The Good Dirt

June 29th, 2015

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 29th, 2015

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 29th, 2015

Bell pepper serves as a beautiful edible egg ring in this flower shaped beauty of a breakfast. This easily breakfast is easily adaptable no matter how you like your eggs, and is delicious served alongside whole wheat toast with your favorite berry jam. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Apron Strings.

Serves 3

  • 1 bell pepper, cored
  • a little cooking oil or nonstick spray, for preparing the pan
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the bell pepper from top to bottom in slices that resemble rings.

Prepare a skillet with a light layer of oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place 6 of the bell pepper rings on the skillet over medium heat. Crack an egg in each ring and allow it to spread out to fill the bell pepper ring. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, to taste.

If you like your eggs soft, cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to preference.

If you like your eggs hard, break up the yolk with the skillet for even cooking. Cook 6-9 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to preference.

Serve 2 bell pepper egg rings per person and enjoy!

June 29th, 2015

Let’s face it, half the appeal of buffalo wings is the spicy, vinegary, garlicky sauce. So why not give veggies the same treatment? Here, cauliflower florets are doused in hot sauce and breaded with Panko bread crumbs, which stay crispy and help to deliver the same crunch you’d expect from a chicken wing. This recipe comes to us from The Saucy Southerner.

Serves 6

  • 1 small head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets (about 5 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Panko crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, add the melted butter, hot sauce, white vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Stir to combine.

Place the Panko crumbs in a small, shallow bowl.

Make an assembly line with the cauliflower florets, the sauce and the Panko crumbs.

Use one hand to dip the florets into the sauce then drop it into the crumbs.

Using the other hand, coat the floret well with the crumbs and place it on the baking sheet.

Once all of the florets are coated, use a very light spray of cooking oil to coat the tops. This will help hold the crumbs in place, as well as aid in their browning.

Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven.

If you have any remaining sauce, that can be lightly brushed onto the tops of the florets.

Serve hot with Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing, carrot and celery sticks.

June 22nd, 2015

This dish features quinoa seasoned with lemon juice, mint and parsley, served in a steamed artichoke. You’ll have extra quinoa after you’ve stuffed all the artichokes so stretch your leftovers to make a chimichurri salad featuring this heart healthy grain. This recipe comes to us from Erin of Living and Loving in LA.

Serves 4

  • 4 artichokes, cleaned, stems and tough pointy leaf tops trimmed off
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice from 3 lemons
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon low sodium seasoned salt*
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • extra mint leaves, for garnish

*low sodium seasoned salt is sold in the spice section of most grocery stores, but if time allows we suggest making your own low sodium seasoned salt.

To cook the artichokes:

Place the trimmed artichokes stem down in a large in a large heavy-bottomed pot on the stove. Fill pot half-way with water. Add the 2 cloves of garlic and the juice from one of the lemons. Turn heat up to high and cover, bring water to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for 40 minutes-1 hour, or until leaves pull out easily from the artichoke. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.

To cook the quinoa:

Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

To make the chimichurri sauce:

Place parsley, mint, vinegar, olive oil, salt, black pepper, seasoned salt and red pepper flakes and the juice of the remaining 2 lemons in a blender or food processor. Liquefy.

To complete the chimichurri quinoa stuffed artichokes:

Season the diced tomato with salt and pepper to taste. Place the quinoa in a large bowl and combine with the diced tomatoes and chimichurri sauce from the blender.

Using tongs or your fingers, remove the center leaves from the artichokes. Scrape out the fuzzy “choke’ with a spoon. Be careful to avoid scraping out the artichoke heart when you remove the choke.

Stuff each artichoke with chimichurri seasoned quinoa until full. Garnish with any extra mint leaves and enjoy!

June 22nd, 2015

A fresh piece of fruit can make for the most simple, satisfying dessert, but fruit is sometimes overlooked in winter. This recipe is a great way to take advantage of fruit year round. Simmering pears in vanilla honey syrup will warm your kitchen and delight your taste buds. This recipe comes to us from Laura Sampson of Hey, What’s for Dinner Mom?

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 ripe D’Anjou pears

Equipment note: A 9 inch x 4 inch deep saucepan is recommended to poach small D’Anjou pears. If you’re using larger pears, make sure the saucepan is wide enough to fit all four pears and deep enough to cover the pears in 4 cups water.

