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? 😉

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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!

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Marvelous/Not So Marvelous… And an Oatmeal Recipe

Marvelous is… the fact that I found an old bag of black licorice cough drops in our medicine cabinet.

Not so marvelous is… the fact that I even NEED cough drops due to “the plague.” 😉

Marvelous is… watching the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my mom.

Not so marvelous is… now I’m craving pizza.

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Marvelous is… celebrating one of my friend’s birthdays tomorrow.

Not so marvelous is… if I don’t get over this cold/virus/whatever-it-is I won’t be able to go.

Marvelous is… making breakfast on an actual stove every morning for my parents.

Not so marvelous is… Okay, I can’t really find anything wrong with this oatmeal. Ha.

Banana and Maple Pecan Oatmeal

Banana and Maple Pecan Oatmeal

Gluten/Wheat-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free Option (in Notes below)

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup liquid (1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1/2 cup quick oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (ground chia would work too)
  • 1 tbsp sweetener
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • “Maple pecans”: 3 tbsp pecans, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, dash of salt
  • optional toppings (I used melted almond butter)

Banana and Maple Pecan Oatmeal

Directions:

  1. Heat liquid on high until boiling. Add oatmeal and flaxseed. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes or until thickened.
  2. Slice the 1/2 banana on top of the oatmeal. Stir and let sit for a minute until the banana gets soft. Using a fork whip the oatmeal incorporating the banana until smooth. Mix in the cinnamon and salt then pour into a bowl.
  3. In the now empty pan put the pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Heat on medium until the syrup begins to boil and thicken. Pour onto the oatmeal and top with optional toppings.

Notes: To make this vegan/dairy-free use a dairy-free milk like almond milk or coconut milk. You could also just use all water for the liquid to make it nut-free but it won’t be as creamy. For the nuts, feel free to omit or replace with a nut-free version like sunflower seeds, pepitas, a diced banana or apple.

Marvelous is… doubling the recipe to make it for two.

Not so marvelous is… not having the right-sized pan and the liquid spilling over causing your stove to smoke. My bad.

Banana and Maple Pecan Oatmeal

Marvelous is… the truckload of Christmas pictures that I have to share with you.

Not so marvelous is… having to upload and edit them all.

So while I get on that, make this oatmeal, pop in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and get to reading some of the other posts that are linking up to Katie’s Marvelous in my Monday.

Hopefully I will be feeling better and able to comment on some of your posts that I’ve missed in the past week or so. Time to return to the land of the living! 😉

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Questions for you:

Which Ninja Turtle is your favorite? I’m partial to the one in red, Raphael. 

According to Nickelodeon’s survey though, I’m DONATELLO!

Like Donatello, you are a brilliant inventor. You may not make all of the Turtles’ gadgets, weapons, and vehicles, like he does, but you’ve got the brains for it! But sometimes you and Donnie are too smart for your own good, like when you’re too busy admiring an enemy’s futuristic laser cannon to run for your lives. But when it comes down to it, it’s other people’s lives that really keep your head in a mission. You fight with your heart, and that makes you a very powerful warrior.

What’s your favorite cough drop flavor? Black licorice obviously.

Have you gotten all of your Christmas photos/recaps up yet? I’m pretty sure I’m the last one…

Spill It #3, Banana Nut Bread, and What to Make With Your Christmas Leftovers

Hello fellow Christmas-lovers! I am just soaking up the amazingness that is Winter break, which so far has just consisted of sleeping, cleaning, and baking. Not terrible.

Paleo Banana Bread

Actually, while I have been baking, this banana bread is not from recently but from this past summer. Somehow I’ve forgotten to post multiple recipes and hopefully I can catch up soon! Still, it’s banana bread and that never goes out of season.

First though we must do Spill It Sunday via Arman 🙂

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Photoshopped Christmas Selfie: 

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What is a traditional/cultural event you and your family/friends celebrate?

