The Good Dirt

June 18th, 2018

This recipe reimagines the strawberry shortcake as a protein-packed breakfast with a purée of strawberries mixed right into the batter. This recipe comes to us from Tina Muir and appears in The Home Cook Breakfast Book, a collaboration between Meatless Monday and Earthbound Farm.

Makes 5 pancakes. Serving size: 3 pancakes

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 scoop cake batter flavored protein powder
  • 1 cup strawberries, pureed in a blender
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Mix the wet ingredients into a large bowl, stirring until well combined.

Stir the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Slowly stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. The batter will be very thick.

Grease a pancake pan/sauté pan/frying pan with spray or butter as it heats up over a medium heat. Spoon the mixture onto the pan and spread it out a little with the spoon (they will still be thicker pancakes). Leave to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the underside is brown. Flip the pancake over and allow the other side to cook.

Serve with fresh strawberries and maple syrup.

June 18th, 2018

In celebration of Pride Month and all the flavor, nutrition and delight that a rainbow of colorful veggies has to offer, we’re excited to share this fantastic recipe from Tawnie of Kroll’s Korner. Whip one up for a Meatless Monday meal to share tonight!

Serves 2-4

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup broccolini
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • red, orange, and yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2-1 cup pizza sauce
  • Pre-made pizza dough or homemade
  • olive oil
  • Fresh Parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop all of your veggies and place in separate bowls to keep organized.

Brush the pizza dough with a little olive oil (1-2 Tbsp). Then, using a ladle swirl the pizza sauce around the dough right up until you reach the edges of the pizza. Then sprinkle with cheese.

Next, carefully arrange your veggies on the pizza. I started with a small amount of onion in the middle, then made rings around the with the remaining veggies. Order: onion, red bell, orange bell, yellow bell, zucchini topped with broccolini, and layered the perimeter of the pizza with the halved tomatoes.

Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy with fresh Parmesan on top!

June 18th, 2018

This rice is not rice at all, it’s cauliflower! Pulsing raw cauliflower in a food processor transforms it into a rice-like dish that’s perfect for packing an extra serving of veggies into your meal. This recipe comes to us from Nancy of Mexican Made Meatless.

Serves 2

For the Cauliflower Rice:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • boiled water
  • a bit of oil
  • black pepper and sea salt to taste

For the Stir Fry:

  • 2 portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ¼s
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil or vegetable oil of choice
  • soy sauce, to taste

Fir the Cauliflower Rice:

Thoroughly clean the head of cauliflower and pat dry. Cut into florets and discard thick stalks.

In a food processor, pulse until you achieve small granules that resemble rice. Or, using a box grater, grate the florets into rice like granules.

Pour the riced cauliflower into a large bowl, then pour over enough boiled water to cover. Allow to sit for 4 minutes or until softened, then drain. Try to make sure nearly all of the liquid has drained off.

Add a bit of oil to a pan and saute the drained cauliflower for a few minutes. Gently mix in some ground black pepper and sea salt, then set aside.

For the Stir Fry:

Heat the oil, and once warm cook onions until soft and translucent. Add the peppers, mushrooms and garlic, cook until the vegetables begin to soften or to desired tenderness. Add a splash or as much soy sauce as desired, then add the basil leaves. Cook for another few minutes.

To Serve:

Serve the stir fried vegetables over the rice and enjoy!

June 18th, 2018

Sometimes all you need for a delicious salad is to bring out the natural flavors of ripe fruits and veggies. Creamy avocado and crisp radish slices are seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper in this simple and satisfying salad. This recipe comes to us from Jen of Domestic Divas.

Serves 2

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pit removed, and sliced
  • 1 cup radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Divide avocados and radishes in half and place each half in a medium sized bowl.

Drizzle each bowl with half the lemon juice and half the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

June 11th, 2018

Tofu is an excellent meatless source of iron and pairing tofu with citrus fruit in this Asian-inspired dish is doubly beneficial: it’s delicious, of course, but the vitamin C in the fruit also aids in iron absorption. This recipe comes to us from Olga of Mango & Tomato.

Serves 1-2

For the marinade:

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, microplaned
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce*
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce*
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned

For the dish:

  • 8 ounces cubed extra firm tofu
  • 1 bulb of fennel, cored, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • salt & pepper to taste

*look for low-sodium versions

Combine all ingredients for the marinade and pour into two different bowls. Add tofu to one and fennel to another. Marinade for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450. Drain fennel (keep the marinade!) and add to a cookie sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

In a skillet with a bit of oil stir fry tofu (again, remember to drain it first and keep the marinade).

In a small pot add strained marinade and heat until it becomes thick.

Combine roasted fennel with tofu (this recipe only needs about 1/4 of the amount–use the rest for another dish) and oranges. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the thickened marinade.

