Happy Herbivore Abroad: Interview & Giveaway



ME or YOU :) 

First of all, welcome to my humble abode.  My name is Laura Black, and I am a Plant-Based Junkie (aka Herbie).  If this is your first visit, you are most likely wondering:  Plant-Based Junkies??  To answer your curiosity, I used to be what I considered a “Fast-Food Junkie”, in which I literally consumed fast-food two to three times a day, and I am not exaggerating when I say, I NEVER cooked.  Now, I like to consider myself a “Plant-Based Junkie” (PBJ), where I consume as many whole-foods, fruits/veggies as possible, and I am proud to say, I LOVE to cook (thanks to the Happy Herbivore cookbooks).  You can read more about my story here.  I recently celebrated my one year “Plantiversary” in September, and I have never been more passionate about sharing this wonderful plant-based lifestyle.  I am proof, along with countless others, that food is our medicine.  Feel free to browse this site for numerous links, books, and videos regarding this fabulous, healthy lifestyle.

Now, moving on to what we are all here for:  Lindsay Nixon, and the release of her third cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad.

Lindsay Nixon headshot


Just to fill you in a bit about this inspirational Herbie; Lindsay S. Nixon is most famously known as the “Happy Herbivore” (HH).  She cooks with no added fats and mostly whole, unprocessed food.  You won’t find processed flour, refined sugars and oil or margarine in her recipes. What you will find, however, is food that is good for you and tastes great!  I was extremely excited when I ran across Happy Herbivore, when I began my plant-based lifestyle journey.

When I stumbled across her website, www.happyherbivore.com, I was in awe of the unlimited amount of helpful resources Lindsay had available to her audience.  From her blog, to her cookbooks, recipes, videosmeal plans, including tips on how to Get Started.  Lindsay is passionate about developing tasty, healthy, low-fat recipes, and sharing her knowledge with her fellow Herbies.  I feel lucky to have discovered Happy Herbivore, as she has impacted my life on a whole new healthier level.



I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to interview the Happy Herbivore (HH).  Keep in mind, I am a newbie to “blogging”, and I will be honest when I say that I have NO CLUE what I am doing, lol!  However, as soon as I found out that Lindsay was looking to choose thirty-one bloggers to host her blog tour in the month of December for her new cookbook Happy Herbivore Abroad (HHA), the first thing I did was grab my interview questions from my most recent interview with Chef AJ, and the giveaway of her book, Unprocessed.  I literally was so excited at the opportunity of featuring Lindsay’s new cookbook, that I wasn’t thinking straight, and took those questions, added one more question, and quickly e-mailed my interview questions back.  With that being said, these are not quite the questions I had in mind for HH, and I wish I could have a “do over”, and ask more specific “Herbie” questions.  None the less, I appreciate her taking the time to answer my questions, as I am still overwhelmed by being chosen to host one of her giveaways.  I am still jumping with joy, as I love Lindsay and what she stands for.  She truly is an inspiration to me, as well as many others.


PBJ:  What would you like to share with those thinking about starting a plant-based diet, but are frightened or unsure if they will be able to succeed?

HH:  Take it a meal at a time. Don’t get caught up with over thinking. Worry about this meal, right now — not what you’re doing tomorrow, or next week or next Christmas. Never think in “Can’s haves” — it’s not that you can’t have it, it’s that you’re choosing not to. Also, focus on all the food you can have, not what you’re choosing to give up. I eat a wider variety of food now on a plant-based diet than I ever did on an omnivorous one!

PBJ:  Was there an event in your life that persuaded you to make the transition to a plant-based lifestyle?

HH:  I was a vegetarian for most of my life but lapsed back to eating meat in my late teens from peer pressure and family pressure. A serious health scare in my early 20s brought me back to a vegetarian diet and about a year later, after reading The China Study, I adopted a totally plant-based diet. That was about 6 years ago now.

PBJ:  What is one of your favorite recipes from your new book, Happy Herbivore abroad?

