Happy Herbivore Blog

Teaching Tuesday: Miso (The Different Colors & Substitutions)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Cooking101

It's time for a new installation of Teaching Tuesday!

This week you're getting the 4-1-1 on miso!

So what is miso?

Miso is basically a fermented condiment. It's made from soybeans, barley or rice, or a combination thereof. Miso can also be made from chickpeas for a soy-free option. It has a salty taste, but a unique one. I really like the sharp taste in "cheese" recipes. It's also great for making broths and dressings and you can use it instead of table salt if you like.

Where can I find it?

Miso is refrigerated, usually by produce and other refrigerated condiments (like dressings). You can find it in health food stores (such as Whole Foods Market) and Asian grocery stores. Always ask, chances are it is in your store, but hiding.

What are the different colors?

Miso is often labeled by color, white, yellow, red and brown. The colors come from a combination of the amount of time the miso is aged, as well as how the soybeans are cooked (steamed or boiled) and if there are other ingredients (like rice or barley).

The color differences of miso can tell you the depth of flavor and level of saltiness to expect. The general rule is the darker the color, the stronger the flavor. Although there may be a few exceptions, depending on the brand or mixture.

White miso is generally the mildest and sweetest miso, followed by yellow, red and brown - the strongest and saltiest of the misos. Although I think some of the red misos are sweet too.

The white and red (sometimes) misos are an ok substitute for yellow miso. Most recipes that call for yellow or white miso only need a hint or of flavor and the brown miso is too strong. Red miso likely will alter the color of the dish if you substitute it in place of a yellow or white miso.

Brown misos won't work in HH recipes. Their flavor is too strong and different. If a recipe calls for brown miso, you can't really substitute it with a lighter color miso for the same reason.

What about substitutions?

Unfortunately, miso is very distinct and there is no substitute for it.

What is your favorite recipe that includes miso?

What a week! 100,000 Herbies Giveaway!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

**This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering!**

Dear Herbies,

I want to take a moment to say thank you. I love you more than I could ever possibly express in words, a video, or the acknowledgements in my books.

Everything I do I do for you -- you light up my life!

When I opened up about my depression and OCD last Friday, while simultaneously announcing that I was changing (and that Happy Herbivore was evolving), I was scared... nervous... completely uncertain...

and then last week happened!

It was one of the best weeks of my life and I have YOU to thank!

I am constantly amazed at how every time I just "say what I need to say" (Yes I'm quoting a John Mayer song) and do what I'm feeling deep inside... and just run at and face my fears... I feel so much better...

I need to trust my inner guiding light more... BELIEVE in me.

if nothing else, last week was a testament that you absolutely have to do right by yourself, your dreams, your goals, and what's best for you.

(So pretty please promise me you'll do that -- and let me know if I can help in any way!)

So what the heck happened?

Well, my team & I went to Disneyland, which was all kinds of awesome (Dole Whip for the win!).

Then Amazon put EHH on sale for $2.99, and thanks to you! EHH not only ended up in the Top 100 of ALL kindle books ever, she creeped her way to #53, and was #1 in EVERY category!

(My print books have broken the print Top 100 before, but it's so much harder to do that with kindle! It was an incredible moment for me)

THEN I dipped into a B&N and found HHLL on Display:

THEN (same day) Scott went to sell our car at Carmax, and the girl helping him noticed the Happy Herbivore sticker on his phone... she said, "Oh I follow Happy Herbivore on Instagram!" Scott mentioned he was Mr. Happy Herbivore and she blushed and said "omg. I'm starstruck!" (I felt really famous and cool)...

and then this tweet happened the next morning:

WHAT? There is a bookstore in the Philippines selling my books? WAY COOL

and finally, WE HIT 100,000 HERBIES ON FACEBOOK yesterday.

I tried to take a hugging selfie and failed miserably.

But even these "achievements" aside, every day of the Challenge (which kicked off last Monday) was an absolute blast.

I can't remember the last time I've felt this happy, healthy or fulfilled!

YOU have given to me what I want to give to you!

This new chapter of my life is exciting and I want to thank you again, a thousand times, for giving me the opportunity to help you and grow together.