Everyone seems to have these super special traditions when it comes to the holidays, but we just really follow the basic customs, at least those here in the United States. For Christmas Eve we always go to one of my church’s many Christmas Eve services. Usually we pick one of the services where they turn off all of the lights and there is a candle lighting, which is my favorite.

On Christmas morning my brother and I get up super early around 5:30 or so and drag my parents out of bed to open presents. Then while my parents recoup with a nap in our living room, we get a chance to check out everything we got.

Around 12:00 we then head over to eat with my mom’s side of the family with the traditional Christmas lunch.

In the past couple of years I guess we actually have started the tradition of watching a movie on Christmas day at the theater. In the past we’ve seen both Sherlock Holmes. I’m not sure if we will do that this year though, as I don’t know if there are going to be any good movies coming out.

Do you have any traditions which you partake in on a consistent basis?/What is something special you and your family/friends do?

These questions reminds me of my recent Statistics exam where I ended up writing too much for the first question which then overlapped my would-be answer for the second. My bad. (See above!)

Most memorable event?

As kids, during trips to see my dad’s side of the family for Thanksgiving, on our way home my brother and I would beg our parents to go see the Christmas light set-up. It had moving parts and was one of the coolest things. It was a great way to start off the Christmas season and being so young I thought it was so magical.

Now we just drive around the rich neighborhoods in the closest town. Not quite as good, but some of the decorations are insane!

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For The Recipe Redux‘s December theme we were supposed to make something that you can enjoy for the New Year.

What will you be serving to get the New Year started with a little luck? Be it black eyed peas and greens, Chinese noodles or even a special family recipe you serve on New Year’s Eve or Day. Please share your good luck dish to start off 2014 in a healthy way.mimm-current-recipe-redux

I chose to remake my Great Grandma Sigler’s famous Banana Nut Bread. Growing up my great grandma was the best baker I knew. She printed a lot of those community cookbooks full of her favorite recipes, and at every family celebration you could be sure to find at least one of her creations.

She passed away a few years ago while I was in high school and I miss her dearly. When I first heard that she was gone I immediately went into the kitchen, knowing that I had to make up a loaf of her famous banana nut bread. It was her most popular recipe and we were never without a frozen loaf in the freezer.

This is my grain-free rendition of her recipe. I didn’t include nuts because I personally prefer my banana nut bread “nut” free. I don’t like that crunchiness that chopped nuts give. Still, I added them as optional because most of my family likes them added. Also, there is no cinnamon in here because my great grandma was allergic and thus never included it in her recipes. If you’d like to add cinnamon, I would go with 1-2 teaspoons. Again though, I prefer it without.

Paleo Banana Bread

Paleo Banana Nut Bread

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy/Nut-Free Option, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Ingredients:

  • 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup worth)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1 cup almond flour (any nut/seed flour will work)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl, then add the dry ingredients, mixing well. (Alternatively I put all of the ingredients in a large food processor and had it all mixed smooth within a minute or two).
  3. Pour the bread batter into the lined loaf pan and bake in the oven for approximately 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let cool completely before slicing. **Start checking the bread at 60 minutes your first time to make sure that it doesn’t cook faster than mine. All ovens differ and you should go by look/texture instead of time to see when your bread is done**

Paleo Banana Bread

To check out the other New Years recipes featured in this month’s Recipe Redux round-up, check out them below:

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Aside from a new recipe and Spill It Sunday, you are also going to be getting a belated Christmas Recipes Round-Up post. As I wasn’t able to get anyone to do the leftovers post, the task was left to me. And well… I kind of dropped the ball on that one. So here it is a few days late. I figured it wouldn’t be TOO big of a deal since you won’t be eating leftovers until after Christmas anyways, right? 😉

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So what I did was pick some of the common leftovers that people have after holiday dinners, and then found three unique ways to repurpose them for enjoyment later on. Unlike Day One where I included the dietary labels, for today’s post I did not. The main reason is that while I did link to recipes, they are more just to provide inspiration. Don’t feel limited if a recipe calls for eggs, dairy or gluten and you aren’t able to have those things. For example, with the Pecan Pie Brownies, the recipe linked isn’t really “allergy-free.” So just take the recipe as baseline and substitute with your own favorite pecan pie recipe and brownie batter recipe to fit your needs. If you can’t find any substitutions but want to make one of the recipes below, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to help!

