Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World

Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World

by Lindsay S. Nixon


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In the last 10 years, Happy Herbivore chef Lindsay S. Nixon has lived in eight states and visited 46, spent a year as an expat on a Caribbean island, and traveled to more than 35 places abroad. As a celebration of Nixon’s jet-setter lifestyle, Happy Herbivore Abroad combines traditional comfort foods from home with international inspiration and stories of her adventures.

A little of everything—basics, comfort food, international cuisine, and travelogue—Happy Herbivore Abroad provides your palate with more than 135 of Nixon’s crowd-pleasing vegan recipes low in fat, high on health, and made with everyday ingredients, including:

  • Soups, stews, and chilis
  • Stir-fries and veggie dishes
  • Pasta, noodles and sauce
  • Gravies, condiments, sauces, and toppers
  • Desserts and baked goods

True to the Happy Herbivore creed, these vegan dishes are easy to make, easy on your wallet, and completely plant-based.

As they say in France, bon appétit!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937856045
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 12/04/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,280,052
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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 2012, Nixon has sold more than 100,000 cookbooks. Nixon has been featured on The Food Network and Dr. Oz, and she has spoken at Google. Her recipes have also been featured in The New York Times, Vegetarian Times magazine, Shape Magazine, Bust, Women's Health, WebMD, and countless other online publications. 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 blog happyherbivore.com.

Read an Excerpt


soups, stews, & chilis

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german lentil soup

I had the most incredible lentil soup in Hamburg, Germany, and it took three tries to re-create it perfectly. I left the following note in my research book after eating it: "This lentil-carrot-potato soup was just lovely. It had an underlying hint of lemon and a touch of coriander. I can't wait to re-create it for my next book!"

1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp ground coriander, divided
2 carrots, skinned and sliced
1 c lentils
1 potato, diced
3 c vegetable broth, divided lemon zest parsley (garnish)


Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water (or broth) and sauté onions and garlic over high heat until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cumin and ½ tsp coriander, then stir to combine. Add carrots, plus another splash of water if necessary, and cook for a minute. Then add lentils, diced potato, and 2 c broth. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until lentils are softer and liquid has evaporated-about 40 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tsp coriander and a pinch or two lemon zest. Then add up to an additional 1 c broth so it's more stew-like and not just a pot of lentils and vegetables. Add salt to taste and more coriander if desired. Garnish with parsley.


Calories 315, Total Fat 0.9g, Carbohydrates 59.3g, Fiber 22.4g, Sugars 5.7g, Protein 18.5g

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cuban black bean soup

I attended high school just outside of Tampa, Florida, where Cuban cuisine is popular due to Ybor City's rich history. Ybor City was founded by cigar manufacturers in the late 1800s, and thousands of people immigrated to the area from Cuba. Cuban black bean soup was something I always longed for and missed, until I found a vegetarian version in an old issue of Eating Well. I've since adapted that recipe to be vegan and more reminiscent of the soup I grew up with.

½ small onion, chopped
1½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1½ c vegetable broth
¼ c prepared salsa
1½ tsp lime juice
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (garnish)
1–2 green onions, sliced (garnish)
corn chips, crumbled (garnish)
hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)


Line a skillet with a thin layer of water (or vegetable broth). Sauté onion over high heat until translucent-about 2-3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin, and stir to combine. Then add beans, vegetable broth, and salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and puree until mostly smooth. Mix puree back in with soup. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and broken corn chips. You can also drizzle with hot sauce or add cayenne pepper to taste, if desired.

Chef's Note You can make your own corn chips from corn tortillas. Crisp tortillas in a toaster oven or oven (350°F) for a few minutes until crisp.


Calories 387, Total Fat 4.1g, Carbohydrates 69.4g, Fiber 22.7g, Sugars 5g, Protein 22.1g

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The "t" is silent, sounds like "cas-sou-ley."

