Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Cookbook + Giveaway

I've been a huge Happy Herbivore fan ever since I discovered Lindsay during the first few weeks of going vegan. I was amazed at how simple her recipes were and loved her personality through social media, blog posts, and reading her cookbooks. I was even honored to be featured a Herbie of the Week last year during my one year veganniversary! Overall, I highly recommend her cookbooks, and was excited to receive her latest Happy Herbivore Light & Lean.

As the fourth cookbook, this one is colorful and bursting with creativity, fresh new recipes, and exercises you could do nearly anywhere. No more excuses, herbies! I've enjoyed thumbing through the latest cookbook and was amazed at how many times I said, "Ohhhhh, I want to make this. And that. AND THAT!" She took a few moments to chat with me on her newest book, and shared some insight into what we can expect in the future!

LRJ: I've truly been amazed at the quality of your recipes and the frequency with which you create new recipes and cookbooks. When you sat down to work on Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, what inspired you and how did you choose to focus on the exercises and recipes as a combo?

HH: The cookbook was inspired by my meal plans. While the recipes in Light & Lean are different than the recipes my clients get each week with the meal plans, my approach to cooking (feeling full on fewer calories; making it ultra healthy but still delicious) was my focus with this cookbook. I was also a personal trainer some years ago, and it was nice to be able to bring that experience into this book. It felt like a good fit for the theme.

LRJ: For someone just starting out, I always highly recommend your cookbooks since they are super easy to follow and include no-nonsense ingredients. When you think of creating new recipes, who are you envisioning that you're writing these recipes for?

HH: Aww thanks! I don’t know that I envision anyone—I just get in there and play. I create something I’d want to eat.

LRJ: Congrats on your fourth cookbook! You've been working so hard in the last several years, and have really been going full steam ahead. Your fans adore all of you and the Happy Herbivore's team for the hard work and dedication that you've put into building up a huge community of loving and supportive Herbies. What's next for you, and what can all of us Herbies expect in 2014?

HH: I’ll be releasing my 5th cookbook in 2014 and I just started my cooking show which will continue into 2014.

LRJ: Thank you Lindsay for taking some time to chat with The Little Red Journal! I know we're all excited about this cookbook, and we can't wait to see what you have lined up for cookbook #5!

Want to win a copy of your own? Post a comment on below about why you decided to go plant-based or eat healthier. A winner will be selected at random on Sunday, December 22nd by midnight. 

Now, let's get cookin'. Lindsay shared her Thai Crunch Salad + Dressing recipe with us below.

Thai Crunch
Single serving
Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Single Serving
Before I was plant-based, I loved the Thai Crunch salad at California Pizza Kitchen. I finally decided to re-create a lighter vegan version of it for this cookbook. It’s easy, fresh, fast, and satisfying. (I also loved their Original BBQ Chicken Chopped salad, hence my BBQ Salad [in full cookbook] recipe!) By the way, CPK is one of the vegan-friendliest restaurant chains in the US. They have a PDF online indicating which menu items are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 
4 c napa cabbage, red cabbage, or lettuce (or a combination)
1 carrot, julienned
2 green onions, sliced
¼ – ½ c edamame
½ cucumber, sliced or diced
Thai Peanut Dressing
crushed peanuts (optional garnish)
cilantro (optional)
lime wedges (garnish)

Toss cabbage/lettuce, carrot, green onions, edamame, and cucumber together in a salad bowl, then top with Thai Peanut Dressing, crushed peanuts, and cilantro (if using), and garnish with a lime wedge. (I also love squeezing fresh lime juice over the salad.)

Chef’s Note: For a soy-free version, substitute chickpeas for the edamame.

Thai Peanut Dressing
Makes ¼ cup
Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Pantry
Creamy, delicious—here’s a lower fat and lower calorie DIY peanut sauce.
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp sweet red chili sauce
juice of 1 lime wedge
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
1 ¼ tsp rice vinegar
garlic powder
ground ginger
1–2 drops Asian hot sauce (e.g., Sriracha)
1 tbsp nondairy milk

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, add peanut butter with water, chili sauce, lime juice, soy sauce or
tamari, rice vinegar, a few dashes of garlic powder and ground ginger, plus hot sauce. Microwave for 10–20 seconds (so peanut butter is melty), whisk into a sauce, and then whisk in nondairy milk. Taste, adding more hot sauce as desired.

Chef’s Note: For a richer sauce, substitute coconut milk for the nondairy.

Ready to purchase her book? Check it out on Amazon! It's less than $12 and full of easy recipes and a must-have for any plant-based kitchen.

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.


  1. I went plant based because I absolutely love animals and can't imagine eating them or supporting anything that hurts them, and because of how great it makes me feel!

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  2. I've been a vegetarian for 27 years.I eat meat (fish) occasionally-but it's extremely rare.I stopped eating lamb first, because I thought it was wrong to eat baby animals, and it escalated from that point.

    1. Thank you Carla for sharing this! It's great that you've been vegetarian for so many years, and I'm sure your health is a testament to this. Thanks for reading.

      The Little Red Journal

  3. I decided to eat healthier because I'm noticing my body and mind slow down when I eat junk. Guess you can say I was forced into it ;-)

    1. I totally agree with you - your body just seems to work better without all the junk. Thanks for sharing!

      The Little Red Journal

  4. I went plant based 3 years ago because I just felt plain crappy. I had no energy to do anything and felt like a blob. I read a couple of books and decided to change my lifestyle. I have so much more energy and feel way healthier. I have friends that have even switched over.

    1. Stacy,

      That's great to hear! Which books did you read?

      The Little Red Journal

  5. I decided a long time ago to eat mostly plant-based foods. I feel so much better, so much more energy.

    1. Meryl,

      That's awesome - great to hear you have so much more energy. Any favorite meals or recipes that are you go-to favorites? I always like to hear what others are cookin'!

      The Little Red Journal


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