Turkey…

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Turkey Sweet Potato Dumplings // Greek Turkey Pita Sandwiches // Carmelized Onion, Cranberry and Kale Saute Wrap

Ham…

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Egg-Free Frittata // Ham and Apple Butter Panini // Baked Beans with Ham

Mashed Potatoes…

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Potato Cakes // Orange Drop Doughnuts // Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles

Corn…

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Roasted Corn Chowder // Zucchini Corn Fritters // Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Rolls/Bread…

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Customizable Breakfast Bowls // Homemade Vegan Croutons // Vegan French Toast

Sweet Potato Casserole…

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Sweet Potato Casserole, Brie and Bacon Grilled Cheese // Sweet Potato Pancakes // Coffee Cake

Pie…

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Leftover Pumpkin Pie Milkshake // Pecan Pie Brownies // Pie Breakfast Casserole

Cookies…

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookie Trifle // Cookie Pie Crust // Cookie Butter

Candy Canes…

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Stained Glass Cookies // Candy Cane Popcorn // Body Scrub

Also posting today for the 12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes is Cat from Cat Food is Good For You with a bunch of delicious desserts! And click here for the updated list on everyone who has gone so far!

And I’m also linking up today with Katie from Healthy Diva Eats for her Marvelous in my Monday. Because, let’s be real here- there is a whole bunch of deliciousness and marvelous-ness going on in today’s post 😉

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Questions for you:

  • What are your family’s holiday traditions?
  • Is there any recipe that you usually make for New Years?
  • Do you have any popular family recipes to share?
  • What is your favorite way to reuse leftovers?

Marvelous Is… A Lot of Things (WIR)

Marvelous is…

An Accounting teacher who accidentally sends you the solutions to your take home quiz via e-mail.

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My dear mother who decided that we were going to get festive and bake an entire turkey today for the fun of it.

The same dear mother who helped me package it all up to take to school with me for the week.

That my “week” only really consists of two days, Monday and Tuesday, and then I’m off for Thanksgiving Break!

Watching Catching Fire with my best friend.

Getting teary-eyed and goosebumps during my favorite parts of the book being reenacted in the movie.

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The super deep conversations that I had with said friend on the 30 minute drives to/from the movie theater.

More thought-provoking conversations had later on with my dad over creationism and evolution.

Perhaps finding a new doctor to go see. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t take months to get in.

Christmas movies on the television.

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Television. It’s kind of refreshing to watch TV shows on an actual TV vs. my laptop.

My dad finally turning the heat on in the house.

Adding even more puppy chow recipes to my ever-growing Pinterest board.

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Strawberry Cupcake Puppy Chow

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Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Helping to set up the Christmas decorations at church today.

My aunt’s amazing care packages that she sends me at school (I’m planning on doing a vlog about these sometime soon!).

Hearing about my brother’s slam dunks in his recent basketball scrimmage.

My new Elf For Health partner Divya at Eat Teach Blog.

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The #Elf4Health challenge that I joined! There are a ton of fun challenges to participate in starting tomorrow! I will NOT be participating in Day 1 because as you know I basically subsist on meat and vegetables so going MEATLESS would be a terrible terrible idea. But Day 2 is perfect for me and my inboxes stuffed with thousands of emails…

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So…. Tell me! What is Marvelous about your Monday?

Linking up to Health Diva Eat’s MIMM

And what did YOU do over your weekend?

Also linking up to Clean Eats Fast Feet’s WIR (Week in Review)

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