Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interview with Lindsay the Happy Herbivore & Free Apple Fritter Cups recipe!

As promised I have a very special treat for you today! Lindsay S. Nixon author of the new cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore has kindly agreed to answer some questions and is even sharing one of her wonderfully yummy recipes from her new book (Apple Fritter Cups!) with you all. If you've been reading for a while you'll know how much I love her (completely affordable) books and blog, you find some Herbie love here here and here. I can not say enough how happy I am to have found her, she's made adapting to a healthy low fat vegan food effortless and delicious.
Everyone meet Lindsay:
(isn't she gorgeous? Inside and out!)
For those of you who aren't yet in love with her blog Happy Herbivore or cook books here's some background on Ms Nixon.

Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. Lindsay's recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women's Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort and four-star restaurant in the French West Indies. You can learn more about Lindsay and sample some of her recipes at happyherbivore.com

After vegan chef Lindsay S. Nixon wrapped up her popular cookbook The Happy Herbivore Cookbook last year, she went back to her kitchen in her new home of St. Maarten. Island living encouraged Nixon to come up with simpler fare, which led to a follow-up cookbook focusing on recipes that bring tasty back to quick-and-easy.

Now, in Nixon's much-anticipated follow-up cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore, readers will see, once again, that just because plant-based eating is optimal for health, it doesn't have to also be expensive or time-consuming.

Everyday Happy Herbivore includes more than 175 doable recipes--recipes that are so quick and easy, you could cook three healthy meals from scratch every day like Nixon does.

Each of Nixon's recipes are made with wholesome, easy-to-find, fresh ingredients and include no added fats. With additional notes indicating recipes that are ideal for preparing ahead of time and those you can whip up with just a few dollars, Everyday Happy Herbivore will be the must-have cookbook for anyone desiring a healthier, happier menu!

Now for my 20 questions (& believe me it was really hard to restrain myself to just 20)
1. What is your favourite summer and winter ingredient?
In the summer I could eat my weight in watermelon, though I don't really ever use it as an ingredient. In the winter I'm a huge fan of squashes and greens.

2. What do you eat most? (meal/ingredient)
I keep a really balanced diet -- so every meal and each day has a new variety -- different from the last. We do eat a lot (a lot!) of greens but we change it up between spinach, kale, chard, turnip greens, and so on.

3. What makes you smile in the kitchen?
I really love the smell of freshly ground cinnamon. It makes me swoon.

4. Do you use your freezer much?
Not really. I've always lived in small apartments -- with small fridges (and even smaller freezers) only room for ice and some frozen vegetables. Leftovers keep so beautifully in the fridge, without the risk of changing the texture, so we tend to use that if we need to hold on to something past one meal.

5. Which kitchen appliance do you use most (aside from good knives!)?
I actually spent the last year (and wrote my second cookbook) with no speciality kitchen appliances -- unless you count a blender, which I don't really because I use it so infrequently. (All I had was my pots, pans, knives, oven, microwave and stove). I use my stove everyday, multiple times per day. The oven a few times a week, the microwave, pretty much never. My husband uses it to heat water for his tea.

6. When you're missing something how do you go about vegan-ising/health-ifing it?
It depends on what it is. For example, I really loved cinnamon buns, so I wrote a recipe for vegan, fat-free, whole-wheat cinnamon buns. I also used to really like onion rings -- so I developed a recipe for them that's baked, not fried.

7. What's your favourite 'treat' recipe?
By treat do you mean dessert? I'm really into the Tortuga Rum Cake from EHH right now... but I have a lot of favorites.

8. Do you ever cook for your dogs? what do they like?
The pugs are on a home cooked vegan diet -- they don't eat kibble, unless we're traveling (then they get Vdog). They have a varied diet -- they eat pretty much everything we do, except for foods that are bad for dogs like raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate. They eat a lot of different beans and legumes, all sorts of vegetables and fruits, tons of whole grains. Lily Bean doesn't like celery, and Quaid is still pretty unsure of bananas, but other than that, they eat anything with pleasure. Carrots are their favorite food, ever.

9. When cooking/sharing with others do you divulge the ingredients before or after? Do you tell people it's healthy or just let them dive in?
Anyone I'm cooking for knows how I eat and cook, so there is no opportunity to surprise them. They know it's healthy and vegan -- though time and time again, everyone is surprised at how delicious healthy can be.

10. What's your next book's focus, do you have a release date?
Happy Herbivore at Home and Abroad will be here in December (2012). It's my third and (perhaps) final cookbook. It's a mixture of comfort foods and foods from my travels.

11. Do you have any tips for healthy herbivores eating out?
I've written a few blog posts on that topic, traveling too.

12. How do you approach others who are resistant to your lifestyle choices?
I believe leading by example and having a positive attitude is the best way to advocate.
13. How has your cooking style changed since becoming a herbivore?
Before I was plant-based, I didn't cook, so yeah, 180!

14. Fresh vs dried herbs?
I like both, but find dried is easier, more available, more cost effective. For example, I always have dried thyme on hand, but I almost never have fresh thyme on hand, and it's not always at the store, and when it is, it's expensive.

