The Good Dirt

June 26th, 2017

In this refreshing morning treat, Greek yogurt is topped with blueberries and drizzled with maple syrup. Delicate orange zest brings depth to the flavor and texture of the dish, as well as a sprinkling of Vitamin C. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 2

  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Divide the Greek yogurt between two bowls. Top with equal portions of blueberries, the orange zest and drizzle with maple syrup.

June 26th, 2017

Lemony white beans, red pepper with feta and a parsley pine nut pesto are layered to create this vibrant spread with flavors as bright as its looks. Bring this veggie pâté to your next potluck and serve with baguette rounds or pita bread. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Apron Strings.

Serves 20

For the white bean layer:

  • 2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans*, drained and rinsed
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
  • or
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    2 garlic cloves, pressed

For the roasted red pepper layer:

  • 1 7 ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
    4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

For the pesto layer:

  • 2 garlic cloves
    1 cup fresh basil leaves
    1 cup Italian parsley leaves
    1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

To complete the dish:

  • 1 3 ounce jar sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

*also referred to as white kidney beans.

Prepare a 10×5 inch loaf pan with a light coating of cooking spray or oil.

To make the white bean layer:

Mash the cannellini beans in large bowl.

Combine the mashed beans, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic together in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the white bean mixture evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan.

To make the roasted red pepper layer:

Combine the peppers and feta in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spread the red pepper mixture evenly over white bean layer in the prepared pan.

To make the pesto layer:

Pulse the garlic in the food processor until minced. Add the basil, parsley and pine nuts and pulse until all ingredients are minced and thoroughly combined.

With the food processor running, gradually add the oil to the garlic basil mixture through the processor’s feed tube. Process until smooth.

Mix the ricotta into the pesto. Spread the pesto evenly over the red pepper layer.

To complete the red pepper pesto pâté:

Sprinkle the chopped sun dried tomatoes evenly over the pesto layer.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, invert the pâté onto a serving platter. Peel off the plastic wrap and enjoy.

June 26th, 2017

Spicy radishes bring big flavors to this creamy crunchy sandwich. The sharp radish taste is balanced with briny black olives and mellowed with Neufchatel cheese.

This recipe comes to us from Rebecca of Ezra Poundcake.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup radishes, trimmed
  • 4 ounces Neufchatel cheese
  • or
  • 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives or scallions
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 5 black olives, sliced or chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Your choice of bread
  • arugula, to taste
  • 4 black olives*, for garnish

*optional

Place the radishes in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.

In a small bowl, stir the cheese to loosen. Add the radishes, parsley, chives and just enough lemon juice to make the mixture spreadable. Stir to combine.

Gently fold in the capers and black olives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spread the radish filling on one slice of bread, top it with arugula, and complete the sandwich with another slice of bread. Spear the garnish olive with a toothpick if using, insert into the sandwich and enjoy.

June 26th, 2017

Zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” give this meatless dish a unique twist. Zucchini noodles can easily be made with a spiralizer, but cutting them into a julienne works well too. Alternatively, serve these zesty meatballs over your favorite starch, such as pasta or quinoa. This recipe comes to us from Myra of The Happy Health Freak.

Makes 12 meatless balls, serves 3

  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized or julienned
  • 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal) plus 6 tbsp. water (or two eggs)
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Italian spices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your favorite marinara sauce

In a small bowl, add flaxseed and water, mix well and set aside. In a medium bowl, add the black beans and mash with a fork. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Once the flaxseed and water has thickened, stir into mixture (alternatively, substitute two eggs).

Preheat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick spray or drizzle with olive oil. Form mixture into balls, add to the frying pan and heat for 2-3 minutes a side, flipping frequently.

Meanwhile, spiralize or julienne a medium zucchini and add to another frying pan over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, depending on how soft you like them.

Top your cooked zucchini noodles with meatballs and your favorite marinara sauce.

June 19th, 2017

These quick wraps will satisfy your craving for spicy, tangy Buffalo sauce while still packing in a hefty dose of nutritious fiber and protein from chickpeas and black beans. This recipe comes to us from Tina of Running for Real with Tina Muir.

Makes 8 wraps

For the Buffalo sauce:

  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

To complete the wraps:

  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled

Add the buffalo sauce ingredients to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium high heat. Once the butter has melted, stir in the chickpeas. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Serve all the ingredients on top of the leaves of romaine, and enjoy immediately.

June 19th, 2017

This veggie stir fry is as simple as sautéing the harvest from your summer garden (or your summer CSA box!) When vegetables are that fresh, their natural sweetness shines through, seasoned with nothing more than a touch of garlic, salt and pepper. This recipe comes to us from Robin Asbell.

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 6 ears corn on the cob
  • 3 small onions, chopped
  • 4 ounces kale, leaves and stems separated, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place the oil in a sauté pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for about 15-20 minutes more, or until the onions caramelize. Cut the kernels off the ears of corn.

Add the chopped kale stems to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the corn kernels to the pan, stir, and raise heat to medium-high. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the corn’s hue begins to darken.