HH:  Asking a chef to pick a favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child :)

PBJ:  What is your response to those folks that say they could never give up their meat, dairy, or processed foods? I used to be one of those people. My response used to be, “No cheese…are you crazy?” Also, any suggestions for those that say they are not big fruit or veggie lovers?

HH:  Don’t let your food control you. Meat, dairy, junk food — it’s all addictive. Don’t be an addict :)

PBJ:  What has been your most rewarding benefit from living this lifestyle?

HH:  I like to tell people you never realize how bad you felt, until you realize what it feels like to be well. My life has changed in absolutely profound ways.

PBJ:  What has been your biggest kitchen mishap/blooper?

HH:  I have a habit of using the blender without the lid…

PBJ:  Out of all of your books, which has been the most fun/challenging to write?

HH:  They’re all so different. Each has it’s own challenges, and own experiences. What I like about Abroad is that it’s so personal. There’s a lot more of me and my life in this book — which also is a little scary! It’s hard to bare it all.




Happy Herbivore Abroad (HHA) was released December 4, 2012.  HHA was already into its second printing before the release date.  How exciting is that???  Just under a year ago, Lindsay’s second cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore (EHH) made its appearance December 6, 2011, and her first cookbook The Happy Herbivore (HHC) debuted February 1, 2011.  Lindsay is cooking healthy, low-fat /fat-free meals up a storm!

Also, all books are available on Amazon as ebooks (kindle edition).  They should also be available through IBooks, and Nook soon; if not already.  Kindle edition means you can read these delicious ebooks on any device, including your web browser.  No “kindle” required.  You just need one of the following:  computer, smart phone, iPad, etc…Why not have both an electronic version and paperback?  How awesome to have three fabulous cookbooks at your fingertips while out, and about (like the supermarket), or “Abroad”.  :)

happy-herbivoreHer first cookbook, The Happy Herbivore (HHC) has over 175 delicious fat-free and low-fat vegan recipes.  This was one of the first cookbooks I purchased at the beginning of my journey, and I literally said “I can’t believe this is healthy food!”.  The muffins are so moist you will not believe they are fat-free, and cookies and cupcakes so tasty you will honestly deny that they are healthy foods.  I loved all of the “comfort foods”, as scaled500x332_HappyHerbivore-3188I definitely needed them at the beginning of my journey.  The recipes do not use obscure ingredients or tools, which I was thankful for considering I had never cooked before.  Some of my favorite recipes from HHC are:  Black Bean Burgers (literally has 5 ingredients) page 86, Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins page 45, and Baked Beans page 199.

ehhHer second cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore (EHH) features over 175 quick-and-easy fat-free and low-fat vegan recipes which can be put on the table in 30 minutes or less.  The recipes are still made with wholesome “everyday” ingredients and without added fats like oil.  I loved the fact that I could cook three meals a day, blueberry muffinfrom whatever ingredients I had on hand, in normally around 20 minutes.  Here are some of my faves:  Mexican Dinner which consists of, Bella Tacos page 91, Skillet Refried Beans page 179, and Taco Sauce page 293.  For dessert, we like to munch on the Single-Serving Blueberry Muffin page 56 (which my step-daughter LOVES).

hhabroadBlogging about Lindsay’s third cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad (HHA), is a DREAM COME TRUE for me.  It is surreal to look back at when I was a new “Herbie” at the time EHH cookbook came out, to a year later blogging about yet another fantastic cookbook of Lindsay’s!

HHA is AMAZING, and I hate to say the “BEST YET” because the other two books are just as delicious, but in my opinion, I think what stands out about HHA, is her international recipes, and stories of her adventures throughout the book.  The numerous pictures of her travels are phenomenal, as well as breathtaking.  Oh, and if you are the type that likes to have “pictures” of what you are making and eating….THIS IS YOUR BOOK!   The pictures alone make your mouth water, even more so when you are cooking the recipes.