Cassoulet is a French comfort food — a rich, slow-cooked white bean stew originating from the south of France. I first came across cassoulet at the grocery store in St. Maarten (it was sitting among the canned beans), but it wasn't until I was actually in France that I came to appreciate the cultural significance of this dish. Each region has its own variation that reflects local specialties, and that tradition, I've created a vegan version. Bon appétit!

8 oz vegetable broth
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, skinned and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, divided
2 tbsp fresh parsley, divided
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 15-oz can white beans (any kind), undrained thyme sprig (garnish)


Line a large pot with a thin layer of vegetable broth, and sauté onion and garlic over high heat until onions start to become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and remaining broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium, cover, and keep cooking until carrots are softer but still firm, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp fresh parsley, diced tomato, and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Continue to cook until carrots are fork-tender and soft, but not mushy or falling apart — about 4 more minutes. Stir in beans (with liquid) until well combined and add remaining fresh thyme and parsley. Reduce heat to low and cook until beans are warm. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with a thyme sprig.

Chef's Note For a more traditional experience, add sliced vegan sausage.

Chef's Note Use no-salt-added or low-sodium beans if possible.

Chef's Note This recipe is adapted from Gourmet (March 2008).


Calories 222, Total Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 43.4g, Fiber 10.7g, Sugars 6.3g, Protein 12.7g

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Gulyásleves sounds like "gool-ya-sla-vesh."

Gulyásleves (literally "goulash soup") is one of Hungary's national dishes, though you can find it all over Europe. To test the authenticity of my recipe, I had a Hungarian friend of mine try it and he said this stew would be called "New World Goulash" in Hungarian circles because it's stewlike and not cream-based (and yes, he liked it, and he's an omnivore!). Serve this stew over Polenta (pg. 121), pasta, or rice.

¾ c vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 carrot, skinned and sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 potato, diced
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika (Hungarian, if you have it)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp tomato paste
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz mushrooms, stems removed
2-3 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (pg. 237)


Line a large pot with a thin layer of broth. Sauté garlic over high heat for 30 seconds, then add bell pepper, carrot, celery, and potato. Sprinkle with seasonings, add bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Sauté over high heat, stirring frequently, until potatoes are golden and liquid has evaporated. Add remaining broth, vinegar, tomato paste, tomatoes (with juice), and cover. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer. Meanwhile, chop mushrooms into a sliced olive consistency and add with 2 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce. Continue to simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, stirring occasionally. Taste, adding more Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, tomato paste, or cayenne as desired. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

Chef's Note Goulash is traditionally made with caraway seeds; feel free to add ¼ tsp if you have them on hand.


Calories 98, Total Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 18.9g, Fiber 4.3g, Sugars 5.6g, Protein 6.5g

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cream of vegetables


Crema de Verduras sounds like "crame-ah day bearduhr-us." The "v" in Spanish sounds more like a "b."

In Spanish, this traditional dish is called Crema de Verduras. As the name suggests, this soup is creamy, but the creaminess comes from potatoes, not actual cream, making it accidentally vegan. Woohoo!

vegetable broth, as needed
1 leek, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini, cubed
4 carrots, sliced
1 potato, cubed small smoked paprika (garnish)


Line a medium pot with a thin layer of vegetable broth, and sauté leeks and garlic over high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and just enough water to cover the top of the veggies. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to low. Simmer until all veggies are fork-tender, about 10 to 20 minutes. Drain off (but catch) the cooking liquid and transfer vegetables to a blender with 1 c cooking liquid. Blend, adding more cooking liquid as necessary until the soup is smooth and creamy. Season generously with salt and pepper, and garnish with smoked paprika.

Chef's Note You can use an onion instead of a leek (leeks are more traditional in Spanish recipes) and yellow squash instead of zucchini.


