Happy Herbivore Blog

White Bean Dumpling Stew, Sweet Potato & Wild Rice Salad, Maple Peanut Soba Noodles & More!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

Get back on track after your Thanksgiving feast with this week's meal plan!

White Bean Dumpling Stew (NEW!), Sweet Potato & Wild Rice Salad (NEW!), Kale & Quinoa Minestrone (NEW!) and Maple Peanut Soba Noodles (NEW!) are all healthy, delicious and super easy to make after the busy holiday.

Maple Peanut Soba Noodles

Individual Highlights

  • White Bean Dumpling Stew (NEW!)
  • Hummus Panini
  • Maple Peanut Soba Noodles (NEW!)
  • Kale & Quinoa Minestrone (NEW!)
  • Roasted Chickpea Salad
  • Sweet Potato & Wild Rice Salad (NEW!)
  • Apple Breakfast Tostadas (NEW!)

Get this meal plan now.

White Bean Dumpling Stew

Family Highlights

  • Maple Peanut Soba Noodles (NEW!)
  • Kale & Quinoa Minestrone (NEW!)
  • Portobello "Burgers
  • Black Bean & Butternut Chili
  • Sweet Potato & Wild Rice Salad (NEW!)
  • Moroccan Vegetable Ragout
  • White Bean Dumpling Stew (NEW!)

Get this meal plan now.

Sweet Potato & Wild Rice Salad


"My advice to make your life easier is subscribe to the meal plans. They are easy to make and delicious, everything is planned out for you and you make everything for the week in advance!The weight will fall off and you'll feel better. I have fallen off the wagon before and this the best way to get started back."- Rhonda L

"I am so thankful that the meals have options for gluten free. After 11 months of plant-based living, I felt like I was actually making quite a bit of progress. Now, I have discovered that I cannot eat gluten. It would have thrown me off course if the meals weren't so easy and have GF options. Thank you!"- Kelly B

Get the current meal plan now.

Happy Herbivore's Holiday Gift Guide (For Herbies, Home Cooks, Minimalists & More!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

It's that time of year to start thinking about what to get your friends and loved ones for the holidays!

Whether you're shopping for a Herbie, a traveler, home cook, or minimalist, here are some ideas on what to buy!

I'll begin with a bang:

*Annual Meal Plan Premium Memberships* will be back for Cyber Monday (that's this coming Monday, December 1st)! ONE DAY ONLY!

Signup for the FREE newsletter for details! We will not be offering this deal again.

As an annual premium member, you also get access to our special meal plan Facebook group where you can interact with other 450+ members! It's great for keeping you on track and extra support!

For the herbie (or foodie) in your life:

Gift them the Happy Herbivore collection ;)

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook

Everyday Happy Herbivore

Happy Herbivore Abroad

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean

The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living (also available as an audible book!)

Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings(NEW!)

If you live in the U.S., Amazon is the best deal (or support your local bookstore). For my international friends, go to The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping!).

For the home cook:

Here's what I use and 100% recommend...

Food Processors

I have both a Cuisinart mini food processor and a Cuisinart 7-cup food processor. While I managed to live without both for a year when I was living in the Caribbean (I relied on my blender or chopping skills), having them both back in my kitchen has made all the difference — they save me so much time! If you can only get one, go for the big guy!

Pressure Cooker

About two years ago, a friend of mine talked me into buying an electric pressure cooker. BEST INVESTMENT EVER. I use my Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker every. single. day. It's great in the summer — no hot stove required! And it really makes my life easier when I'm doing batch cooking since it uses an outlet (thereby creating more cooking space on the stove! Woo!).

I use my PC mainly to cook beans and potatoes, both of which we eat a lot of. I was buying canned beans before for ease, so switching to dry beans made the PC pay for itself in a matter of weeks. (I'm forgetful and don't have the patience to soak and cook beans for hours and hours, but the pressure makes beans a 15-minute reality!). If you've been following my travel updates on Facebook, this is what I've been using to make my oatmeal and tofu scramble in my hotel room!

