The Good Dirt
October 17th, 2016
These pancakes have pumpkin baked in the batter for the ultimate autumnal flavor profile. Egg whites are whipped in to make these flapjacks fluffy, which counters their delightful crunchy candied pecan topping. This recipe comes to us from Carolyn, The Health Voyager.
- 5 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine, divided
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup silken tofu, pressed and drained
- 4 egg whites
- 4 tablespoons powdered egg substitute
- 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup pumpkin puree*
- confectioners sugar, to taste
- maple syrup, to taste
*Please note that pumpkin puree is not the same as pumpkin pie mix and should not be substituted. To make your own pumpkin puree, roast a halved pumpkin at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork. For smoothest consistency, puree the pumpkin’s flesh using a food processor.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the margarine in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar begins to melt. Add the pecans and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer the pecans to a small dish and set aside.
Mix the flour, pumpkin pie spice, sugar and salt together in a small bowl.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine in the skillet and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tofu, buttermilk and vanilla to the bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until well combined.
Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Carefully stir in the pumpkin puree.
If using egg whites, beat in a large mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. If using powdered eggs, beat in a large mixing bowl with the amount of water listed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pumpkin tofu batter into the egg whites until well mixed.
Spoon the pumpkin pancake batter into the skillet, place in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Top the pancake with the reserved pecans and cut the pancake in 4 quarters. Serve one quarter per person, dust with confectioners sugar and syrup to taste and enjoy!
October 17th, 2016
Forget canned pumpkin! Truly eat with the seasons with this cool-weather recipe, which features whole pumpkin, leeks and hearty kale over a bed of comforting polenta. Top it off with a homemade basil dressing for a spectacular plant-based meal. This recipe comes to us from Elena of Happy Kitchen. Rocks.
- For pumpkin and kale with creamy polenta:
- 1 1/2 cup polenta
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
- 1/2 small pumpkin
- 1 small red chili pepper
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 7 oz curly kale chopped, veins removed
- 1/3 leek sliced
- black pepper
- 4 oz mozzarella (optional)
- For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Demerara sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- black pepper
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (to serve)
In a pot, bring water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil. Gradually add polenta, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, add parmesan (optional),cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the pumpkin. Heat a lug of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium high heat. Add pumpkin and cook until the pumpkin it is soft, about 8 minutes. Chop red chili pepper and thyme leaves and add them before the pumpkin is ready. Transfer to a plate and put the pan or wok back on the stove.
Add a bit of oil to the pan and once it’s hot, add garlic and kale. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add leek slices and cook until soft and slightly golden, about 4 minutes.
Make the dressing: combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Demerara sugar (optional), chopped basil, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Arrange polenta, pumpkin, kale and leek on two plates. Add sliced mozzarella (optional). Serve with balsamic dressing and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
October 10th, 2016
This vegan tartare, while elegant enough to be found on the menu of a high-end restaurant, is actually simple enough to be cooked by the average home chef! This recipe comes to us from chef Matthew Kenney of Matthew Kenney Cuisine.
- 2 firm avocados, finely diced
- 4 to 5 baby zucchini, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons micro basil (or finely minced basil)
- 1 tablespoon minced chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon agave
- Coarse salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper for garnish
Toss all ingredients until well combined. Divide into four servings and press into ring molds. Garnish with chives, fresh ground pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
October 7th, 2016
Butternut squash is roasted and mashed with sunchokes in this root vegetable crowd pleaser. A Dijon mustard roux serves as the base for a luscious sauce in this hearty mac and cheese, finished perfectly with crunchy whole-wheat breadcrumbs. This recipe comes to us from Lisa of Cold Cereal and Toast.
- 1/2 small butternut squash, seeded
- 2 medium sunchokes*, peeled
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 3/4 cups nonfat milk
- 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
- 4 ounces Muenster cheese, grated
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
*Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes can be found at farmer’s markets or in the gourd section of vegetable aisle in some grocery stores.