15. Do you have any tips for people who think they can't cook?
Everyone can cook -- I used to be a lousy cook, now I write cookbooks -- get in the kitchen, try and have fun. Attitude is everything. Have a positive attitude and you'll have a positive experience.

16. Low fat vs no fat. Where do you stand on flax/chia seeds for omega 3's and regular vs low fat soy products?
I'm really skeptical of chia seeds -- my father in law was taking 1 tsp a day and it caused blood in his urine, among other issues. Chia seeds also seemed to just sort of pop up out of no where, and I'm always a little cautious of things being promoted as a "superfood" or "supplement". Once in a while, sure, fine, but I try to have a natural approach to eating -- and I don't think in the wild I'd come across chias on a daily basis.

That said, I eat a low fat, no added fat diet -- I'm a long-time follower of the McDougall program (which is low/no added fat), and while I think added whole fats (like nuts, seeds or avocado) are fine once in a while, I don't think they're needed every day -- there is fat in all foods we eat (even rice, kale and bananas have fat) so we're getting plenty of fat from all foods we eat without adding pure and high fat foods. As McDougall says, "The fat you eat is the fat you wear" and since I'm maintaining a 30lbs fat loss, I'm not about to put it back on. I also find when I do eat a lot of fat, I fet a food coma, which is no bueno.

I also shy away from foods that are made low fat -- it's one thing if a food is naturally low fat (like apples, for instance) but low fat soy milks go through extra processing -- they have to have the fats taken out, so I stick with the less processed option as I feel that is more healthful even if it has more fat. However, I'm glad those options exist for people who have to maintain a very low fat diet for health reasons.

17. Have you ever had an epic kitchen fail? I've had muffins that turned into rocks, things that just would not bake through (gluten free, fat free, vegan anyone?)
I don't have a problem with gluten-free, fat-free vegan baking :-) sounds like over stirring or over baking.
I've had a few epic failures -- like the time I forgot the top on my blender and covered my kitchen top to bottom with green smoothie.

18. Where do you stand on moderation vs abstinence? Can you just have one bite/one treat or will it snowball? 100% or 80%-20% etc?
Neither -- I don't like "moderation" because it's too vague -- what is moderation? Once a month? Once a year? Once a week? Does the standard apply across the board for everything?

Let’s face it, any time we’ve said “in moderation” -- to ourselves, our friends, to anyone --- it was a justification. A justification to eat something we know is bad for us. It’s nothing short of an insincere apology, a Hail Mary to save face or a way to feel less guilty.

Now, I know a life of pure perfection is not attainable (or desirable!) so when you make a less-than-great choice, don’t justify it. Call it what it is: a little indulging. ‘Fess up. Take the heat, and move on. You’ll find you do it a lot less this way, than if you operate under the “in moderation” theory.

19. Herbivore vs vegan? How do you feel about the vegan police/negatives of the veg community?
See this post:

20. What's the best way to encourage others to eat well? (I think you can't tell someone things they aren't ready to hear or accept but will never stop trying!)
Lead by example.

Thank you so much for answering all my questions Lindsay! And now for some completely delicious, healthy, only 100cal! Fritter Cups. Yummmmm

Apple Fritter Cups | 12 muffins

As my friend Sheree` says “These treats just jump right in to your mouth and make you dance!”

1 ½ cup chopped apple (skin optional)
1 c nondairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup light brown or raw sugar
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
nutmeg or ground ginger
Basic Glaze

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Toss 1 cup apples with a few dashes of cinnamon and a little brown sugar until well coated and set asides (“topping”). In a small bowl, whisk nondairy milk with vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ½ to ¾ tsp cinnamon (your choice) plus a dash of nutmeg or ginger, and stir to combine. Whisk in sugar then pour in milk mixture. Add vanilla and remaining ½ cup apples and stir to combine. Spoon into muffin cups just a tad more than ½-way full. Add “topping” on each. Bake 15-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Meanwhile, make glaze, substituting 1 tsp of liquid with 1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional). Drizzle warm fritters with glaze.

Tip: Once the fritters completely cool, the liners will peel off. If you plan to eat them warm, lightly spray the inside of the liner with oil-spray to prevent sticking or forgo the liners and grease your muffin tin or use a nonstick pan.

Per Fritter (without glaze) : 102 Calories, 0.4g Fat, 20.9g Carbohydrates, 2.4g Fiber, 5.5g Sugar, 2.7g Protein

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Get your copy of Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Low Fat and Fat-Free Vegan Recipes. Buy on Amazon.

I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have, I cook from The Happy Herbivore or Everyday Happy Herbivore regularly and have not yet found something I (or my fussy husband) don't like. For those of you looking to shed some weight Lindsay also offers a really great 1200cal meal plan that's getting rave reviews- why not give it a try? You can eat lots of yummy food, stay satisfied and nourished while losing weight. Win-win-win!

Hope you're all happy and well, 
All the best,

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  1. Great interview and the apple fritters sound super delicious! I am totally going to have to try these, except I'll prob sub out oat flour for the whole wheat to make them gluten free :)

  2. Great interview :) thanks for posting it :)


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