Review: Happy Herbivore Cookbook

Happy Hump Day! Let’s call this a hybrid “What I Like Wednesday” post and book review all in one. See how clever I can be…

When I started reviewing books on my blog, I didn’t think I would be discussing cookbooks. I’m not the type to seek out or buy cookbooks…I usually just look at what needs to be used up in my fridge and try to find a good recipe with that ingredient.
I’ve learned this may not be the best way to go. I’m trying to plan more meals ahead of time to focus my grocery list (read: budget) and not have immediate anxiety about what to whip up and eat in a matter of 30 minutes. I’m really good at planning in general, so it’s time to do it with meals.

Enter The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat Free & Low Fat Vegan Recipes. It hit stands everywhere yesterday, but I received my copy last week. I’m not a vegan and I don’t strictly follow a low fat diet, but I’ve already made plenty of recipes from this book. And they’re all delicious. My favorite part of the recipes is that they’re easy and accessible – simple ingredients and simple preparations. It makes me want to eat low fat and vegan more often.

I also really like the index, so I can look up recipes with certain ingredients and find out what they mean in case I don’t know. She has tips, tools, and all kinds of extras that make this more than just another cookbook. And those pretty pictures!

Here are some things I’ve already tried and loved and maybe a recipe or two:

Veggie, Bean & Quinoa Croquettes (You gotta buy the book to see the recipe!)

Black Bean Brownies (a.k.a. Beanies)
I’ve been making these for awhile now…even Hubs likes ’em! They’re not your typical butter & egg-laden, fudgy brownie, but they’re slightly banana-y, lightly sweetened, and a filling energy booster that you don’t have to feel bad about eating (half a pan worth…)

Photo courtesy of Happy Herbivore

 

Recipe: Black Bean Brownies
Courtesy of the Happy Herbivore

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole bananas (I like mine a little green for this recipe)
  • cup agave nectar (I use pure maple syrup)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa (The real stuff- Ghirardelli!)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raw sugar (optional) (I skip- makes it even healthier!)
  • ¼ cup instant oats

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Chef’s Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.

I cut these into twelve rectangles at a meager 86 calories each. Even better is baking them in muffin tins and you’ll have 12 cute round beanies 🙂

Maple Glazed Vegetables
I served these to Hubs and the in-laws for Thanksgiving. They all liked!

Photo courtesy of Happy Herbivore

Recipe: Maple Glazed Vegetables
Courtesy of the Happy Herbivore

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (I use carrots and turnips or whatever needs using up)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 whole garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar (optional) (I don’t think it needs the extra sweetness)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions:

Mix cornstarch into 1 tsp cold water, stirring until dissolved and set aside. Add broth and vegetables to a large frying pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add maple, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, juice, garlic, pepper and agave if using. Cook for five minutes or until vegetables are cooked but still slightly crisp. Add cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. turn the heat to high and wait for the sauce to thicken, but keep a watchful eye! Once the mixture is thick like a glaze, remove from heat. Garnish with sesame seeds.

I’m really looking forward to making some of the super easy bread recipes, too!

P.S. How you likin’ the new blog look? It’s a little more feminine than I, but it’s just the right amount of artsy & pretty 🙂

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Happy Herbivore
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 13:20:21

    thanks for the wonderful review!

    Reply

  2. Julie (A Case of the Runs)
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 18:59:17

    Tried the brownies… mine didn’t look that nice, but they were good.

    Reply

    • Julie
      Feb 01, 2011 @ 19:09:47

      Mine never look as good as the picture either! I found that adding a teaspoon or two of instant coffee helped with the rich color and amped up the cocoa flavor!

      Reply

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