Happy Herbivore Cookbook Review and Giveaway

by Renee Ratliff

The Light & Lean cookbook is a wonderful addition to the Happy Herbivore family of cookbooks. In this book Lindsay opens up about her Journey to health and relates it to recipes and workout plants. The book contains over 150 plant-based recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare, using simple ingredients, and will help you achieve your weight-loss goals.

We had the chance to ask Lindsay a few questions to get to know her a little better.

VM: How/when did you start following a plant-based diet?

HH: December 2006

VM: What does a plant-based lifestyle mean to you?

HH:  I eat a whole foods, low fat, no oil, plant-based diet.

VM: What inspired you to write this book?

HH: The cookbook was inspired by my meal plans (http://www.getmealplans.com). 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.

VM: What would you recommend for someone who is starting to explore a plant-based lifestyle?

HH: Take it a meal at a time. Make the next thing you put in your mouth a plant food Remember, progress not perfection.

Lindsay’s passion and enthusiasm shines though each page of the book. We have spent the last few weeks reading the book and trying out recipes. The book instantly captures your attention with beautiful photos and colorful font. It is easy to navigate with a shopping list, calorie count and chef’s notes. The book is broken up into sections including, breakfast, muffins and breads, sandwiches, tacos and more, hearty burgers, bowls and wraps, soups, stews and savory pies, salads and dressings, pasta, stir-fries and noodles, satisfying sides, sips, snacks and appetizers, desserts, drinks, and do-it-yourself. Each recipe that we have tried from the cookbook has turned out wonderfully. Here is what we have tried so far.





Pumpkin Muffin







Pumpkin Pancakes







Whole-Wheat Drop Biscuits







Thai Tacos







Tofu Jerky



As a special treat we get to share one of the mouthwatering recipes from the new Happy Herbivore Light & Lean cookbook.

Thai Crunch

thai-crunch-salad-7323_CMYKSingle 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


We are so excited that Linday’s publisher from BenBella Books was gracious enough to offer to host a giveaway through our website. One of you will be the new owner of Happy Herbivore: Light and Lean!

The rules are simple: You must be 18 years or older to participate, and you must live in the U.S. or Canada.

How to enter:  Enter a comment and tell us your favorite vegan dish. Please include your name and an email address so we can contact you if you win. The drawing will take place on January 2.

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21 comments on “Happy Herbivore Cookbook Review and Giveaway
  1. shanni novak says:

    tofu and spinach benedict with vegan ‘hollandaise’ — the ultimate brunch dish that the many non vegans devoured!!!

  2. Heather Stern says:

    I LOVE vegan BLTs with tempeh bacon and tons of guac! I have so many favorites but this is definitely a super easy go-to!

  3. Jennifer La Pietra says:

    I loooove tofu lasagna!

  4. Alicia MacLean says:

    I love making my own vegan pizzas and weighing them down with lots of mushrooms, olives, broccoli, and artichokes!

  5. Blake Kaplan says:

    My favorite is spinich lasagna

  6. Carolsue says:

    I just tried a recipe off Pinterest called Mexican Sprouted Bean Bowl and it was delicious!

  7. Donna C says:

    Soy chorizo tacos!

  8. Sharon Burkett says:

    Our current favorite is a Mexican Black Beans & Rice Enchilada Casserole!

  9. Elizabeth P says:

    I love a club sandwich with smoked coconut and lots of lettuce and tomato!!

  10. Nicole says:

    I love to make homemade sweet potato burgers. And mac and cheese, but that isn’t very healthy!

  11. Angela Dixon says:

    I love vegan sushi, I could eat it everyday!

  12. Rena Ban says:

    Favorite vegan dish: cashew cream alfredo. Yum!!!

  13. Charlotte Coit says:

    Favorite vegan recipe, soy chorizo, tortilla bean soup. Warm and spicy!

  14. Beth Case says:

    I love fried tofu, straight out of the pan, with salsa or ranch dip. yum!

  15. Melissa Heath says:

    I love my buffalo tempeh sandwiches!

  16. Judy Hickson says:

    I love Sweet Potato chili and it is great to sit down and have a bowl with whole grain bread and chive vegan butter during these frigid days of winter in the Midwest.

  17. Jeni says:

    I love a good vegan mac and cheese!

  18. Patty says:

    My favorite vegan meal is a big salad with many different fresh greens/veggies, flax oil for dressing and a cup of hot herbal tea.

  19. Susanna says:

    My favorite vegan recipe is Vegan Pad Thai. The Happy Herbivore Thai Crunch also looks delicious!

  20. Ellen says:

    I love Pazole Verde!

  21. Susan says:

    I love making anything with tofu and veggies together (especially if it’s Asian).

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