Add the kale leaves, tomatoes and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes more, or until the kale leaves have wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

June 19th, 2017

Tender baby spinach is tossed with sweet blackberries and balanced by nutty pistachios. Fresh fennel bulb adds a slight licorice aroma and balsamic vinegar brings its own tang to this satisfying salad. This recipe comes to us from Elizabeth of Sophisticated Pie.

Serves 4

  • 1/2 pound fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • Fennel fronds
  • ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste

Toss together the spinach, blackberries and sliced fennel. Sprinkle with pistachios and fennel fronds.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season well with black pepper.

June 19th, 2017

Sweet corn is sautéed spicy with red pepper and jalapeño then tempered with cumin tomato scented beans. A tortilla makes the perfect plate for this summer corn spin on a classic Mexican breakfast. This recipe comes to us from Emily of Well Fed, Flat Broke.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh corn, cut from the cob
  • or
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, puréed to make 2 cups tomato purée
  • 1 14 ounce can black or red beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup queso fresco*, crumbled
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

*a soft, mild chees. Queso fresco can be found in Mexican markets or the Mexican or dairy section of most grocery stores. Substitutions include feta, ricotta or any other soft cheese.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic, corn, bell pepper and jalapeño to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for another 3 minutes, or the veggies until are glistening.

Stir the puréed tomatoes, beans, salt, chili powder, cumin and oregano into the pan. Turn heat down to low and simmer for five minutes more, or until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.

Remove the pan from heat and crack the eggs on top. Sprinkle with the queso fresco and place the pan into the heated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the whites of the eggs are fully solid and the yolks are cooked to preference.

Serve the egg bean corn mixture in equal portions atop 4 tortillas. Squeeze a lime wedge over each portion, sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy.

June 12th, 2017

These tacos are international fusion at its best as Korean BBQ spices flavor a Mexican dish that needs no grill. Tofu is marinated in chili, ginger and lime then sautéed in a wok, while cabbage brings a crunchy helping of vitamin K to the tasty tacos. This recipe comes to us from Kristina of FormerChef.com.

Serves 5

For the tofu marinade:

  • 3 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

For the chili-soy vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

To complete the tacos:

  • 8 ounces firm tofu, diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup your favorite green tomatillo salsa
  • 10 green onions, sliced
  • 1 ounce cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 10 corn tortillas

To marinate the tofu:

In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, chili garlic paste, fish sauce, ginger, lime juice and sliced garlic. Toss marinade with tofu and allow tofu to marinate for ½ hour, stirring occasionally to ensure that the marinade is evenly distributed.

To make the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, combine chili garlic paste, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and canola oil.

To complete the tacos:

Dress the cabbage with the vinaigrette to taste. You may not need all of the vinaigrette.

Toss the onions with the cilantro.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Remove the tofu from the marinade using a slotted spoon and sauté in the wok for 2-3 minutes, or until tofu is heated through.

Warm the corn tortillas by placing them on a skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side.

Place a few spoonfuls of sautéed tofu in each warmed tortillas. Top with dressed cabbage, green salsa, green onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

June 12th, 2017

Leeks are sliced paper thin and marinated with lemon juice, soy sauce and freshly grated ginger. Roasted asparagus makes the perfect canvas for the salty sour leeks in a side dish which celebrates spring’s bounty. This recipe comes to us from JL goes Vegan.

Serves 4

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 leek
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos*
  • or
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated

*Coconut aminos is a soy sauce substitute with 65% less sodium. Found in health food stores. Low sodium soy sauce can be substituted if coconut aminos are unavailable.

Snap the bottom ends off of each asparagus spear. Slice the leek in slices as thin as possible with a madoline or a knife. Rinse the leek slices thoroughly.

Toss the asparagus and thinly sliced leeks in a shallow dish with the lemon juice, olive oil, grated ginger and the coconut aminos or soy sauce. Let marinate for 20 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.

Roast the asparagus and leeks in their marinade for 8-10 minutes, or until the asparagus is cooked to preference. Divide into 4 portions and enjoy on the side.

June 12th, 2017

Balsamic caramelized onions are balanced by chive spiced ricotta to mellow the onion’s intensity. Garlic scapes are the above ground part of the plant that grows above the bulb. They can be found in farmer’s markets in the Spring and Summer. This recipe comes to us from Chris and Amy White of A Couple in the Kitchen.

Serves 6

  • 1 pie crust, thawed
  • 2 chives, chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh ricotta, divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 6 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Press the pie crust into a pie plate and set aside. Lay a bed of paper towels on a plate. Mix the chopped chives with the fresh ricotta in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook 2-3 minutes until the leaves are crispy. Carefully remove the sage leaves using a slotted spoon and transfer them to the paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the chopped scapes and onion to the pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cook until the onions for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the salt, balsamic vinegar and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for about 10-15 minutes more, or until the onion mixture has caramelized.