Calories 168, Total Fat 0.7g, Carbohydrates 38.4g, Fiber 7.3g, Sugars 10.0g, Protein 5.1g

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taco soup

All the flavors of a taco turned into a filling soup! I first came across taco soup while living in Los Angeles, California (SoCal cuisine has a heavy Mexican influence). I'm pretty sure this dish is an American creation, though it's clearly inspired by Mexican cuisine. I took care to celebrate the flavors of Mexico in my interpretation of this recipe, which creates an authentic taste and ethnic experience.

1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 c vegetable broth
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c frozen corn
¼ c salsa
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp green chilies, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram
1 tsp onion powder (granulated)
1 tsp garlic powder (granulated)
½ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


corn chips, crumbled cilantro Sour Cream (pg. 239) or vegan plain yogurt hot sauce


Combine all ingredients together in a medium pot, stirring to combine. Cover and cook over low heat until thoroughly warm, about 15-20 minutes. (The slower cooking time helps bring out the flavors.) Once warm, season with salt and pepper to taste, ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with optional toppings.

Chef's Note You can add more green chilies to this soup for a spicier taste.


Calories 501, Total Fat 5.5g, Carbohydrates 92.6g, Fiber 30.5g, Sugars 14.7g, Protein 30.2g

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swedish split pea soup

Split pea soups are popular in several cuisines and cultures: Britain, Ireland, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, and America, just to name a few. This split pea soup is a vegan version of Swedish split pea soup (called ärtsoppa in Swedish), which rose to popularity in the 16th century as a Thursday dinner due to Catholic influence and fasting on Fridays. Despite a different religious climate in Sweden today, this soup remains a popular Thursday dinner dish.

3 c vegetable broth, divided
½ onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 c yellow split peas
1 tsp tomato paste
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp pure maple syrup


Line a skillet with a thin layer of broth and sauté onions and carrots over high heat until onions are translucent and carrots are fork-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer onions and carrots to a blender and blend with 2 c broth until well combined. Return to pot and add peas. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until water has been absorbed and peas are soft but not mushy. If they are still pretty hard after 30 minutes, add remaining broth and continue to cook. They should be soft, not hard — but not mushy and falling apart. Once peas are cooked, add 1-4 tbsp water or broth so the mixture is a little wet but not soupy. Stir in tomato paste, paprika, and maple syrup.

Chef's Note This soup is traditionally made with ham. I find the smoked paprika and pure maple syrup capture that flavor essence perfectly.


Calories 400, Total Fat 1.4g, Carbohydrates 75.2g, Fiber 27.6g, Sugars 14.3g, Protein 25.2g

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quick chili mole


Mole in Spanish sounds like "mo-lay." I discovered Mexican mole sauce far too late in life. For that reason, I'm trying to pull the key flavors together in all sorts of fusion dishes — like this quick and easy chili! To extend this dish, add canned pinto beans (drained and rinsed) and/or corn.

1 c vegetable broth
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c refried beans
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chipotle powder
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained green onions (optional)
lime wedges (garnish)


Sauté onions and garlic in a thin layer of broth over high heat until onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and add remaining broth, refried beans, cumin, chipotle powder, cocoa, and tomatoes with their juices, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low and warm thoroughly, about 5–7 minutes. Once warm, taste, adding more chipotle powder if you want more heat (be careful — a little goes a long way!). You can also add more cocoa, if desired, but too much cocoa can leave a chalky taste. If you choose to add more chipotle powder or cocoa, add each in ¼-tsp increments. Garnish with sliced green onions and a lime wedge, if desired. If you go spicy with extra chipotle, plain vegan yogurt or Sour Cream (pg. 239) makes a nice garnish.

Chef's Note Mole sauce is the generic term for a number of different sauces in Mexican cuisine, but outside of Mexico, "mole sauce" typically refers to mole poblano, a dark, rich sauce containing cocoa (though the sauce itself isn't chocolaty). See my recipe for Quick Mole Sauce (pg. 207).