June 11th, 2018

Onions and garlic are sautéed to enhance oregano spiced lentils. This simple lunch is quick to prepare, but easy to customize with different fresh toppings to please any palate. This recipe comes to us from Deborah of Agoura Hills, California.

 

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup salsa of preference
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed

Place the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic and onion for 4-6 minutes, or until they become soft and fragrant.

Add the lentils and season with the chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir so that the spices are easily distributed.

Slowly add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the mixture has thickened and the liquid has absorbed. Mash slightly with a fork and stir in the salsa.

Divide between the 12 tortillas and enjoy!

June 11th, 2018

Avocados make a great cream cheese substitute, because they bring a smooth consistency in addition to a healthy dose of fiber, potassium and vitamin B. Give your breakfast a boost by spreading avocado on toast then topping it with sautéed tomatoes and onions as well as fresh chives garnished with chive blossoms.  This recipe comes to us from Melissa of Foodista.com.

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 15 grape tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 springs chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chive blossoms*

*optional. Chives are easily homegrown and produce beautiful edible blossoms, so try picking some up at your local farmer’s market or growing them in your own backyard.

Place the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the onions and tomatoes in the skillet and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Toast the bread to preference.

Evenly smear avocado onto each slice of toast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Top the avocado evenly with the sautéed onion tomato mixture.

Garnish the toast with fresh chives and their blossoms if using.

June 11th, 2018

Sweet carrots and spring onions are seasoned with savory cumin, coriander and garlic in these tasty fritters. These carrot patties are delicious when served alongside a crunchy veggie salad for contrast. This recipe comes to us from Jennifer of Delicious Every Day.

Serves 4

  • 6 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Cover a baking sheet with newspaper. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees and place the newspaper covered baking sheet into the oven.

Place the grated carrots, chopped spring onions, ground cumin, ground coriander, cilantro, salt and minced garlic together in a large bowl. Mix to combine, taking care to ensure all ingredients are evenly combined.

Add the beaten eggs and flour to the bowl and mix until just combined.

Place the canola oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add full tablespoons of the carrot spring onion mixture to the pan, flattening them with your spatula to create a disc shape. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes, or until golden. Transfer the cooked carrot fritters to the newspaper lined baking sheet in the oven so they stay warm while you make the remaining carrot fritters.

Divide the carrot fritters into 4 servings and enjoy!

June 4th, 2018

Blueberries stand in for mangos in this antioxidant spin on the classic Indian yogurt treat. For an even more refreshing twist, try putting the blueberry lassi recipe through an ice cream maker to make blueberry lassi frozen yogurt. This recipe comes to us from Mehak of Measured in Pinches.

Serves 2

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, frozen*
  • 5 tablespoon low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • or
  • 5 tablespoons low fat soy yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat milk or skim milk
  • sugar, to taste
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced

*To freeze fresh blueberries, wash and dry them, then spread them out on a plate, to avoid clumping. Place in your freezer until frozen. Try to use the blueberries within a few days of freezing them, as they loose flavor the longer they sit.

Place the blueberries, yogurt, milk, sugar and lemon juice into a blender. Blend until pureed. Taste for sweetness, adding more sugar or lemon juice to balance, if desired.

Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!

June 4th, 2018

Okra is also referred to as ‘ladies’ fingers’ and is a popular vegetable all over India. It is mostly cooked as a deep fried dish and occasionally as a stuffed delicacy. Sometimes it is coated with batter. Recipe and photo from Phaidon’s The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook, by Pushpesh Pant.

Serves 4

  • 1 lb 10 oz/750 g okra, washed and dried well, slit lengthwise
  • scant ½ cup (3½ fl oz/100 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1–2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon yellow chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

For the stuffing:

  • 1 tablespoon black salt
  • 4½ teaspoons amchoor (mango powder)
  • 4½ teaspoons ground anardana or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 4½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)

 

Directions:

Blanch the okra in a large pan of salted, boiling water for about 2 minutes, then refresh in ice cold water. In a small bowl, mix all the stuffing ingredients, then stuff the okra with this mixture.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat, add the tomato puree and stuffed okra and gently stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, until cooked through. Sprinkle with yellow chili powder and lemon juice, mix well, and serve.

June 4th, 2018

Those who like mushrooms usually stay with one kind but here the three types of mushrooms make this an exceptional recipe. This dish was created by Chef Nishant Chaube, influenced by a similar Chinese recipe. Recipe and photo from Phaidon’s The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook, by Pushpesh Pant.

