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The Happy Herbivore

I just picked up The Happy Herbivore when I saw it on sale at a local bookstore. It's gotten great reviews on amazon.com. Has anyone tried any of the recipes in this book?

http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Herbivore-Cookbook-Delicious-Fat-Free/dp/1935618121/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296538945&sr=1-1

I do not have the book but it is on my wish list.  The recipes I have tried from her blog were good.  This looks like a good cookbook to have around.

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I tried three recipes from this book today, brownies, Mexican cabbage, and black bean wraps, and I didn't like any of  them. A lot of the recipes also seem overly simple to me, and use ingrediants like beef crumbles and garlic powder. Plus her strawberry cupcakes are only strawberry because of a slice of strawberry on top.

Overall it's an over-hyped book with boring ingrediants. Maybe it's good for beginer cooks, but even then I'm an experienced cook and none of the recipes turned out for me.

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I've had the book for almost 2 months now and have been able to try a few recipes. I really like how it is lower fat, or at least fat conscious. I also like how the author uses whole wheat flour, and more nutritional ingredients. Many continue to use all-purpose flour, white sugar, etc as primary ingredients. I've tried the following recipes, here are my thoughts

-No Huevos Rancheros: rather bland. Probably won't make again. I know there are better "egg" recipes out there.

-Cajun Home Fries: Pretty good. I kicked up the spices a little. I would make them again. Quite easy and quick.

-Cinnamon Buns: These require some tweaking, but are VERY good after that. You likely will not need the FULL amount of flour, as the dough starts to become too dry and crumbly. I would also let the rolls rise for at least an hour before baking them, or you end up with hardened little clumps (that still taste good, but look rather pathetic).

-Cornbread: This is my go-to recipe. I like it better than the one in Veganomicon, and it is MUCH easier and quicker. I prefer baking it in a cast-iron skillet. Nice and moist without being too dense.

-Tortilla Soup: Great, but again, requires some tweaking so you are not left with a bland tomato broth. Instead of chopped tortillas, I used tortilla chips, and less salt. I also added some red pepper flakes, increased the cumin, and added a can of northern beans so it was a more substantial meal. It is otherwise quite thin. It tastes great with the cornbread.

-Red Lentil Dal: eh, Ok. Probably won't make again.

-Yellow Dal: good, but not great. I will probably make it again. Be aware that the split peas take MUCH longer to cook than it states in the book. Mine cooked for at least an hour. Serves well with Naan, or flat bread and rice.

-Cheater Pad Thai: Very good, if you like peanut butter. I used Asian Chili sauce (not the sweet kind) and did not use additional hot sauce. Trust me, the chili sauce can be MORE than sufficient for providing heat! I will usually use extra-firm tofu with this, frying it in a wok with safflower or coconut oil and liquid aminos or soy sauce. I then remove the tofu and set aside while I cook the veggies in a similar fashion. Add the rice noodles and tofu LAST so they do not become a mushy mess. Note that the recipe says it is for two. This depends obviously on how many noodles you use (easy to overdo it on rice noodles). We often find ourselves doubling or tripling the sauce portion of the recipe to accommodate for this. This shows up fairly frequently on our "menus".

-Southwest Macaroni Salad: Apparently I can't leave a recipe alone. I subbed in Veganaise instead of the mayo recipe for this. I also added additional chipotle, celery salt, diced celery, cayenne to taste, and a quarter of a yellow onion. After all of that, YUM. A little bland before it.

-Black Bean Brownies: I guess I'm the only one who doesn't like these. I thought they were AWFUL. I even tried to make them a second time, with less bananas, more cocoa, added nut butter, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love bananas, but not when what you are eating is supposed to taste like a brownie, and all you can taste is banana where it doesn't belong! EESH. Don't bother. If you want brownies, try a real brownie recipe and skip the "healthy" factor of the black beans and bananas in this one.

-Cheddar Cheesy Sauce: Just not a fan. Didn't like the flavor at all. Can't seem to find a non-cheese that is a sufficient substitute for the real thing. I'd rather just make something without "cheese".

