The Good Dirt

August 31st, 2015

This breakfast scramble brings together the holy trinity of French cooking as onions, carrots and celery are sautéed on the stove. Tofu is seasoned with turmeric, cumin, balsamic vinegar and tamari then scrambled with the sautéed veggies. This recipe comes to us from Anne of Fab Frugal Food.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 14 ounces firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon tamari
  • salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • ketchup*, for garnish


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onions in the olive oil for about 2 minutes, or until onions are beginning to soften.

Add the carrot and celery to the pan and sauté for 3 more minutes.

Mix in tofu, turmeric, cumin, vinegar and tamari. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 more minutes, or until tofu and veggies are well well-seasoned and veggies have softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with ketchup if desired.

August 31st, 2015

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.

August 31st, 2015

Lentils are blended with spinach, tossed with brown rice and seasoned with curry powder, lemon juice and turmeric. The Indian condiment raita creates a cool contrast to the lentil ball with a refreshing cucumber crunch. This recipe comes to us from Lisa of Barefoot in Her Kitchen.

Serves 8

For the lentil balls:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 1/2 cup raw spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups yellow lentils, soaked
  • 2 1/2 cups warm cooked quinoa*
  • or
  • 2 1/2 cups warm cooked brown rice
  • or
  • 2 1/2 cups mixed cooked quinoa* and brown rice, combined
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar**
  • salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste

For the raita:

  • 1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/4 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
  • salt, pepper and lemon to taste

*Quinoa is a heart-healthy grain as well as a complete protein. It can be found in the grain section of most grocery stores.


*** Agave nectar is similar in taste & texture to honey but has a lower impact on blood sugar when compared other sweeteners. Agave can be found in the health food or specialty food aisle of most grocery stores.

To make the lentil balls:

In a food processor combine garlic, onion, spinach and lentils. Pulse until finely chopped. Place spinach-lentil mixture in a bowl and mix with warm rice or quinoa.

Blend the olive oil, curry, turmeric, chili flakes and agave in a blender or food processor. Add to the lentil/rice/quinoa mixture and stir until mixture is moist. Season with salt, pepper and lemon to taste. Using a spoon, create small lentil balls about the size of golf balls.

Place a non-stick pan over medium heat add the lentil balls to the pan. You may have to use multiple pans or cook them in batches. Allow cook for 15 minutes on each side or until browned. The balls may start to resemble patties when you flip them in cooking.

To make the raita:

Add to the diced carrot and cucumber to the yogurt. Season with salt, pepper and lemon to taste. Stir until smooth and chill.

To complete the lentil balls with raita:

Serve 3-4 lentil balls with a dollops raita, to taste, on top. The lentil balls may be room temperature, but the raita must be chilled.

August 31st, 2015

Did you know that different colored bell peppers vary slightly in nutrient content? By using an assortment of colors, this recipe is sure to deliver a nutrient-rich dinner! Leftover stuffed peppers also make for a great lunch the next day. This recipe comes to us from Chelsey of C it Nutritionally.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 15 asparagus spears, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 4 bell peppers, assorted colors
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped and divided
  • Optional: parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F.

While the oven is preheating, saute garlic, onion, and leeks in olive oil over medium-high heat.

When onions become translucent, add the asparagus. Continue to saute until all veggies are softened, about 7 minutes.

Add pepper, salt and chili flakes. Turn off the heat.

In a medium-sized bowl, add quinoa and the veggie saute. Mix to combine, adding half of the parsley. Set aside.

To prepare the peppers, cut lengthwise and remove the stem, seeds, and ribs.

Stuff the quinoa and veggie mixture into the peppers so it domes above the rim of the pepper.

Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, if desired.

Bake for 30 minutes, then broil for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with leftover parsley, and serve immediately.

August 24th, 2015

Hummus gets a little heat when seasoned with chipotle chilies en adobo, paprika and cumin. The creamy consistency from the chipotle hummus as well as the avocado contrasts with the crunch of radishes, carrots and arugula to make an ideal wrap. This recipe comes to us from Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen.