Again, not using hard-to-find ingredients or complex cooking methods.  Lindsay as always, made sure to include a shopping list.  Oh, and something NEW Lindsay added:  DRINK recipes!  YES, you heard me.  From Hot Chocolate, to Sangria, Tinto de Verano, and Aqua Fresca.  You HAVE to get this book!!  This go-to book also uses “icons” for each recipe detailing the following:

  • Quick
  • Fat-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • One-Pot Meal
  • Budget
  • Pantry

I have included some of my favorites from HHA so far.  You will notice that the majority of them are spicy, or soups.  I live in Illinois, and it is COLD this time of year!  Fortunately, there are plenty of recipes in HHA that cover all types of seasons.

Cuban Black Bean Soup, page 17

cuban black bean soup

Photo provided on Forks over Knives website

Spicy Mustard Chickpeas, page 44

Photo taken by Laura Black

Photo taken by Laura Black

German Lentil Soup, page 14
(Amazon Video of Lindsay making German Lentil Soup)

Vegetable Korma, page 100

Photo provided by Bust.com website

Photo provided by Bust.com website

I have been given the privilege of sharing a typed-out recipe from Lindsay S. Nixon’s new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad.  I was given a list of recipes to choose from, and I chose African Jollof.  The reason I chose this recipe, is because I normally eat this type of meal frequently throughout the week.  I have every single ingredient in my house daily, and I love brown rice, and frozen vegetables.  Again, this is a little spicy, which I particularly enjoy this time of year.  I hope you enjoy this as much as ME!

African Jollof, page 129

Photo by:  Kel Elwood Photography

Photo by: Kel Elwood Photography

African Jollof

Jollof rice, also called “Benachin,” is a popular dish throughout West Africa, particularly in Ghana and Nigeria. Many variations to this dish exist throughout West Africa, but core ingredients include rice, tomato paste, onion, and a medley of vegetables and spices.

Serves 4

¼ c tomato sauce

vegetable broth, as needed

1 small onion, diced small

ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp mild curry powder

2 c frozen mixed vegetables

1½ c cooked brown rice

1 tbsp tomato sauce

(additional) hot sauce, if desired

Pour tomato sauce into a pot, then add enough broth so liquid completely covers the bottom. Add onions, a dash or two cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, and curry powder, then sauté over high heat until translucent—about one minute. Turn heat down to low and add frozen vegetables, stirring to warm them. Continue to cook over low heat and stir frequently until vegetables are warm. Add cooked rice and stir to completely combine. As you are stirring, the rice should take on a dark coloring. Add one more tbsp tomato sauce, plus salt and black pepper to taste. For a spicier dish, add hot sauce to taste.

Per Serving: Calories 161, Total Fat 1.0g, Carbohydrates 33.4g, Dietary Fiber6.3g, Sugars 5.3g, Protein 5.2g



Now, for the EXCITEMENT!!  For a chance to win a copy of HHA, you MUST post your answer below to our question:   “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?”  You must include your e-mail address, so that I may contact you if you win.

Below is a list of items you can complete that will give you bonus entries in the giveaway.  The more items you complete, the more bonus entries in your name, the better chance you have at winning!  While answering your question, be sure to list each item you complete within the same comment as your answer.  I trust that you will be honest in your comments.  Besides, we are all Herbie’s, and Herbie’s stick together…right?  If you already do one of the below items, just comment that you already do.

Example:  I would love to visit Italy, as I would enjoy touring the various vineyards.  I completed Items: 1, 2, 4, 7, and 9.  I already do items: 3, 5, 6, 8

The reason for the “Bonus Entries”, other than to give you extra opportunities to win, is so that we can get to know YOU.  I LOVE meeting like-minded individuals, and sharing stories, recipes, and resourceful information.  Basically, I love my fellow Herbie’s and PBJ’s!  We have much to gain from having a GREAT support system to help us along on this journey.


  1. Post answer below to our question (In order to be entered in giveaway)
  2. Follow PBJ on Twitter   @laurayblack   (Bonus Entry)
  3. “Like” PBJ on Facebook  (Bonus Entry)
  4. Join our PBJ group on Facebook  (Bonus Entry)
  5. Follow PBJ on Pinterest (Bonus Entry)
  6. “Like” HH on Facebook  (Bonus Entry)
  7. Follow HH on Twitter  (Bonus Entry)
  8. Follow HH on Pinterest  (Bonus Entry)
  9. Follow our blog by e-mail (Bonus Entry)
  10. Use the “Share” links provided to share this giveaway (Bonus Entry)






 We would LOVE for you to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.


