The Good Dirt

April 29th, 2016

This recipe from Sara Moulton‘s new book Home Cooking 101 combines a popular South Asian snack called pakoras with the airy texture of Japanese tempura, achieved by using egg whites and seltzer water in the chickpea flour batter. When properly fried (oil temperature in the low to high 300Fs) the fritters absorb minimal oil and become the perfect pairing for the spicy-sweet chutney.

Serves 6

Vegetable Fritters:

  • 170 grams (about 2 cups) chickpea flour (see Sources, page 350)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups plain seltzer
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed, for deep-frying
  • 10 (2-by 1-inch) cauliflower or broccoli florets
  • 10 (1/2- by 1- to 2-inch, 1/2-inch thick) carrot or butternut squash slices
  • 10 (1/2-inch-thick) onion rings
  • Green Chile–Coconut Chutney (see below)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, and baking powder. Add the seltzer in a stream, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Right before frying, whisk the egg whites in a bowl with electric beaters until they reach soft peaks and fold them into the batter.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large deep saucepan to 365°F. Working in batches of 5 or so pieces at a time, dip the vegetables in the batter, add carefully to the oil, and fry, turning often, until golden, about 5 minutes for the harder vegetables and 2 minutes for the onion rings.

Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve hot with the chutney on the side.

Green Chile-Coconut Chutney:

  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and light green parts
  • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 serrano chiles, chopped with seeds (about 2 heaping tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar, or to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Puree all the ingredients in a blender, adding salt and pepper to taste.

April 25th, 2016

Bran muffins have always been one of my favorite treats, and I am thrilled that my vegan version can compete with the best muffins I’ve ever tasted. They are moist, not too dense, just sweet enough, and the bites of juicy blackberries make them extra special. —Myra Goodman, co-author of Straight from the Earth

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup/240 ml plain, unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups/100 g wheat bran
  • ½ cup/60 g old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup/60 ml very hot water (about 180°F/82°C)
  • ¾ cup/150 g packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup/120 ml unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup/60 ml canola oil
  • 1 ¼ cups/175 g whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup/130 g fresh blackberries

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 350°F/ 180°C/gas 4. Lightly oil 12 muffin cups or line them with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the soymilk and lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken into “buttermilk.” Whisk the mixture and stir in the bran and oats.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed with the hot water. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it thickens (this is our egg substitute). Whisk the sugar, applesauce, and oil into the flaxseed mixture.

Add this mixture to the bowl with the bran, blending until the batter is combined.

In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add this mixture to the batter, stirring just until combined. Do not overmix. Carefully fold in the blackberries.

Fill each muffin cup with a heaping ⅓ cup/75 ml of batter. The muffin cups should be full and rounded at the top. Make an effort to divide the blackberries evenly among the muffins.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into a muffin (avoiding the blackberries if you can) comes out clean.

Cool the muffins in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn out the muffins and continue to cool them on a wire rack for another 10 minutes before serving.

April 25th, 2016

Seasoned with only lemon, garlic and a bit of salt and pepper, this simple preparation of fresh artichokes is one of the best ways we know of to enjoy the vegetable’s unique flavor. This recipe comes to us from, Michael DeLone Executive Chef of the premiere Philiadelphia Italian restaurant Le Castagne.

Serves 12.

  • 12 medium artichokes, fresh
  • 2 lemons; juice and rinds
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups olive oil

Submerge all the artichokes in a water bath to pry them open easier. Remove one from its bath and pry them open a bit. Place opened artichoke, bottom up, on a board and repeat 11X.

Combine salt and pepper and garlic powder. Take one artichoke at a time and sprinkle all over. Heat the oil in a deep earthenware or similar saucepan.

Cook as many artichokes that will fit in one layer over moderate heat [20 to 25 minutes]. During the cooking period, sprinkle some cold water with a squeeze bottle over the artichokes to produce steam, to ensure the inside will be tender.

When all the artichokes are done, transfer them to a plate, bottom side down. Pick them up at the bottom with a fork and dip them, one by one in the hot oil again, pressing the leaves to the bottom of the pan. The artichokes will open up like roses and the leaves will become golden and crisp. Serve immediately while piping hot

April 25th, 2016

Spring is in the air and pasta is on the table! Show off spring’s seasonal produce like asparagus and peas with this simple pasta primavera, which uses coconut milk and vegan parmesan to keep the dish 100% plant-based. This recipe comes to us from Aimee of The Veg Life.

