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I have all of Happy Herbivore's cookbooks, but this may be my favorite! Like all of Lindsay's cookbooks, this is a plant based, no oil, low fat, quick-meals cookbook. The twist with this one is that it's geared to folks who might want to lose weight or achieve certain calorie targets, although the food is healthy and delicious even if you aren't. All of the meals are ginormous and filling and low calorie, even more so than her other books, which still had a lot of lean in them!
Things I love in general about this book:
* Lindsay has a very positive, relatable writing style. It's like talking to a friend.
* The look of the book is very bright and clean, with great graphics and color and tons of high quality photos. It is a very pretty cookbook.
* All the recipes have calorie counts, nutritional details, and WW points if you need them.
* I LOVE LOVE LOVE the part at the beginning where she lists which recipes are in certain calorie ranges. You can see this on the Amazon preview. It is nice because you can do your own meal planning! If you know you want a certain calorie target, you can pick things from each category to make your meal plans.
* I love the recipe categories: breakfasts, baked goods, bowls and wraps (great section!), soups/stews, pastas, burgers, sandwiches/tacos, snacks, and desserts.
* New snack category is awesome! I can't wait to tuck into these recipes. For appetizers, this is perfect.
* I love the drink section. Some warm drinks, some cool, some cocktails. It's a nice touch from HHA and I hope it continues.
* The Lean section is a great touch. The exercises are well thought out and photographed, and provide inspiration and several great ideas for how to incorporate exercise into your daily life. I'm glad the Lean section is there, but am also glad it's not as big as the recipe section!
* Lindsay has recipes to use up ingredients you may have had to purchase for other recipes. For example, she has at least four (maybe more) recipes with canned pumpkin, so you won't be left with a cup of random pumpkin and no idea what to do with it. And she often calls out where you could use the leftovers, like with the Skinny Puttanesca and Skinny Cheater Pad Thai which both use spaghetti squash.
* I love the pictures of Lindsay hiking and snowboarding at the beginning and end of the book. It's inspiring. I felt like, "I want to go there, too! It's an adventure."
My only not-serious complaint is that Lindsay is so prolific with her writing that I can't keep up. I'm still trying new things from "Happy Herbivore Abroad"!
The first recipe I made after the cookbook arrived was a cocktail. The "Dublin" was awesome! Very fast and easy, with a super delicious chocolate/coffee flavor. Yummy. I know there are some comments on the alcohol drinks, but there are FOUR alcohol drinks in the cookbook and one is a super light spritzer with only a ¼ cup of wine in the whole thing. I know some people don't imbibe, but it's easy enough to just skip those four recipes if that's you. It's not like the book is a booze-fest. I appreciate the practical aspect of being provided with some low calorie, delicious cocktails because many people drink, and most doctors, including our whole foods, plant based doctors, support moderate alcohol intake.
Something else that I know is important to many people is that there are no faux meats or cheeses in the book. Several recipes for DIY cheeses are included (Nacho Cheese, Cheese Ball!!, Cheese Spread, Parmesan), but nothing pre-made. I personally don't mind using the occasional amount of faux meat/cheese but it takes a lot more skill to craft recipes that don't rely on ready made things like that. Lindsay is also mindful of dietary needs. There are many soy-free and gluten-free recipes, and she always offers suggestions for modifications to make other recipes soy or gluten free. She uses beans and lentils much more than tofu, tempeh, and seitan/gluten; while I love all the veggie foods, I know beans are the best for filling me up! So I like that fiber punch.
Other recipes I have made (besides the awesome Dublin):
* Spinach Love Wrap: Refreshing and unusual - super filling and so low in calories you can eat two huge wraps!
* Pumpkin Pancakes: Amazing and easy. Very fluffy and delicious.
* Oatmeal 300: I LOVE this section. Lindsay gives a bunch of options for jazzing up oatmeal and they are all delicious combos and many rely on a banana or applesauce as a sweetener.
* Breakfast Tacos: Incredible idea, and SO FILLING! I was full until 1pm after having two of these for breakfast. Perfect morning meal.
* Pumpkin Chili: Super hearty and filling. Definitely try this one! It's unusual and delicious.
* Deviled "Eggs": Game changer!! So simple and tasty and CUTE. Everyone will love these. They aren't weird, even my omni family loved these!
* Everyday Mushroom Gravy: Awesome sauce! Literally. This is a perfect mushroom gravy for potatoes and anything else.
* Caribbean Bowl: Delicious and fresh combo. Comes together so quickly, but great flavors! I've had it as a wrap and a bowl. Great both ways.
* Lentil and Pear Salad: Another simple but awesome combo! I like it with raspberry vinaigrette. Beautiful and filling.
* Lentil Joes: Who doesn't love a Joe?? Fiber filled, low calorie, fast, delicious. The whole family loved these and the sauce is delicious.
Other recipes that are in my queue to try are: Pineapple Pancakes, Ruby Chocolate Muffins, Skinny Mac and Cheese (on tonight's menu!), Nacho Bowl, Irish Stew, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Tofu Jerky!!, Sangria Spritzer, Molasses Cake, Dark Chocolate Truffles, Pizza Burgers, Lentil-Oat Burgers, Taco Burgers, Thai Tacos, Lemon Zucchini Muffins, Pink Lemonade, Olive Gravy, Smoky Apple Baked Beans, Microwave Peach Cobbler, Ginger Cabbage Stir Fry, Autumn Salad with Maple Dressing, Barbeque Wrap, Sonoma Chicken Salad....basically the whole book.
My favorite thing about Lindsay's recipes is that they are all things you can imagine yourself coming up with, if you had the time. I've read comments in reviews of her other cookbooks that the recipes are so simple you could have thought of them yourself and I always want to say, "Yeah, but you didn't. That's the point." I COULD think of six different burgers and test the wet to dry ratios and try a bunch of flavors and think of toppings and calculate the nutrition and take a cute photo of my creation but thing with Happy Herbivore recipes, is - I DON'T HAVE TO. Lindsay comes up with recipes using things that you have in your pantry, combines them in yummy and unusual (but not crazy!) ways, and figures out the nutritional info for you. Since most of us have to work and can't spend as much time as we'd like in the kitchen, let Lindsay help you. Lindsay's Happy Herbivore recipes are my go-to weekday meals and it's not because I CAN'T cook without help. It's because I LIKE HELP on weeknights. I can create and make seitan roasts, home-made ravioli and triple layer cakes on the weekends. Lindsay is always there for me when I need a fast, delicious, healthy meal, and I'm very grateful for that.
You will love this book!