Light and Lean_Tour blogger badge

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Book Review, Q&A, and Recipe

Light and Lean_Tour blogger badge


Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great           

That’s right, y’all!!  MORE delicious, quick, easy, affordable, and LIGHT recipes from the one and only, Happy Herbivore.  PLUS, an entire section devoted to helping us get LEAN! 

Hard to believe a year has passed since the last Happy Herbivore BLOG TOUR, for the Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook.  I am honored to be included in this tour, which will be throughout the month of December.   CLICK HERE to check out all of the places the book stopped, on last years BLOG TOUR.  CLICK HERE to check out PBJ’s review, Q&A, and recipe from Happy Herbivore Abroad.

I was beyond excited when I heard about this NEW cookbook.  How about you?  If you are not familiar with Happy Herbivore, NOW is your chance. 

About the author:

Lindsay S. Nixon is the bestselling author of the Happy Herbivore cookbook series:  The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, Everyday Happy Herbivore, and Happy Herbivore Abroad.  As of September 2013, Nixon has sold more than 150,000 cookbooks.  Nixon has been featured on Dr. Oz and, and she has spoken at Google.  Her recipes have also been featured in The New York Times, VegNews, Vegetarian Times, Women’s Health,,,,,,, among many others.  A rising star in the culinary world, Nixon is praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low-fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious.  Learn more about Nixon and try some of her recipes on her award-winning site


About the book:

“With easy, no-fuss recipes, the bestselling Happy Herbivore cookbooks show how easy, affordable, and delicious eating healthy can be.  Now, in her latest cookbook, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon provides recipes that put a special emphasis on weight-loss and a set of exercises that, like her recipes, are quick, easy, and produce great results.

Like all Happy Herbivore cookbooks, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean contains filling, flavorful, plant-based recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. But this time, Nixon takes healthy to an all-new level, with low-calorie, satisfying meals that will help you achieve your weight-loss goals—and without deprivation.

True to its title, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean also includes “recipes” for your body with basic workouts, plus tips and tricks that will inspire you to move more for a trimmer, more-toned you. As always, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean recipes are free from oils, processed foods, and diet chemicals such as artificial sweeteners.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean keeps it healthy, keeps it simple, and keeps it delicious.”

photo by Jeff Shaw
photo by Jeff Shaw

My husband and I have fallen in love with the Happy Herbivore cookbooks.  We own all four (both paperback and kindle version) cookbooks.  What I love about the kindle version, is when I am at the store, and Frank decides he wants a certain recipe from one of the HH books, I can pull out my phone, and open up my kindle app, and go straight to the recipe.  BAM, I know exactly what ingredients I need to pickup.  Is it necessary to have both paperback and kindle?  No!  Are Frank and I in love with ALL of the Happy Herbivore cookbooks?  YEPPERS!!

Fortunately, I discovered the Happy Herbivore cookbooks in 2011, when I began my whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.  I am so grateful to have stumbled upon Lindsay’s recipes, because they truly are EASY, AFFORDABLE, QUICK, and most importantly…DELICIOUS!

Even my non-PBJ friends enjoy her recipes.  HH recipes certainly do not lack flavor, and most definitely do not leave you feeling unsatisfied.  I may go back for a second helping, but only because it is sooooooo good, and I cannot help myself, lol! 


Want to see what I am raving about? 

Here are some pics I snapped of the recipes I have made so far out of this cookbook.  Keep in mind that I have had my book less than two weeks, and I have already experienced HEAVEN!!  I am NOT a photographer, and would like to note that my photos truly do not serve these recipes justice, lol!  Yet, I did my best to capture the amazingness of the food!

I was thrilled to see Chef AJ’s Vegan Parmesan recipe in this book.  This has been a favorite of ours for quite a while.  Thumbs up to Lindsay, for including this delicious recipe.
CLICK HERE to watch Chef AJ’s video on how to make it.

photo by Laura Black.  AJ's Vegan Parmesan, pg. 271
photo by Laura Black. AJ’s Vegan Parmesan, pg. 271

I believe this picture speaks for itself!!
Guess what??  CLICK HERE for recipe!!

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 192
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 192

This sauce is so easy to make, and keeps in the fridge forever!!

