Happy Herbivore Blog

Foodie Friday - June 24th

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Here are some of the foods coming out of my kitchen this week:

Tofu Ricotta Pizzas (using whole wheat pitas and pasta sauce). This was a quick & filling lunch on a very busy day. 

"Italian" Salad -- lettuce, tomatoes and leftover tofu ricotta. 

I used canned pumpkin instead of applesauce in my Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuit recipe to make fat-free, whole-wheat pumpkin-raisin biscuits!!

These burgers are from my new cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore -- just 4 ingredients! They're based off of my hotel room burgers.

Cornbread Casserole, from EHH as well. If you like the Tamale Casserole in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, you'll love this new one. It's spicy!

Baked tofu smothered in Mole Sauce. The mole sauce is also from EHH and it takes 3 minutes to make! 

The yellow rice is also from EHH. Sorry for all the teasing pictures, I had to reshoot a lot of photos this week so the "props" became our meals!

What delicious foods did you have this week?

Guest Blogger: Michele B.

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Guests

Chickpea tacos are one of the most popular recipes on happyherbivore.com and one of my favorite healthy snacks (the chickpeas are great for nibbling!) Needless to say, I was thrilled when Michele (a.k.a a vegetarian who hates tofu) asked to guest post about them, showing how she made small changes to make the recipe "her own." That's what I love about home cooking so much: you can take a recipe and bend it to your palate, desires or simply, what you have on hand. After all, recipes are just suggestions.

So without further ado, here's Michele and her little helper:

HH: What made you cook up the chickpea tacos (p. 97)

Michele: I started making lentil tacos a few months back because my husband missed tacos. That was my first attempt at vegan tacos and while they are quite tasty, I got bored so I needed to change it up. I flipped through my Happy Herbivore Cookbook to the chickpea taco picture and they looked so yummy I had to give it a try! The great thing is that they're totally different than the lentil tacos I had been making, in both texture and flavor, which is exactly what I was looking for.   

HH: I love the idea of using lettuce cups instead of traditional taco shells because they're healthier. What gave you that idea?

Michele: Umm... I forgot to buy taco shells when I was at the grocery store! I always write a list of meals I'm planning to make that week so I can plan my grocery list and every week, no matter how organized I try to be, I forget at least one item on my list! That week I was planning for tacos and some kind of lettuce wrap for another meal but when I forgot the taco shells (and I was really in the mood for tacos, especially after deciding on the chickpea ones in your book!) I improvised and it turned out quite nicely. In fact, I am planning to make it this way again!

HH: Did the lettuce wraps add anything "extra" to the dish? For example, did they give a cool, refreshing crunch?

Michele: Absolutely! It was hot that day (humid, 95 degree Jersey weather = yuck!) and this was such a perfect dinner for a hot summer day. Even though I had to run the oven for a bit, it didn't take long to cook and it was totally worth it! The lettuce was crisp and refreshing and made it a perfect summer meal. When I made leftovers, I didn't reheat, just ate them chilled, and that was really good too and quite refreshing!

HH: Tell us about your toppings and what made you use them.

Michele: I topped the lettuce cups with some freshly picked cherry tomatoes from my garden, diced avocado, fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of crushed tortilla chips. I used the usual toppings I'd used for tacos, except that the tortilla chips (taco shell) and lettuce were reversed. 

HH: What did you think of the dish?

I love it! Chickpeas are on of my favorite things in the whole world to begin with. In this dish I just love the combination of flavors in the taco seasoning and the crispness you get from roasting the chickpeas. They are just wonderful! Pair that with some fresh veggies and a creamy ripe avocado and WOW! So delicious. Also, my husband thought they'd be good with some ranch dressing drizzled on so I'll have to find a good vegan one before I make these again. Any suggestions?

HH: There is a Ranch Dressing in my cookbook (pg. 232) I bet your little helper would like the leftover ranch with carrots and celery sticks -- that was my favorite snack when I was about her age.

Thank you so much for guest posting Michele -- I LOVE the idea of lettuce wraps instead of taco shells. I'm going to try this immediately! and I'm so going to try your lentil tacos too. Yum.

Have you made HH's chickpea Tacos? How'd you make them your own?

Living the American Dream

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: AdviceBusiness101

Since becoming an ex-pat full time, I've grown more interested in American culture, at least how it is viewed by people of other nationalities. Given the current political climate, and everything that has happened in the U.S. during the past few months, it's been a rather interesting time to live abroad!

My most interesting realization, however, actually happened through one of my sister's experiences. 

Courtney & I

My sister (who still lives in the U.S.), recently became friends with an ex-pat from Switzerland and during one of their recent conversations, I came up. He'd mentioned he wanted to visit New York City and Courtney said she had a sister that had lived there. Her friend then asked about me and Courtney said that well, I used to be a lawyer, but then I quit that to pursue what I love -- cooking and helping people -- so I created a website, which lead to a book and so on. 

Her friend's eyes widened in amazement and he said, rather excitedly, "So your sister is living the American dream!" 

Scott, a Herbie that visited in SXM (Nita), me, Courtney

This caught Courtney off guard because like me, we'd always thought the "American dream" was living in a nice house in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. It had never occurred to us that the American dream was about exploring opportunity and building something out of nothing. 

As she was retelling her experience to me, I was just stunned. 

It sounds so silly to say this all out loud. But it was such an interesting "realization" that I had to share. It reminded me that sometimes we need an outside view to see progress we've made. That sometimes we look too long at something that we can't really see what's right there in front of us. 

I'd have never thought someone would find what I have done inspiring; but it was humbling and a reminder that accomplishments don't have to be huge or grand. I don't have to be the next Bethenny Frankel to be able to define myself as "successful" (though that would certainly be nice!) We can find success and inspiration in all achievements, including overcoming small hurdles.

All of this led to more realizations. I forced myself to come to terms with the fact that I'm an artist. I'd always had this particular stereotype about what an artist is (or isn't) and I realized that stereotypes are rarely correct. The same true for entrepreneurs. 

Me with a fellow artist, Vicky.

I realized, I am an artist. I am an entrepreneur. I am living the American dream (even if I'm not living in America) and it's time I accept, really accept this and say it standing tall and proud.

So, I dare you: Who are you deep inside?