For this week’s Meatless Monday feature say hello to Lindsay Nixon who’s the author of three cookbooks including The Happy Hebrivore. She has some tips to share with us and also a recipe-
Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-Tell us about yourself, how you became a vegan and how the cookbooks came about?
Lindsay Nixon (LN)-I’ve followed a plant-based diet for 5 years, but I don’t identify as a vegan. About a year after I adopted a plant-based diet I started blogging. There weren’t many vegan cookbooks on the market back then and the ones that did exist weren’t really healthy focused (lots of processed sugar, white flour, gobs of margarine and oil, plus weird, bizarre ingredients) so I started posting pictures and recipes of my meals online — just in case there was some other person like me out there that wanted healthy, easy plant-based meals. Never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone would read my blog, or that it would get so popular that it would lead to a book, which became a bestseller, and led to a second and now a third book.
My cookbooks are an extension of what I wanted to create with my blog: easy, no fuss healthy recipes that are plant-based and use common, inexpensive, everyday ingredients. I wanted to prove that eating healthy was easy, approachable, affordable, realistic and delicious.
BSG- What will readers find in the books?
LN-Recipes — lots of recipes! Plus some cooking tips and tricks — and pictures!
BSG-Besides being a healthier diet, can people save money eating vegan foods?
LN-Oh absolutely. I cut my grocery bill in half. Vegan staples like beans, rice, seasonal fruits and vegetables cost a fraction of the price for animal products like meat and dairy. There have been weeks where I spent less than $50 to feed a family of three adults and 2 dogs (the dogs get home cooked meals)… and we buy organic.
Then there are other savings — going plant-based “cured” my sister’s allergies, so she is saving hundreds, if not thousands, by not having to buy medication or go to her allergist for shots. I pretty much eliminated my migraines, so I’m off that medication, which was about $7 a pill, AND I was taking 2, sometimes 3 a week.
BSG- What are you tips for beginning vegans, or even those people who want to eat vegan a few days a week?
LN-Take it a meal at a time. Focus on all the foods you can have, not the items you’re choosing to leave off your plate.
Attitude is everything. Have a positive attitude and you’ll have a positive experience.
BSG-I like some of the fake meats but the prices have risen a lot in the last few years. Any tips for places to buy them, like online? Or how about making your own. Is that easy or not something most of us can do?
LN-I have recipes for making your own faux meats and cheeses in my cookbook which are much cheaper and much healthier. We don’t really eat much fake meat or fake cheese — for one, it’s not really available to us and two, it’s not really healthy. Healthier than animal products? absolutely, but not as healthy as whole foods.
BSG-What are some of your favorite budget friendly vegan foods and meals?
LN-Just about every recipe in my new cookbook costs less than $5 to make — and even the recipes in my first cook are really inexpensive.
BSG-Is there a recipe you think we’d enjoy making for one of our Meatless Mondays?
LN-Quick Burgers, here’s the recipe- (note from BSG-I tried these and they are delicious, really quick to put together and inexpensive, what could be better?)
Quick Burgers | makes 4
I developed these burgers in a hotel room: they’re quick, easy and require very few ingredients. (In fact, except for the beans and a seasoning packet, I sourced all the ingredients from the complimentary “breakfast bar”). I make these burgers any time I need a super fast meal or I’m really low on ingredients.
15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
1/3 c instant oats
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl, mash black beans with a fork until mostly pureed but still some half beans and bean parts are left. Stir in condiments and spices until well combined. Then mix in oats. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into thin patties with your hands. Bake for 7 minutes, carefully flip over and bake for another 7 minutes, or until crusty on the outside. Slap into a bun with extra condiments and eat!
Chef’s note: If you only have rolled oats, chop them up in a food processor or blender so they are smaller and more like instant oats. Rolled oats left whole tend to make the burgers fall apart.
Per Burger: 109 Calories, 0.5g Fat, 17.6g Carbohydrates, 3g Fiber, 2.2g Sugars, 5g Protein
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, purchase her cookbooks, and sample some of her recipes at http://happyherbivore.com/