Calories 134, Total Fat 1.5g, Carbohydrates 26.1g, Fiber 8g, Sugars 6.1g, Protein 6.8g

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thai noodle soup

If you like America's chicken noodle soup, you'll love this Thai cousin! Noodle soups are a staple in several Asian countries: Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, for example. In Thailand specifically, noodle soups are a popular street cart food and fast food.

3 green onions
4 c water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 oz vermicelli or maifun noodles
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet red chili sauce
1 tsp yellow miso
¼ c fresh basil
¼ c fresh cilantro ground ginger (optional)
red pepper flakes (garnish)


Remove rooty bottoms from green onions and mince white and light green parts, slicing dark green parts and setting them aside. In a saucepan, combine water, bouillon cube, fresh ginger, and minced green onions and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add noodles and cook 2 minutes, or until they are done (they cook fast!). Turn off heat and add soy sauce, chili sauce, miso, sliced dark green parts of the onions, basil, and cilantro, stirring to combine. Taste, adding more soy sauce and ground ginger if desired (I like mine really gingery, so I add about 1 tsp). Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top and serve.

Chef's Note You can substitute 2 c vegetable broth for 2 c water and bouillon cube.

Chef's Note White or red miso may be substituted in this recipe. Do not use brown miso.

Chef's Note You can find vermicelli or maifun noodles in the Asian section of your local grocery store (check the bottom shelves). These noodles are super thin-thinner than spaghetti. I usually buy Annie Chun's maifun noodles, which are made from brown rice.


Calories 192, Total Fat 0.8g, Carbohydrates 42.3g, Fiber 2.2g, Sugars 11.2g, Protein 3.8g

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Gazpacho originates from Andalusia, my favorite part of Spain, and it's traditionally vegan. The first time I ever had gazpacho was actually in Andalusia, back in 2007. Scott and I had just arrived in Sevilla (pronounced like "sa-vee-ya") and dipped into the first café we saw, hoping to find a quick bite to eat. It was fairly late in the afternoon, just after siesta, and the restaurant wasn't yet serving its dinner menu (Spaniards eat dinner rather late at night by American standards — after 9:00 p.m.), but the waiter offered to bring us two bowls of gazpacho left over from lunch. The idea of a cold soup initially sounded strange to me, but I was so hungry and melting under the fierce Andalusian sun that I was willing to try anything that was cool and nourishing. After a few spoonfuls, I felt ashamed for being so pessimistic — gazpacho is deliciously light and refreshing!

1 slice stale or toasted bread
3 plum tomatoes
6" cucumber
1–2 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper, seeded
2–3 green onions hot sauce (optional)
red wine vinegar (optional)


Chef's Note For a cool and refreshing soup, store your veggies in the fridge before use. You can also add an ice cube to the mix, if necessary.

Chef's Note The heel of the bread is best in this recipe. Finally, a use for the heel!

Chef's Note If you don't have a strong enough blender, you may need to chop your vegetables up before-hand.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulverize into a soup, adding ice-cold water as necessary to achieve the right smoothness and soup consistency. Taste, adding hot sauce or red wine vinegar if desired. Top with chopped raw veggies, like Spanish onions, bell peppers, or celery.


Calories 118, Total Fat 1.2g, Carbohydrates 24.1g, Fiber 5.3g, Sugars 12.5g, Protein 5.7g


Excerpted from "Happy Herbivore Abroad"
by .
Copyright © 2012 Lindsay S. Nixon.
Excerpted by permission of BenBella Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Desserts & Baked Goods

