Happy Herbivore Blog

Fiesta Mac n' Cheese

Posted by: Scott Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Have you ever had an idea rattling around in your head that's a lil' strange and if executed could either be weird and gross or innovative and totally awesome?! 

Well that's the deal with this recipe. For a while now I've wanted to dump chunky salsa over my mac n' cheese. Color me crazy, but it just seemed like a great idea. Of course getting up the nerve to actually do it (AND feed it to Scott) was a whole other story.

Maybe it was the mojitos, or the spirit of Memorial Day weekend... I don't know, but I tried it and hot damn! What a pay off.

The nice thing about this new take on an old favorite is the possibilities. I'm not just adding salsa to my pasta -- but a host of nutricious options. You can dump in vegetables like zuccihini, tomatoes and corn, stir in black beans for added protein or heat it up with a spicy salsa, hot sauce or chiles. Hell, even sliced black olives over top with some soyrizo (I have a fat-free recipe in my cookbook) or spicy seitan sausage could be KILLER.

To make Fiesta Mac n' Cheese add 1 to 1 1/2 cups chunky mild salsa to the cheese sauce after it's done cooking. (Note: although fruit salsas like peach and pineapple are damn tasty, I think they'd pretty gross here. Stick with traditional tomato-based salsas and keep the fruit salsas reserved for salsa chickpea wraps). NOM NOMINO!

Recipe:Soy-Free Mac n' Cheese


A quick and easy vegan mac n' cheese that doesn't use tofu -- or fat! Miso can have soy in it, so be careful when selecting your miso if you have an allergy or dietary need (chickpea miso is soy-free!).



Cook pasta according to directions, immediately drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Whisk all remaining ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a near boil and turn heat down to low. Stirring occassionally, allow the sauce to thicken up. Combine with macaroni, stirring to coat. Garnish with smoked paprika if desired.


Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Reviews

Gesh. I've had about 15 books sitting in a pile in my apartment since November of last year. I was so busy writing my cookbook (then editing, then photog'ing dishes) that I've had zero time to take a peak at any of them. 

Feeling guilty about it, I started taking them to the gym with me and let me tell you -- it's an odd experience to look through a cookbook while you're working out! Esp. the cookies one. I got some real stares for that.

This isn't all of them, and I did throw a product review in here too, but I hope you find it insightful and helpful -- and hopefully the rest will get reviews by next week. (Thanks again to all the publishers that have sent me copies of these books -- I'm sorry it took me so long to give them attention).


I have always been a huge fan of BB and The Thrive Diet remains one of my favorite vegan/athletic resources; it's no surprise that I loved this book. Much like it's precursor, Thrive Fitness provides important information about nutrition and exercise in a easy, understandable way. If you've ever been confused about eating right, fueling correctly or exercising in general (as a vegan or other)  -- this book is for you. BB provides a great full-body workout (with pictures!) and a number of recipes to help fuel and recover from your workouts. While it does echo a lot of the points in his first book, it's more of a Cliff Notes version and there is a great deal of new information. I esp. like the tone of the book -- it's conversation and friendly; I can almost imagine BB telling me all this over the phone.

Although I eschew most supplements I love Vega's products. Vega is BB's supplement line and it's made from the best vegan ingredients with minimal processing. I'm completely hooked on Vega Sport (lemon) and couldn't wait their new Shake & Go Smoothies. I've sampled the chocolate one and it's pretty good with water but delicious with non-dairy milk. I enjoy a shake after an intense cardio workout when my body needs nutrients but I have no desire to eat something solid.

As always, Isa & Terry do not disappoint -- the cookbook is endless eye candy. I'd buy it alone just for the pictures. I've been anxious to make their black&white cookies -- a staple in any NYC deli here (and sadly, never vegan). I grew up loving these cookies & I have to hand it to Isa & Terry -- their recipe is right on the money! YUM!  

I could write an entire book on this book. As an animal rights activist and environmentalist, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the food industry - esp. factory farming. I absolutely did not. This book is eye-opening and makes you go "hmm..." Everyone should read it -- meat eaters and vegetarians alike (vegans too!). It's the most objective exploration of the industry one can ask for and the truth is... startling. 

This book is textbook-style like Vcon. It's full of information on how to cook beans, grains, greens and adapt recipes. The title is a bit deceiving, though. Yes it has a ton of recipes, but many recipes aren't really recipes, i.e. salted edamame... Still, the book has much to offer. It has a lot of variety plus innovative uses for some ingredients. Unfortunately, almost every recipe in the book calls for oil; but there seems to be enough flavor coming from the spices that my removal of the oil doesn't cause the recipes to fall flat and taste bland. It seems suitable to a low fat diet, provided you adapt the recipes. On the downside, the cookbook doesn't have any photos (incl on the cover) and it's bigger than a phonebook.

