Remember when I got to meet the Happy Herbivore at her Pittsburgh book signing? Well, she’s taken that book tour to a new level with a blog book tour! Lindsay, a.k.a. Happy Herbivore, is coming out with TWO new cookbooks in the next year or so and she was kind enough to answer some of my questions about inspirations and finding passion. Enjoy!
(J) Tell me about the path of Happy Herbivore…How did you get started?
(HH) I started happyherbivore.com several years ago when I was newly vegan.
Blogs were still new back then and veganism wasn’t as mainstream as it
was today so I wanted to put information out there for others like me,
and maybe meet other vegans… I never expected it to take off or turn
into a book!
(J) How do you find inspiration for your recipes?
(HH) It’s sort of a mix of trying to find ways to recreate healthy and
fat-free vegan versions of foods I used to love, responding to
suggestions and requests from fans and inherent inspiration. For
example, I might see a beautiful eggplant and think “I really need to
come up with a recipe that uses eggplant!” Or more commonly, I’ll
realize I’ve totally neglected a certain food, like say kidney beans,
so I’ll try to develop a recipe that uses them (hint: that’s how the
Rajma Masala was born!)
(J) Was cooking and writing a book always a passion of yours?
(HH) I’ve always been passionate about writing, though I thought I’d be a
novelist or something! ha! I was a lawyer before a chef, so I guess
I’ve always been a writer? I was a horrible, horrible cook in college;
so cooking really intimidated me. I got over that, though, when i went
vegan since, at the time, I lived somewhere where “vegan” was unheard
of — if I wanted to eat, I had to make it. I happened to fall in love
with culinary arts in the process and now it’s my all encompassing
(J) How has HH’s success affected you?
It’s all so humbling; I’m in total denial about the success — which I
think is good. Recently someone recognized my sister and was like
“OMG! You’re the HH’s sister!” and when she was telling me the story,
I thought she was pulling my leg at first, and then it was just really
cool. Unbelievable, but cool. I’m just in shock, I still don’t believe
it some days — it all feels like a dream.
(J) What advice would you give to people trying to find their passion like you have?
I feel like my life took me here, that a lot of small steps, small
seemingly inconsequential decisions, led me here, as though my passion
found me. Who knows maybe there were signs all along and I missed
them?? but one thing I’m sure of: is life is too short to not do what
you love. I was a lawyer and hated it. I’ll never make as much money
as I did as a lawyer, but I’ll never be as happy as a lawyer as I am
now. I guess what I’m saying is, be open to the possibilities. This
“career” came out of the worst thing that ever happened to me, after
Thanks so much for the interview HH!! Here’s a great recipe from her current cookbook. I’m making this one tonight – it’s so versatile!
Quick Queso (makes 1 cup) – It’s okay to go at this sauce with a spoon. I won’t judge.
1 cup non-dairy milk (such as fat-free soymilk)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Whisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until thick. Serve immediately.
Note: Gluten-free flours or blends may be substituted, such as chickpea flour. Also, add a 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies for a Mexican Queso twist.
Learn more about Lindsay:
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.