-Banana Bread: We'll see if it is "awesome" as the book quotes. I am making it today.

Hope this helps. Still lots of recipes to try. Looking forward to the Chicken Seitan, Skyline Chili, and a few others.

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So far I've tried:

Rootbeer Float Cupcakes, which were a disaster, but to be fair I had to use all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour, so I'm not sure if that effected the texture.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I also didn't care for. I may try those again though, but with a half batch. They don't have any fat source, so it may just be that I am used to EB.

I do like the fact that it's more health conscious. I'll continue to try recipes, but so far I haven't had any luck.

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Fudge Brownies: Um...these weren't good. I threw them out. For the amount of sugar in them, they were terribly bland and I hated the uber-cakey texture that having just soygurt gave them. Eff brownies being fat free, I'm sticking with the Delux Cocoa Brownies from VCIYCJ.

Black Bean Brownies: I kind of like these, but then again I don't really think of them as "brownies." They are super banana-y tasting. Sooo...when I want something with that flavour, these are a good go-to. The texture is a little funky too. I've had other recipes made with beans that turned out a lot less weird.

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Hawaiian Chickpea Teriyaki:  This was really good and very quick & easy to prepare with minimal ingredients. My whole family enjoyed it and said it's a keeper. The only thing I did differently was add some pineapple tidbits instead of the salsa.

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Cinnamon Rolls: Very good! The insides were a little dry...and I'd like to check to see if the recipe is different on the website, because I made the recipe off of the website alone before and I swear it was different...

Nutty Spread: Good, but...odd. It tastes like peanut butter but has the texture of hummus or some other bean spread. It is no replacement for "peanut butter" but as its own entity it's good.

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Cinnamon Rolls - I didn't like them. I thought the taste was only okay, but my big problem was the recipe didn't give them any time to rise, which they really needed, since they turned out like little hockey pucks.

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Mexican Chorizo: My family REALLY enjoyed this! I used tvp for the recipe and halved the chili powder because none of us can handle too much spice, but it was perfect for us. I served it with baked potatoes and salad, but it would be great over rice, pasta, or as taco/burrito filling as well! This one is a definite keeper! :)

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If you all would like, I can make a recipe list/review thread for this from the amazon look inside list?

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If you all would like, I can make a recipe list/review thread for this from the amazon look inside list?

That would be GREAT, AC, thanks! :)

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Ok! You shall see that at some point in time. :)

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Ok, soooooooooo. I started typing this recipe list, and was almost done, but kept seeing recipe titles (and even categories!) that reminded me a lot of other vegan cookbooks. I had no previous knowledge of anything about this book. I then went searching on ppk, and found this: http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5978&hilit=happy+herbivore&start=0 (which you are aware of, disneyfav!). Enough to put me off of the book. Sorry! I mean, just looking at the titles was enough to make me think it was plagiarized. :\

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Ok, soooooooooo. I started typing this recipe list, and was almost done, but kept seeing recipe titles (and even categories!) that reminded me a lot of other vegan cookbooks. I had no previous knowledge of anything about this book. I then went searching on ppk, and found this: http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5978&hilit=happy+herbivore&start=0 (which you are aware of, disneyfav!). Enough to put me off of the book. Sorry! I mean, just looking at the titles was enough to make me think it was plagiarized. :\

Thank you for sharing that, AC. I was not aware of the plagiarism allegations against the author.

I applaud the The Happy Herbivore author for encouraging oil-free, plant-based foods in a user-friendly cookbook with easy-to-follow directions and enticing photos. This book is endorsed by such greats as T. Colin Campbell and Neal Barnard. But to include recipes that appear to be plagiarized is unacceptable.

Vegan superstars, including Isa Chandra Moskowitz, credit appropriately in their best- selling cookbooks. Sarah Kramer notes recipes from Wolfie, and others who emailed her, in La Dolce Vegan! Colleen Patrick-Goudreau gives nods to VegNews magazine and Stephanie's Bakery in Ocean Beach, San Diego, in The Joy of Vegan Baking. (Sarah and Colleen are both sweet and gracious in person, too. I hope to meet Isa some day.) 