Serves 6

For the chipotle hummus:

  • 3 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • paprika or chili powder, for garnish
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo*, minced
  • 2 tablespoon adobo liquids from the chipotle peppers can

To complete the chipotle harvest hummus wraps:

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup chipotle hummus
  • 6 medium tortillas
  • 2 cups radishes, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, and cut into 4-inch match sticks
  • 1/4 pound baby arugula

*chilies in adobo can be found in the Mexican section or canned food section of most grocery stores.

To make the chipotle hummus:

In a small food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, paprika and salt. Puree the mixture, adding the water as needed to thin it. Return the hummus to the mixing bowl when it reaches desired consistency.

Mix in the minced chipotle peppers and 1 tablespoon of chipotle liquid. Taste for seasoning and adjust to preference. Add the additional tablespoon of chipotle liquid if you like your hummus spicy.

Garnish the hummus with a couple dashes of paprika or chili powder.

To complete the chipotle harvest hummus wrap:

In a small mixing bowl, combine the avocado with 3/4 of the lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

On a work surface, spread a large spoonful of hummus over half of a tortilla. Spread a spoonful of the avocado mixture over the other half. Place a handful of carrot sticks in the center, top with a sprinkle of radish slices and 1/4 cup of arugula leaves.

Fold in the top and bottom sides of the tortilla. Fold in one of the sides length-wise and roll the tortilla, making sure the top and bottom stay tucked. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Serve the extra chipotle hummus on the side with baked pita chips or extra veggie sticks and enjoy.


August 24th, 2015

The sour tang of this refreshing salad will wake up your taste buds with the flavors of summer. Using goat’s milk yogurt lends a flavor similar to feta cheese, but go ahead and substitute plain regular yogurt if goat’s milk isn’t available. This recipe comes to us from Kait of Chickadee Says.

Serves 1-2

  • 4 cups cucumber, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced paper-thin
  • 1/4 cup dill, de-stemmed
  • 1/2 cup plain goat’s milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Pop in the refrigerator.

Using a very sharp knife or mandolin cut cucumbers, length-wise, and red onion into paper-thin slices.

Combine cucumber and onion in large bowl. Toss well.

One or two tablespoons at a time add chilled dressing to the veggies. Add dressing and toss until you like the consistency of the salad.

Serve chilled and enjoy!

August 24th, 2015

Fresh apples come together with blueberries in this spectacular summer breakfast. Maple syrup plays well off the fruit and sweetens the hearty oats. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 2

  • 1 large apple, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • or
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoons white chia seeds*
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries plus a few more as garnish
  • maple syrup, to serve

*Optional. Found at health stores or the health section of most grocery stores.

Place 3/4 of the apple pulp into a small pot over medium heat. Add the oats, milk, water, chia seeds, if using, and salt to the pot.

Let the oats come to a simmer and allow to gently bubble for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the blueberries and stir to combine.

Transfer the cooked oats to 2 bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup and garnish with a few more blueberries and enjoy!

August 24th, 2015

Tangy scallions and tart lemon juice bring depth to the flavor of these savory veggie appetizers. These zucchini scallion cakes are ideal hors d’oeuvres, because you can make them a day in advance; just reheat in your oven 10 minutes before serving. This recipe comes to us from Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe.

Serves 6

  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the grated zucchini, scallions, flour, sugar and salt together in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add the egg, lemon juice and zest and stir to combine.

Prepare a plate with a layer of paper towels. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop tablespoons of zucchini scallion batter out into the oil, taking care to ensure space between the mounds of batter. You may have to fry the cakes in batches. Cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until the cakes have browned on both sides and are semi-firm. Transfer to the paper towel lined plate and repeat until you are out of batter.

