Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meal Plan Review: 7 Day Meal Plans from Happy Herbivore

Not long after I decided to give up eating stuff with a face, I found the Happy Herbivore website. I cannot for the life of me remember how I stumbled upon this site, but I believe it was during a Forks Over Knives search. Maybe.

Regardless, this site has become an invaluable resource to me as I make the transition from junk food junkie to clean eating machine (to be).  There is a blog, numerous recipes and the option to purchase a meal plan for either an individual or a family of four.  In addition, Lindsay Nixon has authored two cookbooks: The Happy Herbivore and The Everyday Happy Herbivore. I have purchased both and will give a review after I've had a chance to make some of the recipes and read them more thoroughly.

But I have tried two weeks worth of meal plans so far.  The first week, I purchased the individual plan and the second week, I tried the family plan.  The plans are well thought out, with a shopping list and gluten-free options included. Additionally, since we are right smack in the middle of another scorching summer, the recipes require only minimal use of the oven which is a nice touch and the ingredients have been relatively easy to find.  Most can be found at any grocery store with only a few requiring a trip to a health food store. And the recipes, for the most part, are amazing!  I have tried some things that I would have never before considered eating, and in doing so, have found some new favorite foods (hello avocado) and types of foods that I have never tried, such as Thai and Indian.

Strawberry Pancakes
E2's Beans and Rice

My new favorite sandwich!

Rajma Masala

Just a sampling of some of the really wonderful recipes that I have made using the menu plans. 

**Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I claim to be, nor hope to be a professional photographer.  Not now and not someday.  All of these pictures were taken using my iPhone.  Because that's how I roll.  Actually, I'm too ADD to learn how to use my DSLR camera, so I just use my phone.  I'm lazy.

My only complaint (and it is not really a complaint, per se, just a personal preference) is that almost everything is a one dish meal.  Very few meals have a main entree with a side and that can get a little redundant.  And the ones that do include a side, all seem to consist of sweet potatoes.  Which are not my favorite, but I'm actually starting to develop a taste for them.  Another downside is the price which is $5 per week which I find to be a little steep considering that the last menu plan that I used, Menus 4 Moms, was $7.95 per month.  Also, sometimes a recipe calls for something like baked tofu.  Well, if you are like me, you have never even eaten tofu before much less actually baked it.  So, some further clarification on those kinds of issues would be appreciated.

All things considered, I would whole-heartedly recommend The Happy Herbivore's meal plans, especially to somebody who is new to a plant based diet.  I should also mention that Lindsay does not include any extra fats or oils in any of her recipes so that makes them even healthier.  But you definitely don't miss them because the food is just that good and flavorful.  So, if you are new to this vegan/plant based stuff, as am I, and you would like some ideas and guidance to help you along, try Lindsay S. Nixon's 7 Day Meal Plans.

**Another Disclaimer:  This post consists solely of my personal, in no way professional, opinion.   Lindsay S. Nixon has no idea that I, or this blog, even exists.  Just like everybody else in the world.

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