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Yoga off the mat. This is the place to find articles about yoga for everyday life.
  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Pizza Time!

    My backyard tomatoes are no longer ripening on the vine. But they’re in no danger of freezing, so I’m still picking them fresh.

    Because they’re still sweet, I prefer not to make them into sauce just yet. So I decided to make a dinner pizza this week with kale/basil pesto as the base, and put the tomatoes on top. The slight roasting they get as the pizza cooks makes the tomatoes even that much sweeter.

    You can use any kind of pesto as a base. Here’s a vegan version I published a few weeks ago. I used the...

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  • Meatless Monday: Warm Kale Salad

    What do you do with a burgeoning bounty of backyard kale as autumn arrives? Of course, there are many wonderful ways to cook kale. But when you have a LOT of it, and it’s fresh and tender, kale salad is the best.

    While I love raw foods in the summer, when it gets cooler, they don’t provide the internal heat my body needs. So today’s kale salad uses a hot cider vinaigrette to wilt the kale slightly, and make the salad more warming.

    I prefer Tuscan kale (aka Lacinato kale) for salads—not just because it is abundant in...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Pesto

    The basil harvest is an annual marker for me. It means that the garden is winding down. There’s still a bounty of kale, tomatoes and herbs, but I’m turning toward preserving what’s left.

    For some reason, basil does really well in my yard. I pretty much always have enough to make three or four batches of pesto. And that’s saying a lot, because it takes a hefty amount of basil to make a single batch.

    But that’s okay. Pesto has such an intense, concentrated flavor that very little is needed in any recipe to make a lasting impression.

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  • Celebrate Pumpkin Seeds!

    Which came first: the pumpkin or the pumpkin seed?

    It’s one of those great mysteries we may never be able to answer. What we do know is that in terms of receiving national honors, National Pumpkin Seed Day (today) precedes National Pumpkin Day, which we’ll celebrate every year on October 26th.

    We also know that pumpkins and their seeds have been around a long time. Native to the Americas, the oldest evidence of pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico, and date back to somewhere between 7000 and 5500 BCE.
    Eat Your Pumpkin Seeds!
    In addition, we know that...

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  • Meatless Monday: Preserved Lemon

    One of the delights of attending retreats is the opportunity to taste new, healthy food at every meal. While I love to cook, I also enjoy being surprised. Last summer my favorite new ingredient that appeared in all sorts of main and side dishes was a traditional North African condiment: preserved lemon.

    Preserved lemons are simple to make. The main challenge is to remain patient. Like most pickled condiments, they take a while to mature. You can buy lemons already preserved at Middle Eastern grocery stores or online, but they’re usually not organic. While I was initially anxious to...

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  • Meatless Monday: High-Protein Pilaf

    A few days ago I was asked to bring a favorite grain or bean salad to a dinner. Not knowing which to make, I decided on a salad that has both.

    But here’s a fun fact: Quinoa isn’t actually a grain. It is the seed from the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is often classified as a grain because we cook it the same way we cook grains, but it is, in fact, part of a subcategory called “pseudograins.”

    No matter. Besides its earthy taste and toothsome texture, quinoa is a complete protein. Paired it with chickpeas and...

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  • Meatless Monday: Quinoa Pilaf

    I was fortunate to spend 18 days in July at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In addition to enjoying 2-1/2 weeks of noble silence and the teachings of some of the West’s most learned teachers, the 100 or so souls who sat and walked together were treated to creative, healthy vegetarian meals.

    One of my favorite meal days happened somewhere in the last half of the retreat, the day we enjoyed a chickpea salad and quinoa pilaf. Because we were in silence, ingredients were listed on cards in front of each dish, with potentially sensitive ingredients highlighted. On the day...

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  • Meatless Monday: Fruity Kale Salad

    Recently I read a post that claimed putting fruit in salads is blasphemous. While I respect the author’s cred, I can’t agree on this. Sometimes a sweet, juicy fruit is the perfect foil for bitter greens or a pungent cheese. Think gorgonzola and grapes.

    Such is the case for this easy-to-prepare salad that I made a few days ago. While it contains relatively few ingredients, each ingredient perfectly sets off the others—slightly bitter kale, creamy avocados, sweet strawberries, crunchy almonds and salty feta. The dressing is very easy to put together and again, a perfect combination of flavors to...

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  • Meatless Monday: Calming Kichari

    Summer is officially here. Highs for the past few days have jumped rather precipitously to the upper 80s and low 90s. Seasonal transitions seem to be times of vulnerability, at least for my body. While on one hand, I’m craving cool, raw foods, especially as my lettuce gets closer to harvesting every day. On the other hand, I’m also craving something easy to digest.

    My go-to when my digestive system needs calming is kichari (a.k.a. kichadi or kitchari). Kichari is a stew with a base of proteins, carbohydrates, veggies and herbs. In Ayurveda, where kichari is a staple food...

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  • Meatless Monday: White Bean Purée

    When you’re vegetarian or vegan, clean, tasty sources of protein are always welcome. If you don’t like or don’t tolerate soy very well, options can be limited. The truth is, most vegetarians and vegans get plenty of protein in their diets, but we can’t just slap a slab of meat into a pan and let it cook in its own juices. Preparation is a bit more involved. But, in my opinion, that's a big part of the fun of it.

    When I stopped eating meat in 1978 there were very few meatless convenience foods. I learned to cook from...

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