Yesterday while doing my daily veg blog stalking (which I now spend more time doing then Facebooking) I saw a post by Lindsay from Happy Herbivore about her Blog Book Tour. Basically she was inviting fellow bloggers to interview her. I was excited, I felt like a really reporter.

I emailed Lindsay a few questions I had, and was surprised when she quickly responded. I must say I find it very endearing that she made time to answer my questions at 10:00 at night. She even agreed to share a recipe with us! I want to say “winning” right now, but I’m so over Charlie Sheen.

If you live under a rock are unfamiliar with Lindsay and the Happy Herbivore site/book here is a small bio:

Biography
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

How long have you been vegan, and what made you decide to go vegan?

I went vegan in Dec 2006. I’d been vegetarian for about a year and had
been tossing the idea of going vegan around in my head for a few
months. I’d heard that it could help with weight loss, acne, digestive
issues (and it did!); but it seemed so restrictive. I finally just
decided to “try it” — coincidentally while on vacation in San Fran.
It was so much easier than I expected so I kept with it when I got
home. Then I read a few vegan books (like Skinny Bitch) and I knew I’d
made a lifelong commitment.

How do you handle family/friends that do not support your vegan lifestyle?

Since I grew up largely a vegetarian my family wasn’t really
surprised; they weren’t thrilled but they weren’t shocked. Most of my
friends, even if they disagreed with me, were really supportive and
others it became a strain in our relationship (though in retrospect I
guess they weren’t very good friends!). It’s totally different now
though. Most of my friends are now vegan, vegetarian or try to be. My
husband is vegan, my sister is vegan, my best friend is a vegetarian,
my parents adopted meatless mondays, my mother-in-law eats mostly
vegan. It’s amazing what leading by example can do =)

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook is comprised of lowfat/fat free recipes. What made you decide to cook this way? Do you ever miss higher fat foods?

I follow the approaches outlined in Eat to Live, the McDougall Program
and Engine 2 Diet — which also premise on eating no oil, very little
added fats, for maximum health. I’ve thrived on a low fat vegan diet
for years, so my recipes reflect how I live and eat. I do eat natural,
whole fats like avocados and nuts on occasion; but I never miss oil or
fried foods — and if I eat them I feel gross; I don’t feel my best
and I don’t thrive.

I have found holidays especially difficult, as I feel uncomfortable bringing
my own food to holiday dinners, but I rarely have any options otherwise.
How do you handle holidays/parties?

I’ve been vegan for so long now that people who throw parties or
dinners tend to take it into consideration and have some vegan
options. Plus I’m always proactive–I talk to the host about what I
should do, if I should bring something.

My large, extended family is not even remotely vegan, but yet they had
some vegan dishes at the family reunion this year, and I also brought
a lot of food to share.

Sometimes I get discouraged when I have an epic fail in the kitchen, do you
ever had moments were you feel like the worst cook in America?

Oh absolutely. I have splattered seitan on the wall, I once turned on
my blender without the top on and covered myself, my dogs, and the
entire kitchen in butternut puree. I’ve had muffins not rise, cakes
that fall, food that came out inedible. No one is perfect all the time
– not even cookbook authors :)

I read that your pugs are vegan, what made you decide to cook vegan for them? How do they like it?

They love it! I had talked with my vet about if my dogs could be vegan
when I switched my diet, and she actually encouraged it saying a lot
of dogs do well on veg diets and that given my dogs’ respective
allergies, it might be a good idea. We tried them on a number of
different vegan kibbles and their allergies definitely improved. I
noticed that their coats looked better too, they had more energy, they
generally seemed like happier dogs. They were on vegan kibble for a
long while until one day we ran out and the store was out too so I
made them beans and rice, and then lentils and barley. By the time the
store called to say they had kibble in, I was sold on cooking for them
myself, and now that we live on an island in the middle of the ocean,
I have to cook them food myself — but I’m happy to do it. They really
really love cooked meals, they eat mostly lentils, but we mix in other
goodies and I give them vegedog, a supplement, for good measure.

I wrote a really long blog post about it here:

http://happyherbivore.com/2010/09/vegan-dogs/

Happy Herbivore Recipe:
Mexican Cabbage (serves 2)

This recipe is just dying to prove to you that cabbage is not bland! It’s spicy, flavorful, and a little sassy.

  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage, chopped into thin strips
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4-ounce can green chilies (minced)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 c frozen corn, thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c black beans
  • baked corn chips (optional)

Line a medium pan with water and cook onion and garlic over high heat until translucent. Add cabbage, tomato sauce, chilies, tomato paste and spices. Reduce heat to medium and cook until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in corn until evenly distributed. Taste, adjusting seasonings as needed. Mix in beans before serving and top with crumbled corn chips if desired.

Totally making Mexican Cabbage this weekend. I happen to love cabbage, being that I am Ukrainian/Irish, it’s probably in my DNA. I never had spicy cabbage though.

Thank you Lindsay, I look forward to interviewing you when cookbook #2 comes out.

I have been considering putting my cat, Jorge Pawsade (yes that’s after the Yankees catcher) on a vegan diet. He gets an upset tummy frequently even though he is on “high quality food”. It seems odd to feed my cat meat when I am a vegan, but lets face it, if left outside he will hunt mice, or even rabbits. Cats are omnivores.

Still, his omnivore diet doesn’t seem to be working for him. When he gets a stomachache I can tell he’s uncomfortable. He walks awkwardly to the litter box, but then freaks out and runs away. This can sometimes make a huge mess for me to clean up… ewww.  Sorry TMI

I’m thinking of cooking for Jorge this weekend, just to see how it goes. Of course I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!!

By the way…I have an awesome restaurant review for you tomorrow…. I had the BEST lunch today!

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