Happy Herbivore Blog

HH Goes to the Tropics!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: News

For those of you that have been reading this blog since 2007 (or any substantial amount of time, really), this news probably isn't too surprising:

We're moving to St. Maarten!

In the three years I've had Happy Herbivore, we've moved from Boston to Los Angeles to New York City. It's been a whirlwind adventure — one that will be taking us out of the country and to a tiny island in the tropics for the next year.

Scott's job is taking us there and we're excited about the prospect of living in a new place, trying on a new culture and learning a new language.

It's been wonderful to be in New York City for the last 15 months. I've enjoyed being lost in this amazing city, eating my heart out, seeing old friends and making new ones. There really is no place on Earth like New York City and I will surely miss my life here. Admittedly, I came home to heal and find my way. I felt so lost when we left Los Angeles. I knew that I loved cooking, but I hated being a lawyer — and now I have my own cookbook! So perhaps the timing is right then.

(Cruisers: Don't worry, we're still on for the Happy Herbivore cruise! I'll be flying into Miami to set sail with everyone — I'll just come with a bit of a tan...)

I keep telling myself my year down there will be like Julia's Child's "My Life in France" except without all the butter. and meat.  

Low Fat Pumpkin (Bean!) Bars (Vegan)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

A confession: I cheated with this recipe. It's one of the very few recipes on Happy Herbivore that uses added fat. It calls for a bit of peanut butter, but I'm also including a variation for my chocolate lovers that is "fat-free." 

The idea for these treats came haphazardly. James left a comment on HH's Facebook page asking for a pumpkin version of HH's black bean brownies. Since I created a whole-wheat, fat-free pumpkin-brownie recipe last year, I decided to try my hand at pumpkin bars instead.

My first batch of bars came out beautifully but I wasn't completely sold on the taste. My friend Heather then suggested I add some of my low fat "peanut butter" (a recipe in my upcoming cookbook) to help mask the bean taste.

Since my cookbook isn't out yet, I decided to use regular ol' peanut butter and success! The pumpkin bars are delicious! 

A warning: make these pumpkin bars when you're alone unless you want to embarrass yourself as you lick the batter out of the bowl--it's so good...and addicting!

Recipe:Low Fat Pumpkin Bean Bars

Description

A wonderful pumpkin bar made with beans and other wholesome ingredients. For a chocolate-pumpkin bean brownie, use 1/4 cup cocoa in place of 1/4 cup oats. You can also use black beans for the chocolate recipe to get the right brownie color.

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Drain and rinse beans. Combine all ingredients except oats (and cocoa if using) in a food processor, blending until smooth and creamy. Stir in oats (and cocoa if using) then transfer to a square baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the center is firm to the touch. Allow to completely cool before slicing or eating (the bars firm as they cool). The pumpkin flavor also intensifies the next day (make in advanced if possible).

Note: if you only have rolled oats, send them through your food processor first to chop them up so they are smaller and more granulated like instant oats.

So, that Marie Claire article...

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Advice

I was away all weekend (and yesterday) in D.C., celebrating my best friend’s birthday. Admittedly, I get nervous anytime I’m “unplugged.” I’m convinced something is going to happen in my absence — and often it does. For example, my domain, like clockwork, chooses to crash when I’m “unavailable” to fix it, or I get coverage on some big website when I’m on vacation.

So really, it should be no surprise that I missed a big Internet “to do” yesterday. I’m talking about the Marie Claire article that... discussed so-called “healthy blogs.”

First, let me say that the Internet is a small pond so I know most of these bloggers personally. In fact, one tested for my upcoming cookbook. Many of these bloggers have also have featured my recipes on their blogs (on their own accord), which I greatly appreciate.

That being said, if you were to ask me if I thought any of these blogs were “healthy,” I would have said no, but my definition of "healthy" is different than theirs. I promote a low fat whole foods vegan diet which none of these ladies follow. 

However, dietary selections aside, the only 'problem' I see with this community is that it can breed a pack mentality where myths, stereotypes and bad habits can fester. Poor choices and habits become justified because it’s what everyone is doing. For example, if 20 of your peers say yogurt (which has more sugar than a soda, is riddled with cholesterol and causes osteoporosis) is a “healthy choice,” it suddenly becomes one through social proof. This is basic conventional wisdom... but this can also happen in any circle with any issue.

But none of this is really my business. I don’t evaluate or judge what any of my friends eat so I won’t treat these ladies or their fans any differently. I agree with several points in the article, but not all.

The reason I’m responding (and forgive me — I know this type of post is completely out of character) is because I received an overwhelming number of tweets and e-mails asking for a response, my opinion or about a recipe mentioned in the article.

For the record, I was invited to speak at the Healthy Living Summit this year, but withdrew due to a scheduling conflict. 

Anyway, the article reads: "Pare once chased a 10-mile run with a flourless, low-fat, black-bean "brownie."(This is a criticism of Pare). Yes, that’s my black bean brownie recipe they are referring to (and are half insulting with the description and quotes around the word "brownie.")

Of course, I hate that my black bean brownie recipe was cast in such a negative light (and, if we’re being honest here, I don’t see what’s wrong with Pare, or anyone, eating one of these brownies as a nutritious protein snack after a workout) — yet I’m thankful (I suppose) that my name was left off (or maybe I’m jealous... there’s no such thing as bad press, right?). Plus, Pare is a dear friend. It saddens me that my recipe (which she was testing for my cookbook as a personal favor!) was used to attack her like this.

I guess, in the end, I'm simply left wondering what is so bad about a flourless food? Or a "brownie" made of beans? The article is critical in general, but why also criticize a food made with wholesome ingredients like beans, oats and bananas? And why also attack Pare for selecting a healthier choice? Would the author have been "happier" if Pare had eaten a "real" brownie -- one made with gobs of butter, no fiber, bleached flour and eggs?

**Update 10/7/10: I like this "response" article by Media Bistro. I wish the original Marie Claire article had been written more like this one.

***Update 10/8/10: Marie Claire is now following me on Twitter. The plot thickens!