The Good Dirt

October 20th, 2014

Bursting with the autumnal flavors of cauliflower, sweet potato and curry, this recipe is the perfect thing to cook up for you next cozy Monday night in. This recipe was created by our friend Ellie Krieger for her book Comfort Food Fix. It appears in Food Day‘s free Eat Real Recipe Booklet.

Serves 6

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1 1/2-inch length fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, broken into 1½-inch-wide florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, for serving, optional

Place the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and cayenne pepper in a food processor and
process to combine. Add the oil and process until a smooth puree is formed. Transfer the
curry puree to a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to darken,
about 5 minutes more.

Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and
bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower, sweet
potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and return to a boil. Reduce
the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25
minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick. Stir in the lime zest and juice, chickpeas, and spinach
and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with up to ¾ teaspoon salt.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

October 20th, 2014

Rice is cooked bright orange in carrot juice and shaped with your hands to form mini pumpkin lookalikes. In this creative snack, kalamata olives are cut into triangles for the eyes and mouths, while green bell pepper pieces are used as stems. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Apron Strings.

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups medium or short grain rice
  • 2 cups carrot juice*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 kalamata olives
  • 1/4 green bell pepper

*Although carrot juice can be found premade in stores, if time and equipment allows, we suggest making your own.

Place the rice, carrot juice, water and salt in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed. Let the rice cool to room temperature.

Lightly sprinkle your hands with water to prevent the rice from sticking. Roll the orange rice into golf ball sized spheres with your hands.

Cut the kalamata olives into small triangles and curved lines and the bell pepper into small rectangles. Place eyes and mouths on the rice jack o’lanterns using the olive pieces. Place a stem atop each rice jack o’lantern using the bell pepper and enjoy!

October 20th, 2014

Oats, sunflower seeds, coconut and almonds are toasted, sweetened with honey and raisins and then baked until crisp. Cut the granola into pieces and eat it on the go as you start your day. This recipe comes to us from Lindsay of Running with Tongs.

Serves 8

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup blueberry flax seed meal*
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut, shredded
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup
  • or
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine alternative
  • or
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 cups raisins

*blueberry flavored flax seed meal can be found in health food stores or in the health food section of some grocery stores. Plain flax seed meal can be substituted.

**brown rice syrup is a natural sweetener made from malted brown rice. It can be found in health food stores. Honey can be substituted.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, flax meal, coconut, almond pieces and pumpkin seeds onto a baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the brown rice syrup or honey, brown sugar, margarine, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Grease another baking sheet.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees.

As soon as the oats are out of the oven, combine the oat mixture, the syrup mixture and the raisins in a large bowl. Stir to combine and pour the mixture onto the greased baking sheet, making sure that the mixture is evenly distributed as you spread it out.

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until granola is toasted and fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow granola cool completely.

Break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

October 20th, 2014

This wrap’s filling – a surprising combination of almonds and walnuts seasoned with savory cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and coriander – literally explodes with flavor. Creamy avocados and sweet, crunchy carrot sticks add a delicious contrast. This recipe comes to us from Christy Morgan, who writes the blog The Blissful Chef.

Serves 4

For the almond walnut filling:

  • 1 cup shelled, raw almonds
  • 1 cup shelled, raw walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari soy sauce

To complete the Walnut Almond Lettuce Wraps:

  • 4 large Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

To make the almond walnut filling:

Soak the almonds and walnuts in a small bowl with enough water to cover for 2 hours.

Drain the nuts and transfer to a food processor. Pulse the nuts for about 20-30 seconds, or until they are chopped, but not yet a paste.

Season the chopped nuts with chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, cinnamon, balsamic vinegar and tamari. Stir to coat well.

To complete the Almond Walnut Lettuce Wraps:

Scoop about 1/2 cup of the almond walnut mixture into each lettuce leaf. Top each with a few carrot sticks and slices of tomato and avocado.

October 13th, 2014

Brussels sprouts are browned and dressed in Meyer lemon juice. This tart coating is balanced by sweet medjool dates and herbal fresh dill in this diversely seasoned side. This recipe comes to us from Nimisha of Club Dine In!

Serves 8

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice*
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds**
  • 5 medjool dates, quartered
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, fine chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

*Meyer lemons are sweeter than standard lemons and found in the citrus section of many markets and grocery stores. Standard lemon juice can be substituted if Meyer lemons are not available.


**Fiber filled flaxseeds can be found in health food stores or the health food or grain section of many grocery stores.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are beginning to become tender. Drain the Brussels sprouts in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Cut the boiled Brussels sprouts in half and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the heat.

Pour the lemon juice over the Brussels sprouts and stir well. Toss in the chopped pecans, flaxseeds, dill and dates. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

October 13th, 2014

Full with fall flavors of butternut squash and sage, this orecchiette pasta dish will provide a comforting, nutritious dinner for the whole family. This recipe comes to us from Gina Matsoukas on behalf of Pasta Fits.

Serves 4 – 6


  • 1pound whole wheat orecchiette pasta
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pound baby bellas/crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (or any kind of milk)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Place the butternut squash in a large stock pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Boil the squash for about 10 minutes until fork tender.

While squash is boiling, melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, cook for about 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and sage.

Let cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms have given off all their water and start to caramelize. Once that happens, turn the heat off and set aside.

Transfer the squash to a food processor, leaving the water in the pot.

Bring the water back up to a boil and add the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions (about 10 minutes for al dente orecchiette).