The oil-free(and the chocolate chip cookie recipe) appealed to me in The Happy Herbivore. I had success with the Maple Muffins, Cornbread, Gingerbread Mini-loaves and Tortilla Soup in this book. Vegan sweetie, with a sophisticated palate and oil-free preference, gave these recipes a thumbs up. The chocolate chip cookies were fine if you like a healthier dunking treat after dinner. The Black Bean Brownies, which she says are her "most popular recipe," are not decadent enough to bring to an omnivorous potluck. Try brownie recipes by Isa, Sarah and Colleen to impress your omni friends.

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Ok, soooooooooo. I started typing this recipe list, and was almost done, but kept seeing recipe titles (and even categories!) that reminded me a lot of other vegan cookbooks. I had no previous knowledge of anything about this book. I then went searching on ppk, and found this: http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5978&hilit=happy+herbivore&start=0 (which you are aware of, disneyfav!). Enough to put me off of the book. Sorry! I mean, just looking at the titles was enough to make me think it was plagiarized. :\

Yeah, personally I didn't know much about it until after I got the book, and I don't want to make any assumptions, but what really set me off the book, besides the fact that none of the recipes I've tried have really worked, was that when I left a low review on Amazon, the author took it personally that I didn't like her book, and even went as far as to send her fans over from her FB page to mark my review as unhelpful. Even if all of her recipes are hers, she is just completely professional, and it shows an extreme lack of customer service, enough to make me know I'll never buy another book of hers again.

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Ok, soooooooooo. I started typing this recipe list, and was almost done, but kept seeing recipe titles (and even categories!) that reminded me a lot of other vegan cookbooks. I had no previous knowledge of anything about this book. I then went searching on ppk, and found this: http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5978&hilit=happy+herbivore&start=0 (which you are aware of, disneyfav!). Enough to put me off of the book. Sorry! I mean, just looking at the titles was enough to make me think it was plagiarized. :\

Yeah, personally I didn't know much about it until after I got the book, and I don't want to make any assumptions, but what really set me off the book, besides the fact that none of the recipes I've tried have really worked, was that when I left a low review on Amazon, the author took it personally that I didn't like her book, and even went as far as to send her fans over from her FB page to mark my review as unhelpful. Even if all of her recipes are hers, she is just completely professional, and it shows an extreme lack of customer service, enough to make me know I'll never buy another book of hers again.

Yes, exactly. Definitely very unprofessional. :\

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The scones recipe in The Happy Herbivore looks very much like Isa's in The Vegan Brunch, right down to the variations and the order they appear in the books.

The Vegan Brunch
Berry Scones
Chocolate Chip Scones
Apple Rosemary Scones
Raisins and Spice Scones

Happy Herbivore
Blueberry Scones
Chocolate Chip Scones
Rosemary Scones
Raisin Scones

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Well, that sucks! :(  There's a couple recipes in HH that my family really loves. I haven't done any comparisons. I do know that lots of my other cookbooks (nonveg) have similar recipes though, especially when it comes to cookies, cakes, and such. But having the same variations and everything isn't cool!  :o

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Well, that sucks! :(  There's a couple recipes in HH that my family really loves. I haven't done any comparisons. I do know that lots of my other cookbooks (nonveg) have similar recipes though, especially when it comes to cookies, cakes, and such. But having the same variations and everything isn't cool!  :o

I agree with this.  When you're a cook book lover like I am and use cookbooks for years, you're going to see a lot of similarities in recipes and themes over and over.  In some of my reviews here I'll say things like "nothing unique here" meaning many cookbooks have similar recipes that I've tried.  It doesn't mean I don't like them, but a lot of recipes, especially simple ones are just not unique.  It doesn't bother me that much.

Isa's books are pretty unique I have to say, but even her jerk or ginger bok choy, and other recipes are not all that different from similar ones.    

That said, her behavior above during the Amazon thing is low class, and plagarism/copy catting is way low class.  Still, I have the book and won't throw it away now.  I was actually looking for a thread and forgot all about this controversy.    Meh....probably would have passed getting this book for my birthday  had I remembered.

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