Foodie Fridays: Everyday Happy Herbivore
If you’ve been around this blog long since all the way back to October, you’ll know that I ran a series of posts related to Vegetarian Awareness Month. Why? Because I myself eat a primarily (but not strictly) vegan diet, a change I actually only made within the last year. It was a good chance to…raise awareness…for the realities and benefits of doing such things as restricting or eliminating the amount of meat and dairy in your diet. One of my favourite go-to cookbooks has been Lindsay S. Nixon’s ‘Happy Herbivore’, which makes vegan food so easy and appealing, your cat will even lick his chops at dinnertime (and mine does, natch).
Naturally you can imagine my delight to see that Ms. Nixon had produced another stellar vegan cookbook – this time focused on quicker-than-quick mealtime solutions that don’t take ten hours of planning and cooking. There’s a common misconception out there (one held by me at one point) that vegan cooking takes a lot longer than regular omnivorous cooking. To which I say: you probably spend more time on food prep (chopping vegetables), but you save time because it’s way quicker to whip up a Cauliflower-Pumpkin Curry than a pot roast. Anyway with that in mind, here are five reasons / occasions for why Everyday Happy Herbivore would make a wonderful gift suggestion:
1) The Healthy Dieter – A lot of my friends have been inspired to dip their toes into vegan cooking since I started doing it. Of course not all cookbooks are created alike: there are dozens of ways you can still eat really unhealthy meals even if you’re eating vegan food. Lindsay’s book has complete nutritional information for every single recipe, and every one of her recipes are fat-free or low-fat (Yup, even the decadent Chocolate Mug Cake for one). If your friend is rocking a New Year’s Resolution that involves shedding a few pounds, consider this as a healthy, helpful supplement to her meal planning.
2) The Fear of Meat – As per the above, the other main reason my friends are trying out vegan cooking is to simply recognize that eating meat everyday might not be the best thing for your body. If you want to introduce unintimidating meatless mains – like Moroccan Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas – to someone’s weekly menu, this is a genus book to do it with. Consider hooking up your prego best friend that’s completely turned off by the scent of meat.
3) Rush Hour Recipes – There are so many cookbooks out there that claim to have recipes on your table in under an hour, under 45 minutes, or under 30. I can honestly say that not only is every recipe in this book geared for 30 minutes or less, it’s actually quite feasible to do. Heck sometimes I had stuff done in 10 minutes or less – like the Wendy’s sweet treat imitator: the Banana Frosty. So if your brother has just moved into his first apartment and is still shuddering at the sight of his kitchen – these low-maintenance, simple recipes will rock his world.
4) Bloggers Unite – Naturally a built-in audience for Lindsay’s book are all the ‘Herbies’ out there that read her blog, the Happy Herbivore. I’m kind of dying just looking at the recipes on there right now…Whole Wheat Gingerbread scones? Heck yes, although it’s questionable whether they’ll be able to top the glazed pumpkin biscuits featured in Everyday Happy Herbivore.
5) Still Don’t Believe Me? – Okay then. Give it a go for yourselves. I’ve got a freebie recipe for you lot to try out. And if you’re not convinced as to the supreme yumminess of vegan cooking, well then…maybe skip reading my blog next October ;)
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 (mix a little non-dairy milk and powdered sugar together until you get a frosting-like consistency)
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 aside (“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
CONTEST ALERT!!! I’ve got an extra copy of Lindsay S. Nixon’s Everyday Happy Herbivore for one very lucky Canadian Gift Guide reader. Follow me this way if you’re ready to get your vegan chef’s hat on:
1) Leave a comment until midnight on February 17th and tell me which of the five scenarios above would most motivate you to try your hand at vegan cooking. Be sure to use a valid email address so I can contact you if you win!
2) Entries are limited to one per person per email address (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around February 18th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to residents of Canada AND the USA that have reached the age of majority in their province / state. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry Time: For every tweet you post about the Canadian Gift Guide over the contest period that links back to this post, you’ll earn a bonus entry! Be sure to drop your Twitter handle / links to your tweets in the comments below, and use @cdngiftguide in your Tweet.