Rice Cooker

I bought my Panasonic Rice Cooker several years ago, and it's still going strong. Unfortunately, the one I have is discontinued, but there are plenty of other rice cookers out there that are just as good. I recommend spending a little extra and getting one with a special brown rice setting (like this one, also from Panasonic) as I find the run of the mill rice cookers can't really handle brown rice without a special setting.


I'm a big believer in investing in a good knife. Not only will it change your entire kitchen experience, but your fingers will also thank you! (See Scott's post on How Cheap Knives Endanger Your Digits). Nothing beats a Wusthof Classic, but the more affordable Victorinox Chef's Knife is also fantastic.

Microplane: I love my microplane zester — It's my favorite kitchen accessory! Necessary? No. Worth the purchase? YES. ($10.75)

Cutting Boards

Scott actually made my cutting boards, but if you're on the market for some new ones, I would recommend bamboo cutting boards. They're eco-friendly!

Bowls, Measuring Cups & Spoons

I just bought these two sets from Joseph Joseph and I'm in love with them! Not only are they colorful and pretty to look at, they're also minimalist (see how nicely the sit in each other for storage?).

The Joseph Joseph Nest Compact Food Preparation Set includes 1/6, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup measuring cups, a 1/2-liter bowl, sieve, 3-liter colander and a 4-1/2-liter mixing bowl.

The 7-piece Joseph Joseph Elevate Carousel Set includes a spaghetti server, slotted spoon, ladle, slotted turner, solid spoon, flexible turner and rotating storage stand.

Cookware Set: I use Emerilware, Emeril's line of kitchen pots and pans. It's a splurge, but worth every penny! I also use this high-quality non-stick skillet for a few token dishes. I have a flat double nonstick broiler as well for pancakes. More great gift ideas for the cook.

I'm also in love with parchment paper and silicon cookware: mats, muffin cups, and beyond!

For the traveler:

Vegan in Europe has everything you need to know for your next European vacation:

  • Specific restaurant recommendations (including “locals only” restaurants you won’t find on HappyCow, including gluten-free and raw options
  • Detailed information about what to expect food-wise in each country
  • Expert tips for what to pack for your trip and what to buy in Europe!
  • Comprehensive overview of “accidentally vegan” traditional fare you should try
  • Language tips (including key vocabulary and phrases) for every language
  • Details of what beers and wines are vegan in each country
  • Cautionary warnings for the all cultural quirks you need to be aware of
  • And much more!

For the minimalist:

The Minimalist Monday Book series (Zen Home, Zen Life, Zen Productivity)

Gift Cards (I always gift grocery stores gift cards)

Charitable donations in their name

Food :)

Happy shopping!

Herbie of the Week: YOU! (Happy Thanks-Living!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Happy Thanksgiving or should I say, Happy Thanks-Living!

Even though I tend to make this holiday about food (a lot of food!), I always like to take a moment to really meditate on what I'm thankful for.

My health.

The health of my family and friends.

The health of my Herbies.

My Herbies in general...

...and so on.

There's so much I am thankful for — so much we're all thankful for — and in light of giving thanks, this week's Herbie of the Week is YOU!

Last month I asked Herbies on Facebook to share any kind of benefit they've experienced since going plant-based, and the responses came pouring in!

Here are some of the highlights!

You'll quickly see just how far-reaching the effects are.

"7 years of trying to conceive with no luck. Pregnant after three months of both my husband and I going plant-based. We are currently expecting our third." - Annie W

"Asthma for 47 years disappeared. Plantar Fasciitis disappeared." - David V

"I was on 3 different meds for depression/ anxiety. A very unexpected "side effect" of going plant-based was being able to ditch all meds, better focus and state of mind. - Jen S

"I am off of my fibromyalgia meds, and down a little over 20 lbs." - Caroyln A

"My sinus issues went away. No longer needed medications for sinuses and other medical issues." - Joy B

"Better skin. Better sleep. Stamina to do my weight lifting program! Anxiety is almost nonexistent. No PMS! Weight loss tho i tossed my scale so i dont have a number...but its the equivalent of 2 pant sizes!" - Samantha R

