Blogger Spotlight: Lindsay Nixon from Happy Herbivore

by in Blogger Spotlight, October 5, 2012
Lindsay is passionate about her plant-based, low-fat diet. Along with the Happy Herbivore blog, Lindsay has authored two successful cookbooks and offers meal planning services for both individuals and families. Most of her recipes come together in twenty minutes, making them accessible for busy home cooks. She uses mostly whole, unprocessed foods, and refrains from adding fat to the meals she prepares.

Why did you and your husband choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle?

Initially I was motivated by the plight of farm animals and the amazing health benefits associated with a plant-based diet. My husband, on the other hand, was more drawn to it from an environmental aspect and we’ve since rubbed off on each other. Now we’re both motivated by our health, the animals and the environment. Eating a plant-based (vegan) diet has truly changed our lives.

Is it difficult to cook without using oils and butter?  Which ingredients do you use as substitutes?

It’s very easy. Instead of oil I saute in vegetable broth or water and I bake or broil instead of frying. With baked goods I replace butter and oil with applesauce or pumpkin most of the time, but have also used shredded zucchini and beans (Yes! Beans! It’s amazing how well they work). I find cooking this way also allows for a greater depth of subtle flavors. Oils and butters tend to coat the tongue, so it’s a little like tasting food with a glove on. Once you take them away, the components in the dish really shine.

How do you resist temptation for junk food?

Part of my motivation for eating a plant-based (vegan) diet is focused around my health. I know what animal products how bad they leave me feeling. I also had a serious health scare in my early 20’s before I was plant-based and I like to keep that in focus. “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels,” I always say. It also helps to know that I can make a healthier, vegan version of a junk food (i.e. cinnamon bun or meatball sub) at home that’ll taste just as good but without any downside.

Aside from eating well, how do you stay in shape?

I’ve found that as long as I eat a low-fat (no oil) whole foods, plant-based diet, I can maintain my weight (and a slender figure) even during periods of total inactivity. Prior to eating a plant-based (vegan) diet I was a bit of a couch potato. Walking around the mall was tiring. Changing my diet, however, improved my energy and health in life-altering ways. 10 months after adopting a vegan diet, I ran a marathon. I’ve also become an avid snowboarder and hiker. I guess you could say I keep a fairly active lifestyle now. Anytime I’m sweating from physical exertion, I stop to marvel at how much I’ve changed!

What is your go-to weeknight meal?

When I’m not in the mood to cook, I make either bean burgers (just 6-ingredients!), tofu scramble (adding in whatever veggies and beans I have on hand) or cooked greens (i.e. kale) with a cooked grain (i.e. brown rice), beans (i.e. black beans) and a flavorful sauce such as homemade mushroom gravy or a fun salsa (i.e. pineapple salsa).

Do you have any tips for people looking to start a vegan diet on a budget?

Staples like beans and lentils, whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables are a bargain. For your health and wallet, try to stick to those ingredients rather than splurging on the expensive (and not-so-healthy) vegan substitutes like fake meats, fake cheeses and other gourmet or specialty ingredients. Those items can be helpful during transition, but they’re not health foods (or cheap). Also remember that meals don’t have to be complicated. A bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables with brown rice and a splash of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce is a fast and delicious meal. I also like to make pepper fajitas: bag of frozen peppers, a fajita seasoning packet and tortillas. Of course you can totally have fancy and gourmet fare as a vegan, but if you’re trying to cut cost, go back to the basics. Also try to buy in bulk (i.e. from the bulk bin), buy local and buy seasonal. Frozen items also tend to be a bargain. At my supermarket you can get 10 bags of veggies for $10!

More posts from .

Similar Posts

Blogger Spotlight: Jennifer Vagios

Join Food Network's Healthy Eats in discovering the best healthy bloggers around the web. Today we're talking to Jennifer Vagios. ...

Comments (355)

  1. Jennifer Johnstone says:

    Thank you for posting this. Please please PLEASE share more vegan posts and consider producing a vegan show!
    There are a lot of vegetarian/vegan foodies who would gladly watch a show geared towards them on Food Network — right now there's not much for us here! Anyone who wants to improve their health could benefit, too.

  2. Mary Arnquist says:

    I love Lindsay's recipes and have both of her cookbooks. I am a visual learner when it comes to learning new cooking techniques, so it would be great to see her on the Food Network!

  3. Ruby Ernst says:

    Lindsay is such a sweetheart with all her fans! She takes the time to answer all our food question on fb. I love her food and have all her cookbooks. We need to have a good vegan show with Lindsay Nixon as the star.

  4. Charlotte says:

    Lindsay has been a lifesaver for me…going plant based and fat free was daunting until I found Happy Herbivore. Thanks primarily to this program, I can use my hands and walk without a cane again (no more arthritis or diabetes) and my cholesterol has dropped 60 points!

  5. John Bise says:

    I would LOVE to have a vegan cooking show on television! It’s a seriously untapped market that needs addressed. Lindsay could be the Rachel ray of vegan cooking!

  6. Zandra Hughes says:

    Thank you for featuring Lindsay! I’ve been plant strong for just over two months now, and I have both of her cookbooks. The recipes are creative, fun to prepare and yummy! I add to the vote of featuring Lindsay again, as well as having an all vegan show!! There are thousands and thousands of us out there and we’re growing! We love Lindsay!!

  7. Sue says:

    A healthy eating cooking show that primarily featured vegan recipes would be a wonderful addition to the food network. You would be the first channel to spread the message of health through food. You could even have nutrition experts on. Has this not been done yet because of the control exerted by the beef and dairy industry?

  8. Lori says:

    this country has a serious health/weight problem and needs to have access to this information. Please allow Lindsay to tout the health benefits of a plant based diet and demonstrate how easy it can be. The world needs Happy Herbivore!!!

  9. Sheila says:

    I lLOVE Lindsay and her fabulous cookbooks! I have never felt better after going Whole Food Plant Based Eating and Lindsay’s recipes make it so easy for me. I only wish the whole world could know how great they could feel by eating a healthy Vegan diet!

  10. Marian says:

    We love Lindsay and her cookbooks in our household. Thank you for featuring her and we support the idea of her being on the FN with a vegan cooking show! We would watch every episode!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>