Happy Herbivore Light and Lean Giveaway… Finally!

As you may remember, way back in October I participated in a pre-release blog tour for Lindsay Nixon’s newest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean (check the post out for an interview with Lindsay and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!). A few weeks later I received my copy and promised a giveaway. Giveaways are marvelous, am I right? ūüėČ

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Well, today’s the day I am going to deliver! I wanted to wait until the holidays had settled down and we were all back to regular blogging activities before hosting this giveaway. I know several bloggers took breaks and just returned recently to posting. Also, I personally didn’t do as much blog reading for my three weeks of winter break and I’m sure many of you were the same. So in light of all of this I didn’t want anyone to come back and find they missed out on this opportunity!

Disclaimer: Although I received a free copy of Happy Herbivore Light and Lean to review, I did not receive any monetary compensation and all thoughts and opinions are entirely (100%) my own.

LIGHT

Review

As I’ve mentioned before, I am kind of atypical in the sense that I like to read cookbooks like I would any other fiction novel. And the night I received Happy Herbivore I got into bed and read through the entire thing just like I do when I get the newest release from my other favorite authors.

Here are my brief thoughts on the overall presentation:

The first thing I noticed as I flipped through the pages was the COLOR. There was not a single page that lacked color. With today’s technology I don’t think there is any excuse for black and white cookbooks (save for those spiral bound fundraising books made by the occasional old lady’s church group). Unlike most cookbooks that I’ve found where the only color is in the pictures of the food, each page had a complimentary color scheme and was just as fun to look at as the pictures themselves.

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On each page there are extremely helpful sections to denote everything you would ever want to know about the recipe. You have allergen information at the top, nutrition information in the corners, and chef notes listed at the bottom. The majority of the page of course is taken up by the recipe with the ingredients and serving amounts on the side, and the directions written in paragraph format under the recipe description. As someone who usually writes recipes using numbers, I was at first a little surprised by how the directions were written out. After reading through the first few though, I began to like the flow and it made cooking seem more like the art it should be and less like some robotic GPS making you complete the first step before carrying onto the next (it’s something that I’m considering changing with my own recipes, but we’ll see!).

Also important to point out is that the pictures are not included on the recipe page but on the opposite facing page of the cookbook, making the directions and instructions less cluttered and giving room for a full page, full color shot of whatever you’re making.

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That was the middle essence of the cookbook. The beginning consists of an introduction with a personal note from Lindsay, an index for all of the recipes listed by calorie count, tips on getting started, a shopping list, an explanation of caloric density, tips on lightening up your day, her personal health journey (loved this!) and an explanation of how to use the icons featured in the book.

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At the end there is the appendix which has a glossary of ingredient descriptions, substitution ideas, kitchen prep “lingo,” additional resources, metric conversions, and an index where you can find a recipe both by its name and by ingredient.

Personal Note

When I spoke of this cookbook last, a few people commented to me that they didn’t understand why I was promoting something vegan. “Don’t you eat meat?” Yes, yes I do. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t eat meat and I’m not going to apologize for it either. My motivation behind reviewing this book was not to promote a vegan diet (or plant-based as many call it). I came at this from the position of someone who has food allergies, and recipes that are vegan are naturally perfect for those who are allergic to animal products like eggs, dairy, meat, fish, etc. Also, since Lindsay promotes mostly lower fat recipes, about 99% of the food is also peanut-free, nut-free and coconut-free too!

Food Allergies

So, with that point made, here are a few recipes that I think would be great for those with food allergies or various other dietary needs when it comes to food:

  • Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette (pg. 137)
  • Homemade Ketchup (pg. 8)
  • Chocolate Surprise Frosting (pg. 12)
  • Brody’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend (pg. 267)
  • Everyday Mushroom Gravy (pg. 189)
  • Deviled “Eggs” (pg. 203)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte (pg. 256)
  • Oatmeal Pancakes (pg. 97)
  • Sweet Potato Ice Cream (pg. 236)
  • Microwave Peach Cobbler (pg. 137)
  • Breakfast Tacos (pg. 145)
  • Smoky Apple Baked Beans (pg. 172)
  • Asian Orange Kale Salad (pg. 179)
  • Loaded Mexican Potato (pg. 195)
  • Carrot Soup (pg. 236)
  • Skinny Pad Thai (pg. 161)
  • Nacho Bowl (pg. 93)
  • Leftovers Pot Pie (pg. 121)
  • Caribbean Chili (pg. 116)

Other Reviews

If you want to check out all of the other bloggers who participated in the tours (along with their reviews and some sneak peak recipes!) check out this post and this post.

