The Good Dirt

April 20th, 2015

A Middle Eastern dip with an Asian flair that’s perfect to bring to potlucks. The hot chili oil adds a subtle spice and lemon juice brings a citrus tang to this zesty hummus.

This recipe comes to us from Lindsay of Cook. Vegan. Lover.

Serves 8

  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
  • 1 tablespoon sesame chili oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place chickpeas, sesame chili oil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and tahini together and blend until smooth.

Add 1/4-1/3 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid until the hummus has reached its desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with cut up veggies or pita bread.

April 20th, 2015

The dough of these breakfast pastries is made from ground pecans, almonds and oats then seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla. These healthy scones are naturally sweetened with maple syrup to give your morning a hearty hello which welcomes autumn. This recipe comes to us from Christy, The Blissful Chef.

Serves 8

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups barley flour*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • or
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, for glazing the scones
  • apricot or blueberry jam, for garnish**

*found in the flour, baking or health food sections of most grocery stores. Substitute wheat flour if barley flour is unavailable.

 

**optional.

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle a little flour on the parchment paper.

Place the pecans, almonds and rolled oats in a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes a fine meal and no chunks of nut or oat remain. Place the oat nut meal in a large mixing bowl.

Add the barley flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixing bowl. Stir until combined.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the applesauce, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Carefully fold in the nuts.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix together with a spatula and fork or with your hands until the batter forms a firm dough ball.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the dough into an 8-inch circle, then cut it into 8 pieces with a sharp knife. You do not need to separate the wedges.

With a pastry brush, glaze the tops of the unbaked scones with the additional maple syrup.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until scones are cooked through. Cool slightly, then transfer to a cooling rack. Spread with fruit jam, if using, and enjoy.

April 20th, 2015

Yams are cooked until tender and mixed with chickpeas and crunchy pumpkin seeds for a veggie patty which highlights the sweetly spiced flavors of autumn. If served without a bun, this burger is ideal for those who suffer from common food allergies; this recipe contains no soy, no wheat and no animal products. This recipe comes to us from Jen Brody of Domestic Divas.

Serves 8

  • 1 yam
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, tightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce*
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a little flour, for dusting the burger patties

*Optional

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees.

Poke several holes in the yam using a fork. Place the yam in a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Flip the yam and microwave 5 minutes more, or until tender. Slip off the yam’s skin.

Place 1 of the tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Add the carrot and bell pepper to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes more, or until the veggies are just tender.

Transfer the sautéed veggies to a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the spinach and pulse a few more times until combined. Transfer the veggies to a large mixing bowl.

Add the chickpeas and tahini to the food processor and pulse until broken down and combined. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the veggies.

Add the cooked quinoa, yam, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to the mixing bowl. Season the veggie quinoa mixture with the lemon juice, cumin and hot sauce, if using. Stir until well combined, taking care to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Shape the veggie quinoa mixture into 8 patties using your hands. Dust each patty with flour.

Heat the remaining tablespoon grapeseed oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burger patties and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until browned on both sides. Transfer the patties to a baking sheet and bake about 10-12 minutes more, or until cooked through. Enjoy!

April 20th, 2015

This recipe is a quick version of the Chinese takeout favorite. Pack in the veggies with cabbage, mushrooms, carrot, celery and snow peas or use whatever seasonal produce you have on hand. This recipe comes to us from Karen of The Tasty Bite.

Serves 4

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce, or more, to taste
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. Sriracha or chili-garlic sauce (optional)

For the lo mein:

  • 8 oz egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and ginger. Set aside.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook egg noodles according to package instructions. Drain, toss with a bit of oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in mushrooms, carrot, celery, cabbage, and snow peas. Cook, tossing frequently, until the vegetable are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the cooked egg noodles and sauce to the skillet, then toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

April 13th, 2015

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

Serves 6; makes 12 rolls

For the Peanut Sauce:

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

For the Tofu:

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

For the Spring Rolls:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 13th, 2015

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

Serves 4

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

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

**optional

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

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

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

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

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if using and enjoy!

April 13th, 2015

Try this unique spin on chili, which features black eyed peas instead of the traditional red beans. Corn and brown rice round out the dish, which is seasoned with a garlicky kick rather than the typical chili powder. This recipe comes to us from Marla of Organic Life on a Budget.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups tomato sauce (try making your own)
  • 1/2 lb dried black eyed peas, cooked
  • 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
  • 4-6 oz. frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (try making your own)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder

In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and tomato sauce, allow to cook a few minutes until the sauce darkens in color.