Serves 4

  • 6 cups (50 fl oz/1.5 liters) mushroom stock/vegetable stock
  • 2 cups (14 oz/400 g) long-grain rice
  • 2 cups (5 oz/150 g) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • ⅓ cup (1 oz/25 g) oyster or button mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup (¼ oz/10 g) dried morels
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) sesame oil
  • 1 cup (3 oz/80 g) shallots or scallions (spring onions), sliced
  • 4 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh root ginger
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

In a large pan, bring 4 cups (1¾ pints/1 liter) of mushroom/vegetable stock to the boil, seasoning with salt to taste, add the rice and cook for 20–25 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Heat the remaining stock in a separate large pan, add the shiitake, oyster (or button) mushrooms, and morels and cook for about 7–8 minutes over medium heat, simmering until the stock has reduced to a thick, sauce-like consistency.

Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a skillet (frying pan) and fry the shallots or scallions (spring onions) and ginger over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add to the mushroom sauce.

Stir the rice into the sauce, mix well, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 5–7 minutes, season and remove from the heat.

June 4th, 2018

This refreshing salad is simple, flavorful, filling and the perfect introduction to quinoa. The nutritious super grain is elevated with fresh flavors of lemon, mint, garlic and green onion. This recipe comes to us from Marti of Tofu ’n Sprouts!

Serves 2

  • 1 cup quinoa*, rinsed & cooked to package directions
  • 3 green onions, sliced with tough ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Salt and lemon-pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped

*Quinoa is a heart-healthy grain as well as a complete protein. It can be found in the grain section of most grocery stores. Feel free to substitute brown rice if you can’t find quinoa.

After quinoa has finished cooking, remove from heat and cool on a cookie sheet.

Place the cooked and cooled quinoa, green onions, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Stir until combined. Season with mint, salt and lemon-pepper. Mix well.

Top the salad with the chopped almonds. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

May 28th, 2018

Asparagus blends brilliantly with sweet peas and mint finishes the dish with a refreshing finish. Serve this soup ice cold as the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. This recipe comes to us from Colleen of FoodieTots.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fresh peas, shelled
  • 6 leaves fresh mint, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk

Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onion becomes translucent.

Add the asparagus, broth and a pinch of salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. When broth boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes.

Add the peas and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the asparagus is just tender when pricked a fork. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the torn mint.

In small batches, puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in the milk.

Pour soup into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or set the bowl in a bowl of ice water in the fridge to accelerate the cooling process. When soup is thoroughly chilled garnish with additional mint leaves and enjoy.

May 28th, 2018

This breakfast proves lentils are delicious any time of day, as they are sautéed here with shallots, paprika, lemon juice and fresh parsley. The versatile legume stands in as a savory alternative to jam, as the spiced lentils top toast in this protein packed morning pick me up. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 14 ounce can brown lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • or
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • juice from 1/4 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 slices whole wheat or multigrain bread, toasted
  • tahini, to taste

Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots or green onions and sauté for 1 minute, or until veggies begin to become fragrant. Add the lentils and season with soy sauce, paprika and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes more, or until the onion becomes translucent.

Add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Add the chopped parsley and stir. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce if desired.

Spread the tahini to taste over the whole wheat or multigrain toast. Spoon the spiced sautéed lentils over the tahini and enjoy.

May 28th, 2018

Eggplant’s complex, savory flavor is infused with smoke in these mouthwatering grilled vegetable sandwiches. Garlic chile mayo gives the aubergine base a kick, topped with fresh tomatoes, grilled onions and fresh basil. This recipe comes to us from Patricia of Grab A Plate.

Serves 4

  • 1 small eggplant, sliced into 4 rounds, 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large white onion, sliced into 4 rounds, 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divded
  • 4 slices crusty bread
  • 4 tablespoons lowfat mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic chile paste*
  • 1 large tomato, sliced into 4 rounds, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, chiffonade

*Garlic chile paste can be found in the condiment or Asian food section of most grocery stores. Your favorite hot sauce mixed with a mashed garlic clove can be substituted as a makeshift garlic chile paste.

Heat a grill to medium.

Lay the eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle with 1 of the teaspoons of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes, rinse and pat dry. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with the remaining teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Transfer the eggplant slices to the grill and cook, turning frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until soft.

While the eggplant begins grilling, pierce the large onion slices lengthwise with metal skewers. Drizzle another tablespoon olive oil over the onions. Add the onions to the grill about 7 minutes after you put the eggplant on.  Cook the onions for 4 minutes, flip and cook 4 minutes more, or until they achieve grill marks.

When the eggplant and onion have finished cooking, remove them from the grill flame. Transfer the crusty slices of bread to the grill and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until the bread has toasted.

Mix the mayonnaise and garlic chile paste together in a small bowl. Spread about 1 tablespoon per burger on each slice of bread and top with a piece of grilled eggplant. Top the eggplant with tomato, followed by grilled onion. Sprinkle with sliced basil and enjoy.