A few highlights were Kaila from Healthy Helper Blog who shared Meatloaf Bites:

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Laura from Plant-Based Junkies with a Thai Crunch Salad:

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And the Herbivore herself with a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes:

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LEAN

Review

Finally, as indicated in the title, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean also features an exercise section with a list of exercise suggestions that are 30, 20, 15 or 10 minutes in length and all burn 100 calories. Next she gives tips on how to fit exercise into your day and continues on with pages of workouts along with her personal trainer friend Jon Warren. My favorite part of this section was “Lindsay’s Body Blast” at the end where there is a page long description of a workout that Lindsay frequently does.

Here is a little snippet from the book explaining what the “Body Blast” is:

“This all-in-one exercise is what I do when my time (and space) is limited. It’s a little on the advanced side, so you may need to work up to it. It’s a killer circuit and I have a lot of fun challenging myself, drill-instructor style, to see how fast I can move through the exercise (while still keeping proper form!) and how many rounds I can go through before I’m wasted. (Usually two, but I’m a work in progress!)”

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I have yet to try this out myself, but from just reading it over I think “killer” is the perfect description. One day when I build up the guts to do it I’ll report back and tell you how far I got!

Conclusion

Really, there’s nothing much more to say other than I am confident that you will love this book if you love cooking and baking as much as I do. This is my second book of Lindsay’s and I have enjoyed it just as much as the first. I know the soup recipes will come in hand this winter and the fresh delicious salad ideas will be welcome during spring. The true test of a good cookbook is its versatility across not only seasons, but also palettes (in this case, I am referring to food allergies) and this book truly has something for everyone.

Giveaway

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If you made it through all of that, bravo! And if you just skipped to the bottom to win the giveaway, I can’t really blame you for that either.¬†This giveaway goes live as soon as I publish this post. It will end one week from tonight and I will announce the winner next Monday morning after using Random Number Generator to pick who wins the cookbook.

Unfortunately this giveaway is limited to just U.S. and Canadian citizens (I can already hear the groans… I’m sorry!). However, if you would still like to participate and someone outside of the United States or Canada wins, I will give a consolation prize of allowing you to write a guest post on my blog about whatever your heart desires (within reason of course). Sound fair?

After I announce the winner, you will have three days to contact me via e-mail with a viable address or I will be forced to pick someone else.

Like with all of my past giveaways, I am going to include a number of ways that you can enter. I do this so that if you aren’t able to complete one of them for whatever reason then you still have several opportunities to win. You don’t have to do them all, but make sure to leave a separate comment for each below::

  1. Tell me what your #1 deal breaker is for a cookbook (Mine is obviously good pictures and color!).
  2. Follow me on Bloglovin or by e-mail (there is an entry box in the right side bar below my social media icons).
  3. Follow me on Instagram.
  4. Follow me on Pinterest.
  5. Follow Happy Herbivore on any of her social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

And if by some chance you don’t win, make sure to check the cookbook out on Amazon where you can purchase it in e-book format for $9.99 or in paperback for $11.97. Really great prices for over a 300 page cookbook!

Three Things for Monday

I have just three quick things to share on this Monday morning. Then I’m off to classes!

First, one final call for any questions that you all would like to know about Lindsay Nixon and her new cookbook Happy Herbivore Light and Lean. I already have a list of interview question ideas to send but if anyone has suggestions they are welcomed!

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Second, a quick recipe to share ūüôā

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting (Grain-Free)

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting

Adapted from my Banana Bread Bake¬†–¬†Makes 2 servings

Wheat/Gluten/Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Nut-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting (Grain-Free)

Bread ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (use coconut yogurt to make dairy-free)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour (more or less as needed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil/grease two large ramekins (I used a Pyrex 4-cup round bowl like this one that is around 6 inches in diameter).
  2. Crack the eggs into a food processor and blend until it is one solid color. When the eggs are blended add the pumpkin puree and blend until smooth.
  3. Then add in the coconut flour, spices and salt. Blend again until fully incorporated.
  4. Now you should add the baking soda, but wait to do this until the oven is fully heated and right before you are ready to pour the batter and bake. You don’t want the baking soda to react and then the mixture to sit for too long. So, once the oven reaches 375 degrees, add the baking soda and blend again for a few seconds.
  5. Pour the batter into the ramekins and place them directly into the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown. The top should spring back to the touch and the edges should begin to look barely darkened.
  6. Meanwhile mix up the frosting in a small bowl. Add coconut flour as necessary to thicken it up. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Let the breads cool for a few minutes when done, remove onto a plate and top with frosting to serve.