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil. Lay the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Add the peeled sunchokes to the sheet, place it in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a butter knife.
Scoop the squash’s flesh into a large mixing bowl and mash it using a fork. Add the roasted sunchokes, mashing to incorporate them with the butternut squash. For the smoothest consistency, add the squash sunchoke mash to a food processor or blender and puree if desired.
Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente, drain, return to the pot, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the saucepan, then whisk in the flour and mustard. Continue whisking over medium heat for about 1 minute, then slowly add in the milk, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, lower heat to medium-low and keep simmering, whisking frequently, for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream.
Season the sauce with the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the squash sunchoke mash, Muenster and cheddar, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cheese has melted.
Pour the cheese sauce into the cooked macaroni, stirring to ensure all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Preheat your broiler.
Pour the macaroni into a medium baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the bubbly with brown edges. Divide into 10 servings and enjoy!
October 3rd, 2016
Hash may be everyone’s favorite brunch side, but this version using kohlrabi in place of potatoes is produce packed, making it an excellent main course any time of day. Look for kohlrabi, a bulbous cabbage cousin, in your local farmers market. This recipe comes to us from Olga of Mango & Tomato.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled, diced 1/4″
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- kernels from 1 ear of corn
- salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced (jarred or home roasted)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/4-1/3 cups chevre
Heat a cast iron skillet. Add oil and allow the oil to get hot. Add kohlrabi, onions, green pepper and corn. Season with salt and smoked paprika and sauté for 15-20 minutes. You want the kohlrabi to be cooked through and slightly caramelized.
Add roasted red pepper and allow to heat through.
Serve topped with parsley and chevre.
October 3rd, 2016
Zucchini sticks are tossed with light panko breadcrumbs and then baked in the oven. Try these healthy “fries” dipped in creamy Greek yogurt seasoned with parsley and lemon. This recipe comes to us from Elizabeth of Sophisticated Pie.
For the baked zucchini fries:
- a little olive oil, for preparing the sheet pan
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
- 2 large zucchinis, cut into 4-inch sticks
- 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs*
- ½ cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the yogurt dipping sauce:
- 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 scallion, chopped
*Japanese panko breadcrumbs are thinner and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. They can be found near the standard breadcrumbs or in the Asian food section of most grocery stores.
To bake the zucchini fries:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a large sheet pan with olive oil.
Lightly beat the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl.
In a separate medium bowl, stir the panko breadcrumbs and cheese together.
Dip zucchini sticks in the egg mixture, making sure to coat them well. Dip the egg coated zucchini into the panko mixture.
Spread out the coated zucchini pieces onto the prepared sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip the zucchini sticks over with a spatula and bake for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
To complete the dish:
Mix the Greek yogurt, chopped parsley and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped scallion on top.
Serve the yogurt sauce alongside the fries, for optional dipping. Enjoy!
October 2nd, 2016
This plant-packed salad features all the flavors we look forward to once fall rolls around…namely, cranberries, kale and roasted butternut squash! Filling farro adds fiber and protein to the dish, while a tangy apple cider vinaigrette ties it all together. This recipe comes to us from Tiffany from Parsnips and Pastries.
- For the Salad:
- 12 ounces of cubed butternut squash, roasted
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, roasted and salted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups cooked farro, cooled*
- 5 ounces baby kale
- 1 heaping cup arugula
- 1 Gala apple, cut into matchsticks
- For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon Dijon
- 3 teaspoons honey
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Make the vinaigrette:
Combine all of the ingredients in a glass mason jar and shake vigorously until combined. Set aside to let meld.
Roast the butternut squash and cook the farro:
Combine the butternut squash with a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until tender.
For the farro, cook 1 cup of dried farro in 3 cups of water or stock. Add rinsed farro to a pot of water/stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and let cool.
Cut the apple into matchsticks and roughly chop the pecans. Toss with the kale, arugula, farro, squash, and cranberries. Dress with the vinaigrette and serve topped with additional pecans and cranberries, if desired.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.