Thursday, January 12, 2012

Author Interview and Book Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you to all who participated! 
Of course, you may continue to enjoy Lindsay's interview below ...

Dear cooks, readers, and those who enjoy eating food,

Whether you made a New Year's resolution to eat better, or you just enjoy eating nutritious meals, or meat is too expensive, or you want to eat vegan once a week, or you have Lindsay's first book and now you want her second book ... this is the place for you!

Lindsay S. Nixon is a vegan chef and author who was so gracious as to give an interview for all of you to enjoy (and I fielded some questions from the mysterious Mrs S, over at Plentiful Thoughts!) and Ms Nixon's publisher was so gracious as to provide me two copies of the cookbook - one for me to enjoy, and one to give away to a fabulous lucky reader! 

And as an added bonus for every reader, Lindsay has provided a recipe from her new book for me to publish here for your sampling delight.  You don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy her recipes - you just have to love good food!

Skillet Refried Beans
Introducing Lindsay: A Short Bio

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

The Book: Everyday Happy Herbivore

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 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! 

Lindsay's Profiles
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The Interview: Ask Lindsay!

Mrs H: Thank you for answering some questions today!  First off, you're quite a legend in your field - how long have you been cooking and eating vegetarian? 
Ms Nixon: I eat a plant-based diet; this is different than vegetarian, which tends to still include some animal products like dairy or eggs.  I've been vegetarian on and off for most of my life, and strictly plant-based (vegan) for over 5 years.

Apple Fritters
Mrs H: Many of my readers enjoy meat and other animal products; in what ways does your book still appeal to omnivores? 
Ms Nixon: Most of my fans and supporters are actually omnivores.  There's a good bit of vegetarians and vegans too, but most of my fans are not ... my fans are omni's that are looking to eat healthy, eat less meat, follow meatless Monday, etc.  [They want to] get in more grains and beans and vegetables.  I even have omni's within my pool of recipe testers.  If they don't approve of a recipe, it doesn't make it into my books.  My cookbooks are really for everyone.

Mrs H: Instead of focusing on meat replacements, your recipes feature the bounty and freshness of the herbivore diet.  How do you come up with so many creative and innovative meals?  
Ms Nixon: It's a good mix of trying to replicate recipes that I used to eat that were either not vegan or not healthy; I'll create something on the fly or I'll be inspired by an ingredient.  For example I saw a beautiful bunch of chard I couldn't pass up, so I took it home and created a recipe for it. 

Mrs H: What are some of your favorite recipes for everyday use, and some of your favorite special-occasion delicacies? 
Ms Nixon:  All of my recipes are designed for everyday use - I don't have the time, or energy, (or desire!) to fuss over a hot stove all day, so most every recipe comes together easily, in 30 minutes or less.  We pretty much cook through my first book, then cook through the second, and then start over because every recipe is that easy and weeknight friendly.  When it comes to Holidays and special occasions, I pick family or guest favorites, or something that's seasonal and theme appropriate.  For example, I made the Thanksgiving Gravy on Thanksgiving. 

Mrs H: You have a lot of inspiration - how do you decide which recipes to include in each book? 
Ms Nixon: I have a huge team of testers and I decide what goes in, and what doesn't, based on their feedback.

Mrs H: Every cook has had a few flops, and we're dying to know - have you had any spectacular failures? 
Ms Nixon: Absolutely.  Recently I turned the blender on - full speed - with the top off.  My ceiling will never be the same.

Sage Gravy

Mrs H: Some of my readers are considering moving towards a vegetarian or vegan diet - but we're all curious: was it difficult to adjust to eating an herbivore diet?  Did you do it gradually, or all at once?  And did you face skepticism or opposition from friends and family?
Ms Nixon: It was really easy for me.  I have so many compelling motivations for eating this way that there isn't any other option for me.  I'm motivated by my health, the plight of farm animals, the environmental benefits and humanitarian concerns.  I don't see animal products as food any more, I see them as poison.  Once I knew what eating animal products, particularly dairy and meat, did to my body, and what it did to the earth, and how the animals were treated ... it was effortless to get rid of them.  I think the most compelling thing I read was the statistic about how you could feed 12 or more starving children with the grain it takes to make one burger. 

As for family and friends, most of them have always been supportive, [and] those who were skeptical initially have, for the most part, come around.  Almost all of my close friends and family members are vegan or vegetarian now.  Wow, what a difference five years makes!

That said, I did lose a few "friends" but I feel in my heart they must not have been true friends anyway if what I put on my plate could unravel our friendship so easily.  I've also learned that when someone is mean to me because of my diet, it's because my mere existence makes them reflect back on themselves, and they don't like what they see - so they attack me to make themselves feel better.  If someone was really secure with their choices, mine wouldn't phase them at all, let alone make them angry or hostile or pick on me or stop being my friend.  Isn't there more to friendship than what we eat?

Mrs H: Share with us a little on what your blog is about! 
Ms Nixon: is a website committed to showing eating healthy, plant-based meals are easy, affordable, delicious and realistic for everyday life. 

The Recipe: Quick Burgers
Makes 4
Dear patriotic followers - does something sound vaguely familiar here?  Enjoy! 
Ms Nixon: I developed these burgers in a hotel room: they're quick, easy and require very few ingredients.  (In fact, except for the beans and a seasoning packet, I sourced all the ingredients from the complimentary "breakfast bar.")  I make these burgers any time I need a super fast meal or I'm really low on ingredients.

Quick Burgers

15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
1/3 cup instant oats

Preheat oven to 400F.  Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, mash black beans with a fork until mostly pureed but still some half-beans and bean parts are left.  Stir in condiments and spices until well combined; then mix in oats.  Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into thin patties with your hands.  Bake for 7 minutes, carefully flip over and bake for another 7 minutes, or until crusty on the outside.  Slap into a bun with more condiments and eat!

Chef's note: If you only have rolled oats, chop them up in a food processor or blender so they are smaller and more like instant oats.  Rolled oats left whole tend to make the burgers fall apart.  (Read Mrs H's previous post on making quick-oats from rolled oats.) 

Per Burger: 109 Calories, 0.5g Fat, 17.6g Carbohydrates, 3g Fiber, 2.2g Sugars, 5g Protein

Spicy Orange Greens
Sweet Potato Dal
Check out Lindsay's new book, Everyday Happy Herbivore, for more recipes like Skillet Refried Beans, Sweet Potato Dal, Spicy Orange Greens, Sage Gravy, Apple Fritter Cups, P. Chocolate Smoothie, and Chocolate Mug Cake!  Go to her website to preview a few sample recipes!

The Giveaway

Enter the giveaway now to win the cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore!  1. Enter once: Post a note below and tell us - are you vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, or something in between?  2. Enter twice!  Share this interview with a friend on Facebook, and post again to let us know you did so!   

The winner will be contacted by e-mail.  Contest ends January 22nd, 2012 at midnight Eastern Standard Time! 

Enjoy your burgers tonight - I know I will!!

Mrs H



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