The Good Dirt

September 26th, 2016

Simmer earthy cremini mushrooms in sherry laced with fresh thyme and shallots for a rich, long-stewed flavor. Goat cheese crumbles balance the tangy mushrooms with its creamy texture and mellow flavor. This recipe comes to us from Jen Hoffmeister who writes the blog Picante Dolce.

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 5 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 7 eggs
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the shallot and cook 1 minute, or until softened. Add the mushrooms.

Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sherry and thyme. Cook 5minutes more, or until the sherry has evaporated. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs; set the mushrooms aside.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, parsley and parmesan.

In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Tilt the pan to ensure the butter covers the entire surface of the skillet.

Add the egg mixture to the skillet. Using a flexible spatula, pull the cooked sides away from the pan and tilt the pan to allow some of the uncooked egg mixture to flow into the space; continue doing this around the perimeter of the frittata. Cook 4 minutes, or until the egg mixture begins to set, but the top is still slightly undercooked. Top with the mushrooms and goat cheese.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook 8 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

September 26th, 2016

When grilling season hits, one of life’s simple pleasures is to throw a portabella mushroom on the grill and let it absorb those delicious smoky flavors. These mushroom sliders so cute they use a dinner roll for a bun! This recipe comes to us from our friends at The Mushroom Council.

Serves 4

  • 2 portabella mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup light balsamic vinaigrette
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 small high-fiber whole grain dinner rolls
  • 8 slices red onion
  • 8 slices tomato

Place the portabellas and vinaigrette in a large zip top bag. Zip and lightly rub the vinaigrette into the mushrooms. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Prepare the grill or a grill pan with a light layer of nonstick cooking spray. Line a plate with a layer of paper towels.

Remove the mushrooms from the bag, drain and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the grill to medium and place the mushrooms gill side down. Cook for 4 minutes, flip and repeat on the other side for about 4 minutes more, or until the both mushrooms are almost cooked through.

Transfer the mushrooms to the paper lined plate, gill side down. Cut each mushroom into quarters and place each quarter on the bottom half of the dinner rolls. Top each with tomato, onion and the remaining dinner roll half and enjoy.

September 26th, 2016

Turn this classic takeout dish into a satisfying, home-cooked Monday night meal. This fried rice features three (three!) different types of mushrooms and is packed with even more veggies, not grease and salt. This recipe comes to us from Stefanie of Sarcastic Cooking.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces shitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
  • 6 ounces portabella mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3-4 cups cooked white/brown rice, cooked according to instructions on packaging
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil to a large skillet or wok. Allow the oil to heat up for a minute or two over a medium flame. Add all the mushrooms. Stir to evenly coat in oil. Sautee mushrooms for 10 minutes until golden and crispy on the edges. Add the onion and carrot. Sautee an additional three to five minutes until onions become translucent.

Remove the vegetables from the pan. Add to a plate and keep off to the side for later. Reduce the heat to low. Add the two eggs to a small mixing bowl and beat. Add in a little pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into the hot pan and scramble. Cook until firm. Remove egg and add it to the plate with the veggies off to the side.

Add chili garlic sauce and soy sauce to the pan, whisk to combine. Mix in the rice. Add in the cooked egg and mushrooms. Stir to make sure the flavors are evenly distributed. Lastly, mix in the green onions, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with additional soy sauce and hot sauce.

September 26th, 2016

These delicious meatless morsels are the perfect starter for a holiday meal. Hemp hearts add protein, healthy fats and a hearty nutty flavor to this already umami-rich dish featuring mushrooms, onions and goat cheese. This recipe comes to us from our friends at Manitoba Harvest.

Makes 6 tartlets

  • 1 1 lb. (454g) package white button mushrooms
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 4 oz. (113g) package of goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 6 puff pastry shells

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Add all of the mushrooms except for about six of them to a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into fine pieces.

Add the olive oil, chopped mushrooms, rosemary and garlic to a pan over medium heat and sauté until the mushrooms are browned.

Stir in the flour until the mixture is well coated and then add the almond milk, goat cheese and hemp hearts.

Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley.

