Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blogger Interview + a Recipe!

Happy St. Patty's Day! I hope everyone is staying safe and green today (although, I's not easy being green!)

Today I have a real treat for you interview with Lindsay from Happy Herbivore! Lindsay is doing a blog book tour to promote her new cookbook, so I decided to take the opportunity to have her answer a few questions for all the Peace, Love & Bagels readers out there!  I've been following Happy Herbivore since I was introduced to the blogosphere. I absolutely love her low-fat and fat-free, vegan recipes and have tried many of them myself (this is one of my favorites!)

Lindsay was also awesome enough to let you all in on a sneak peak recipe from her book! Don't forget to check out her Black Bean Burgers at the bottom of this post!!

But First, a little more about Lindsay...

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

Now, onto the interview: 

Did you grow up in a family that practiced a plant-based, vegan or even a "healthy" lifestyle and how has it influenced you as an adult?
I grew up largely a vegetarian out of a love for animals, but it was against the wishes and desires of my entire family, who took great pride in feeding me meat (saying it was soy) or things with meat in it (like soup made from chicken broth) and not telling me.

Thankfully, they've all come around and are at least supportive. My parents even adopted meatless mondays, and my sister is vegan too now. It's been a long road, for sure.

What made you decide to eat a solely vegan diet?

Originally I went vegan because I'd heard it would clear my skin, help me lose weight, give me more energy and fix some digestive issues --- and it did! But the reasons I stay vegan run much deeper. I'm moved by the plight of farm animals, the environmental impact, the health benefits --- there are so many reasons why I continue to be vegan.

Having published a cookbook, I'm sure you know a thing or two about being very busy. What are your some tips you have for navigating a hectic day when you want to do it all?
Time management. I can't stress how crucial that is--- I really sit down and plan my day. I assign things like chores and exercise the way people schedule meetings or dates

What made you decide to publish The Happy Herbivore Cookbook? 
It's a story of being in the right place at the right time with the right experience. I wasn't sure I even wanted to write a cookbook, but then I (by pure luck) met a great publisher who happened to be looking for someone like me to write a cookbook -- and the rest is history. We were a match made in heaven.

What goes into publishing a cookbook?
Oh gosh, there is so much work involved. First you need to write the book -- the recipes, the table of contents, index, glossary -- then there is the layout, and taking pictures, then there are several edits of the book, then there is trying to decide on the cover and title (hardest part) and double-checking and cross checking to get page numbers... it takes about a year all in all.

What tips do you have for PL&B readers who might be thinking about putting their recipe collection in print?
Don't romanticize it too much. Writing a book is a lot of hard work and it's not particularly lucrative... you have to do it because you love it. Also keep in mind that there are a lot of vegan cookbooks out there now, so the market is very competitive. Most publishers are looking for a "new idea" and someone with a lot of notoriety-- a strong fan base.

What is your favorite recipe in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook?
I have a lot of favorites that I kind of go between. Lately I can't seem to get enough of the nachos, though a week ago I was gaga for cornbread and the week before that portobello steaks.

Any closing thoughts for the PL&B readers?
Thank you for this opportunity -- and my favorite bagel is a whole wheat everything with tofu cream cheese and olives!

Black Bean Burgers (makes 3) - I love a good and quick meal, and this burger fits the bill perfectly. 
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c fresh cilantro, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
whole-wheat breadcrumbs or instant oats
whole-wheat buns
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. Pulse beans in a food processor until mashed well or alternatively, mash with a fork. Transfer to a mixing bowl and combine with cilantro and spices. Add breadcrumbs or oats as necessary until the mixture can be handled and isn't terribly sticky, about 1/4 c. If after 1/4 c. it's still too sticky, refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes. Shape mixture into 3 patties. Lightly spray with cooking spray (optional) and bake 7 minutes. Flip and re-spray (optional) and bake another 7 to 10 minutes until thoroughly warm and crisp on the outside. Serve immediately. Because there is no oil, these patties dry out if you let them sit.

Thanks Lindsay! Keep up the great work and best of luck with your lovely cookbook!!
Peace, Love & Bagels,