almond cookies 148

anise cookies 149

blueberry bundt cake 151

cherry clafoutis 152

chocolate glazed doughnuts 155

bread pudding 156

date bread 157

crêpes 158

whole-wheat pizza dough 159

courtney's waffles 160

asparagus quiche 162

Pasta, Noodles, & Sauce

bolognese sauce 168

"cheater" romesco sauce 170

vodka sauce 171

spaghetti alla puttanesca 173

gin's gnocchi 174

pasta e fagioli 176

lasagna 177

"cheater" pad thai 178

swedish "meatballs" 180

no-meat "meatballs" 181

quick pesto 182

Gravies, Condiments, Sauces, & Toppers

curry ketchup 191

creamy dijon gravy 192

pineapple & black bean salsa 194

hummus 195

"cheater" tofu satay 196

chermoula (moroccan pesto) 197

quick queso 198

enchilada sauce 201

aj's pico de gallo 202

tofu feta 203

tofu ricotta 204

olive tapenade 206

quick mole sauce 207


hot chocolate 214

tinto de verano 215

café con leche 216

sangria 217

aqua fresca 218

morir soñando 219

moroccan mint tea 220

roasted barley tea 221

dark 'n stormy 222

radler 223

Spices & Diy

cajun seasoning 230

shereé's cajun blend 230

berberé 231

poultry seasoning mix 232

date syrup 233

vegan mayo 233

no-beef broth 234

oat flour 234

mushroom broth 235

no-chicken broth powder 236

vegan worcestershire sauce 237

vegetable broth 238

sour cream 239


bacon bits 246

blueberry cornbread muffins 249

sunshine muffins 250

bran muffins 253

stuffed acorn squash 254

lentil loaf 257

cajun stuffed mushrooms 258

roasted garlic mashed potatoes 260

peppered mushroom gravy 262

golden scallion gravy 263

carolina casserole 265

brody's gluten-free flour blend 266

winter confetti salad 267

creamy mushroom barley 268

skillet green bean casserole 270

red wine substitute 271

refried white beans 272

cajun chickpeas 274

ninny's fruit spring rolls 276

cranberry bread 279

pineapple upside-down cake 280

texas white chili 281

decadent brownies 283


glossary of ingredients 288

recipe substitutions 293

kitchen prep lingo 296

metric conversions 298

index 299

acknowledgments 308

about the author 309

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In Lindsay Nixon’s new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad, you’ll find delicious, healthful, low-fat recipes from around the world. Travel to France, Mexico, India, Vietnam, Lebanon, and more without leaving your kitchen. If you are looking to transition to a vegan diet or add more creative plant-based foods, this is the cookbook for you.”
Neal Barnard, M.D., President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

“In Happy Herbivore Abroad, Lindsay shows there are truly no limits to plant-based eating. She has collected the most iconic recipes from around the world and made them completely accessible, absolutely delicious, and plant perfect.”
Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., New York Times Bestselling Author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

“Lindsay's latest cookbook takes you around the world on a culinary plant-strong adventure!”
Rip Esselstyn, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Engine 2 Diet

“The latest in the Happy Herbivore series captures tasty cuisine from around the world and brings it to the table in a way that is both healthy and easy-to-prepare.”
Brian Wendel, Executive Producer, Forks Over Knives

“Lindsay has provided easy to prepare recipes with readily available ingredients in this worldly view of eating and enjoying a low-fat tasty vegan diet (McDougall-style). We recommend you add ‘the abroad’ edition to your Happy Herbivore book collection.”
John and Mary McDougall, The McDougall Program

“Lindsay is on a roll! Her third book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, is a culinary treasure with stellar recipes from around the world.”
Mark Reinfeld, Executive Chef of VeganFusion.com and Award-Winning Author of The 30-Minute Vegan series

“Lindsay Nixon is one of the few plant-based chefs that writes cookbooks that meet all of my criteria—her recipes are plant-based, low-fat, easy-to-make, inexpensive, and, very important, delicious!”
Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D., Executive Director of The Wellness Forum

“This book makes food as thrilling as traveling!”
Jane Esselstyn, R.N.

Happy Herbivore Abroad takes the mystery out of international flavors and brings delectable, low-fat, budget-friendly food, with incredibly accessible ingredients, from around the world to your kitchen table.”
Alicia C. Simpson, Author of Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food

Customer Reviews