Recipe notes: I made this a two-serving recipe but it can easily be a single-serving. The bread would be 3 eggs, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tbsp cinnamon, dash of nutmeg/ginger, dash of salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda. And the frosting would be 2 tbsp yogurt, 1 tbsp pumpkin puree, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp honey, dash of salt, 1 1/2 tsp coconut flour. For half of the recipe you should check the bread at 30 minutes as it will probably take less time than the 40 minutes for two ramekins.

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting (Grain-Free)

Third… the winner of The China Study Cookbook!

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Using the True Random Number Generator the winner of the giveaway is:

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Congratulations Sarah from Slices of Sarah Pie! Please e-mail me at alleyhays [dot] gmail [dot] com with your address so that BenBella Books can get you the cbook right away ūüôā

Thank you for all who entered. If you didn’t win the cookbook and would still like a copy, you can purchase both the kindle and paperback editions on Amazon.

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I’d say all three of these things are pretty marvellous, wouldn’t you? That’s why I’m linking up to Katie at Healthy Diva Eat’s MIMM.

The China Study Cookbook Giveaway (MIMM)

Good morning everyone and happy Monday.

As I mentioned on Friday, I have a special treat for you today. A few weeks ago I was contacted by a marketing associate from BenBella Books wondering if I would like to review one of their more recently published cookbooks. I’ve worked with them in the past on reviewing a copy of Happy Herbivore Abroad last December and that was such a great experience that I didn’t even hesitate to agree again.

Now, some of you may question why I am reviewing a vegan cookbook when some of my blog’s recipes contain animals products. Really it is quite simple. First and foremost my reasoning is that I just plain love cookbooks. I’ve said this before, but I actually read them like novels in bed as I go to sleep, and this one was no exception. Second, I really appreciate the focus on vegetables and fruits that vegan books tend to have, unlike many of my (while still thoroughly enjoyed) dessert cookbooks. Finally, as someone with a dairy and egg allergy, vegan cookbooks offer a host of wonderful recipes and techniques that benefit me and others with allergies greatly.

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With that explained, let me give you a run down of what all you are going to see in this review post of The China Study Cookbook. First I am going to start off with a summary of the book and a little background information of the author. Then we will dive right into the recipes that I have made from the cookbook so far, one being an excerpt that you can try out for yourself. After discussing the recipes I will sum up my final thoughts on the cookbook and give you all of the details on the best part – the giveaway!

Let’s get started.

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Here is the book summary taken right from the publisher’s website:

The China Study, with 850,000 copies sold, has been hailed as one of the most important health and nutrition books ever published. It revealed that the traditional Western diet has led to our modern health crisis and the widespread growth of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Based on the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted, the book reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health with the power to halt or reverse many diseases.

The China Study Cookbook takes these scientific findings and puts them to action. Written by LeAnne Campbell, daughter of The China Study author T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and mother of two hungry teenagers, The China Study Cookbook features delicious, easily prepared plant-based recipes with no added fat and minimal sugar and salt that promote optimal health.

From her Breakfast Home-Fry Hash and Fabulous Sweet Potato Enchiladas to No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars and Cheese(less) Cake, all of LeAnne’s recipes follow three important principles:

1. Optimal nutrition is based on eating food rather than nutrient supplements

2. The closer that foods are to their native states‚ÄĒprepared with minimal cooking, salting, and processing‚ÄĒthe greater the long-term health benefits of eating them

3. It is best to choose locally and organically grown produce whenever possible

Filled with helpful tips on substitutions, keeping foods nutrient-rich, and transitioning to a plant-based diet, The China Study Cookbook shows how to transform individual health and the health of the entire family.

From inside the back cover here is a little more information about the author:

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Leanne Campbell, PhD, lives in Durham, North Carolina. She has been preparing meals based on a whole food, plant-based diet for almost twenty years. LeAnne has raised two sons‚ÄĒSteven and Nelson, now nineteen and eighteen years of age‚ÄĒon this diet. As a working mother, LeAnne has found ways to prepare quick and easy meals without using animals products or added oils.

