One of the things you should know about me is that I get a little starstruck sometimes. Interestingly, it’s not by movie stars, celebrities, or anyone super famous. In fact, when I was growing up in NYC, the cool thing to do was pretend you didn’t notice them. The people that get me excited are my vegan and/or plant-based super star heroes. One of them, Lindsey Nixon, otherwise known as the Happy Herbivore, is someone I have admired for a long time as an inspriational cookbook author, speaker, and all around cool girl that seems like someone you’d want as your best friend. I was lucky enough to meet her at at Rip Esselstyn’s house (again, not to geek out, but he is definitely on the list too,) and found out she was just as awesome as I had imagined. Lindsey makes being plant-based seem fun, easy, and completely attainable. In fact many of her recipes were the first ones that I tried once I became plant-based, and some of the only vegan dishes my husband would eat.
You can imagine my excitement when I found out she was doing a blog tour and giveaway for her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad, and offered me an interview! Below is our brief online interview, although looking back I realize there are so many more questions I would have asked!
1. Tell me a little bit about where your inspiration came from for Happy Herbivore Abroad?
I’ve always been a jet-setter, a girl on the go traveling constantly, but most notably, I spent the last year living abroad on a small French and Dutch Island, then bounced around mainland Europe for a few weeks. I’m celebrating my lifestyle, and those travels, in my new book.
2. What is your process for coming up with new recipes? Does it get easier or harder the longer you are a cookbook author?
With my first book, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, I set out to recreate dishes (“comfort foods”) that I used to eat — but in a new healthy and plant-based way. With my second book, Everyday Happy Herbivore, I went back to basics. I looked at whatever ingredients I had on hand, then created a meal (or meals) out of it. With my new book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, I recreated meals I ate or saw on my travels… made international cuisine healthy and plant-based — and with everyday ingredients. I find each book has it challenges. Some things get easier, some things more challenging.
3. Were there any recipe failures? If so, how did you go about turning them into successes or deciding to drop them?
Absolutely. I’ve had misses. Usually if something doesn’t work out, I abandon it, unless it’s something I really want to work out — so I’ll keep tinkering with it until we have a solution. I remember this one soup in Happy Herbivore Abroad took three of four times to get it right… but I really loved the soup and was determined to recreate it perfectly.
4. What are your personal favorite recipes from the new book?
Asking a chef to pick a favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child :)
5. What recipes do you cook the most at home (from any of your cookbooks)?
I’m always working on a new book and new recipes, so there isn’t a lot of time for repeats, plus by the time the book comes out to the public, I’ve made each dish half a dozen times (or more), so I’m ready to retire it — at least temporarily! My hope is when I’m finished writing cookbooks, I’ll be able to cook through all of them start-to-finish.
While I have many favorite recipes in this new cookbook, the Thai Pineapple Curry is one of my top 5 and I’ve been generously given permission to reprint and share with you:
Thai Pineapple Curry
This curry has just the right sweet-to-heat ratio and is bursting with Thai flavors. For a complete meal, add cubed tofu and serve over cooked brown rice.
4 green onions, sliced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c vegetable broth
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
½ to 1 red finger pepper, seeded and sliced
1 8-oz can diced pineapple (in juice, not syrup)
½ c lite coconut milk
1¼ tsp mild yellow curry powder
2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
½ tsp low-sodium soy sauce
brown rice, cooked
lime wedges (garnish)
cubed tofu (optional)
Set aside a few dark green onion slices for garnish. Transfer the rest of the onions to a skillet with ginger and garlic. Add enough broth so there is a thin lining on the bottom of the skillet and sauté over high heat for a minute or two, until onion, ginger, and garlic are fragrant. Add red bell pepper and red finger pepper (or red pepper flakes as desired) and sauté until bell peppers start to soften, adding splashes of broth as necessary to prevent sticking. Once bell peppers start to soften, add pineapple with juices, stirring to combine. Cook another minute, until peppers are cooked, but still somewhat crisp, and pineapple is warm. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk curry powder into coconut milk, then pour into skillet and stir to combine. After 30 seconds, add basil and soy sauce, stirring to combine again. Taste, adding more soy sauce or basil if desired. Garnish with green onions and a basil leaf or two.
Chef’s Note: For a lower fat option, replace ¼ cup coconut milk with ¼ cup nondairy milk, or use all nondairy milk plus a drop of coconut extract.
Per Serving: Calories 155, Total Fat 3.6g, Carbohydrates 30.7g, Dietary Fiber 3.7g, Sugars 20.3g, Protein 2.7g
To enter to win a copy of Lindsey’s brand new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad:
1.Subscribe to my blog (and comment letting me know) and comment below with your favorite Happy Herbivore recipe.
2. For an extra entry, Like my Facebook page, Ready Set Green, and comment below letting me know
3. For yet another entry, follow me on twitter @karenlaura letting me know with the hashtag #Readysetgreen
I will be choosing a winner at random in the next week and will let you know via email if you have won! :)