My pugs, Quaid & Lily Bean, are both vegan & although I buy them vegan kibble, I do like to prepare home cooked foods for them and this book has pup-approved recipes! It also has a short chapter on dog nutrition which is objection rather than "go vegan." Sadly, it wasn't as informative as I would have liked (and it didn't have a recipe for kibble); but it was still helpful and insightful. 

My husband & HH's intern (Nick) both really liked the peanut butter bar. I can't say I was a fan of any of them -- they tasted very chalky to me; but in the bar's defense, I don't like most supplements, especially energy and protein bars. What I did like, however is that they are vegan and the main ingredient isn't nuts or coconut oil (they are low fat). I will probably continue to buy them to have on hand after hard workouts when I need a quick fix and am too tired to do anything beyond opening a wrapper.

My friend Gena suggested this book when I told her I was interested in eating more raw foods but couldn't afford expensive equipment like a dehydrator and that I didn't want to eat high-fat recipes. Her recommendation was spot on -- this is the easiest raw cookbook I've come across. It uses mostly everyday ingredients and the recipes are simple; using common tools and rarely asking you to plan in advance (I'm not good about soaking or sprouting). Even better, many recipes are fat-free and low fat. I'm completely obsessed with the green juice recipes in this book and have also taken a liking to some of the wraps. I think this is a great book for anyone who is looking to add simple, raw recipes to their diet.

I've been so happy with 30-Minute Vegan that I thought I would check out Mark Reinfeld's first book. I felt that the spiritual overtones in the book were just too much. What the book does offer, however, is a sampling of world cuisine. Most of the recipes are clean, too -- meaning they only use whole, unprocessed ingredients (with the exception of a section on tofu and tempeh). I don't know that it's an everyday cookbook, but if you're looking for something "different" this might be a good choice.

Vegan Italian Sausages & BEA!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Press

I have a lot to say in this post... so bear with me folks! (All exciting stuff though!)

First, here is my recipe for Ballpark Italian Sausages! It comes from my e-cookbook Backyard Vegan & it's one of many recipes that's in an e-cookbook but not on this blog or in my upcoming cookbook. The e-cookbooks are only for sale until June 30th so get your copy! (All the proceeds go to the support and maintenance of Happy Herbivore so a special thanks to everyone who has been buying copies!)

Next, BEA! I was at the Book Expo of America yesterday handing out pumpkin-raisin oatmeal cookies (a huge hit!) and sexy postcards for my cookbook. Of course thanks to NYC traffic I was a bit late to my own signing. Whoops.


I finally arrive & notice there was a line of people waiting. I said to my publisher "wait.... those people are here... for ME?! Who paid them!" I was truly shocked (and so flattered) by all the people who came out to see me!

Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU! Your support means everything to me -- I mean it! I was thrilled to meet people who are as excited about the book as I am!!

I also met Terry Hope Romero who was there with her new book and Gary V! As soon as my "signing" ended I ran clear across the expo to where Gary was speaking. I'd missed his speech but caught him as he was leaving. We chatted for a few minutes & I got to personally thank the man who helped change my life (Read his book, Crush It!). Gary if you're reading this, I'd love to cook for you & your family! 

Finally, I was also on Healthy Voyager radio last night talking about Happy Herbivore, the upcoming cookbook AND giving out recipes, tips and ideas for summer parties! (Skip ahead to minute 28:00 to hear me).

What are YOU making for Memorial Day? These Italian Sausages I hope!



Recipe:Italian Sausages


I lived next door to Fenway Park in Boston. Outside every entrance to the park was a street vendor selling Italian sausages with onions and peppers and inside the park was the same story. You couldn’t walk more than ten feet without passing a sausage stand. The notion that a “hot dog” was the ballpark frank quickly disappeared from my mind - the Italian sausage is king! Here’s my take on the true ballpark frank. It’s healthier than the store-bought variety and super easy to make, too!



 Crush fennel seeds into a powder using mortar and pestle, set aside. Pulse beans a few times in a food processor or mash manually with a fork until no whole beans are left. Combine beans with all dry ingredients (add red pepper flakes to taste, a little goes a long way) and soy sauce in a large bowl. Mix with your hands to ensure even distribution.  Add water and then knead dough about 10 times and set aside. Grab 5 rectangular shapes of foil and prepare your steamer (turn it on and get it ready). Divide dough into 5 equal parts and, using your hands, shape it into a log on the tin foil. Wrap each piece tightly in tin foil, twisting the ends to close. Steam for 40 minutes.