Foodie Fridays: Happy Herbivore Abroad
After a whole lotta holiday overindulging, it’s no wonder so many people’s New Year’s Resolutions revolve around the way they eat. As long-time readers will know, I eat a mostly plant-based vegan diet. That’s not to say I don’t indulge in some cheese or will turn down a cookie made with butter and eggs, but where I can, I eat vegan food – I’ve truly found some serious health benefits from the amount of energy I have to the way I feel on a daily basis to a less-stressed digestive system to a slimmer & trimmer body. Beyond that, it also helps your pocketbook (meat being so expensive) and the planet to go for a whole foods, plant-based diet. One of the big things I always have to overcome in conversation, however, is the perception that vegan food is tasteless, bland, or boring. In fact as I sit here writing this post and munching on a vegan Christmas sugar cookie, you’d be stunned at how delicious vegan food is, and how ubiquitous.
And herein lies today’s way-cool gift idea + generally awesome cookbook from blogger-turned-author Lindsay S. Nixon: Happy Herbivore Abroad. A new collection of over 135 fat-free & low-fat vegan recipes based on dishes the author herself has tasted and loved in her worldwide journeys (many of which are documented in the book through photos and anecdotes). The Happy Herbivore series of cookbooks are among my very favourite because not only are they super healthy (she includes a nutritional breakdown for each dish), they’re also usually very simple and quick to prepare as well. If you follow her shopping list at the beginning of the book / have a generally well-stocked pantry to begin with, you can easily dip your toe into the book for meatless Mondays or everyday dinners without having to scour the grocery store shelves.
But what of the book itself? Well it’s divided up into your standard categories – from legume dishes to soups, stews & chilis – it’s pretty easy to navigate through each section. The layout of the book has been refreshed from Nixon’s earlier volumes, with tips and a back story for each recipe intertwined with tons of photos + the country of origin for each dish. That latter point is notable because it makes it easy for you to craft a multi-culti dish: simply pair up a few Thailand dishes for a better-than-takeout experience. The reason why this is such a genius take for a vegan cookbook is the fact in many other non-Western cultures, meat is hardly a staple. Suddenly dishes you’re already familiar with come into sharp perspective: it’s foods you know and love like crepes and kale (and exotic dishes you’ve probably always wanted to try like curries and stir fries) but without the meat (or the dairy). Some countries definitely have more dishes than others – Mexico, Spain, and Thailand all feature heavily – but overall this is a pretty diverse book, with a good ol’ American section in the book to feed your everyday cravings.
Like I mentioned above, this is the third book in the Happy Herbivore series, and they are honestly some of the most basic and healthy vegan recipes around – making them one of my top recommendations for someone hesitant to indulge in some plant-based, whole foods eatin’. Plus they’re paperback, which makes them mighty affordable – each book retails between $15 and $17 on Amazon (or about $25 in stores). If you’ve got a friend vowing to eat less meat this new year, consider gifting them one of these lovely books.
That being said, if you’re simply curious to try one for yourself, I’ve got two copies of Lindsay S. Nixon’s newest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad, to give away to two of you lovely people. Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment by January 12th with your New Year’s health & food-related resolution. Is it to start meatless Mondays? Cut back on the sodium? Work out five times a week? How are you pledging to better yourself this year?
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around January 13th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.