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp. oil for sauteeing
  • 1 medium Vidalia or yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 16 oz. mushrooms (any variety), cut into quarters (or 1″ pieces)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, steamed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/4-1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 lb pasta, such as farfalle
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, parmesan and/or lemon zest for garnish

Prepare pasta to package instructions and drain (do not rinse).
Meanwhile, steam the asparagus spears until tender. Cut into 1″ pieces.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and onion slices. Saute for about 3-5 minutes before adding the mushrooms.
Saute the mushrooms for an additional 5 minutes and if using garlic, add now. Saute for 30 seconds and then add the vegetable broth.
Allow to reduce slightly. Add the corn and peas.
When the broth has reduced and the vegetables have cooked through, add the drained pasta (a little residual pasta water will actually help thicken the sauce) and asparagus pieces.
Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and vegan parmesan stirring to combine. If necessary, add a splash more vegetable broth. The pasta will continue to absorb the liquids as it sits.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To serve, divide between four bowls and top with additional vegan parmesan.
Garnish with parsley and/or lemon zest.

April 25th, 2016

This protein-packed salad combines whole grain spelt, edamame, fresh herbs and vegetables, and a light dressing  lemon juice and apple cider vinegar dressing. The result is a satisfying meal perfect for lunch or dinner. This recipe comes to us from our friends at M Cafe.

Serves 8-12

  • 1 cup (6 oz) whole spelt berries
  • 2 cups frozen edamame
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup scallions (green tops only), chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegan honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Soak spelt berries for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Drain well, and add to a pot of lightly salted boiling water (at least a quart).

Boil for 20 – 30 minutes, or until grains are completely tender.  Drain well and rinse under cool water.  Drain again and set aside.

Meanwhile, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in small bowl. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine cooked spelt berries with chopped vegetables and herbs.  Fold in dressing, and let sit for a few minutes to allow flavors to blend before serving.

April 18th, 2016

Bun Bo Xao is a Vietnamese noodle salad that can easily be made vegetarian. Served cold, it’s a great alternative to Pho as the weather turns warmer. This version features spring’s freshest produce and savory tofu marinated in liquid aminos. This recipe comes to us from Pragati of Simple Medicine.

Serves 1 (multiply recipe as needed)

  • 2 oz. vermicelli noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro and mint
  • 1/2 cup tofu, marinated in liquid aminos and crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. crushed peanuts
  • Soy sauce or Hoisin sauce, for dressing

In a bowl layer your ingredients in the following order: Romaine lettuce, vermicelli noodles.

Next, top with cabbage, cucumber, carrot, mint, cilantro and tofu.

Dress as desired.

Check out Simple Medicine’s video to learn how to build your salad!

April 18th, 2016

Sweet potato is sautéed with onion until crisp while eggs are seasoned with oregano and thyme. This hearty breakfast boasts both sweet and salty flavors as roasted sunflower seeds finish the dish with a delightful crunch. This recipe comes to us from Karen of Sprouts in the Hood.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 sweet potato, sliced
  • 5 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup low fat cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds, roasted

Place the olive oil in an 8 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the sweet potato and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked through and slightly crispy. Set aside.

Pour the beaten eggs into a separate medium bowl. Stir in the milk and grated cheese. Season with the oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Add the egg milk mixture and the sautéed sweet potato mixture to the skillet. Stir until the sautéed sweet potatoes are they evenly distributed in the egg mixture. Turn heat down to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the eggs are almost firm. Turn on the broiler.

Place the skillet under the broiler for 1-3 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Set aside and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Loosen the frittata from the skillet by running a knife around the edges. Flip onto a platter and remove the skillet.

Garnish with roasted sunflower seeds, cut into 4 slices and enjoy.