Cut the remaining mushrooms into thin slices and in a separate pan, sauté them with olive oil until they are cooked.

Cook the pastry shells according to the package instructions. Once they are done and have cooled slightly, remove the tops and add about 2 tbsp. of the mushroom mixture to each shell. You want them to be filled to the top.

Add two thin slices of the cooked mushroom to the top of each tartlet and sprinkle with extra hemp hearts.

Serve immediately.

September 19th, 2016

This is the perfect note to end late season barbeque on. Figs are grilled soft and topped with savory thyme leaves and sweet honey in this simple dessert which shows off the fruit of fall. This recipe comes to us from Jen of Domestic Divas.

Serves 2

  • 2 cups figs, stems removed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the grill to medium-low heat.

When the grill is heated, place the figs on a grill pan in 1 single layer. Grill for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly soft. Flip and grill another 1-2 minutes more on the other side.

Transfer the grilled figs to a serving platter. Carefully place a few leaves thyme on each fig, drizzle with honey and enjoy!

September 19th, 2016

This hearty soup is the perfect accompaniment for a sandwich or salad any time of the year, but it’s perfect for using up your bounty of late summer vegetables. Packed with fiber and nutrients, it can power up your day. This recipe comes to us from Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian.

Serves 6

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced leeks
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence (seasoning blend)
  • Dash black pepper

Place all ingredients in a large pot.

Cover with a tight lid and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour, until wild rice and vegetables are tender.

May need to add additional water to replace water lost in evaporation. Should make a thick, hearty soup.

September 19th, 2016

Whole wheat pastry flour is seasoned with cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar before being cooked on the stove. These whole wheat pancakes are punctuated with sweet tart blueberries, but try these flexible flapjacks with any of your favorite fruit baked in. This recipe comes to us from Sadie of Sweet Smart Vegan.

Serves 2

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup nonfat milk
  • or
  • 2/3 cup nondairy milk alternative
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • a little nonstick cooking spray, for preparing the skillet

Place the pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar together in a large bowl. Mix until combined.

Place the milk and vanilla together in a separate medium bowl. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Prepare a skillet with a light layer of nonstick cooking spray. Place the skillet over medium heat and add about 1/4 of batter per pancake. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles begin to form. Flip, cook 1 minute more and set aside on a plate. Repeat until you are out of batter, divide into 2 servings and enjoy!

September 19th, 2016

Eggplant abounds at farmers’ markets this time of year and grilling season isn’t quite over yet, so whip up these flavorful gyros before it’s too late! The garlicky Greek yogurt tzatziki is the perfect compliment to the charred eggplant and the dish is topped off with mint leaves for a fresh kick. This recipe comes to us from Jackie Newgent, RD.

Serves 4

  • 1 large (1 1/4 pound) eggplant, cut into 12 rounds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 recipe Jackie’s Greek Gyro Seasoning (see below)
  • 1 1/3 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt or vegan alternative
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely diced unpeeled English cucumber
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 4 whole grain pocketless pitas, lightly grilled
  • 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Preheat a grill or grill pan. Very lightly brush both sides of the eggplant rounds with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season one side of the eggplant rounds with the gyro seasoning. Grill eggplant (seasoned side up first) over direct medium-high heat until cooked through and rich grill marks form, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, make the tzatziki sauce by adding the yogurt, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. (Hint: The thicker the yogurt, the better!) Add the cucumber, garlic, mint, and dill and stir to evenly combine. Adjust seasoning. (Makes 1 2/3 cups tzatziki.)*

Top each pita with about 3 tablespoons each tzatziki. Arrange the grilled eggplant on the pita. Top with tomatoes and onion and fold. Serve with remaining tzatziki on the side. If desired, garnish with fresh mint leaves.

JACKIE’S GREEK GYRO SEASONING: Mix together 3/4 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano leaves, and 1/4 teaspoon each dried dill, crushed dried rosemary, and cayenne pepper. Makes 1 recipe (4 servings). Hint: Make in advance and store in sealed, labeled jar. To make a milder version of this seasoning, replace the 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

September 12th, 2016

Salsa is a fresh, healthy snack that you can make at home with seasonal ingredients. This recipe comes to us from our friends Chris and Amy of A Couple in the Kitchen. Corn and black beans add an additional flavor punch to this delicious summer salsa. Serve with chips or even kick it up a notch and use it to make nachos!