These are the recipes that I have tried so far and a further explanation of what the book includes:

The book starts with a nice summary of the author’s personal transition to a plant-based diet and goes on to explain in great detail how to transition to a plant-based diet if you choose, and what essentials you will need to know on that journey. This section was one of my favorite parts of the book. Whether or not you agree with a vegan, plant-based lifestyle, you can’t help but be inspired by LeAnne’s dedication to health for both herself and her family. Also, the Q&A where the author was asked about her sons’ experiences with a plant-based diet really resonated with me since I too have to follow a diet that is out of the norm among my college classmates.

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Still, while I very much enjoyed reading this introduction to the cookbook, the recipes were obviously the main focus for me. They were divided into several sections based on what type of recipe they were (Breakfast Dishes, Soups, Sandwiches, Desserts, etc.) and in each section the recipes were listed in alphabetical order for ease of use which I appreciated.

A few of the recipes that stood out to me were the Sesame Noodle Salad, Tasty Tostados, Veggie Fajita Wraps, African Vegetables, Dominican Beans, Mama’s Kitchen Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Cranberry Applesauce, Vegan Chocolate Cake, Garlic Green Beans and Mushrooms, Quick Butternut Squash, Date Fruit Pie, and Nutty Noodles with Vegetables. Alright, so maybe these were more than a¬†few.¬†There were just so many to pick from!

Ultimately I settled on making two recipes to share in this review.

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The first one was the Vegan Chocolate Cake which I made for my brother in cupcake form. I had to substitute in a few ingredients (pumpkin puree for the applesauce and whole wheat pastry flour for the spelt) but it still came out wonderful. There was also a frosting recipe given that was supposed to be paired along with the vegan cake, however I’ll admit that I didn’t want to push my luck with a tofu frosting on my brother. Instead I just made a basic chocolate glaze. I would encourage you to try out the frosting recipe though because it sounds delicious and probably would fool most (excluding my brother who has had one too many healthy dessert terrors thanks to yours truly).

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The second recipe that I made was the Domincan Beans from the Entrees section of the cookbook. This recipe was so incredibly easy to make. I came home at about 12:00pm from church and by 1:00pm I was plating up the meal for my parents to devour. Once again I had to make some substitutions based on what we had in house, but it turned out fabulous and we will be making the bean portion of the recipe again and again for a quick side to round out future meals.

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Lucky for you all, I have been given permission to share the recipe for the beans with you today straight from the pages of The China Study Cookbook.

Dominican Beans

Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

Makes 6‚Äď8 servings

What really makes this dish is the salad served on top. The crunchy freshness of the vegetables and the tanginess of the dressing make for a perfect combination.

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For the beans

  • ¬ľ cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • ¬Ĺ cup diced butternut squash
  • ¬Ĺ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • ¬Ĺ tablespoon Mexican oregano leaves, dried
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon thyme, dried
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice, for serving

For the salad

  • 2 cups sliced lettuce
  • 2 cups cabbage, sliced into strips
  • ¬ĺ cup sliced cucumber
  • ¬ĺ cup sliced cooked beets
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Balsamic rice vinegar
  • ¬ľ teaspoon salt
  • ¬ľ teaspoon pepper

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 Directions

  1. For the beans, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable broth in a large stock pot and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until soft. Add green pepper, squash, cilantro, and two more tablespoons vegetable broth. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add water, tomato paste, beans, oregano, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. If needed, add an additional 1/2 cup water. Season with salt.
  3. While the beans are cooking, make the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Serve beans over rice and top with salad.

Tip –¬†Black or red beans can be substituted for the pinto beans.

Recipe notes from me: Like I said above, I had to make a few substitutions when making this recipe, so I will include them here. Instead of the fresh garlic and herbs which were not available at my grocery store, I used organic dried replacements. Instead of the pinto beans and tomato paste I used the organic navy beans and tomato puree that we had on hand (increasing the tomato puree to about 1/3 cup). Also, in place of the sliced lettuce and cabbage I just bought a bag of pre-washed organic lettuce mix that included red cabbage. We don’t usually eat rice at home so I just made some cauliflower rice instead. (Oh, and I also forgot to add the tomatoes… Whoops!).

