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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chunks of Change, Kale Chips and Interview with author, Lindsay S. Nixon

It's still winter here in Ohio....winter's been going on for about 6 months now....or so it seems.  But, there is greening occuring in the lawn and change in the scruffy looking flower beds that tulip leaves pierce through and attempt to beautify.  I will try to be patient, but I am ready for the next season for sure.

Since I was feeling a little cranky this weekend about the cold dip in temps, I turned to the kitchen for sustenance and comfort and realized that I had absolutely NO compulsion to run for the dark chocolate or devour a huge bowl of butter-sodden popcorn.  Change is truly coming about.  Yeah!  No, I wanted some of Isa Chandra's yummy lentil veggie soup, and some flaxers (recipe here:

We measure change in quantifiable methods usually, whether it be numbers on a scale, pants size, test scores (or cholesterol figures), but I love it when you get a big 'chunk' of change and it smacks you up-side-the-head in a delightful, AH-HA!!!!  Now let me get this straight....I want KALE instead of CHOCOLATE?  Apparently so!

As the soup was cooking and flax-crackers low-temp baking, I whipped up some kale chips.  There are several great recipes out there on the web, but I was in the mood for some of Averie's chips.  (Averie's blog, Love Veggies and Yoga can be found here:

These are very easy to whip up and the coating on the chips is very similar to what is used as the sauce in Rip Esselstyn's Mac Not Cheese.  You just coat the kale leaves, and bake on a cookie sheet.  I warn you though, don't plan on having any of these leftover.  Ain't gonna happen.  (Averie's recipe: )

In a way, they kind of remind me of Doritos, except not really.  They are lighter and of course won't kill you.

Lindsay Nixon recently went on a 'blog-book tour', which I think is genius.  What a great way to get the word out about her new book and let "little people", like me, get a chance to ask her a few questions. It was an honor and priviledge to have been able to submit some interview questions to her.  She has also given me a recipe from her new cookbook:  The Happy Herbivore, which follows the interview.

Congratulations on your new book.  I am very excited to see recipes without the use of oils and other processed foods.  What do you think is the major problem with getting the message out to vegans in particular, and the public, in general, about the unhealthiness of oils?

Oil has this great reputation for being healthy (the oil industry has deep pockets) and people *love* it, so they don't necessarily want to believe the truth.

Do you have a recipe in your book that is a personal favorite or one you are most proud of?

            The queso cheese, for sure.

How do you think that those of us who are already (whole food, low fat) vegan can be the most effective in getting others to try this healthier lifestyle?
Leading by example, rather than preaching unsolicited. Take this weekend for example, my girlfriend was staying with us for a few days and noticed I never cooked with oil. She asked why, and I explained it casually like "well there is a lot of fat and calories in it, its like a candy bar in 1 tbsp." We talked a little more about it, and I could tell she found it fascinating. Anyway, she went home on Monday and Tuesday morning emailed me saying she was a convert. She looked at the nutrition label on her evoo when got came home and it shocked her. She threw it out and that was it. Just like that, her diet has changed.
What has been the most exciting aspect of being a published author?

It's surreal to walk into a bookstore and see your book. I think that is when it finally felt real to me. Like I did write a book.

And lastly, if you could spend an hour with anyone in history, who would you choose and why?

Einstein, or Charles Darwin. They're both pretty much God to me. I'd love to be around that kind of brilliance and just watch

Thanks for all of your great work.

Quick Queso (makes 1 cup) - It's okay to go at this sauce with a spoon. I won't judge.
1 cup non-dairy milk (such as fat-free soymilk)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Whisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until thick. Serve immediately.
Note: Gluten-free flours or blends may be substituted, such as chickpea flour. Also, add a 1 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies for a Mexican Queso twist.

I whipped up Lindsay's queso and I have to say......DELICIOUS!  I can see so many possibilities for this recipe.  It's a great idea to add the tomatoes, and I will definitely be trying that.  I enjoyed the queso as a dip for some veggies and it went great with my flaxers (pictured above) and I even spread some inside of a pita pocket and simply stuffed with raw spinach....yum!  One could use this as a base for a sauce over pasta or other grain, and as a sauce for a veggie casserole.  The possibilities are endless. 

I'm looking forward to getting my copy of Lindsay's book and am anxious to try some of her other recipes.

Thank you again, Lindsay, for the opportunity to interview you and for the wonderful recipe! See more information on Lindsay's book at Amazon:

By the way, what a wonderful suggestion on approaching change for others....leading by example and not preaching.  I too have found success by creating a bit of curiousity and allowing others to ask rather than force my opinions onto them.  It is difficult, especially when we are so enthusiastic about our changes, but enthusiasm can quickly be perceived as just plain obnoxious pushiness....I will take your advice to heart, Lindsay.

Sue, changing and allowing others the space to do the same, in Ohio


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  2. thanks for having me! love your picture!