Bring 4 cups of water and the honey to a boil in a small, deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to medium-low.

Split the vanilla bean down the center lengthwise using a paring knife or spoon. Scrape the out the vanilla bean seeds and stir into the honey water mixture along with the scraped pod.

Add the pears to the pot. Simmer the pears for about 10 minutes, or until they become soft, but not mushy. Transfer the pears to 4 bowls.

Increase heat to medium high and cook the syrup for 10-15 minutes, or until the syrup has reduced and thickened. Pour the syrup over each pear.

June 22nd, 2015

Forbidden Rice, an ancient grain that was once exclusively eaten by Chinese Emperors, has long been praised for its health and longevity benefits. This week’s Meatless Monday recipe features this nutty-flavored rice that is also packed with antioxidants known as anthocyanins. This recipe comes to us from Eve of The Garden of Eating.

Serves 4

For the salad:

  • 1 lb beets
  • ⅔ cup uncooked black rice
  • 1 ⅓ cup water
  • ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and dried, ribs removed, chopped or shredded

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Several grinds of black pepper and more to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse the beets (no need to peel them) and position them on a sheet or two of tinfoil (you want a tight package so they end up kind of steaming in there), drizzle with olive oil and wrap them up well. Roast them for at least an hour and 15 minutes – depending on how large they are, it may take closer to two hours for them to cook all the way through – you can test by removing them and poking with a fork – they’re done when the fork sinks easily all the way into the middle of the largest beet. Remove and let cool until you can handle them without burning yourself. Remove the skins – they should slip off with ease and cut off the top and tail. Cut them into bite-sized chunks and set aside.

Add the rice and water to a medium-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 or so minutes. Fluff the rice.

While the rice is cooking, make the dressing, mixing all the ingredients together well with a fork or a whisk. If you have a jar with a tight-fitting lid, you can also just cover it and shake well.

Place the chopped kale, diced beets and rice in a pretty bowl that’s large enough to mix them all together in comfortably, drizzle the dressing over all and stir well to coat everything. Cover and put in the fridge to “stew” for a while – at least an hour and more is better.

Toast the pecans for a few minutes until they’re nicely browned and crunchy. I toast mine on a sheet of recycled tinfoil in the toaster oven at 300 for about 5-6 minutes, shaking once to toast them evenly.

When you’re ready to serve, top the salad with the pecans and toss well.

 

June 22nd, 2015

Pancakes are stacked with banana and brown sugar in between. Orange slices, blueberries, dollops of yogurt and fresh mint leaves top these fruit flapjacks. This recipe comes to us from Tracy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 6

For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour*
  • ½ cup wholemeal or stone ground plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ½ cups nonfat milk
  • 3 ounces butter, melted and cooled
  • or
  • 3 ounces non-dairy butter substitute, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • a little extra butter or non-stick cooking spray, for the skillet

To complete the Orange Blueberry Banana Pancakes:

  • 16 ounces Greek yogurt
  • a little lemon juice, for preparing the bananas
  • 3 bananas, sliced diagonally
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar**
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 basket blueberries
  • maple syrup**, for drizzling
  • 12 fresh mint leaves, for garnish

*Self-rising flour can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores, but it’s quick and easy to make your own from all-purpose flour.

**optional

To make the pancakes:

In a large bowl sift the self-rising flour together with the stone ground flour. Add the sugar and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center and add the milk, melted butter and whisked egg. Mix until all ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth.

Prepare a skillet very lightly with a little extra butter or cooking spray and put over medium heat.

When skillet is heated, add 2 tablespoons of batter to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbled begin to appear. Carefully flip pancakes over with spatula and cook for another minute. Transfer finished pancake to a warmed plate and cover with a towel.

Repeat process until you’re out of batter. Makes 10-12 pancakes.

To complete the Orange Blueberry Banana Pancakes:

Spread each pancake with a little Greek yogurt. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the sliced bananas.

Stack the pancakes in 2’s with banana slices and brown sugar in between the pancakes in each stack.

Top each stack with 2 slices of orange and a good dollop of Greek yogurt. Drizzle with maple syrup if using and finish with blueberries and fresh mint leaves.