Spread the caramelized onions on the bottom of the pie crust. Crumble half the chive ricotta evenly over the onions.

Whisk the milk, egg yolks, eggs, black pepper and chopped sage together in a separate bowl. Pour the milk egg mixture over the ricotta. Top the milk mixture with the remaining chive ricotta.

Transfer the tart to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the center is firm and springy. Garnish each slice with a crispy sage leaf and enjoy!

June 12th, 2017

This recipe is perfect for summer because it can be served as a hot or cold dish! If you like your salad to have crunch this is definitely a recipe for you. Cashews not only provide the crunch you crave but also heart healthy monounsaturated fats. This recipe comes to us from Meatless Monday blogger Christin of Veggie Chick.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups cooked millet, quinoa or brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 crown broccoli, broken into florets (about 2 cups)
  • 1½ cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 2 cups asian greens (or kale and spinach)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1½ cups red cabbage, chopped (about ¼ of a cabbage head)
  • 1 cup roasted cashews

For the Crispy Asian Roasted Chickpeas:

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground sea salt

For the Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoons miso paste (yellow)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup (or honey)

Cook millet, quinoa or brown rice and set aside. You’ll need about 2 cups cooked for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse chickpeas with water and pat dry with a couple of paper towels.

In a medium bowl, add sesame oil, ground ginger, garlic powder, and sea salt. Add chickpeas and stir to coat.

Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, stirring midway through, until brown and crispy. Let cool.

Add sesame oil to a large pan or wok over medium high heat. Add broccoli and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, snow peas and vegetable stock. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add greens and cook another 2 minutes or until greens are wilted. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To make the dressing, combine miso, lemon juice, fresh ginger, tamari, sea salt, rice vinegar, and agave syrup. Stir with a small whisk.

In a bowl, scoop into different sections: millet, quinoa or brown rice, broccoli/snow pea mixture, red cabbage, roasted chickpeas, and cashews.

Drizzle with sauce and serve.

 

June 5th, 2017

A breakfast classic gets a healthy twist by incorporating whole wheat flour and oatmeal. It’s a fun one to cook with the kids, so get the whole household involved and send in your family’s cooking videos or photos here. This recipe comes to us kid-approved from our friends at myrecipes.com.

Serves 16

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (about 2 1/3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place oats in a food processor and pulse 5 to 6 times until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups taking care to level with a knife. Add flours, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to oats and stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine buttermilk, oil, rind and eggs in small bowl and stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle batter with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Bake at 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

June 5th, 2017

This hearty mix of rice and lentils packs an additional protein punch from the addition of peanuts. Flavored with ginger, cilantro and lime, it also features a bounty of summer vegetables including yellow squash, red bell pepper and snap peas. This recipe comes to us from our friends at The Peanut Institute.

Serves 8

  • 3 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 8 oz. snap peas
  • 2 cups Beluga lentils, pre-cooked
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, pre-cooked
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 cup peanuts, plain, roasted
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime juice, to taste
  • Cilantro, as needed for garnish

Heat a sauté pan and add peanut oil.
Add garlic and pepper flakes, cook for 30 seconds.
Add bell pepper and squash, sauté for 3-4 minutes. Then add snap peas and cook for an additional minute.
Add lentils, rice, ginger, lime juice and salt, mix well.
Heat the grains for 1 minute then toss in the peanuts and green onions.
Serve warm, enjoy!

June 5th, 2017

Just around this time of year, many veggie-philes start to get antsy…they’re tired of winter’s squash and tubers, but the summer’s bountiful harvest remains just out of grasp. This recipe addresses the dilemma by pairing early harvest veggies with a light, lemony vinaigrette. This recipe comes to us from Anne Danahy, MS, RD, of  Craving Something Healthy.

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 large orange carrot
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 2 large purple carrots
  • 1 large leek
  • 3 cups arugula, lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice from one fresh lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra to toss with vegetables
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Simmer lentils in 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt if desired, for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Drain any remaining water and let lentils cool a bit.

Peel carrots and parsnip and cut into 1/2 inch wide coins. Toss with up to 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables in one layer on the baking sheet. Reserve any remaining oil in the bowl for the leeks. Roast vegetables for about 15-20 minutes or until tender, flipping them halfway through so they caramelize evenly.

Trim leak, cutting off bulb and dark green stems, and any tough outer layer of the light green stems. If desired, reserve bulb and dark stems for stock.

Slice light green part into thin round strips, and rinse well to remove any dirt or sand. Place leeks in the bowl and toss with the oil, salt and pepper that remains from the vegetables.

When the vegetables are tender, remove from the oven and toss with the lentils in a large mixing bowl.

Spread the leeks on the baking pan, and roast for 10-12 minutes until they caramelize and start to turn dark and crispy.

Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette: Mix lemon juice, honey and 2 tablespoons olive oil together. Remove thyme leaves from their stem and add to vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour dressing over vegetables and lentils, toss to combine.

Serve lentil-vegetables over a bed of arugula, and sprinkle with crisped leeks.