  • 5 ears corn on the cob, grilled or roasted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 pepper (red, yellow or orange), diced 1/4 – 1/2 inch
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 8-10 sprigs cilantro, chopped finely
  • 4 stalks chive, chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (the juice of 2-3 limes

Cook off the corn on the cob; cut kernels off and place in bowl. Drain and rinse black beans and add to corn.

Dice to spec the tomatoes, peppers, and red onion and add to bowl. Mince garlic and add to bowl.

Remove cilantro leaves from stem. Discard stems. Chop cilantro leaves and place in bowl.

Add to bowl the white vinegar and lime juice. Mix all ingredients.

Place in presentation bowl and garnish with chopped chives.

September 12th, 2016

This sweet and simple sandwich pairs the last of summer’s heirloom tomatoes with the first crisp apples of fall. It’s a satisfying meal for lunch or dinner during the busy fall season, packed with protein, fiber and taste! This recipe comes to us from Rini of Healing Tomato.

Serves 2

  • Half of a green apple
  • Half of an heirloom tomato
  • Half of a red onion into circular shapes
  • 1 medium sized carrot
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup of hummus
  • 8 slices of avocado
  • 7-10 leaves of baby spinach

Cut half of a green apple into circular pieces
Cut heirloom tomato into circular pieces
Cut half of a red onion into circular shapes
Shred 1 medium sized carrot. It should make about 1/2 cup worth
Toast 4 slices of whole wheat bread
On a plate, place 1 slice of bread and spread hummus on it. Be generous with your hummus. Personally, I like about a 1/4 inch layer of hummus on the toast. Do the same for 2nd piece of toast and set that aside
Add about 7-10 leaves of baby spinach
Place four slices of green apples on top of the spinach
Place 3-4 slices of the tomato pieces on top of the green apples
Place the onion rounds on top of the tomatoes
If you are using avocado, top the onions with the avocado slices
Close the sandwich with the 2nd toast from step #6. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonally. Cut the halves diagonally.

September 12th, 2016

This satisfying dinner comes together quickly, so it’s great for busy weeknights. Soy chorizo lends flavor and heartiness to the dish, while onions and peppers provide a hefty dose of veggies. This recipe comes to us from Monica of the blog Run Eat Repeat.

Serves 2

  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • 1/3 package of soy chorizo
  • chopped onions and bell peppers, to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • cheese, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa*


Make the brown rice and set it aside.

Brown the onions and soften the bell peppers in olive oil.

Once they are tender, add the chorizo.

Add the rice to the chorizo pan and heat through. Finally crack the eggs straight into the pan and cook. Top with cheese. You can stir it in to melt or use it as a garnish.

Served with salad, beans and guacamole. Ole!

September 12th, 2016

Whole wheat peach muffins are seasoned with ginger, cinnamon and cloves, before being topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar. This recipe uses mashed bananas and apple sauce instead of butter and oil, for a moist muffin without as much fat. This recipe comes to us from Kristi of Veggie Converter.

Serves 12

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups banana, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups peaches, skin on, diced

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin tins with a light layer of oil, shortening or nonstick cooking spray.

Place the whole-wheat pastry flour, 3/4 cup of the brown sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl. Season with the salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Stir to combine, taking care to ensure that all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Place the applesauce, soy milk, apple cider, vanilla and mashed banana together in a separate large bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well distributed.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring constantly, until evenly distributed. Fold in the diced peaches.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill each muffin cup 2/3rds full with batter. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar on top of all the unbaked muffins. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until the muffins are baked through, and enjoy!

September 5th, 2016

These veggie burgers are a great meatless option for barbecues and gatherings, but also refrigerate well once cooked for meatless meals throughout the week. This recipe comes to us from from Plant-Powered for Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian.