June 15th, 2015

Makes 8 servings

Here’s a great recipe we discovered on allrecipes.com. Just toss together black-eyed peas and assorted colorful vegetables, sprinkle with a balsamic vinaigrette, and let flavors develop overnight. Easy to make and always a real hit.

  • 2 15.5-ounce cans black-eyed peas
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, toss together black-eyed peas, tomato, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, celery, and parsley. In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables and toss. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours (or overnight).

June 15th, 2015

Strawberries bring summertime’s sweetness to balance refreshing grape tomatoes, carrots and yellow bell peppers. Balsamic vinegar is tempered with maple syrup and lemon juice to create vinaigrette which tastes complex, but is simple to prepare. This recipe comes to us from Christy, The Blissful Chef.

Serves 5

For the balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons maple syrup
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    1 clove garlic*, diced

To complete the strawberry tomato salad:

  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn or cut chiffonade
    2 avocados, chopped bite size
    1 medium carrot, julienned
    10 grape tomatoes, quartered
    6 strawberries, ends cut off and sliced
    1 cup yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
    salt and pepper, to taste

*optional

 

To make the balsamic vinaigrette:

 

In a medium bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, pepper and garlic if using. Whisk together until full blended.

To complete the strawberry tomato salad:

In a large bowl combine the lettuce, avocados, carrot, tomatoes, strawberries and yellow bell pepper. Toss salad together, dress with the balsamic vinaigrette and toss again until the salad is fully coated. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Enjoy!

June 15th, 2015

Add a sweet twist to your veggie burger by topping it with grilled fruit! Teriyaki sauce and jerk seasoning add an additional flavor dimension to this summer dish, which comes together even faster than a traditional burger. This recipe comes to us from our friends at Beyond Meat.

Serves 1

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
  • 1 veggie burger patty
  • 1 pineapple round
  • 1 seedless watermelon round
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Sesame seed bun

For the avocado spread, mash the flesh of one avocado with lemon juice and salt.

Cook the veggie burger patty according to package instructions; cut the pineapple and watermelon to the size of your patty.

Season the pineapple with the Jerk seasoning and grill the watermelon on preheated grill until marks are etched onto the watermelon.

Build your burger, bottom bun, avocado, burger patty, teriyaki sauce, pineapple, watermelon, top bun.

*Note: Nutrition information listed has been calculated using the Beast Burger from Beyond Meat. Using another brand of veggie burger will change the nutrition profile of final dish.

June 15th, 2015

Greek yogurt is strained to ensure the creamiest consistency then baked solid. Pistachios and apricots are sautèed sweet in honey and drizzled over this luxurious yogurt breakfast. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 6

  • 2 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups of sweetened condensed nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup of dried apricots, diced
  • 1/4 cup of pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly diced
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the Greek yogurt in a sieve and let sit, covered, over a bowl for at least an hour in the refrigerator. Discard the excess liquid that drips into the bowl.

In a separate large bowl combine the thickened yogurt and the condensed milk. Stir until smooth.

Pour yogurt milk mixture into a medium sized baking dish or individual ramekins. Bake in for 20-30 minutes, or until the yogurt is set. Baking time will depend on the size of the dish used.

While the yogurt is baking, combine the honey and a teaspoon or two of water over low heat. Once the honey has melted add the apricots and pistachios.

Cook honey apricot mixture over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the apricots begin to turn golden and become fragrant.

Drizzle the honeyed pistachios and apricots over the baked yogurt. Enjoy warm or chilled in the fridge.

June 8th, 2015

This quick meal is a great way to transform a bounty of zucchini into a delicious dinner. For a twist try tossing in whatever other seasonal vegetables you may have on hand, such as mushrooms or onions. This recipe comes to us from Mummy’s Fast and Easy.

Serves 4

  • 3 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 7 oz. feta cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt

 

Preheat the oven to 390°F.
Sweat the garlic, zucchinis and celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add the peas and parsley and season with salt. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Grease a baking tray and transfer the zucchini mixture in. Mix in the feta cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Remove and add the yogurt and eggs mixed in advance.
Bake for another 10 minutes or until ready.

June 8th, 2015

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 of the blog Fuel Your Future with Tina 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 8th, 2015

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.