This is my review of the cookbook from GoodReads.com:

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The China Study Cookbook will appeal to both herbivores and carnivores alike. What’s important is its focus on whole foods and the emphasis that it places on including a lot of fresh produce in one’s diet. I really enjoyed the introduction from the author and her personal story of going plant-based as it did a great job of setting the stage and putting me in the right mindset for looking at the vegan recipes. Also, the two recipes that I have tried so far were great. The Vegan Chocolate Cake and Dominican Beans are a must if you buy this cookbook. In the future I hope to also make the Nutty Noodles with Vegetables! (Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book to review but all thoughts and opinions are my own).

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I hope that after this post you are now even more excited to get your own copy of The China Study Cookbook!

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Here is how you can participate in this great giveaway…

There are five ways that you can win a free copy of The China Study Cookbook (for international citizens residing  outside of the U.S. or Canada you will receive an e-book version of the cookbook):

1. Follow Eating 4 Balance via Bloglovin.

2. Follow me on my (very new) Instagram account.

3. Follow me on Pinterest.

4. Share your favorite vegan cookbook/author/blogger.

5. Follow BenBella Books on Twitter to see their latest releases.

Leave a separate comment below for each entry. Make sure to include a valid e-mail address so that I can get a hold of you if (when) you win. This giveaway will last a total of 7 days. It starts on October 14, and ends on October 21 at midnight EST. No entries will be counted after that time.

I will pick the winner randomly, and announce who won here on Monday, October 22 as long as all goes according to plan. The winner will also receive an e-mail from me. If the winner does not respond back with their full name and a viable shipping address (if from the U.S. or Canada) within one week, then I will randomly pick another winner, of which the same rules apply.

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

Is is possible to fail a dentist appointment? After my one hour stint in the dentist’s chair today I am convinced that the answer to that question is in fact yes.

I was pretty positive that after my dental hygienist got through with my gums there would be nothing left. While I may have jumped to conclusions a little too quickly, can you really blame me when every mouth swish into the sink was red with blood, and every prick of her little tools tickled my tear ducts like a sappy tragic movie?

Still, it was a really nice feeling to walk out of the dentist’s office with a plan of action. The next time that I visit I will be a prime patient. No bleeding gums or tears here! This is the list of things that I am going to work on: use a softer toothbrush, work on my brush angling, floss regularly, and drink only filtered water (no more nasty chemical water from my school!).

So that’s basically how my first morning of Fall break went for me today. Very promising.

Instead of sharing another cinnamon roll recipe with you guys today (I bet you are very disappointed on that account because it’s not like I haven’t posted a cinnamon roll recipe with you before…), I am going to give a preview of what’s coming soon to a blog near you ūüėČ

1. Cinnamon Roll Recipe. Duh.

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2. Vegan Chocolate Cake. Grain-Free too of course. And no coconut flour in sight for those of you who can’t eat/don’t like coconut.

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3. My super easy roasted chicken recipe with vegetables. Recipe and instructions.

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4. A cookbook review, recipe excerpt and giveaway on Monday. Get excited because there are some absolutely awesome vegan recipes in here.

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Before I leave I also want to share a few more recipes in the latest version of Friday Food Finds.

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You can read all about Friday Food Finds and my past posts here:

Friday Food Finds #10

Friday Food Finds #11

Friday Food Finds # 12

Egg in a Squash from A Dash of Meg

Basically toad-in-the-hole taken to an entirely new and even more delicious level.

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Giant Baked Paleo Pancake from Pencils and Pancakes

Obviously from the name of her blog you can tell that Andrea knows her stuff.

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Sweet Potato Muffins with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting from Imma Eat That

If I make anything from this post it will definitely be the frosting (it’s only 3 ingredients!).

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Black Forest Paleo Brownies from Fitnessista

Cherries and chocolate just belong together.

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Coconut Banana Pancakes from Kiss My Broccoli

I’ve been eyeing these pancakes for awhile now (I just need to figure out what to do with the leftover egg yolks!)

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As I mentioned on Wednesday, today I made the decision on what magazines that I am going to subscribe to. My final picks were Eating Well, Fitness, Food Network and Entertainment Weekly. Food Network wasn’t available via my brother’s fundraiser at school so I will need to do that separately (but I’m so excited– thanks for the suggestion Heather!)

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Thanks to everyone who left a comment with their suggestions. I looked into each and every one of them. My local library has a sale every few months so I think next time I will have to pick up some back issues of the ones that I didn’t choose. They all sounded so good!

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Have an amazing Friday and an even more wonderful weekend everyone ūüėÄ

Questions for you:

Do you have The China Study Cookbook?

What are your “Friday Food Finds”?

How do you achieve an *A* at the dentist?