August 17th, 2015

Eggplant gives this hummus dip a luxurious texture, while paprika and curry powder spice up the mix. Serve this dip with baked pita chips. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 6


  • 1 (12 ounce) eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned & drained
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • baked pita chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, and then into half round slices. Toss the eggplant half rounds with the peanut oil in a medium bowl. Season with the curry powder and paprika and spread out in one layer on a roasting tray.

Transfer the tray to the oven and roast, tossing occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Combine the roasted eggplant, chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until smooth, adding a little more peanut oil if you prefer a smoother consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy with pita chips.

August 17th, 2015

Eggplant is roasted then tossed with sautéed onions, bell peppers and pinenuts in this savory pudding. Matzo meal creates a hearty texture to this kugel, finished with a sprinkle of paprika. This recipe comes to us from our friends at Cooking Light Magazine.

Serves 8

  • a little nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 2 pound eggplant
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a large baking dish with a light layer of nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of foil.

Pierce the eggplant several times with a fork and place on the baking sheet. Put in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. Set aside to cool. When eggplant cools, chop coarsely and set aside in a large bowl.

Place the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and nuts to the pan. Cook for about 6 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl with the eggplant.

Season the eggplant onion mixture with salt and black pepper. Add the eggs and stir well to combine, taking care to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed. Add the matzo meal and toss gently to combine.

Spoon the eggplant onion mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the paprika on top and put in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and golden brown. Cut into 8 servings and enjoy!

August 17th, 2015

Looking for a new way to try eggplant this summer? Take your pick from this terrific trio of recipes from Executive Chef Jason Weiner who features prix fixe Meatless Monday menus each week at his terrific trio of restaurants: Almond NYC, Almond Bridgehampton and Almond Tribeca!

Each recipe yields 6 servings.

Eggplant Fritters with Goat Cheese


  • 1 Large Italian Eggplant (peeled and small dice)
  • ½ medium yellow onion (small dice)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped flat parsley
  • 2 Tbs + 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1 qt. canola oil for frying
  • ¼ cup soft goat cheese



In a heavy bottomed sauté pan, sauté the eggplant, onions, garlic in the olive oil until the vegetables take on a golden color.

Allow to cool and fold in the parsley, cheese, 2 tbs of Panko, salt and pepper

Prepare the flour, eggs and remaining Panko in three separate bowls.

Form the eggplant mix into patties and bread them by tossing them first in the flour, then eggs, and finally the bread crumbs.

In a deep heavy bottomed sauce pot,  bring your frying oil to about 325 degrees.

Fry the fritters in batches until they are golden brown and blot them on paper towels.

Anoint with a dollop or schmear of goat cheese and serve piping hot.



  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pound eggplant (unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 medium red onion (cubed)
  • 2 ribs celery (large dice)
  • 4 large garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 14½ ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings in juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil



Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion, celery and garlic cloves. sauté until eggplant is soft and brown, about 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes with juice, then red wine vinegar, sugar and drained capers.

Cover and simmer until eggplant and onion are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in fresh basil.

Transfer caponata to serving bowl. Serve  at room temperature on grilled bread. (Caponata can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Baba Ghanoush


  • 1 
large eggplant
  • ¼ 
cup mayonnaise, plus more as needed
  • 3 
garlic cloves (minced)
  • ¼  cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1 
pinch ground cumin
salt, to taste
  • 1 
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.

Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.

Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the smoked paprika. Serve at room temperature on a warm crouton or cracker.

August 17th, 2015

Dinosaur kale, also known as Tuscan or Lacinato kale, has bumpy green leaves that somewhat resemble dinosaur skin. Paired here with thick slices of crispy eggplant, this salad is hearty enough to satisfy any monstrous appetite! This recipe comes to us from Maria of Bean a Foodie.

Serves 2.

  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, washed, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese shavings
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 medium to large eggplant, sliced in to 1/2″ rounds
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup za’tar spice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg, scrambled with 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp – 1/4 cup Lemon Vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Set out 3 separate flat bottom bowls or baking dishes. Add the flour to one dish. Add eggs and water to another dish, scramble to combine. In the third dish add in both bread crumbs, za’tar spice and ground pepper.