  1. Jennifer says:

    There are many places I would like to visit but I guess first I would have to choose Quito, Ecuador. My husband is from there and it is so beautiful. I would love to see where he comes from, grew up and show our children those things as well. Awesome post! I would love, love, love, to win Happy Herbivore Abroad, I love Lindsay’s recipes! I have completed all 10 bonus entries. Thanks!

  2. Samantha Remington says:

    I would love to visit India – I love that there are entirely vegan tours that you can take.
    ssremington (at) gmail.com

  3. Melinda says:

    I would love to visit Italy. I’ve been an art history buff since college and I’ve watched lots of travel shows and documentaries on Italy. I follow PBJ and HH on FB and look forward to subscribing to blogs and on Pinterest.

  4. Dana Zucker says:

    I would be in one of two places. A Greek Island or Kona. I love the idea of needing nothing except what is found on the island and all provided by neighbors. And the volcanos make everything so yummy rich in nutrients.
    I do 1,2,6,7 and will do 10. Still figuring out Pinterest and will follow as soon as I can get one of my teenagers to help…

  5. Jim Keegan says:

    I would love to visit China! The country has always been somewhat of a mystery to me, and now as I embark on my “herbie” adventure I think exploring China and its vegan delights would be the greatest thrill. At my age I need all the thrills I can get!
    I currently like and follow HH on Facebook. And as soon as I am done entering this wonderful contest, I will do the same for PBJ. Thank you!

  6. Kerry Blackburn says:

    Nice to meet you, Laura. I would like to visit Krakow, Poland which is the ancestral home of my mother’s family. Her grandmother traveled to the USA in 1908. She and her daughter were able to return to see the family twice and I would like to have that opportunity with my Mom and daughter.

  7. Dalores Lounds says:

    I would like to visit Jamaica. My husband is from there and I haven’t had the chance to go there yet. I would like to meet his relatives and see the places where he grew up. I would also like to try the food he grew up with that we don’t get over here. I completed all except 5 & 8. I haven’t gone to pinterest yet.

  8. Janet says:

    I would visit Zambia. My son will be there for two years with the Peace Corps!

    I just did #3, and #4 and already do #6.


  9. nape9393 says:

    I’d love to take my adult children to Florence, Italy, so we can marvel at the art and angels in the architecture.

    Thanks for a wonderful giveaway! And congratulations on your plant life.

  10. nrendell says:

    I have always wanted to travel around the islands in the South Pacific. It looks so warm and beautiful and very exotic to someone from the North.
    Found you through Engine2 and “Plantstock” in New York.

  11. Tracy E. says:

    I have never been to the Galapagos islands and since I fear the commercialization may change these islands I would prefer to go with a plant strong eco tourism group! I can’t imagine seeing the diversity of the animals up close while traveling with like minded individuals.
    I completed 1,2,3,4,5,8 already do 6 and 7 plus I shared on interest and twitter and joined the email group. Yes I fit the bill for a “junkie”!

  12. Kathy Grant says:

    There are so many places I would love to visit. Thailand, India, Austria, Switzerland. I already do 6,7 and completed all the rest.

  13. Denise says:

    I would love to visit Sweden because my mom’s family is from there. I met a bunch of relatives on FB and would love to meet them in person!

    Thanks for the great giveaway. LOVE your blog!

  14. Kristen says:

    Hi! I’m so happy to be a part of this giveaway! Okay, I have always wanted to go to Ireland since that is where my family on my grandfathers side came from. The beauty of Irelands country side is breathtaking, and I dream of going there someday, maybe even run into some distant relatives! Ha! That would be a trip of a lifetime for me. My email adress is kbryant75@student.se.edu. I have started to practicing being a “herbie” within the past year because I suffer from headaches, and I have found that with a plant based diet they have almost completely disappeared! Hallelujah!! I have already do 6 and 7, and I just complete 1,2,3,4,5,8,9 and figuring out 10! I’m excited to continue this lifestyle, and wish everyone the best! Happy Giveaway entering everyone:)

  15. Rob Cohn says:

    I would visit Israel. I would visit so I can see my family and bask in the beautiful culture. It would be amazing to show my family what a vegan eats!! I completed all the items.

