It’s no secret, we love Lindsay Nixon from Happy Herbivore! And we absolutely love her new book, Every Day Happy Herbivore! We asked you on facebook if you had any questions for Lindsay, and she has been kind enough to answer a lot of your questions.
We will be breaking the interview up into 2 posts, with 2 giveaways for Lindsay’s new book! We will also be sharing 5 recipes from her new book, 2 at the end of this post and 3 more tomorrow!
Be sure to leave a comment and tell us what plant-strong holiday meal you’ll be making this month!
Let’s get to your questions! Be sure to check out her recipes at the end of the post!
Amy asked: hard time with soups during the winter that are vegan based and taste good – like the family favorite chicken noodle. They won’t touch the substitute yet… the better than chick’n bullion style cubes from the health food market – I think you know what I mean .
Lindsay: There is a great recipe on happyherbivore.com for chickpea noodle soup. Tastes just like chicken noodle without the chicken. There are a lot of soups on the blog, as well as in both cookbooks.
Kathleen asked: What are your holiday, go-to recipes to satisfy vegans and meat-eaters at holiday parties?
Lindsay: For parties, I always take HH cookies or HH cupcakes because most people won’t turn down a dessert. For dinners in my home, I celebrate seasonal foods such as making butternut or parsnip soup, winter vegetable soups and stews, a nice grain and vegetable salad — it’s always about color. Lots of color. It helps to know the preferences of your guests and working on that too. I rarely do any sort of faux meat, I celebrate plants instead.
Betty asked: I would love to find a way to make something close to a traditional pie crust that is plat based.
Lindsay: You can make your old pie crust recipe plant-based by using vegetable shortening or earth balance. Not the most healthy, but probably the closest to the traditional one. I’ve heard you can use avocado instead of butter or shortening too. You can also make nut based crusts, which are often raw and plant-strong. I like to make a crust from whole wheat graham crackers and applesauce (recipe on my blog). It’s not like a traditional crust, but it’s good!
Ginamarie asked: I just purchased her book and was surprised to see brown sugar in many of her recipes, as it’s still refined. It would be great if she could suggest a substitute that she has been successful with, specifically in baking. Agave seems to burn easily and doesn’t seem to “bake” well when used as a sugar substitute. The same with stevia. Any suggestions/recommendations would be great.
Lindsay: You can use raw sugar instead of brown sugar. I used brown sugar because it was all that was available to me in the islands (where I wrote my cook). There is also a sugar substitute chart in the back of the book that will show you how to use any sweetener you like in any recipe. I’ve heard good things about date sugar.
Jacqueline asked: How do you keep your baked goods from being over-moist, specifically muffins? (including your recipes). I find the vegan lo/no fat ones seem fine fresh from the oven but when I store them they become wet and sticky on top. this sort of foils my attempt to make snacks/bfast ahead of time, but I’m sure there is a trick I don’t know yet!
Lindsay: Don’t store them in the fridge, and cover them lightly with plastic wrap, rather than in an air-tight container. You can also try to scale back the applesauce or pumpkin in the recipe — try removing 1/4 cup. If that still doesn’t work, you can try removing another 1/4 cup (1/2 cup total).
Dennis asked: Just bought the book and if these recipes are supposedly no fat added, why does she spray her pans with cooking spray?? (100% fat no matter what the label says) A 1/3 second spit does nothing to prevent food from sticking. Lindsay: You can use parchment paper, or a non-stick pan as an alternative (which I recommend as the choice method in most recipes). or silicone bakeware. Spraying with oil-spray is an option, not required. For those using that method, you can spritz for a half a second, then use a paper towel to rub it all around the dish.
Karen asked: Meat substitutes or no meat substitutes – which is healthier?
Lindsay: Are they a better choice than their animal counterpart? yes, but they’re not a whole food and many of them are down right junky with artificial ingredients and other weirdness. I think meat substitutes can be helpful for some people during their transition to a plant-based diet, and if you have some every once and a while, I think that’s fine, but I’d say make sure they’re the occasional accent to your otherwise plant-strong diet, not a key player. You can also make many at home, from scratch, using whole foods. For example, I make my own “burgers” with black beans, oats and some spices.
How about some recipes?
Skillet Refried Beans | serves 2
Sure canned refried beans are easy, but you just can’t top the taste of homemade. The little effort required here is so worth it — these beans are fantastic!
1 small onion, finely diced
15-oz can pinto beans (undrained)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Line a skillet with a thin layer of water and saute onion over high heat until translucent and most of the water has cooked off. Add cumin, chili powder and a few dashes of paprika, stirring to coat the onions. Add beans with their juices and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and mash beans well using a fork or potato masher. It will look very soupy, don’t be alarmed. Crank the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium and simmer 10 minutes. If the beans start popping and splashing, cover for a few minutes, then uncover. Stir every minute or so, scraping along the bottom to lift the beans. After 10 minutes the liquid should have significantly reduced. It may still be a little soupy, that is alright, it will thicken as it cools. However, if its really soupy, cook longer. Add salt and pepper to taste then serve.
Per Serving: 216 Calories, 0.4g Fat, 41.7g Carbohydrates, 15.7g Fiber, 4.8g Sugar, 13.7g Protein
This soup is Dal-icious! It’s so flavorful you’ll want seconds. and thirds!
1 small sweet potato, skinned
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala, plus extra
1 cup vegetable broth, plus extra
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups spinach, or more
Dice sweet potato into small ½-inch cubes, and set aside. Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water and saute onions and garlic for a minute. Add a pinch or two red pepper flakes and continue to cook until all the water has cooked off. Add turmeric, ¼ tsp garam masala and stir to coat. Add 1 cup broth, uncooked lentils, and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to low, cover, and simmer for a few minutes, about 5. Add sweet potatoes, bring to a boil again and reduce to low and simmer, until lentils are fully cooked (they expand and the sauce thickens), about 5 minutes more. Check periodically to see if you need additional broth (I tend to add an extra ½ cup but it can vary). Once lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are fork tender, taste, adding more garam masala as desired (I like to add another ¼ tsp but some blends are stronger than others). Add spinach, continuing to stir until spinach cooks down and softens. Add salt to taste and serve.
Per Serving: 232 Calories, 0.9g Fat, 42.2g Carbohydrates, 17.7g Fiber, 4.7g Sugar, 15.4g Protein
Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Every Day Happy Herbivore by leaving a comment and telling us about your plant-strong holiday meals!
Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2 of our interview with Lindsay!