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 266
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 266

 Frank made the Tempeh Bacon.  It has a delicious maple, and smoky flavor!!

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 36
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 36

Keep your eyes peeled for this Thai Crunch recipe below (with dressing).  O to the M to the G!!

photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 139 & pg. 140
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 139 & pg. 140
photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 140
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 140
photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 139
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 139

 This is so yummy on a Taco Salad

photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 67
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 67
photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 140
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 140


photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 79 & pg. 189
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 79 & pg. 189

Watch Lindsay make Meatloaf Bites,
AND Everyday Mushroom Gravy

CLICK HERE for Deviled “Eggs” recipe
(I left out the “black salt”, because I did not have it on hand, and it still tasted great)

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 203
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 203

 What a great sport, heh??

photo by Laura Black
photo by Laura Black

 On top of the HH Pumpkin Pancakes (CLICK HERE for HH pumpkin pancake recipe), is my favorite syrup, from Virtually Vegan Mama.  CLICK HERE to snag up her cranberry-maple syrup. (my syrup looks a little darker because I ran out of maple syrup.  I did 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of date syrup)

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 20
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 20

 FASTEST cookie recipe…EVER!!
CLICK HERE for recipe

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 220
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 220

 I just want to add that my MOM actually enjoyed this cake on Thanksgiving, and she is a picky “chocolate” eater.

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 224
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 224

 The Frosting has THREE Ingredients
YEP…You heard me :)

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 227
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 227


photo by Laura Black
photo by Laura Black

THUMBS up from Frank, and my co-workers on these Brownies!   His exact words:  “These taste like real brownies”.  LOL   I took slight offense, as I have my own Guilt-Free Brownie recipe that he “supposedly” loves…
He was right though…they were YUMola!! 
(now he has TWO favorites, lol)

photo by Laura Black.  recipe on pg. 231
photo by Laura Black. recipe on pg. 231

 NOW~~~For a sneak preview of one of the many recipes in this book that are easy, healthy, and delicious!!

Thai Crunch with Thai Peanut Dressing
Reprinted with permission from BenBella Books

photo by Jackie Sobon
photo by Jackie Sobon
Thai Crunch Salad & Thai Peanut Dressing
Serves 1
Reprinted with permission from BenBella Books. For the Thai Crunch: "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. Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Single Serving. For the Thai Peanut Dressing: Creamy, delicious—here’s a lower fat and lower calorie DIY peanut sauce. Makes ¼ cup Gluten-free, Quick, Budget, Pantry
Write a review
Thai Crunch
  1. 4 c napa cabbage, red cabbage, or lettuce (or a combination)
  2. 1 carrot, julienned
  3. 2 green onions, sliced
  4. ¼ – ½ c edamame
  5. ½ cucumber, sliced or diced
  6. Thai Peanut Dressing
  7. crushed peanuts (optional garnish)
  8. cilantro (optional)
  9. lime wedges (garnish)
Thai Peanut Dressing
  1. Makes ¼ cup
  2. 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  3. 1 tbsp warm water
  4. 1 tbsp sweet red chili sauce
  5. juice of 1 lime wedge
  6. 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  7. 1 ¼ tsp rice vinegar
  8. garlic powder
  9. ground ginger
  10. 1–2 drops Asian hot sauce (e.g., Sriracha)
  11. 1 tbsp nondairy milk
Thai Crunch
  1. 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.)
Thai Peanut Dressing
  1. 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 the Thai Crunch
  1. For a soy-free version, substitute chickpeas for the edamame.
  2. Per Serving
  3. Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
  4. Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.7g
  5. Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39.4g
  6. Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.7g
  7. Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.3g
  8. Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.3g
  9. WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Chef's Note For the Thai Peanut Dressing
  1. For a richer sauce, substitute coconut milk for the nondairy.
  2. Per Serving
  3. Thai Peanut Dressing (1 tbsp)
  4. Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
  5. Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.4g
  6. Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3g
  7. Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0g
  8. Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0g
  9. Protein. . . . . . . . . . .0.9g
  10. WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Plant-Based Junkies


Awesome recipes…right??

What is even more amazing??
Talking with Lindsay about her NEW book!




