Happy Herbivore Blog

This Week's Q&A (10/27)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

Ask Happy Herbivore: Your Questions Answered!

Have a question for me? leave a comment, share it on the Facebook wall or send me an email! Lindsay-at-happyherbivore-dot-com

1. What are some protein-rich foods?

Quinoa, greens (i.e. spinach), beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, soy (such as soy milk and tofu). Bare in mind that all foods -- even bananas and kale -- have protein. So even when you're not eating a protein-rich food, you're still getting protein.

Also, please, please read my blog post on (plant-based) vegan protein which links to many helpful and important resources and articles. 

2. What are "Flax" eggs?

You can mix 1 tbsp ground flax seeds with 3 tbsp of warm water to make a sort of goop that can replace 1 egg in a recipe. 

For more egg substitutions, download my handy egg substitutes chart (below). 

Download the PDF here

(The picture is not the complete chart--just a glimpse of it.)

Note: Since I don't cook or bake with oil, I haven't tried some of these substitutes out myself -- I just heard about them or read about them. My go-to substitute is bananas or applesauce.

3. I struggle with quinoa - help!

I did a video post on quinoa that's helpful. I generally use quinoa as a substitute for grains like brown rice since it cooks in a fraction of the time. Usually I am putting my stir-fry on top of it, but I've made cold salads with it and a sort of "oatmeal" when I wanted a little variety. 

Quinoa is also a great, whole foods substitute for TVP.

4.  How can you healthfully *gain* weight?

You'll need to add more high calorie and high fat foods to your diet -- more raw nuts and raw seeds, coconut and avocado. You also want to make sure you're eating healthy foods like brown rice, which are high in calories. 

When I was a personal trainer, I had a client who couldn't seem to go beyond 90lbs. She was naturally very thin due to a high metabolism, but she was also very athletic -- a marathon runner. We didn't fuss much with her weight until she wanted to get pregnant and her doctor thought she might have better luck if she'd gain 10 lbs. 

At first, my client stopped exercising and was eating tons of candy bars, cupcakes and fried foods trying to pack it on but she came back to me saying she didn't feel her best and she missed feeling high on life. She complained of bloating and fatigue and a general meh feeling. I talked her into dropping the junk food and instead eating handfuls of raw almonds and cashews (her favorites) adding flax seeds to her smoothies and adding avocado (which she loved!) to almost every meal. Within weeks she'd gained weight but within days she reported feeling fabulous, more alert and much healthier. She ended up having a baby and was a healthy, glowing mama her entire pregnancy -- she's still a healthy, glowing mama and she's still eating lots of nuts and avocados to keep the weight on. 

5. Can you cook quinoa in a rice cooker?

Yep -- using the "white rice setting" -- same 1:2 ratio. Though I have to admit I don't like quinoa in the rice cooker as much as I like it on the stovetop. 

Where I Find Inspiration

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Advice

Anytime I'm interviewed, this question comes up -- and it's a good one!

Where do you get inspiration for your recipes? 

 For me, it’s a mix of trying to recreate foods I used to eat that were either not vegan or maybe not so healthy, responding to requests and suggestions by Herbies and being moved by an ingredient. 

For example, I might spend all day playing around with chickpea flour because I think its a great alternative flour that is often overlooked. Or maybe I’ll see a really beautiful bunch of, say, rainbow chard, and think “gosh! I need to come up with a way to use that!” 

Also, when writing both of my cookbooks, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and Everyday Happy Herbivore (which comes out in 6wks!) I took care to find an ingredient that’s underutilized and create a way to celebrate it. 

For example, with HHC, I realized I had no recipes for kidney beans so I set out to write one that really let the kidney beans shine. The result was Rajma Masala (p. 78), and it’s one of my favorite recipes. 

I also cook on the fly and out of hunger a lot. One of my most proud and favorite recipes is my Chickpea Tacos. One night I was starving, standing in front of my empty pantry with a can of chickpeas in my hand wondering what I could make. Then my eyes rolled over a seasoning packet for tacos and that was it. Recipe born! 

Putting meals together, creating recipes, its all very organic for me. I often have a hard to putting it into words beyond “it just comes to me! I just “know”!”

For example, when I was making a butternut soup, I had a taste and just knew I needed to add curry powder to it. So I did... and the rest is history... or more accurately, a really delicious 3-ingredient Butternut Squash Soup

Now that's not to say I always get it right. I've gotten it wrong and things have fallen flat or been too spicy or just not that tasty. It happens. What matters is I keep trying. Keep experimenting. Keep exploring because I never know when I'm going to create the next kickass recipe!

New 1200+ Calorie Meal Plan (Plus 50 Snacks Under 50 Calories)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

Here are some of the meals you can expect to eat on this weeks meal plan:

  • Pumpkin Muffins
  • Pad Thai
  • Butternut Soup
  • Chipotle Corn Soup
  • Garden Chowder
  • Mexican Cabbage
  • L.A. Tacos 
  • French Toast

I'm also including anew feature -- 50 snacks under 50 calories. (All healthy!)

Download & Donate Now

See what people are saying:

"Following the 1200 calorie plan by @happyherbivore and loving it!" - @metaliciousgems

"I love @happyherbivore's simple meal plans... they make life so much easier (not to mention healthier!) :)" -@work4veggies

"Thank you *so* much for the great 1200 calorie diet plan. It's like an answered prayer." - Natalie

"I've done this sort of thing in the past and been extremely disappointed. What you are offering is absolutely wonderful! The plan is so informative and easy to use." - Tara

Download & Donate Now