Add cooked beans, rice and corn, then seasonings to taste, allow to cook about 1 minute.

Add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then simmer until rice cooks. *Depending on the type of rice, cooking time may vary, with brown rice it could about 1 hour.

During cook time, you may add water if the broth cooks down too much.

April 13th, 2015

Delicately seasoned with basil and lemon rind, this frittata spotlights the contrasting flavors asparagus, green onions and grape tomatoes. Wild rice brings an earthy nuttiness and makes the dish a light meal in itself. This recipe comes to us from our friends at myrecipes.com.

Serves 4

  • cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat broiler. Prepare a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.

In a medium sized bowl, combine water, salt, pepper, eggs and egg whites. Whisk until ingredients are mixed and set aside.

Heat the prepared skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the asparagus and garlic for 2 minutes, or until the garlic begins to become fragrant. Add the green onions and sauté for 1 minute, or until the asparagus begins to soften, but is still crisp.

Add the grape tomatoes, cooked rice, sliced basil and lemon rind. Stir to combine thoroughly and cook for 1 minute, or until the rice and vegetables are heated through.

Reduce heat to medium. Spread out the vegetable rice mixture in an even layer in the skillet. Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook for 4 minutes, or until the eggs have almost set.

Wrap the handle of the pan with foil and broil for 4 minutes, or until the frittata is golden brown.

April 6th, 2015

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

Serves 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 6th, 2015

Chickpeas are purred with lemon juice, garlic, tahini and cilantro before they are formed into patties and cooked on the griddle. A yogurt cucumber sauce contrasts the falafel to refresh the palate while feta cheese lends its signature tang. This recipe comes to us from Deborah of Vegetarian Skinny.

Serves 6

For the cucumber sauce:

  • cheesecloth
  • 6 ounces nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/2 small cucumber, peeled & seeded
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste

For the Falafel with Cucumber Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tahini butter*
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • dash ground black pepper
  • a little olive oil, for preparing the grill
  • 6 cups fresh greens, torn bite size
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled

* Tahini Butter can be found in the ethnic food section of most grocery stores.

 

To make the cucumber sauce:

To strain the yogurt, tie it in a pouch made from 2 layers of cheesecloth. Hang the pouch over the sink and let the excess liquid drain out for about 2 hours, or until the yogurt has reached the consistency of sour cream. Place the drained yogurt in a small bowl and set aside.

Grate the cucumber, squeezing out the juice into another small bowl with your hands.

Pour the cucumber juice into the yogurt. Add the minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine and season with salt to taste.

To complete the Falafel with Cucumber Sauce:

Place the onion, garlic, lemon juice and tahini butter in a food processor. Puree until nearly smooth.

Add the cilantro, breadcrumbs and chickpeas to the food processor. Season with the cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Pulse until the chickpeas are chunky, but not yet pureed.

Form the chickpea mixture into 6-8 falafel patties with your hands.

Prepare a skillet or griddle with olive oil. Place the skillet over medium high heat or turn the griddle on to medium high heat.

Cook the falafel patties for 6 minutes, flip and cook 6 minutes more, or until a crunchy crust forms and the patties are heated through.

Serve 1-2 falafel patties per plate over fresh greens. Top with the onion and cucumber slices. Drizzle with cucumber sauce, sprinkle with feta cheese and enjoy!

April 6th, 2015

Celebrate spring with a nourishing bowl packed to the brim with the first produce the season has to offer. Baby spinach and asparagus sing of spring, while quinoa and avocado round out the meal. This recipe comes to us from Jen of Driftwood Gardens.

Serves 1

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Half an avocado, chopped
  • Several pieces of asparagus
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or to taste)
  • Dressing of your choice
  • Handful of sliced almonds

Boil vegetable broth, then add quinoa, bring to a simmer, cover and cook about 15 minutes

While quinoa cooks, put asparagus spears on a baking sheet, sprinkle with garlic and drizzle olive oil over. Cook in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

To assemble bowl, put cooked quinoa in the bottom, cover with some baby spinach leaves, add a few spears of roasted asparagus, and the chopped avocado.

Drizzle with dressing of your choice and sprinkle some sliced almonds over top.

April 6th, 2015

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

Serves 4

For the toasted bread:

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

For the veggies:

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

For the vinaigrette:

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

To make the toasted bread cubes:

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

To prepare the veggies:

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

To make the vinaigrette:

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

To complete the Panzanella Salad:

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

Divide into 4 portions and enjoy!