Prepare a large sheet pan or baking pan with parchment, cooking spray or a silpat. Working in small batches first coat eggplant rounds in the flour. Then move to egg and thoroughly coat. Finally transfer eggplant into the breadcrumb mixture. Press down lightly to ensure a thick coating of breadcrumbs.

Place on sheet pan . Lightly spray the tops of the eggplant with non stick cooking spray.
Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes. As many oven temperatures differ, monitor eggplant to make sure it does not burn. The eggplant rounds should turn golden brown and the breadcrumbs toasted and crunchy when finished.

While the eggplant bakes, toss the chopped kale with the lemon vinaigrette – add more or less dressing based on your taste. Plate salad and sprinkle on the pine nuts and parmesan shavings.

When the eggplant is finished baking, top each salad with 2-3 crispy rounds. Enjoy!

August 10th, 2015

Mushrooms and garlic are seasoned slightly spicy and then tossed with sun dried tomatoes, spinach and pasta. This simple supper is terrific served with a mixed green salad and crusty bread. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of Veggie.Num.Num.

Serves 4

  • 8 oz fettuccine, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper, diced
  • or
  • 1 teaspoon diced bottled red chili
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6 large flat mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup low fat evaporated milk
  • or
  • 1 cup low fat non-dairy powdered milk
  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • cup parmesan cheese or nondairy parmesan, freshly grated
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, diced

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chili and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until soft and browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss well.

Reduce heat to low and add the evaporated milk. Slowly stir for about 5 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by three quarters.

Add the cooked fettuccine, spinach, parmesan, parsley and semi-dried tomatoes to the pan. Toss for 2-3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and fettuccine is well incorporated.

Served topped with a little extra parsley and fresh cracked pepper.

August 10th, 2015

Roasted peanuts are ground with sesame seeds then tossed with roasted garlic and seasoned with red pepper flakes. Shredded coconut balances this spicy nut condiment with a touch of sweetness. Try it on sandwiches, in pasta dishes or atop our Curried Butternut Squash Soup. This recipe comes to us from Karen of Sprouts in the Hood.

Serves 16

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, for roasting the garlic
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, shelled
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With the garlic skin still in place, cut the pointed end off the garlic bulb, exposing the garlic cloves. Drizzle with the olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until the garlic has browned and become soft. Set aside to 8 cloves to cool and save the rest to spread on bread.

While the garlic is roasting, place the peanuts in a flat layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the peanuts turn golden and become fragrant. Set aside to cool.

While the peanuts and garlic are roasting, spread the coconut out on another baking sheet and place in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and a little crispy.

When the peanuts have cooled, grind the peanuts together with the sesame seeds in a coffee grinder.

Toss the ground peanut sesame seed mixture in a medium sized bowl. Add the 8 cloves roasted garlic and toasted coconut. Stir to combine. Season with the red pepper flakes and salt and enjoy.

August 10th, 2015

Fresh peaches, blueberries, bananas and apples are seasoned with lemon juice and the Indian spice mix chaat masala. The spicy sour fruit is topped with refreshing, but sweet honey yogurt and finished with cilantro. This recipe comes to us from Mehak of Measured in Pinches.

Serves 2

  • 1 cup fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 apples, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chaat masala, or to taste*
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey

*Chaat masala is a hot-sour spice mix found in Indian stores or the Indian section of some grocery stores. If time allows, we suggest making your own.

Place the chopped peaches, blueberries, banana slices and apple chunks into a large bowl. Squeeze a few squirts of lemon over the fruit and season with the chaat masala. Toss well to ensure the seasonings are evenly distributed over the fruit.

Place the yogurt and honey together in a large bowl. Stir until well combined.

Divide the spiced peach blueberry mixture into two bowls or glasses. Top with a dollop or two of honey yogurt. Garnish with a few cilantro leaves and enjoy!