Makes 10 servings (1 patty, bun, and lettuce leaf, and 2 tomato and avocado slices each)

  • 3/4 cup (156 g) uncooked farro
  • 3 cups (711 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon reduced sodium vegetable broth base
  • One 15-ounce (425 g) can cannellini beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained (liquid reserved), or 1 3/4 cups cooked
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup (70 g) finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup (110 g) grated carrots (2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup (29 g) chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup (52 g) uncooked old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium herbal seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of sea salt, optional
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Ten 1 1/2-ounce (43 g) whole grain buns
  • 10 lettuce leaves
  • 3 medium tomatoes, sliced into 20 slices
  • 2 avocados, sliced into 20 slices

Place the farro in a pot with the water and broth base. Stir well, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cook for 35 to 40 minutes, and drain any leftover liquid.

Place the cannellini beans in a mixing bowl and mash slightly with a potato masher, until thick and lumpy. Mix in the cooked farro, onions, mushrooms, carrots, walnuts, oregano, chives, oats, bread crumbs, herbal seasoning, black pepper, turmeric, and sea salt, if desired. Combine the ingredients using clean hands, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved bean liquid to make a thick yet moistened mixture that sticks together. Chill for about 1 hour.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Form patties out of ½ cup of the bean mixture with your hands, mashing the ingredients together so that they do not crumble. Carefully place 3 to 4 patties at a time into the hot oil and cook for 6 minutes on each side, turning carefully. Repeat, adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with each batch of patties, until all the patties are done.

Serve each patty with 1 bun, 1 lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices, and 2 avocado slices.

August 29th, 2016

Corn is grilled and seasoned with green onions and cayenne sauce in these tasty spiced flapjacks. The grilled corn fritters make an ideal base to this salad stacked with alternating layers of tomato slices and arugula dressed in a red wine vinaigrette. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Apron Strings.

Serves 4

For the corn fritters:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 cobs corn, grilled
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
  • a little oil or nonstick cooking spray, for preparing the skillet

For the red wine vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To complete the Corn Fritter Salad Stack:

  • 8 cups arugula
  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

To make the corn fritters:

Cut the grilled corn kernels off of the cob to make about 1 1/2 cups grilled corn kernels. Set aside.

Place the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the milk, egg, corn kernels and green onion. Season with the hot sauce and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Prepare a large skillet with a light layer of oil or nonstick cooking spray. Drop 1/4 inch mounds of batter into the pan and flatter into 1/2 inch thick cakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, or until bubbles begin to form. Flip and cook for 1 minute more on the other side, or until the corn fritter has cooked through. Set aside and repeat until you are out of batter.

To make the vinaigrette:


Whisk the red wine vinegar and the olive oil together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


To complete the Corn Fritter Salad Stack:

Place 4 corn fritters on 4 plates. Top with layers of tomato and dressed arugula. Repeat with alternating layers of fritters, tomato slices and arugula. Enjoy!

August 29th, 2016

These crunchy tacos have a mediteranian flair with avocado-feta guacamole and seasoned lentils as their base. Serve them “taco bar style” as this recipe’s creator, EA Stewart of Spicy RD Nutrition puts it, and let the whole family dig in!

Serves 4-6

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups pre-cooked lentils
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped, and divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 small avocados or 2 medium to large avocados
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 8-12 crunchy taco shells
  • Optional, for serving: Chopped lettuce, chopped tomato, cilantro, hot sauce

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add oil and ½ of the chopped onion {~ ½ cup} to the pan, stirring until onion is softened, ~ 2 minutes. Add cooked lentils to the pan and stir, then add cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and water to lentil/onion mixture, and stir well to combine. Turn heat down to low to simmer while preparing the avocado feta guacamole.

Remove skin and pit from avocados and place them in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mash avocados with a fork, then add remaining chopped onion and feta cheese, stirring well to combine.

Spoon lentil “meat” mixture in to a serving bowl, and place it on the table along with the taco shells, avocado feta guacamole, and desired taco fixins’ so everyone can serve themselves “Taco Bar Style”.