  16. Marlinda Karo says:

    I would love to visit New Zealand because I’m sure there are wonderful plant based nuggets there exotic veggies & fruits also I’m a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan. I completed Items: 1, and 9. I already do items: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

  17. Judy G says:

    I would love to visit Tuscany Italy and travel the countryside experiencing the people and the culture. And, of course, eating all the delicious Italian foods!! I really hope to do this some day!

  18. Jeri-Lynn says:

    My husband and I are in the military and have been married 5 years. We are still waiting for our honeymoon in Italy! Can’t wait to go some day, to continue the beautiful romance and love we have.

  19. Joan Rapley says:

    I would like to do a tour with a group such as Free the Children. The location doesn’t matter so much but I think I need to see real poverty and hunger and see the difference that my dollar can make. I have done #1,3,4,5,6,8,9 for bonus entries.

  20. Dorcas Martin says:

    I would gladly give up my trip for my mom and brother. I live close to my mom, and can see her whenever I want. My brother lives much farther away, but loves to take my mom on trips to spend time with her. He wants to take her to China someday to see the great wall, so I’d pick a trip to China, and then pass it on to my mom and brother. I made sure I did 3,4,5,6,8 and I already did 9. Just don’t know how to twitter or tweet to do the others-oops:) I’m a newbie PBJ and can’t wait to pick up the HH books, or better yet, win one!

  21. Steven Todd Smith says:

    While I would love to go back to Italy, France is next on my “would love to visit!” list. I also had a friend recently tell me that France is impossible to visit eating plant-based, so I would love to go, experience, and report back with all of my plant-based eats stories. I took 4 years of French and forgot everything, so I’m looking forward to refreshing it and then experiencing the country and culture. I’ve heard such amazing things about Thailand also, that Thailand comes in second on the list. If we’re sticking in the US, a trip to Hawaii sounds lovely – anyone want to send me on one? I’ve completed 1, 5, 8 & 10. Already do 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7 :-)

  22. Rebecca Kayser says:

    I would love to visit Ireland. The country is so rich in culture. The beauty of the Celtic lands are a dream vacation for me.

  23. Cheryl says:

    I would love to visit Scotland. I have a lot of family history there and would like to see it first hand. In addition, the country is absolutely beautiful from pictures I have seen. I might starve there however, as I do not think they have a big population of plant based eaters but maybe I could start a new trend there ;) I have completed bonus items 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8. Honestly I probably won’t do the twitter stuff as I just don’t have time to fit that in at this point. May be a good resolution for next year though.

  24. Rugrat Chow! says:

    If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would travel to (a) turkey and (b) Morocco. Whenever I see pictures of both those places I’m fascinated by the colors and the fabrics and buildings and food. I posted HH Moroccon vegetables during my non-giveaway HH interview a few days ago!! LOVED those!! Also, I love Casablanca … so I definitely want yo go to Morocco ;) … here’s looking at you, kid! :)

  25. karen says:

    I would love to visit England again, been many years since i have been there. My family is originally from the outskirts of London and my grandfather wrote a memoir about growing up there and moving the New England for work. I would love to go back and see the places he talked about. I have done all the extra items except twitter as I don’t tweet, too overwhelming for me:) kraf@live.com good luck with your radio show.

  26. Carla says:

    The cruise I took earlier this year makes me want to quit work and travel full-time!! Unfortunately, that’s not possible. I am torn between Italy and Africa. As a recovering pasta-holic, Italy is an obvious choice. Since changing my eating habits, I have found new ways to enjoy “pasta” through spaghetti squash and spiraled zucchini. I have a friend who is a flight attendant and travels to Ghana monthly. The stories and pictures of the rich culture and food make me want to travel to Africa.

    I completed 9. I already do 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8.

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