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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes » User review

New to Vegan Very Helpful Basic Recipes and a Few Tasty Twists for Experienced Vegans...

  • Mar 26, 2012

I made the following recipes from The Happy Herbivore.

Oatmeal Cookies
Fruity Oatmeal Bars
Chicken Style Seitan -- (which required these as well: No-Chicken Broth Powder (which will be a nice addition to my pantry) and her Poultry Seasoning Mix)
Maple Cornbread Biscuits
Blue Corn Chickpea Tacos

My assessment of the book.

Lindsay Nixon's Happy Herbivore cookbook opens with an explanation of why and what Vegan looks like, what to have on hand to prepare Vegan meals and tips and hints. Had I been just starting out as a Vegan I would have very much devoured this section, and the very end of the book that is simply two pages that give details on what and how to make substitutions in standard recipes. After almost a year of the Vegan learning curve, this is less important to me.

As for the recipes. The Fruity Oatmeal bars are exactly as she said they'd be. Cereal bar taste and texture just like a Nutri-Grain type bar. Very tasty. I'll definitely make these again. There was no added fat as promised in the secondary title of the book either. Same scenario on the Oatmeal Cookies. Good texture, a soft cookie that is chewy and flavorful. Again, no added fat. One step in the directions caused me pause and I did not follow it. She suggested placing part of the batter/dough on parchment paper and laying it carefully upside down over the jam layer. I chose the lazy way out and allowed a few holes for the jam to peek through after plopping and spreading.

I love the No-Chicken Broth Powder. It makes quite a bit, a cup and a half or so (1 TBSP to 1 cup of water). It will work in other recipes and will be a nice staple for my kitchen. The poultry seasoning was a mix of several spices, and again, will be an addition to my pantry. The Chicken-Style Seitan was chicken-like. Nice flavor, and decent texture. It's still Seitan and has that texture so it won't fool most omnivores. It was a little time consuming so I'd make a double batch next time and try freezing it for the future or keep it on it's extra liquid/gravy in the fridge for a few days. The making was easy, but it required almost an hour to simmer and half hour to bake. Most homemade Seitan is involved, though, so this was not unexpected. There is a recipe on the web that I like slightly better that will be my go to "chicken" sub recipe but I believe I'll add the No-Chicken Broth Powder to it.

The Maple Cornbread Biscuits were very tasty and I loved her trick to keep them fat free! We also loved the Blue Corn Chickpea Tacos. I baked them a shorter amount of time and mashed the chickpeas. Very good flavor and a nice "meaty" feel.

The other recipes I'd like to try are:

Mushroom Burgers
Torkey (Tofu Turkey)
Spicy Sausage
Baked Shells and Cheese (which requires the Cheddar Cheesy Sauce)
Veggie, Bean, & Quinoa Croquettes
Baked Beans
Baked Onion Rings
Chili-Lime Corn Chips
Ranch Dip
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
Sour Cream
Nacho Cheese Sauce
Brown Rice Milk
Gravy (three different ones)
Cinnamon Buns
Gingerbread Mini-Loaves
Pumpkin Cheesecake

Most of these recipes are not unique to The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. Many are on blogs. However, I'm at the point where I'm looking for the perfect go-to recipes to replace family favorites and/or for holiday baking and entertaining. I am giving the cookbook a 4 star rating especially for new to Vegan cooks, and a 3 or 3 and 1/2 for unique recipes or for experienced Vegan eaters looking for unique or new ideas.

Depending on what you are looking for this could be THE cookbook for you. The recipes are basic and a chef's hat is not a required tool to use it in your kitchen. Vegan eaters who want to cut fat should look into it. An experienced Vegan who has been playing around with recipes for a long time may not find as many keepers as a new Vegan would.

What did you think of this review?

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April 01, 2012
I think I will recommend this to a vegan friend of mine :)
April 01, 2012
Vegan food is great- particularly food without sugar.
April 01, 2012
Yes, I agree.
About the reviewer
Kelly Klepfer ()
Ranked #57
Member Since: Feb 11, 2009
Last Login: Jun 8, 2012 02:25 AM UTC
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About this book


"The Happy Herbivore Cookbook's low fat, plant-based dishes promote health in a delectable and wholesome way. Lindsay Nixon's recipes are a practical and affordable means to a nutritious lifestyle that can help prevent and reverse disease."

--T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author ofThe China Study

"Home fries and cupcakes and meatball subs.... Not the healthiest though, right? Wrong! Nixon's new cookbook chock full of fat-free and low-fat vegan versions of our favorite highly caloric (and highly delicious) eats."

-- VegNews Magazine

"The Happy Herbivore Cookbookwill not only make all your culinary dreams come true but will give you a recipe for lifelong health... Jump on in, get your feet wet with all the foods you thought you'd have to set aside to get healthy."

--Neal Barnard, MD,president, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

"The Happy Herbivore Cookbookis filled with simple-to-prepare and delicious healthy recipes. We recommend that you make this part of your kitchen library. Using it often will help you preserve (and regain) your health and appearance."

--John McDougall, MD, and Mary McDougall, founders of the McDougall Program

"The Happy Herbivore Cookbook is down to earth and sings to my heart and mouth. Deliciously brilliant!" 

-- Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2
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