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  • Meatless Monday: Burrito Bowl

    One of the most fun things about the new bowl craze is the opportunity for creative fun. As I was pondering what to make for dinner last evening, I decided to make a bowl out of stuff I already had in my pantry and fridge. As it turns out, I was able to make a bowl with a coherent theme: Mexican. I've read a few recipes for burrito bowls. The one I made last evening incorporated elements of some of these, but also included my own ideas. I wanted to include a veggies that aren’t typically a part of burrito bowls, so...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Chili

    I’ve always loved chili. Growing up in Cincinnati, Skyline Chili was—and still is—almost a religion. I recently visited a food truck in Utah that offered “Cincinnati Chili” poutine. So yeah, it’s a thing. I haven’t had Skyline Chili in years, even though they now sell a vegetarian version. It’s just that I haven’t been to Cincinnati in quite a while. Instead, I’ve experimented with lots of other versions of veggie chili. My favorite, so far, comes from Friendly Foods by Brother Ron Pickarski. Because the recipe calls for canned beans, it’s pretty quick to put together. I almost always accompany...

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  • Meatless Monday: Masala Lentils

    Until my mid-20s I didn’t care much for curries. Commercial curry powder has always tasted musty to me. But when I first made Indian curry from The Vegetarian Epicure, mixing the spices to make a unique curry flavor, I fell in love with it. Recipes for Indian food can look daunting. The ingredients list is always long. But most of the ingredients on the list are spices. If you look at the recipe below, you’ll see that half the ingredients are spices—or more than half if you count sriracha and salt as spices, which I do. The veggie chopping prep...

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  • Meatless Monday: White Bean/Rosemary Soup

    One of my favorite things about winter is that it’s soup season. I’m not talking about soups of the salty canned variety. I’m talking about slow-simmering homemade soup, the kind that fills your house with the fragrance of comfort. As a mostly vegan vegetarian, beans are my staple protein. I love legumes of all types: black, white, pinto, Anasazi, lentils, aduki, split peas—you name it. Of the white variety, cannellini beans are my favorite. They blend well with so many different types of flavors. One of my favorite pairings is white beans and rosemary. As it happens, my backyard rosemary...

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  • 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 kale/basil pesto...

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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 feta, the...

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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, the...

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  • Meatless Monday: Basmati & Black-Eyed Peas

    Last week I sang the praises of one-pot meals. Just last evening, I enjoyed a one-pot meal of spicy Indian descent from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. I got this wonderful book from my niece for Christmas a few months ago. So far, every single recipe I’ve made from it has been a winner. The ingredient lists of Indian recipes can look intimidating—longer than most recipes. Don’t let the list length intimidate you though. The list is longer than usual because it contains small amounts of various spices. If you mix these up beforehand, the cooking process is pretty quick. As...

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  • Meatless Monday: Veg Soup with a Difference

    I’m not sure what possessed me to do this, but the first time I made today’s Meatless Monday recipe I made it for a potluck, probably 20 years ago. Normally I contribute tried-and-true recipes to potlucks to avoid the embarrassment of a possible flop. I’d just barely bought the book this soup came from, Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. It’s a huge book—734 pages—and I randomly opened it to the page that featured this soup and decided to try it. Sometimes you have to live dangerously. Fortunately the recipe turned out to be a winner. Unlike most vegetable soups that often...

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  • Meatless Monday: Black Bean Quinoa Soup

    Meatless Monday: Black Bean Quinoa Soup I love soup in the wintertime. Slow cooking a pot of soup on the stove seems to warm my drafty, old house. The fragrance lingers for hours afterward. A pot of soup makes more than one meal, relieving the cook of the responsibility of planning and cooking at least one meal later in the week. And the best part: leftovers are even better than when the soup is freshly made, after the flavors have had time to integrate. I love all vegan and vegetarian soups from scratch. But I especially like to find soups...

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