Happy Herbivore Blog

Andrea's Puttanesca - A Quick Fire Challenge

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

First, a little history. I met Andrea a year ago via twitter. I liked her style. I liked her tweets. Then I found out she lived in NYC (where I was living). and then I found out she was a college student.

You see, I am a mother without children which means I have a need -- a physical need -- to feed and dote on others. Andrea was a fine candidate to take my maternal instincts out on, so I quickly invited her over for dinner. and I may or may not have told her to bring her laundry along.

and so it went.

Anyway, this semester Andrea needed to intern somewhere for credit, and so I snatched her up in a heart beat and made her my book tour assistant. She also graciously agreed to let me stay at her apartment during my month-long stay in NYC, with one caveat. I had to feed her. She was diggin' on the idea of having a 24/7 personal chef.

Flash forward to yesterday, it was my first day at Andreas and we were both hungry. Andrea, a college student on a budget, didn't think she had any food I could make for us to eat. That's where I told her she was wrong & I'd come up with something. 8 minutes later, we had lunch.

Andrea's Puttanesca

I started with a small handful of whole-wheat spaghetti, that I broke in half. While the spaghetti was cooking, I dug marinara, olives, leftover chickpeas, tomatoes and fresh spinach from Andrea's fridge. I cut the olives and tomatoes quickly, and tore the spinach into smaller pieces. 

When the pasta was done cooking. I removed it from the water with a fork, then threw the chickpeas, spinach and tomatoes in---straight into the cooking water, to let them heat a bit. Then I drained them and combined everything together with a little marinara sauce. After plating the pasta, I added the sliced olives and called it lunch. 

It was a quick, easy, well-balanced and filling meal. All made from Andrea's odds and ends. I can't see what I make on my next "quick fire" challenge.

Andrea is also a much, much more efficient blogger than me --- she posted about our lunch within minutes of it happening, I swear. She also took pictures with a real camera (I used my phone) so you should take a peak at her blog. 

Andrea also discovered a bit of history about Puttanesca... apparently it's spaghetti for whores. Hmm....

NYC Book Signing Today!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: News

Join me today for the *best* vegan pizza!

I'll be nibbling and signing books tonight from 7-8 pm at Slice Perfect (535 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014). 

Can't wait to see all my NYC-area Herbies there! 

DC & Pitt this weekend! Woohoo!

Kitchen Confidential: Tips on how to be an awesome home cook.

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

Yes, I know, I'm blatantly hijacking the title of Anthony Bourdain's book, which is kind of funny, considering how he feels about vegans... but it's quite applicable for today's post! 

Late last week, a Herbie posted a stunning pic of the "Cheater Pad Thai" from the cookbook on HH's Facebook page, and in the comments underneath it, asked if I had any tips for how to make frozen veggies taste fresh and crisp, not soggy.

Before I could respond, however, another Herbie left her secret... and that's what I love about the HH fan page -- we've really created a caring community where anyone can feel welcome and safe. Conversations are always going on the wall, and questions for the group pop up frequently.

In fact, it was this particular question that got me thinking about all the tricks and tips I've learned over the years, so I asked Herbies on Twitter and Facebook to send in their secrets so we could all be the best home cooks we can be! 

(p.s. I actually didn't even know all of the tips that were sent in, which was humbling and a reminder that we never stop learning!)

(Bradley Cooper is my fantasy boyfriend. Or was, until one day I was thumbing through a friend's pictures of Facebook and realized she knew him. Then my celebrity crust was just embarrassing.)

"I let my frozen veggies thaw on the counter. I then add them to a sauce at the last minute to keep them crisp." - Toni

"For beef flavor in my TVP or seitan, I fall back on mushroom sauce and yeast extract like Vitam-R (or marmite, or vegemite)." - Kerstin 

"For flax-eggs, you need to whip the ground flax seeds with the water, not just add them to the recipe. It's 'ready' when you pull your fork up and its stringy like an egg" - Kim

"Store cilantro upright in a glass of water and place a plastic bag over top and then put it in the fridge. It'll last for two weeks this way" - Sarah

"Cut new carrots so they'll fit in a tupperware and store in cold water - they stay fresh and crisp without drying out!" Megan

"For Moms: When you try something new out, load their plate with foods they also love so your child doesn't get overwhelmed thinking "there is nothing for me to eat!" - Jennifer

"Don't store bananas in a bunch or near other fruits. Separate them and store in different locations. Bananas release gases that cause other fruits (including other  bananas) to ripen quickly." - Wendy

"Pizza stones are perfect for pressing tofu." Jen H.

"Well-seasoned cast iron cookware functions like Teflon (non-stick) but without the nasty chemicals. I love my dutch oven." - Jodi

"Do bulk-prep on the weekend. If your veggies are already chopped, you'll be more likely to use them during the week. Some people say veggies loose their nutrients if you prep ahead, but if I don't, I may not get ANY of the nutrients." - Mairead

"When you burn yourself in the kitchen, spread mustard on the affected area and leave it for a while. The mustard will ease the pain and prevent blistering." - Wendy

Also, don't forget my Top 10 Tips in the cookbook -- which you can see now using Amazon's "look inside" feature. 

p.s. Check out this cool (and very detailed!) video review of my cookbook by Eco-Vegan Gal

P.S. -- NYC Herbies! Don't forget, tomorrow Pizza & Book Signing!