Happy Herbivore Blog

"I Can Do This" and the Power of Suggestion (Can Do Attitude)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Minimalist

The other week my friend Olivia messaged me, asking if I had any advice for her before she took her bar exam the following day. 

I thought back to when I sat for California and New York's exams, scratching my head to come up with something that would really help Olivia. All I could think to tell her was "believe in your own bullshit." (Pardon my language.)

So, that's the advice I gave Olivia. I think her response went something like "Are you friggin' serious Lindsay? Really? THAT is the advice?" so I back peddled and said, "It's good advice---have confidence, believe in yourself and others will believe you too. Make something up and really sell it!" 

I could tell Olivia needed a little more than my sales pitch so I let her in on a little secret. I made her write it down and promise me she'd write it on her blue book before she dared to answer an essay question. It's what I wrote on my blue book when I took both exams. It's what I wrote on every blue book I used during law school and college, and it's... well, here goes: 

"This is just a test. It does not measure my intellect or my ability to succeed. It is one test on one day in a life of many, and I can do this."

After I said this to Olivia I realized that it applied well beyond a test -- it applied to life, which is it's own test. 

Everyday we are faced with challenges. I wondered if I believed in myself more, if I believed it was possible, would it be possible? Maybe. 

What I do know is that it's much more likely to happen if I believe it so. The power of suggestion is strong. Self-fulfilling prophecies can go either way. Why not make them you your way? Go the positive way? 

Say it. Believe it. 

This is just life, and I can do this.

p.s. Vote for me (Lindasy Nixon) for fave cookbook author & Happy Herbivore for best blog!here

What is Quinoa? (video)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQVideo

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is an ancient grain, once cherished by the Aztecs. (Technically, it’s a pseudo-cereal, but its most often used and lumped with grains). It’s also wheat-free, gluten-free and 100% whole grain goodness.

Why try it?

Quinoa has a nutty taste, cooks fast (making it a perfect alternative to brown rice when you’re in a hurry) and it’s a complete protein, meaning it has all those important amino acids. (It’s also a good source of calcium, iron and magnesium -- what a superhero!)

Quinoa also comes in a few different colors --- white being the most available, but you can sometimes find red or black. 

Recipes for Quinoa:

It’s great in soups (such as HH’s Aztec Corn Soup), as a salad (such as HH’s Aztec Corn Salad) or even on top of a salad raw or uncooked. You can find quinoa at most supermarkets (check the pasta section), but you can always find it at health food stores, Trader Joes and Costco, where the bulk price tends to be ridiculously low.

Most U.S. brands of quinoa come pre-rinsed, but if yours doesn’t (it’ll have a chalky coating), you’ll need to rinse it off under cool water before cooking. (p.s. Quinoa from a bulk bin should always be rinsed.)

To cook: Add 1 cup water for every ½ cup quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat until all the water has evaporated, about 15 minutes. 

p.s. Vote for me (Lindasy Nixon) for fave cookbook author & Happy Herbivore for best blog!here

No Oven Baking (Baking Muffins without an Oven!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQGuests

When I lived in New York City, I couldn't stand the thought of baking in the summer months. I had a window AC unit but even with it full blast using my gas oven was out of the question.

I had to bake cookies in the summer once -- for a book expo -- and I baked them in a bikini. Even then I was dying so when Poochie tweeted she'd "baked" HH's chocolate zucchini muffins without and oven I had a thousand questions. Then I begged her to guest post her secrets.

Without further ado, here is Poochie:

I live in a 112+ year old home and sometimes I wish for a "summer kitchen".  The original owners of our home would have had a detached kitchen to help prevent fires as well as working to keep the home cool in the pre-AC days. But now, our kitchen is attached to the home, but we still don't want to heat up the house with cooking, especially in the sweltering South.  

Does that mean I have to do without delicious muffins all summer long?  Heck no!  The key is a simple appliance that may already be hanging around in your cabinets... the electric sandwich maker.

I've had my sandwich maker since college (ages and ages ago) and have, frankly, only ever used it to make muffins. Lol!  In my pre-vegan days, I would use this for a quick batch of Jiffy muffins, but now I whip up HH's blueberry or, in this case, chocolate-zucchini muffins. And using this for muffins could not be simpler.

How to Bake Muffins Without an Oven:

Make your muffin batter according to the recipe and then all you do is plug in your sandwich maker to pre-heat after giving it a quick spritz of cooking spray (I then give the panels a quick blot with a paper towel).  Mine is so basic it doesn't have an off/on switch.  I just plug it in.

Once the maker is hot, and spoon in a few spoonfuls of the batter.  Try to avoid over-filling or you'll make a bit of a mess.  Then close the lid.  The 2nd indicator light will go out when the muffins are done but you can also open the lid to check on them. There isn't really a set time but I would say each batch takes about 5 minutes.  

Once the muffins are done, you should be able to pop them out easily.  I use a butter knife but the edge of a spatula would work too.  You may need to give the panels another spritz of cooking spray, just to make sure nothing sticks. 

You get 4 triangular muffins each time.  The process is a bit more manual than putting the whole batch in the oven at one time but at least my house isn't 20 degrees hotter!  The muffins also come out with a baked "crust" (think the exterior of your traditional muffin base) but inside they are just as fluffy as regular muffins.   I actually like muffins better this way!

I hope this helps you enjoy HH's delicious muffins all year round!

p.s. Vote for me (Lindasy Nixon) for fave cookbook author & Happy Herbivore for best blog!here