While the pasta cooks, add the nutmeg, vegetable broth, heavy cream and salt & pepper to the food processor and process until smooth and sauce-like. Depending on the size of your squash, you might need a little more or less liquid. Just eye ball it until you get a sauce-like consistency.

Drain the pasta once cooked, return the pasta to the pot add the butternut squash sauce and toss to combine.

Once all the pasta is coated in the sauce, fold in the mushroom mixture.

Serve immediately and garnish with fresh Parmesan.

October 13th, 2014

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.

Serves 10

  • 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 13th, 2014

Sweet pumpkin puree is seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla and paired with bright persimmons in these breakfast breads with a delectable texture. Pecans top these Autumnal treats for a crunchy finish. This recipe comes to us from Kristi of Veggie Converter.

Serves 12

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 small persimmons, diced
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree*
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pecans, crushed

*please note that canned pumpkin is not the same as canned pumpkin pie filling, which should not be substituted. To make your own pumpkin puree, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and roast, cut side down, in a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until pumpkin flesh is soft when poked as a fork. For the smoothest consistency, puree the roasted pumpkin pulp in a food processor or blender.


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cups.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together into a large mixing bowl.

Whisk the yogurt, sugar, persimmon, pumpkin puree, canola oil and vanilla together in a separate small bowl.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Pour equal portions into the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the crushed pecans on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy!

October 6th, 2014

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.

October 6th, 2014

Shakshouka typically features eggs baked in a seasoned tomato sauce, but why not amp up the veg factor with rainbow chard? This recipe comes to us from Phoebe Lapine of the blog Feed Me Phoebe and appears in The Home Cook Breakfast Book, a collaboration between Meatless Monday and Earthbound Farm.

Serves 4

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large bunch chard, thinly sliced into ribbons (about 4 loosely packed cups) or 9 oz. frozen chard*
  • Sea salt
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon harissa**
  • One (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • *if using frozen chard, defrost and squeeze dry before using and omit sautéing step
  • **optional

In a large oven-proof (preferably cast iron) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the chard over high heat until wilted and the stems have begun to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chard to a bowl, along with any juices.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Saute the onion and peppers over medium-high heat until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and harissa, if using. Cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cook until the tomatoes have begun releasing their liquid, 5 minutes. Using a fork or masher, crush the tomatoes to break up the larger chunks and create a saucy consistency. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have lost their acidity, about 20 – 30 minutes.

Stir in the chard and simmer 5 minutes more. Create 4 large wells in the sauce. One at a time, crack the eggs into the wells. Simmer until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and serve straight from the skillet.

October 6th, 2014

Forget greasy ham, egg and cheese sandwiches. This recipe swaps in healthy additions like a whole grain baguette, tofu and a hefty dose of tomatoes and greens. This recipe comes to us from Sharon Palmer of and appears in The Home Cook Breakfast Book, a collaboration between Meatless Monday and Earthbound Farm.

Serves 4

  • 1 (15 oz.) package extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (may decrease or increase according to spice preference)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 slices of tomato
  • 1/2 cup green and red baby lettuce leaves
  • 4 1-ounce slices whole grain baguette

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Drain tofu and slice in half lengthwise, and in half crosswise, to create 4 rectangular pieces. Place in a small baking dish.

Mix together soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sriracha sauce, and sesame seeds. Drizzle over tofu.

Place tofu on top rack of oven and cook for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

While tofu is baking, place baguette slices on a small baking sheet and place in oven to toast for about 5 minutes, until browned and crisp.

To arrange sandwiches, place one toast on a serving dish, layer with one-fourth of the lettuce leaves, 1 slice of baked tofu, and top with 1 slice tomato. Repeat to make 4 open face sandwiches.


Serve immediately.

October 6th, 2014

This refreshing orange smoothie is a full meal, packing fiber and protein alongside naturally occurring sugar from vegetables and fruit. This recipe comes to us from Myra Mingo of The Happy Health Freak and appears in The Home Cook Breakfast Book, a collaboration between Meatless Monday and Earthbound Farm.

Serves 1

  • 1 medium orange (or 2 mandarins)
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1 small carrot, peeled
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Few ice cubes (use more if you’re not using frozen fruit)

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth.

September 29th, 2014

This is the perfect note to end late season barbeque on. Figs are grilled soft and topped with savory thyme leaves and sweet honey in this simple dessert which shows off the fruit of fall. This recipe comes to us from Jen of Domestic Divas.

Serves 2

  • 2 cups figs, stems removed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the grill to medium-low heat.

When the grill is heated, place the figs on a grill pan in 1 single layer. Grill for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly soft. Flip and grill another 1-2 minutes more on the other side.

Transfer the grilled figs to a serving platter. Carefully place a few leaves thyme on each fig, drizzle with honey and enjoy!

September 29th, 2014

Pumpkin is seasoned with fresh ginger, jalepeno, mustard powder, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon then cooked in coconut milk in this delightfully spiced dish. This Indian lentil classic is delicious served atop brown rice, with dollops of Greek yogurt for a cool contrast. This recipe comes to us from Emily of Well Fed, Flat Broke.

Serves 6

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • cilantro, chopped for garnish

Place the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and peppers and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Season with the cumin, chili powder, mustard powder, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon.

Add the cubed pumpkin and lentils to the pot, stirring to coat all the ingredients evenly in the spices. Pour in the coconut water and 3-4 cups water, or enough water to just cover the pumpkin and lentils.

Add the salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium-low, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils have swelled and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

Uncover and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Divide into 6 portions, sprinkle each with chopped cilantro and enjoy!

September 29th, 2014

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!