Happy Herbivore Blog

Guest Blogger: Kelly R.

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Guests

Today's guest blogger, Kelly, dishes up some down home cooking from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and talks about cooking vegan for her skeptical omni hubby! 

HH: Kelly, How'd you get your hubby to try a few vegan dishes?

Kelly: As a vegetarian who tries to make vegan choices whenever possible, I was very excited to start cooking from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. My husband, however, is not as enthusiastic as I am about this lifestyle, so I asked him to choose some recipes that he thought he might enjoy.

HH: What recipes did he pick?

Since my husband is a big fan of New Orleans cuisine, he chose Dirty Rice (p. 192) and Spicy Collard Greens(p. 184) to pair together. Yum!

HH: How'd it go? Did your hubby like it?

We enjoyed both of the dishes and have since made them a few times!

I found the Spicy Collard Greens to be a little too spicy for me, but the hubby loved it! So now we try to find a common ground with heat when cooking.

We really liked the Dirty Rice and find it to be quite satisfying paired with the greens. A great combination for my husband who loves to eat, and this time he enjoyed healthy, low-fat vegan food!

HH: Yay! Vegan food WIN! Does your hubby have any other faves?

Another recipe from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook that we L-O-V-E is the Baked Beans (p. 199), which we have also made with the Spicy Collard Greens. It is wild with flavor and is absolutely delish! I am planning on bringing the Baked Beans to a party soon. I know it will be a big hit along with a pasta salad I typically make.

I have also been wanting to try your Chickpea Tacos (p. 97) for the longest time and we finally tried it! I LOVED it! I also made taco seasoning for the first time and was surprised how easy it was. This recipe is simple, full of flavor and uses only a few ingredients! 

HH: I must confess, I'm totally in love with your plates in the photos! Deets!

Our beautiful plates were from our wedding registry and are from the 222 Fifth Tableware collection. The hubby likes square plates and I like flowers, as a little sunshine on dishware brings a smile to my face. 

HH: Thanks so much for guest posting Kelly!

Have you won over a skeptical loved one with a HH recipe? Tell us!

When opportunity knocks

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: AdviceBusiness101

Sometimes you need to close the door.

I know, this sounds so opposite of everything I've been preaching, but bare with me.

It's true, I have been making an effort to see the glass half full, to find opportunities in not-so-great situations, and say "yes" more. I think being optimistic is great but as I discovered last week, sometimes the best thing you can do is say "no thanks" and that sometimes saying "no" is actually the greatest opportunity of all.

In case you missed all the chatter on Facebook, Lifetime asked me to be a guest on one of their shows last week. I was excited -- practically jumping out of my skin -- until the end of the conversation when the producer told me I'd have to pay a fee of around $6,000.

That's right. 

Borrowing the words from my friend Barbara "They claim you will make a ton of money from doing it so they consider it an advertising fee. Ridiculous concept."

Since my first cookbook came out, I've had a lot of PR firms barking up my tree, all of them offering to get me on Good Morning America, or some other show, if I was willing to pay several thousands dollars. 

It's not that I don't want to be on those shows, but let me let you in on a little secret:

There is absolutely no money in writing cookbooks. None.

I make pennies on the dollar, but that's okay, I don't do what I do because I think it will make me rich and famous. If I wanted to be rich, I'd still be a lawyer and if I wanted to be famous I'd have been on reality TV (joke)!

Point is, while I don't mind living with less so I can do what I love, that isn't going to pay my way on to a Television show.

Still, I had a hard time coming to terms with having to turn the opportunity down until I flipped through a book I'd just read, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. 

Tony had developed a business (LinkExchange) and early on he'd been offered $1 million cash to sell it. He and his partners struggled ("We really believed that LinkExchange had the potential to be so much bigger, but it was also hard to turn down so much money" Tony wrote) but ultimately they declined the offer. Not too long later, they sold the company for $265 million.

The lesson I took away was that sometimes you have to know when to say no. 

In this past year, I've been asked by two reality TV shows to audition for upcoming shows on their network and now, I've gotten this offer from Lifetime. Even if nothing pans out, that's okay because it's still an honor and most importantly, an indication that whatever I'm doing is working. Chin up!

Have you ever turned down an opportunity? 

Minimalist Monday: Finding Happiness

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Minimalist

This blog post picked me. I kept coming across this same, reoccurring idea over and over this last week and as it turns out, it was something I needed to hear. (and I suspect we all do!)

When I started down this minimalist path I wanted to reduce stress so I could be more zen, but also so I could be happier. In one of my past memoir posts I shared this quote, which I find deeply profound:

Know that happiness is always available to you. The moment you see the truth of this, you can be happy right away. There's nothing that needs to happen first for you to be happy. You don't need to do anything else, go anywhere else, reform yourself, or become a different person. Happiness is very simple. It's only our tendency to complicate things that makes it difficult."

It reminds me of my current self-improvement project which is to complain less and find opportunity more. When one door closes... (I tell myself: complaining is not a conversation -- negativity begets negativity).

Anyway, I came across this this short video by Gary V about why he's 99.9% happy all the time -- basically he only cares focuses on the big picture. I love that idea, that happiness is not the absence of sadness but the ability to focus on the good in your live above all else.

How to be happy? Check... But what does that have to do with minimalism? 

A friend shared this on Google+ (from this article) and suddenly it all came together for me:

You need less than you think you do. All your life you've been led to believe that more is better and that whatever you have isn't enough. It's a prescription for disappointment. Instead, ask yourself this: How much of what you already have truly adds value in your life? What could you do without?

Less really is more. With less I have less stress and also more happiness. 

In sum, the pursuit of happiness can make us crazy. The truth is, happiness is about being receptive, about being in touch with the good that's in the present moment and being happy with what we have instead of wishing for what we didn't.

So I ask you, what is something in your life right now that make's you happy?