Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cookbook Review: Happy Herbivore Light & Lean

I am so excited to be posting today about a new cookbook: Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. I stumbled upon Happy Herbivore a few years back when the school I attended for my masters degree had the author (Lindsay Nixon) down for a cooking demonstration. Unfortunately I heard about the event after it had already happened so I was not able to attend. Years later I am inspired by Lindsay's recipes and website and I especially love her Minimalist Monday series. And it turns out... Lindsay and I have my alma mater in common! We both attended the College of Charleston in beautiful Charleston, SC. Needless to say, I'm a fan. When I heard about the opportunity to share a recipe with my blog readers I jumped at the chance.
Lindsay's new cookbook is pretty amazing. I was especially surprised to find that the recipes are organized by calorie count, a life saver for someone like me who swears by calorie counting to keep my eating in check. If I know I have 400 calories left for dinner I can easily find a recipe that fits within my limits. Lindsay also lists nutritional information and weight watchers points.

Below you will find the recipe for Soba Peanut Noodles from her new cookbook, and below that - a Q & A with Lindsay herself! Check it out!

Soba Peanut Noodles
Serves 2
Gluten-free, Quick, Budget

All the taste you love in creamy peanut noodles but with less fat and calories thanks to a surprise ingredient: vegan yogurt! I call this a “cheater” recipe since I use a dab of peanut butter, but it’s still light compared to most peanut noodle recipes.

4 oz buckwheat noodles (could sub spaghetti)
2 green onions, sliced cubed tofu or edamame (optional)
vegetables, like broccoli or cucumber (optional)

Creamy Peanut Sauce
2 tbsp plain vegan yogurt
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp sweet red chili sauce
few dashes garlic powder
few dashes ground ginger
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1–2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
Asian hot sauce (e.g., Sriracha; optional)

Cook noodles according to package instructions, rinse under cold water in a colander, and chill in the fridge for a few minutes if you can. Meanwhile, whisk peanut sauce ingredients together. Taste, adding more soy sauce or tamari, garlic, onion, or hot sauce as desired. Toss noodles with sauce, then stir in green onion, tofu or edamame if using, and vegetables, if using.

Chef’s Note: Despite having “wheat” in the name, buckwheat flour is completely gluten-free. Just make sure your noodles are 100% buckwheat if you have an allergy or sensitivity.

Per serving
Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274
Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6g
Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47.5g
Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.6g
Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.7g
Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.4g
WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

The Veg Review: Do you have any tips for being minimalist in the kitchen? (besides cleaning out drawers - which is great to do too!) 

Lindsay Nixon: Don’t stockpile. Only buy what you need. Never shop without a list. If you haven’t used it in 6 months, donate it. Never keep two of anything except for basic stuff like forks. Don’t buy random gadgets like an avocado peeler. Get things off the countertop! (See my minimalist monday posts for more ideas).

VR: What do you think having a minimalist attitude toward food looks like? I know many of us think about food often throughout the day which likely distracts from our productivity.

LN: I follow (and can’t recommend enough) my meal plans ( You shop and cook once a week. Then your meals are just ready for you. It takes a lot of the thinking and wondering away -- its already decided. AND you only buy what you need with no waste or spoilage. Super minimalist!

VR: What was your favorite holiday growing up? 

LN: My birthday, which I guess doesn’t really count—but it was the only day in the year I got to eat exactly what I wanted.

VR: Where does your recipe inspiration come from? 

LN: It’s a mixed bag. Sometimes I’ll pick up an ingredient and figure out a way to make something with it. Other times I’ll see something and want to recreate it at home. For example, when I was in Ireland I saw signs all over the place for Guinness stew or Irish stew. Of course it wasn’t vegan, or vegetarian, so I waited until I got home, learned about the traditional recipe, then made a plant-based version… and now it’s in Light & Lean!

Thanks for stopping by on your blog tour Lindsay! Stay tuned for more recipe reviews from the Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Cookbook in the next couple weeks. - The Veg Review

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