Happy Herbivore Blog

Ask Happy Herbivore: Soy-Free Vegan

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

Last week I asked Facebook and Twitter what questions you guys wanted answered- embarrassing questions, nutrition questions, personal, what did you want to know from me? Ask Happy Herbivore will be a new feature on Wednesdays. If you'd like to submit a question, just email me at [email protected]

This week's question; Can you share a day or weeks worth of no soy/tofu ideas?

Side note: I always find it interesting that people think you need to eat soy products to be vegan, or that vegans rely on soy. I know a lot of soy-free vegans and except for the occasional dabble in tofu, or using soy sauce here and there, I’m pretty much a soy-free vegan. (in fact my cookbook is over 70% soy-free!)

Even vegan products that were traditionally soytastic are now available in non-soy forms. For example, you’re not limited to soy milk anymore for a non dairy beverage. There’s almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk beverage---so many choices. Vegan cheese is also not limited to soy. You can find rice-based cheeses, nut-based cheeses and Daiya, which is tapioca-based. Even some meat substitutes (like Field Roast, for example) are offering soy-free options.

The only hang up is tofu, but I’ve heard there is a nut-based “tofu” out there and I’ve seen some raw recipes for a faux tofu that aren’t soy based (I think I saw it in Everyday Raw, not totally sure). Of course you don’t need or have to eat tofu as a vegan. I didn’t for the first few years I was veg. I like it now, since I find it so universal, but I don’t have to have it.

Point is, to be vegan you don’t need to eat soy and it’s really easy to avoid it if you have to or want to. The bulk of a healthy vegan diet -- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils are all soy-free!

Here are a few examples of how a soy-free vegan day:

Breakfast: HH’s Green Goddess Smoothie or a few slices of toast with jam or peanut butter. (HH’s other smoothies, like Peanut Butter Cup or Oatmeal Cookie, also work if you use almond milk)

Have a piece of fruit or some raw veggies to nibble on for a morning snack if you’re hungry.

Lunch: Soup, Salad, homemade veggie burger (such as HH’s Quickie Black Bean Burgers), a vegetable wrap or even a nice pasta dish or a pasta salad. All of these things are inherently soy-free, just make sure to check all your ingredients and condiments to make sure they don’t have hidden soy parts (ketchup and mustard are generally soy-free).

Have a piece of fruit or some raw veggies to nibble on as a late afternoon snack. I’m also a fan of hummus and carrots or celery and HH’s Nutty Spread (p. 253) as a late afternoon snack if I plan to workout after work.

For dinner go for a hearty bean dish, (such as HH’s Chickpea & Corn Chili), a lentil dish (such as HH’s Red Lentil Dal) or a great vegetable dish (such as HH’s Mexican Cabbage). Lunch ideas (soup, salad, etc) can also be dinner.

Pop on over the the recipes tab and select “soy free” to get more ideas and look for recipes with the “soy-free” icon in my cookbook! I also have a pre-made soy-free shopping list, a week’s worth of HH soy-free dinners so you can start eating soy-free tonight!

You Gotta Have Passion

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Business101

I get a lot of emails asking for tips how to get published, get a book deal, make a living at being a blogger, or a recipe maker, or something like Happy Herbivore.

My advice, above all else, is that, it has to be about passion. You have to do what you do because you'd do it even if you never made a single penny (and in the book business, you make pennies).

I'm not in it for fame or fortune. I just want to help people live better, eat healthier, save the planet, save the animals... knowing I help even one person make a positive change is all the payback I need... I've always say that if I do hit it big, I'll give it all back -- to charity programs and nonprofits that will help educate people, promote eating plant-based diets, help the sick heal with food...

One of my "heroes" (Derek Sivers) made millions developing a CD store online (before itunes)...and gave ALL his money back to music/musician funds... I aspire to be that awesome.

With my necklace project (that wrapped this morning! woohoo!) I'm not taking anything -- it's all going to the elephants. I saw an opportunity to use my voice to make a difference, to help you make a difference, and a difference we are making. Over $8.000 was raised for the elephants!!

This week has been an exciting week all around: Over the weekend my book hit #1 on the Low Fat list on Amazon and it held steady there. It even went down to #312 in *all* books at it's peak thanks to the CNN episode...

and while yes, my book selling like hot cakes and selling out (again) is absolutely amazing -- it really does give me a sense of accomplishment, a pat on the back for all my hard work, but the real reason I'm excited is knowing that, potentially, all these people who bought my book, their lives are going to change. The change might be small, but all change matters. All efforts matter. Positive change is positive change.

If I sold 500 books, that's potentially 500 lives that might change for the better. If each one of them tells a friend, and that friend also makes a positive change, thats 1,000 lives that might change.

That's what excites me. That the message is getting out there. That people will see that eating a healthy, plant-based diet all of the time, or even some of the time, is easy, affordable, practical and delicious.

My success-- I attribute it to all of you. Thank you for your support. Thank you for helping me and above all -- thank you for making a positive change! You are all perfect, just as you are.

Thank you.

Celebrating the Biscuit

Posted by: Andrea Dermos |

Category: Holiday

September 1st is my new favorite holiday. What holiday is that, you ask? The first day of National Biscuit Month, of course! What? You aren't enamored with biscuits? I've never visited anywhere more South than Chicago (and that's not very South at all!) but I have a romanticized idea that in the South everything is comfy, cozy, and warm. And people sit down to warm family dinners that always include piping hot biscuits..and there's a fire place. Don't make fun of me. I can dream. ;]

When HH asked me to write a post about biscuits..I sort of had to jump at the chance, and then realized other people might not understand why I find them so fun to make. Aside from silly hopeless romantic notions about them, biscuit making is dirty. You have to get your hands into the dough, you can use a fancy tool to 'cut the fat' into it, but I wouldn't! You can make easy drop biscuits that taste just as delicious, or you can put a little love into it and roll the dough out and cut perfect circles that puff up a little when you bake them so you can pull them apart and put jam or agave right in the middle. Honestly, is there anything more comforting? I don't think so.

Luckily, HH has made it possible to enjoy biscuits without eating a ton of fat. Whether she wants to admit it or not, HH has just as much of a relationship with biscuits as I do- they're her husband's favorite food! I think that might be why she has so many recipes for them ;) She has Applesauce Biscuits, Maple Cornmeal Biscuits, Southern Style Biscuits, Raisin Biscuits, and Sweet Potato Biscuits

And here's how we celebrated yesterday, a little early- I just couldn't wait! We made 'egg' sandwiches on biscuits, using HH's Nomelette (p. 17) and Biscuits (p. 38) from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook.  And a little spinach to get some greens in, of course.

I hope you all celebrate biscuit month! I know I'll take any excuse to make biscuits. :)