Happy Herbivore Abroad: Interview & Giveaway



ME or YOU :) 

First of all, welcome to my humble abode.  My name is Laura Black, and I am a Plant-Based Junkie (aka Herbie).  If this is your first visit, you are most likely wondering:  Plant-Based Junkies??  To answer your curiosity, I used to be what I considered a “Fast-Food Junkie”, in which I literally consumed fast-food two to three times a day, and I am not exaggerating when I say, I NEVER cooked.  Now, I like to consider myself a “Plant-Based Junkie” (PBJ), where I consume as many whole-foods, fruits/veggies as possible, and I am proud to say, I LOVE to cook (thanks to the Happy Herbivore cookbooks).  You can read more about my story here.  I recently celebrated my one year “Plantiversary” in September, and I have never been more passionate about sharing this wonderful plant-based lifestyle.  I am proof, along with countless others, that food is our medicine.  Feel free to browse this site for numerous links, books, and videos regarding this fabulous, healthy lifestyle.

Now, moving on to what we are all here for:  Lindsay Nixon, and the release of her third cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad.




Just to fill you in a bit about this inspirational Herbie; Lindsay S. Nixon is most famously known as the “Happy Herbivore” (HH).  She cooks with no added fats and mostly whole, unprocessed food.  You won’t find processed flour, refined sugars and oil or margarine in her recipes. What you will find, however, is food that is good for you and tastes great!  I was extremely excited when I ran across Happy Herbivore, when I began my plant-based lifestyle journey.

When I stumbled across her website, www.happyherbivore.com, I was in awe of the unlimited amount of helpful resources Lindsay had available to her audience.  From her blog, to her cookbooks, recipes, videosmeal plans, including tips on how to Get Started.  Lindsay is passionate about developing tasty, healthy, low-fat recipes, and sharing her knowledge with her fellow Herbies.  I feel lucky to have discovered Happy Herbivore, as she has impacted my life on a whole new healthier level.



I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to interview the Happy Herbivore (HH).  Keep in mind, I am a newbie to “blogging”, and I will be honest when I say that I have NO CLUE what I am doing, lol!  However, as soon as I found out that Lindsay was looking to choose thirty-one bloggers to host her blog tour in the month of December for her new cookbook Happy Herbivore Abroad (HHA), the first thing I did was grab my interview questions from my most recent interview with Chef AJ, and the giveaway of her book, Unprocessed.  I literally was so excited at the opportunity of featuring Lindsay’s new cookbook, that I wasn’t thinking straight, and took those questions, added one more question, and quickly e-mailed my interview questions back.  With that being said, these are not quite the questions I had in mind for HH, and I wish I could have a “do over”, and ask more specific “Herbie” questions.  None the less, I appreciate her taking the time to answer my questions, as I am still overwhelmed by being chosen to host one of her giveaways.  I am still jumping with joy, as I love Lindsay and what she stands for.  She truly is an inspiration to me, as well as many others.


PBJ:  What would you like to share with those thinking about starting a plant-based diet, but are frightened or unsure if they will be able to succeed?

HH:  Take it a meal at a time. Don’t get caught up with over thinking. Worry about this meal, right now — not what you’re doing tomorrow, or next week or next Christmas. Never think in “Can’s haves” — it’s not that you can’t have it, it’s that you’re choosing not to. Also, focus on all the food you can have, not what you’re choosing to give up. I eat a wider variety of food now on a plant-based diet than I ever did on an omnivorous one!

PBJ:  Was there an event in your life that persuaded you to make the transition to a plant-based lifestyle?

HH:  I was a vegetarian for most of my life but lapsed back to eating meat in my late teens from peer pressure and family pressure. A serious health scare in my early 20s brought me back to a vegetarian diet and about a year later, after reading The China Study, I adopted a totally plant-based diet. That was about 6 years ago now.

PBJ:  What is one of your favorite recipes from your new book, Happy Herbivore abroad?

HH:  Asking a chef to pick a favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child :)

PBJ:  What is your response to those folks that say they could never give up their meat, dairy, or processed foods? I used to be one of those people. My response used to be, “No cheese…are you crazy?” Also, any suggestions for those that say they are not big fruit or veggie lovers?

HH:  Don’t let your food control you. Meat, dairy, junk food — it’s all addictive. Don’t be an addict :)

PBJ:  What has been your most rewarding benefit from living this lifestyle?

HH:  I like to tell people you never realize how bad you felt, until you realize what it feels like to be well. My life has changed in absolutely profound ways.

PBJ:  What has been your biggest kitchen mishap/blooper?

HH:  I have a habit of using the blender without the lid…

PBJ:  Out of all of your books, which has been the most fun/challenging to write?

HH:  They’re all so different. Each has it’s own challenges, and own experiences. What I like about Abroad is that it’s so personal. There’s a lot more of me and my life in this book — which also is a little scary! It’s hard to bare it all.



Happy Herbivore Abroad (HHA) was released December 4, 2012.  HHA was already into its second printing before the release date.  How exciting is that???  Just under a year ago, Lindsay’s second cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore (EHH) made its appearance December 6, 2011, and her first cookbook The Happy Herbivore (HHC) debuted February 1, 2011.  Lindsay is cooking healthy, low-fat /fat-free meals up a storm!