Plant-Based Junkies (PBJ):  First of all, the Plant-Based Junkies (PBJ) Family is beyond excited to be included in your #HHLLtour.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for including us, as well as a bigger THANK YOU for delivering another fantastic book.  I truly enjoyed reading your “story”; your journey to health.  Thank you for opening up to us, and putting it all out there. What inspired you to write Light & Lean?

Happy Herbivore (HH): “I have a contract with my publisher ;) Joking aside (well, I do really owe them a set number of books) I was inspired by my meal plans ( 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.”





PBJ:  The majority of your book uses common, everyday ingredients, and for that I thank you.  I always seem to have the ingredients on hand, and they never to go to waste.  However, there is one ingredient (MISO) I seem to skip on, and in turn I do not end up making some of your recipes.  I am beyond bummed about this, and I need your help!  I have found in the past that I rarely use enough of it, and it usually goes bad and molds before I use it.  Do you have any suggestions on prolonging the shelf life (other than refrigerating), and/or a substitute in place of it?   

HH:  “There isn’t a substitute for miso, but it generally has a long shelf life — it should hold for you for a really long time.” 





PBJ:  Even though I personally do not count calories, I found myself absolutely in LOVE with how your book really breaks down each recipe by its calorie count, and you list the page where we can find the recipe.  AWESOME!!  I have always been curious as to how many calories were in the Everyday Mushroom Gravy (only 60 calories…for real???)  I think I could drink that stuff, lol.  I also loved your section on caloric density.  One cup of spinach is only 7 calories, and one cup of olive oil is 1,728 calories.  What the ??  Kind of puts things into perspective, QUICKLY.  Would you elaborate a bit on the two books that changed your life, and approach to food, as mentioned in your book? 

HH:A few years ago I read Volumetrics and Mindless Eating and they both changed my approach to food. I had an “a ha” moment just like you did reading the calories in spinach compared to oil. I wasn’t a big calorie counter, but it suddenly helped me see why I gained weight while practicing “everything in moderation” and why a big bowl of pasta, despite being 800 calories was never enough. I finally found a way to be full –and satisfied! AFter changing my approach (the approach I celebrate in the book with my new recipes).”





PBJ:  Thank you so much for putting “the 100 factor” out there for us.  Explaining how it applies in both our calories, and our fitness.  You list out for us 42 easy ways to burn off 100 calories in our day-to-day life.  Based on a 150-pound individual, if that person cooks for 34 minutes, they could burn 100 calories.  HECK YEAH, I love burning calories in the kitchen.  Shoveling snow for 15 minutes (which that will be us here in the midwest soon).  You aren’t kidding…those ARE easy!  What are some of your favorite, quick ways to burn your 100 calories?

HH: “Cooking :)”





PBJ:  Last but certainly not least, your workout section.  BRAVO!!  I am in LOVE with how you list out exercises for beginners, yet incorporate instructions for those who are more experienced (not me by the way, but hopefully one day) to obtain optimal fitness. The pictures, and step-by-step guidance is truly appreciated.  I am looking forward to trying out the burpees.  What piece of advice could you offer to those that are in the beginner stage?

HH: “Modify. Do the best you can — we all start somewhere!”





PBJ:  Thank you again, for taking time out for the PBJ family.  We are in love with all four of your books, and are enjoying them religiously.  Thank you for keeping them healthy, whole, simple, and most importantly….DELICIOUS!!


Keep your eyes peeled for a GIVEAWAY of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean…SOON!!

In the meantime, grab your very own copy NOW!  (if you win the giveaway, it would make an excellent Christmas gift)

CLICK HERE for your paperback book.

CLICK HERE for your kindle version.

Follow Happy Herbivore on her Blog tour, using #HHLLtour.

Subscribe to our PBJ blog to stay updated of new posts (such as the upcoming giveaway).

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


What recipes are you looking forward to making?  Or if you are lucky enough to have the book already, what are your favorite recipes?

5 thoughts on “Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Book Review, Q&A, and Recipe”

    1. You will love it. As with all the HH recipes, they are so easily adaptable. I added a few extra ingredients to the Thai Crunch salad. Used up some extra veggies in the fridge. Let us know what you think! ~Enjoy

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>