, I felt very angry when that book was in my possession, so skip that one.
Vegan for Life, by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina, was also pivotal in fostering my plant-based positive mindset.
I can survive without animal protein and calcium!
Why hadn’t I made the commitment before and what spurred it to happen?
From the history of Feed Your Skull, you know that I already loved vegetables and was eating very high-vegan. Vegan in Portland is so easy. There are veg-friendly restaurants and options everywhere.
Eating and loving vegan food is one thing but identifying as one is another.
I didn’t feel like I belonged.
My experience with vegans prior to Portland was purely online from the ‘trolling policing’ subset, the ones you find in the comments.
I also felt (and feel) that my health comes first and if I ever I believed my health was in jeopardy because of lack of animal, I would go back to a omnivore eating even if it was in minuscule amounts.
That being said, I am convinced that not only is it healthy for me to eat 100% plants, but I believe it is sustainable long-term.
Through all of this, my vegan instagram community, and finally meeting some IRL vegans (Natalie and Christine !)—I saw and believed that I could forego my detest of labels and commit to something I truly believe in – eating plants full-time.
How does Happy Herbivore tie in?
What is it about Happy Herbivore that is so special?
I stumbled upon Lindsey Nixon’s site Happy Herbivore while looking up a quick recipe for cabbage. Sometime later I found her books at Powell’s and put it all together, which then led to finding her Facebook community.
Discovering her books and community really sweetened the deal.
The Happy Herbivore community is an amazing one, full of excitement for plant food, encouragement to always make better choices, and a general sentiment unlike anything I had seen in the vegan community.
What I love most about her recipes is they represent how I cook when in my kitchen without a recipe.
I grab from whatever is in our fridge, pantry and spice rack to make a meal. Some of the best creations come out of 2 vegetables left in the fridge and a ton of creativity.
I love that 98% of the time I can make a recipe from her books or site and never go to the store. Everything I need is in my cabinets, on the counter or in the fridge. They’re also quick, easy and delicious!
I find that I rarely ever have to make a spice adjustment in her recipes. I love that! Our taste buds are on the same level. What more could one girl ask for?
- The Happy Herbivore Cookbook [HHC] (I had originally bought this on kindle but also had to buy the paperback!)
- Everyday Happy Herbivore [EHH] (bought several copies for family members)
- Happy Herbivore Abroad [HHA]
- Happy Herbivore Light & Lean (Due out in a few weeks – I pre-ordered months ago :))
What I’ve Made
To avoid redundancy – I will tell you now, everything is delicious, easy to prepare and usually her recipes contain less than 10-15 ingredients.
Starting with the first recipe, Mexican Cabbage. [online recipe & HHC p 130]
One of our tried and true favorites, Eggless Salad. I have a whole post dedicated to this recipe. My first time making this it was so good that both Jeremy and I had seconds. [online recipe & EHH p 74]
I had never done much with tofu prior to HH but she demystified it for me. Here is my first tofu scramble. I was blown away. Delicious. [online recipe & in EHH p 28]
Moroccan Lentil Soup. Amazing texture and flavor with additions of garam masala, paprika and curry. I can never wait for anything to cool before putting it in the blender, so I add the towel layer to avoid burning my hand. 😉 [online recipe & EHH p 101]
Cajun Chickpea Cakes (made with black beans instead of chickpeas) and served with her remoulade sauce. [Cakes: online recipe & EHH p 188 – Remoulade: EHH p 271]
Jalapeño Cornbread. I made this with shredded carrot because we didn’t have corn and it was delicious. [EHH p 68]
Tortuga Rum Cake. I can’t help but think of Michael Bolton and Captain Jack Sparrow – wait for minute 1:12. [EHH p 251]
Kidney-Quinoa Burgers. The books make great gifts too, my Mom made these and sent me a picture of her first recipe. [EHH p 85]
Skillet Refried Beans. I made these using homemade sauerkraut brine instead of water and mashed them in a skillet with one of those curvy potato mashers. [online recipe & EHH p 179]
Taquitos. I used the above refried beans to place in Trader Joe’s whole wheat flax-seed tortillas along with homemade sauerkraut. [HHA p 53]
Mexican Frittata. Jeremy and I have both made this. Top it with extra salsa and corn chips before throwing it in the oven. [EHH p 39]
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Perfection. I topped mine with homemade peanut sauce, cabbage, and other fresh veggies. [online recipe & HHA p 159]
Taco Soup. We had this with homemade tortilla chips and a vegan tamale from the co-op. So good. [HHA p 23]
Blueberry Bundt Cake. I’ve made this several times and the first time was in a square pan because I didn’t have the bundt pan—works marvelously. In the picture above we were on our way to a cookout before our first WSU home game and I think everyone had a hard time believing it didn’t contain eggs and was fat-free. [HHA p 151]
Quick Queso & Sour Cream served over corn tortilla chips and topped with black olives, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado. [Quick Queso: HHA p 198 and Sour Cream: EHH p 274]
“Cheater” Pad Thai. I made it with regular spaghetti noodles and added in a half bag of frozen vegetables. [HHA p 178]
Mexican Chowder. Gah. So incredibly good. [EHH p 112]
Recipes made but not pictured:
- Lentil Loaf – we’ve made this several times! The first time we devoured the whole pan. The slices make a great sandwich filling the next day. Top it with a layer of ketchup during the last 10 minutes of baking to satisfy those childhood meatloaf memories. [HHA p 257]
- Miso Gravy – [EHH p 291]
- No-Chicken Broth Powder – This has become a staple, I now keep a mason jar in the cabinet so I am ready to sautè vegetables or whip up a quick soup. [EHH p 299]
- Sweet Potato Dal – I made this along with the lentil loaf when Jeremy’s parents were visiting and everyone loved it; even his Dad, who is not a lentil fan. [EHH p 114]
Well that’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed the review. I’ve been meaning to do this one for a long time, but it was so close to my heart which meant I kept putting it off. 😉
What is your favorite Happy Herbivore recipe? and if this is your first time hearing about HH, what are you most looking forward to trying?