Also, all books are available on Amazon as ebooks (kindle edition).  They should also be available through IBooks, and Nook soon; if not already.  Kindle edition means you can read these delicious ebooks on any device, including your web browser.  No “kindle” required.  You just need one of the following:  computer, smart phone, iPad, etc…Why not have both an electronic version and paperback?  How awesome to have three fabulous cookbooks at your fingertips while out, and about (like the supermarket), or “Abroad”.  :)

Her first cookbook, The Happy Herbivore (HHC) has over 175 delicious fat-free and low-fat vegan recipes.  This was one of the first cookbooks I purchased at the beginning of my journey, and I literally said “I can’t believe this is healthy food!”.  The muffins are so moist you will not believe they are fat-free, and cookies and cupcakes so tasty you will honestly deny that they are healthy foods.  I loved all of the “comfort foods”, as I definitely needed them at the beginning of my journey.  The recipes do not use obscure ingredients or tools, which I was thankful for considering I had never cooked before.  Some of my favorite recipes from HHC are:  Black Bean Burgers (literally has 5 ingredients) page 86, Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins page 45, and Baked Beans page 199.

Her second cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore (EHH) features over 175 quick-and-easy fat-free and low-fat vegan recipes which can be put on the table in 30 minutes or less.  The recipes are still made with wholesome “everyday” ingredients and without added fats like oil.  I loved the fact that I could cook three meals a day, from whatever ingredients I had on hand, in normally around 20 minutes.  Here are some of my faves:  Mexican Dinner which consists of, Bella Tacos page 91, Skillet Refried Beans page 179, and Taco Sauce page 293.  For dessert, we like to munch on the Single-Serving Blueberry Muffin page 56 (which my step-daughter LOVES).

Blogging about Lindsay’s third cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad (HHA), is a DREAM COME TRUE for me.  It is surreal to look back at when I was a new “Herbie” at the time EHH cookbook came out, to a year later blogging about yet another fantastic cookbook of Lindsay’s!

HHA is AMAZING, and I hate to say the “BEST YET” because the other two books are just as delicious, but in my opinion, I think what stands out about HHA, is her international recipes, and stories of her adventures throughout the book.  The numerous pictures of her travels are phenomenal, as well as breathtaking.  Oh, and if you are the type that likes to have “pictures” of what you are making and eating….THIS IS YOUR BOOK!   The pictures alone make your mouth water, even more so when you are cooking the recipes.

Again, not using hard-to-find ingredients or complex cooking methods.  Lindsay as always, made sure to include a shopping list.  Oh, and something NEW Lindsay added:  DRINK recipes!  YES, you heard me.  From Hot Chocolate, to Sangria, Tinto de Verano, and Aqua Fresca.  You HAVE to get this book!!  This go-to book also uses “icons” for each recipe detailing the following:

  • Quick
  • Fat-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • One-Pot Meal
  • Budget
  • Pantry

I have included some of my favorites from HHA so far.  You will notice that the majority of them are spicy, or soups.  I live in Illinois, and it is COLD this time of year!  Fortunately, there are plenty of recipes in HHA that cover all types of seasons.

Cuban Black Bean Soup, page 17

Photo provided on Forks over Knives website

Photo provided on Forks over Knives website

Spicy Mustard Chickpeas, page 44

Photo taken by Laura Black

Photo taken by Laura Black

German Lentil Soup, page 14
(Amazon Video of Lindsay making German Lentil Soup)

Vegetable Korma, page 100

Photo provided by Bust.com website

Photo provided by Bust.com website

I have been given the privilege of sharing a typed-out recipe from Lindsay S. Nixon’s new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad.  I was given a list of recipes to choose from, and I chose African Jollof.  The reason I chose this recipe, is because I normally eat this type of meal frequently throughout the week.  I have every single ingredient in my house daily, and I love brown rice, and frozen vegetables.  Again, this is a little spicy, which I particularly enjoy this time of year.  I hope you enjoy this as much as ME!

African Jollof, page 129

Photo by: Kel Elwood Photography

Photo by: Kel Elwood Photography

African Jollof
Shared with permission from BenBella publisher. Jollof rice, also called “Benachin,” is a popular dish throughout West Africa, particularly in Ghana and Nigeria. Many variations to this dish exist throughout West Africa, but core ingredients include rice, tomato paste, onion, and a medley of vegetables and spices.
Recipe type: Rice
Cuisine: African
Serves: 4 servings
  • ¼ c tomato sauce
  • vegetable broth, as needed
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 c frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1½ c cooked brown rice
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • (additional) hot sauce, if desired
  1. Pour tomato sauce into a pot, then add enough broth so liquid completely covers the bottom. Add onions, a dash or two cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, and curry powder, then sauté over high heat until translucent—about one minute. Turn heat down to low and add frozen vegetables, stirring to warm them. Continue to cook over low heat and stir frequently until vegetables are warm. Add cooked rice and stir to completely combine. As you are stirring, the rice should take on a dark coloring. Add one more tbsp tomato sauce, plus salt and black pepper to taste. For a spicier dish, add hot sauce to taste.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 161 Fat: 1.0g Carbohydrates: 33.4g Sugar: 5.3g Fiber: 6.3g Protein: 5.2g

Update:  Giveaway has ended 



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Disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of the book to review. This post contains affiliate links, indicated by a *.

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