"No recurrence of breast cancer in 3 years when it was highly guaranteed!" - Tamara B

"Hair, skin, nails - shining!! Energy levels thru the roof! GI issues, gone!!" - Rachel P

"I've lost 25 pounds, got off 4 medications, reversed my PCOS, no more migraines, more energy, better skin, better teeth, and I'm rarely sick." -Shannan W

"My husband has been going for colonoscopies since he was 27 for a family history of colon cancer. On his first colonoscopy they found tumors and polyps that they just wanted to watch. We went plant-based and he just recently had his first colonoscopy in 8 years that is clear. No sign of the polyps or tumors, they've disappeared!" - Kristen L

"After 2 1/2 years the list is long....50 lbs down and no difficulty maintaining / eliminated rheumatoid arthritis symptoms / no migraines / blood pressure good / lowered cholesterol 120 points / perfect blood sugar with no diabetes problems / no acid re-flux or indigestion since 2nd day plant-based / mega energy / oh have had no allergy symptoms or colds! This is a miracle for me since I have had two strokes and am 65 years old. Would never go back to eating animals and oils!!!" - Charlotte G

"Depression and anxiety disorders eased, PCOS gone, acne gone, hair thicker and darker, better mental clarity, significantly reduced sinus problems, no more GI issues, higher energy levels, and (last but not least) significant amount of weight lost." - Bailey G

"Here's one I never hear about: less plaque! I used to have to get teeth cleanings every 3 months and was having gum issues (in my late 20's!). Since I went plant based I only go for cleanings every 6 months and my dentist can't believe the difference! She couldn't find a study done on it but I know it's from not drinking milk and eating yogurt all day!" - Erika S

"Not only did I lose 100 lbs in 6 months in 2011 after going veg. The 3 autoimmune disorders that I was just diagnosed with and told there was no cause and no cure for, as well as being bed ridden and told I'd buy myself a wheelchair in a year? Yeah.. No trace of any!?! Veg for life." - Dawn R

"I don't poop more. I poop better. Before I may have had IBS or something (never got diagnosed or took it to a doctor) or just normal reaction to a very fiber-poor diet. Anyway, much more consistently regular BMs." - Rachel R

"75 pounds lost, rosacea (gone), acid reflux (gone), sciatica (gone), plantar fasciitis (gone), candida infections (gone), anxiety (gone), depression (gone)." - Christina G

"For me it was pre-menopausal hot flashes, I can honestly say that I have had 1 since going plant-based." - Brandi G

"My heartburn and reflux (gross, I know) have gone away COMPLETELY. I never feel over-stuffed anymore, I sleep more soundly, my face is clearing up, and I can breath easier during cardio. I've only been plant-based for several months." - Alexis G

"Faster recovery from training sessions which means ability to push harder which means faster race times." - Jason B

Summarized medical issues, symptoms and health problems that have been reduced or eliminated by adopting a plant-based diet (as reported by Herbies on Facebook):

- Acne
- Headache/Migraine
- Bloating/Stomach Issues
- Hypothyroidism
- T2 Diabetes
- Acid Reflux/Heartburn
- Cholesterol
- Anemia
- Joint/Muscle Pain
- Constipation
- High Blood Pressure
- Asthma
- Allergies/Nasal Congestion/Sinus Infections
- Disordered Eating
- Hot Flashes

Other noted improvements in health and well-being reported by Herbies:

- Weight-Loss
- More Happiness/No Depression
- Improved Appearance (look younger, more rested, etc.)
- Improved Energy
- Improved Immune System (no sickness, quick recovery, etc.)
- Improved Fitness/Muscle Mass
- Improved Sleep
- Improved Bowel Movements
- Improved Spirituality
- Improved Senses (smell, taste, etc.)
- Improved Teeth (less sensitivity, whiter)
- Reduced/Eliminated Cravings for Junk Food
- Reduced/Eliminated Insulin Dependence
- Reduced Inflammation
- Strong Nails/Hair
- Enjoy Cooking/Food
- Mental Clarity
- Off Medications

I did a similar post last year for Thanksgiving, that you can read here.