I have to say I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of Lindsay's book tour for her new book, Happy Herbivore Abroad. You can read about my journey to veganism here, but at the end of the day what is most important is that Lindsay is my favorite cookbook author. When I was first vegan I would get very overwhelmed by the random ingredients in recipes, the amount of time and effort they took and how unhealthy a supposedly healthy recipe could be! When my co-worker introduced me to Happy Herbivore, I was hooked. Her recipes were easy, healthy and quick--something I appreciate even more now that I am a working mom of a new baby boy.
I own both Happy Herbivore and Everyday Happy Herbivore (and enjoy her meal plans that have helped me lose 50 of my 55lbs of pregnancy weight in a healthy fashion!) but I have to say that Happy Herbivore Abroad is my absolute favorite of the three cookbooks. I don't know if it is the traveler and Spanish teacher in me, but I really enjoy the flavors and variety in these recipes! I absolutely love the amount of European recipes, specifically the Spanish recipes, throughout the cookbook. I'm also impressed by the new layout and font. It is really easy for me to understand how many people each recipes serves and the nutritional information for it. Additionally, the recipes all call for ingredients that are easy to find, don't cost a lot and are probably already in my pantry. It is completely accessible cooking for everyone--something that is usually not typical with cooking food from around the world. As a travel junkie, I adore the stories she has behind each of the recipes and the pronunciation tips for foreign words. Not only is this a cookbook but also a travelogue of her extensive adventures. I found myself reliving many of my favorite travel memories through hers. While nursing one night I sat down and read the cookbook as if it was an actual book and was really entertained. She has surpassed my expectations with this cookbook--and I have to admit--I had really high ones given my travel experiences.
Ashley: As a Spanish teacher, I love to travel as well. I find that when I do, I discover almost more about myself than I do about my destination. Have you had a similar experience?
Lindsay: Yes! I have a story in Abroad about exactly that! Actually, two of the stories in there could fit this description...
Ashley: Being vegan on my most recent trip to Spain forced me to try new foods that I wouldn't have otherwise. What advantages and disadvantages does being vegan while traveling pose for you?
Lindsay: Like you, I find eating a plant-based diet encourages me to try foods I wouldn't have normally tried. I always like tell people that my diet is much more varied now on a plant-based (vegan) diet than it ever was when I was an omnivore. Being plant-based has opened me up to so many foods, ingredients and cuisines I would have never tried as an omnivore. The only disadvantage is that it's not always convenient -- but that's true no matter if you're in small town U.S.A. or Rome. Eating a plant-based diet takes patience and creativity at times, especially when you're abroad, but I've always been able to find food. I've found Spain to be one of the easiest and most accommodating countries!
Ashley: I see you've been to many countries where you don't speak the native language. How do you manage staying plant strong and communicating your needs? Any tips?
Lindsay: I speak Spanish, French and some German -- enough to get by and communicate my needs. In other countries, where I don't speak the language at all, I always take notes with me -- food words, how to explain my dietary preferences in their native language. I'll get a phrase book, etc. so I still can communicate, just not well. I've also noticed that English has become more widespread throughout Europe, especially in the bigger cities because of tourism, and many restaurants offer English menus.
Ashley: What is the craziest meal you've tried while traveling? Did you enjoy it? Will we see a recipe in Happy Herbivore Abroad?
Lindsay: I'm not terribly adventurous with my food -- but I did eat a fruit once that looked, and, in my opinion, tasted like an eyeball. I was assured it was not an eyeball...
Ashley: While in Spain last year I saw a TON of vegan graffiti and support for the first time. Do you feel like you've noticed in your travels that the plant strong community is getting bigger throughout the world?
Lindsay: I saw a huge difference on this last trip, compared to five years earlier. I saw a lot of vegan graffiti, stickers and other posters about being vegan. I ran into an Italian animal rights group demonstrating at fashion week in Milan and they were so excited that I was plant-based. I've also noticed more and more restaurants, bars, etc. offering clearly marked vegan and vegetarian meals in the bigger cities.
Ashley: What's your favorite recipe in Happy Herbivore Abroad?
Lindsay: Asking a chef to pick their favorite recipe is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child :)
Ashley: Do any of your recipes hold special memories from your adventures?
Lindsay: Most of them! There's a story attached to nearly every recipe in the book.
Ashley: Are these recipes as accessible to the everyday cook since they have an international flair?
Lindsay: Yep! That was my main goal -- international flavor, using everyday ingredients we all have in our pantry.
Ashley: What are you most proud of with this new book?
Lindsay: There's so much of me in this book. It's very personal, especially with all the memoir bits. It's not easy to brave your soul to the presses! I'm really proud of this book. It's a beautiful book.
So if you still aren't sure of how awesome this book is, let me show you a few recipes I have made! Keep in mind that these pictures were taken from my iPhone and I am not a good photographer. First, I had to try the paella!
Since I can't really go to Spain right now because of our newest addition, I wanted to have a tapas night in.
To keep things well balanced among my Spanish-speaking countries I made the Quick Mole Chili and Morir Soñando for lunch.
Lastly, I made the Stuffed Acorn Squash because it is getting chilly here in Michigan and I wanted some warm comfort food.
I really liked the spices and raisins in the stuffing. I don't think I would have thought to use them in a stuffing before. I also enjoyed the use of quinoa instead of rice because I love how quinoa adds protein and is super quick to cook. It was a very easy recipe and one I will make many times again...besides the acorn squash I almost always have all of the ingredients in my house!
Well, if this post hasn't sold you on how awesome Happy Herbivore Abroad is then I don't know what will! I really can not sing enough praises for it. For more reviews, follow the Twitter hashtag #HHATour.
Happy Herbivore Abroad is available now on Amazon but I am lucky enough to give away one copy to a reader! To enter, leave a comment below (I have to approve comments before they post, just FYI when you post them) telling me either what your favorite travel memory is or what your favorite food while traveling has been. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. The giveaway will end Saturday night, 12/1/12 at 11:59PM. I will post the winner on Sunday and choose the person by using http://www.random.org/integers/. The giveaway is only open to those in the USA and Canada. Good luck! :)