Being present in your moments is the greatest gift I'll ever receive.

Now to giveback with a giveaway!

Since you've helped give me the strength I needed to soar, I'm giving away a prize pack of goodies that'll help YOU be your best self :)

Giveaway Goodies:

  • $100 gift certificate to Amazon
  • A Happy Herbivore hoodie - see below - with stickers + buttons too!
  • Private call or Skype with me :)

For a chance to win, leave a comment below saying what you love most about Happy Herbivore :)

For a bonus entry, tweet your love :) Just make sure to include @happyherbivore *at the end of the tweet* so I see it!

FYI, our HH Store is currently closed for summer, but we will be selling T-shirts, stickers, hoodies, etc. for the holidays. Make sure you're signed up for the FREE Happy Herbivore Insiders newsletter, so you get the announcement when we reopen (we will have limited quantities).

Listen to this....

Muah! Muah!


(The reason these big benchmarks excite me so much isn't about me and *my* success, because it's never about me. It's about YOU. It's about this growing group of people who are taking control of their health and happiness. It's a sign that the times are changing... for the better. I'm just blessed to have the incredible job of being your personal cheerleader. WE GOT THIS!)

p.s. I cordially invite you to join the 28-Day Live Better Challenge!

It's not too late to start your own personal (r)evolution.

I will personally email you each day with tips + motivation, and be here for you by email for support. (There's also an incredibly wonderful supportive #28LiveBetter group on Facebook).

Joining the challenge is totally *free*. To sign-up, go here.

SO let's start LIVING BETTER.


40+ Plant-Based (Vegan) Cinco de Mayo Recipes!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Holiday

Cinco de Mayo is just a couple days away!

Here are some recipe ideas from the blog and HH cookbooks to have a plant-proud fiesta all day long!

P.S. There's also an awesome Cinco de Mayo-themed meal plan this week! Get the deets here!

Breakfast Tacos


Breakfast Tacos (Happy Herbivore Light & Lean, p. 25)

Mexican Scramble (Everyday Happy Herbivore, p. 27) wrapped in tortillas

Migas (Happy Herbivore Abroad, p. 54)

Mexican Frittata (EHH, p. 39)

Tofu Chilaquiles

Nacho Bowl

Soups & Salads

Aztec Corn Salad

Mexican Chowder (EHH, p. 112)

Nacho Bowl (HHLL, p. 93)

Black Bean & Salsa Soup

Taco Soup (HHA, p. 23)

Quick Chili Mole (HHA, p. 27)

Tropical Taco Salad (HHLL, p. 130)

Mexican Cabbage (The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, p. 130)

Baked Chimichangas


2-Layer Tacos (HHC, p. 100)

Lentil Taco "Meat" (HHA, p. 43)

Quinoa Taco "Meat" (HHLL, p. 67)

Chickpea Tacos

Fiesta Bake (EHH, p. 158)

Bella Tacos (HHC, p. 91)

Burrito Bowl (HHLL, p. 89)

Smokey Black Bean Enchiladas (HHC, p. 105)

Baked Chimichangas (HHC, p. 101)

Taquitos (HHA, p. 53)

Stuffed Poblanos (HHA, p. 96)

Scott's Burrito (HHLL, p. 101)

TVP Tacos (HHC, p. 98)

Vegetable Enchiladas (HHA, p. 103)


Skillet Frijoles Negros (EHH, p. 176)

Drunken Beans (HHA, p. 49)

Mexican Chorizo (HHC, p. 147)

Loaded Mexican Potato (HHLL, p. 195)

Sweet Pea Guacamole

Chips & Dips

Baked Oil-Free Chips

Pineapple & Black Bean Salsa (HHA, p. 194)

Taco Sauce (EHH, p. 293)

Low-Fat Guacamole or Sweet Pea Guacamole (HHLL, p. 209)

Quick Queso (HHA, p. 198)

Loaded Nachos (HHC, p. 245)

AJ's Pico de Gallo (HHA, p. 202)

Mexican Dip (HHC, p. 230)


Aqua Fresca (HHA, p. 218)


Black Bean Brownies - try adding 1/2 to 3/4 tsp chipotle powder for a little spiciness!