April 18th, 2016

Asparagus spears, bell pepper, zucchini and onion are roasted to perfection then tossed with couscous infused with vegetable broth. Kidney beans pack a protein punch and turn this salad into a hearty lunch. This recipe comes to us from Courtney of Coco Cooks.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous*
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 half green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans, cooked
  • or
  • 1 cup canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup lemon infused olive oil
  • or
  • ¼ cup olive oil with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted for garnish**

*Israeli couscous is larger than most traditional North African couscous and can be found in the grain or ethnic food section of most grocery stores. To substitute traditional couscous cook couscous according to package directions, using veggie broth instead of water.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bring 1 ¼ cup of water to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Add veggie bouillon cube and stir to dissolve. Turn heat down to medium, add couscous, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until all the liquid has absorbed.

Spread out the asparagus, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, zucchini and onion onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 min, or until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. Remove vegetables from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl combine couscous, kidney beans, roasted vegetables and chopped parsley. Mix to combine and drizzle with the remaining ¼ cup lemon olive oil and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar. Toss to ensure even distribution of oil and vinegar.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if using and enjoy!

April 18th, 2016

Tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and parsley come together in this classic Italian salad. As hearty as it is refreshing, the toasted bread cubes will attract eaters, but the Dijon white balsamic vinaigrette will keep them coming back for more. This recipe comes to us from Cat of The Verdant Life.

Serves 4

For the toasted bread:

  • 4 slices stale bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the veggies:

  • 1 medium tomato, cut into cubes
  • or
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 seedless cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • or
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

To make the toasted bread cubes:

Toss the bread cubes together with the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium low heat. Season with salt and toast, stirring occasionally, for 4-6 minutes, or until the bread cubes are lightly browned. Set aside.

To prepare the veggies:

Place the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and flat leaf parsley together in a large bowl.

To make the vinaigrette:

Whisk together the minced garlic, Dijon mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

To complete the Panzanella Salad:

Dress the veggies with as much of the vinaigrette as desired and toss until the dressing is evenly distributed to coat all the veggies. Add the toasted bread cubes and let sit for 20-30 minutes, or until the flavors have melded together.

Divide into 4 portions and enjoy!

April 11th, 2016

Fresh veggies like kale, tomatoes and cucumber dressed with herbs and a lemony olive oil dressing and topped with earth-friendly meatless chick’n? Yes, please! This recipe comes to us from Chef Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe and our friends at Gardein.

Serves 4

  • 1 bunch lacinato, tuscan or dinosaur kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 lb vine tomatoes, roughly chopped)
  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
  • 1 package (7 oz.) meatless chick’n (such as Gardein Chick’n Scallopini)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, and half the olive oil and salt. With clean hands, toss the kale until fully coated in the lemon mixture.

In a second mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, parsley, vinegar, and remaining olive oil and salt. Toss to combine.

Make the chick’n according to packaged instructions. Set aside on a cutting board and thinly slice. Divide the kale between 4 plates and top with the tomato mixture. Arrange sliced chick’n on top of each plate and serve immediately.

April 11th, 2016

Making Thai spring rolls is one of my favorite kitchen activities—it’s especially fun to wrap them with a group of friends when we want to get creative with our food. They look impressive but are surprisingly easy to make. —Marea Goodman, co-author of Straight from the Earth

Serves 6; makes 12 rolls

For the Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, salted or unsalted, creamy or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup very hot water (about 180°F)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Tofu:

  • 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into twelve sticks

For the Spring Rolls:

  • 1 cup cooked rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • 12 cucumber sticks
  • 12 carrot sticks
  • 1 cup packed mung bean sprouts
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced lengthwise into 12 even pieces
  • 12 pieces heirloom or romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh spearmint
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 12 6 in. spring roll wrappers

To make the peanut sauce: Stir together the peanut butter and hot water in a small bowl until smooth. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, agave, lime juice, salt, and a pinch of pepper and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside at room temperature.

To make the tofu: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375°F/190°C/gas 5. Whisk together the soy sauce, oil, and pepper in a small bowl. Drain the tofu sticks on paper towels to remove excess water. Place the tofu on a small rimmed baking sheet or in a casserole dish and pour the marinade evenly over each piece. Make sure every side is thoroughly coated. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 10 to 15 minutes before baking.

Bake the tofu on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, flip each stick over, then bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

To make the spring rolls: Place the noodles, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, avocado, lettuce, mint, cilantro, and tofu on individual plates around your work surface.

Fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water. Place one spring roll wrapper in the bowl and let it soak until limp, about 5 seconds. Lay the wrapper down flat on your work surface. In the upper center section of the wrapper, place 1 piece of lettuce. You will want to leave at least 1 in/2.5 cm at the bottom of the wrapper uncovered; no need to leave any space at the top. In a compact vertical line, arrange 1 piece each of carrot, cucumber, tofu, and avocado, a generous 1 tbsp each of the bean sprouts and noodles, and 1 tsp each of the mint and cilantro.

Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper on top of the filling. Then tightly (but gently) pull the left edge of the wrapper over the filling and the folded bottom edge. It may be helpful to put pressure on the filling with your fingertips to make it as compact as possible while rolling. Pull and roll the left side over the right side of the wrapper, keeping the filling as compact as possible. Press the edges of the wrapper together to close. You will have the top of the spring roll open, and tightly wrapped bottom and sides. Repeat until all 12 spring rolls are assembled. Serve with the peanut sauce.

April 11th, 2016

Cremini mushrooms are sautéed until golden, then tossed with spinach, Swiss cheese and whole-wheat bread. This egg white breakfast casserole is perfect for busy group brunches, as the convenient assembly occurs the night before serving, so when morning comes, simply take it out and bake it until browned. This recipe comes to us from Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator.

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 8 ounces Swiss cheese
  • 12 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 slices day old whole-wheat bread, cubed

Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with light coating of cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until golden brown.

Pour the egg whites and milk together in a large bowl. Season with the salt and pepper and mix until blended.

Put the bread cubes, sautéed mushrooms, thawed spinach and Swiss cheese in the dish in even layers. Pour the egg white milk mixture over the layers. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake strata uncovered for 1 hour, or until risen, puffed and browned.

April 11th, 2016

Whole-wheat orzo, spinach and white beans are sure to keep you full in this hearty soup. Tomatoes and chile flakes add some spice while freshly grated parmesan finishes the dish on a salty note. This recipe was created by Jennifer Brody of Domestic Divas.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parmigiano reggiano for grating

Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies are beginning to soften. Add the garlic and chili flakes and saute one minute more.

Add the tomatoes, stock, and white beans. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about twenty minutes.

Add the orzo and simmer in the soup for about ten more minutes, or until the orzo becomes tender. Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes more, or until the spinach is tender.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle a generous portion of soup into a bowl. Top with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and fresh cracked pepper and enjoy!

April 4th, 2016

This soybean-spin on guacamole adds some extra fiber to that classic dip. Try using cut up bell peppers instead of chips for an even healthier treat. This recipes comes to us from Kinzie of To Cheese or Not to Cheese?

Serves 6


  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1/2 cup broccoli stalks, peeled
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste

Bring 2 cups of water to boil.

Add edamame, blanch for 2 minutes, drain and set aside.

Bring water to a boil once more, add broccoli, blanch for 2 minutes and drain.

In food processor, puree edamame and broccoli together.

Using a potato-master or the back of a spoon, mash the edamame-broccoli puree with the avocado, scallion, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime, tomato and cilantro.

Salt to taste and serve.

April 4th, 2016

This salad is delicious to eat, beautiful to behold, and very healthful. It combines the crunch of red cabbage, carrots, succulent romaine hearts, crispy apples, and almonds—all complemented by sweet-tart dried cranberries and an agave-Dijon vinaigrette. —Myra Goodman, co-author of Straight from the Earth

Serves 6

For the Agave -Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup/120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 1 large romaine heart, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups/140 g shredded red cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 large sweet-tart apple (such as Honey Crisp or Fuji), medium dice
  • ½ cup/75 g raw, unsalted almonds, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup/60 g dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp finely chopped fresh spearmint (optional)

To make the vinaigrette: Combine the oil, vinegar, agave, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small jar. Seal the lid tightly and shake vigorously to emulsify. Set aside at room temperature.

To make the salad: Combine the romaine, cabbage, and carrots in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Add ½ cup/120 ml of the vinaigrette (or more as desired) to the vegetables, and toss to combine. Divide the salad among six plates or bowls.

Toss the apples with the 2 tbsp reserved vinaigrette and divide it among the individual salads. Top each salad with equal amounts of almonds, cranberries, and spearmint (if using). Serve immediately.