March 30th, 2015

For a unique spin on lasagna, try skipping the tomato sauce in favor of a béchamel, which allows the flavors of the leafy greens and artichokes to shine. This recipe comes to us from Patricia of Grab A Plate.

Serves 9

For the béchamel

  • 3 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the lasagna

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (tightly packed) fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) kale, chopped into 2-inch strips
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Nonstick cooking spray

For the béchamel

Add the butter to a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk constantly until golden, about 3-5 minutes.

Heat the milk in a separate pan. Just before the milk boils, remove it from the heat.

Add the milk to the butter mixture, about 1 cup at a time, whisking as you go, until all the milk is added.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, just so it’s not boiling over. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Remove it from the heat and stir in the salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

For the lasagna

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×12-inch baking dish with the nonstick spray and set it aside.

As you make the béchamel, cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions.

Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they soften.

Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the vegetable broth and black pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the kale to the skillet and cook until it softens, 3-4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the spinach. Mix and allow the spinach to wilt. Add the chopped artichoke to the mixture and toss to combine. There shouldn’t be much liquid left in the skillet, but if there is, just drain it off.

Spread a thin layer of the béchamel mixture over the bottom of the pan (you may need to warm the sauce slightly to keep it spreadable, as it may thicken as it cools).

Add a layer of lasagna noodles (3) over the béchamel. I trimmed the ends of the noodles so they would fit in the pan.

Spread a thin layer of the béchamel over the noodles, followed by 1/2 the vegetable mixture. Evenly dollop 1/2 the ricotta cheese over the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese on the top.

Repeat with 3 lasagna noodles, a thin layer of béchamel, the remaining vegetable mixture, the remaining ricotta, and the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Finish by placing 3 lasagna noodles over the top. Spread a thin layer of béchamel evenly over the top of the noodles, not quite to the edges, and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 5 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden.

You can finish by placing the lasagna under the broiler for 15-30 seconds to turn the cheese more golden, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

March 23rd, 2015

These easy, umami-packed enchilada stacks are a simple way to satisfy your craving for a meatless Mexican meal without all the work of stuffing and rolling each enchilada! This recipe comes to us from Stefanie of Sarcastic Cooking.

Serves 4

 

  • 2 tablespoons canned tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pureed canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • A couple dashes of hot sauce
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 10 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 8 jarred cherry peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 12 small flour/corn tortillas
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded queso fresco

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a medium baking sheet with foil and set off to the side.

Whisk together the tomato sauce, olive oil, chipotle puree, chili seasoning, taco seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and hot sauce in a medium mixing bowl. Add the mushrooms, red onion, and cherry peppers. Mix to evenly coat and combine.

Lay the mushroom mixture out on the prepared baking sheet in one even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, flip and then bake for 20 minutes more until crisp.

Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and then microwave for 60-90 seconds until warm and pliable. Add the enchilada sauce to a small skillet. Heat over medium until the sauce starts to simmer. Reduce heat slightly.

Dip each warm tortilla into the sauce and then place on serving plate. Sprinkle a large pinch of cheese on top of the hot sauce. Do the same to two more tortillas so it is three total in a stack. Top each stack with two spoonfuls of the roasted mushroom mixture. Continue that process until four stacks have been made.

Serve each stack with fresh cilantro and guacamole.

March 23rd, 2015

Brown rice is infused with sesame and peanut flavors then tossed with carrots, peas and pineapple. Tempeh takes on the sweet and smoky sauce beautifully before the dish is topped with toasted almonds. This recipe comes to us from Marti of Tofu ‘n Sprouts!

Serves 6

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring*
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • or
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 ounces tempeh, cut into bite sized cubes
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup carrots, coarsely shredded
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pineapple pieces, well drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • low–sodium soy sauce, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, toasted

*liquid smoke is smoke flavor that has been condensed to a liquid and stripped of the tar and carcinogens found in smoke. It can be found near hot sauces in most grocery stores.

Prepare a large skillet with a little cooking spray or oil. Mix maple syrup, liquid smoke, cider vinegar and wine or water in the prepared skillet over medium heat.

Place tempeh pieces into the maple sauce and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce becomes thick and sticky.

Heat the peanut and sesame oils in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Place the cooked brown rice in the wok and stir to coat the rice.

Add carrots, peas, onions, pineapple, brown sugar and thawed peas to the rice. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan regularly, for 5-7 minutes, or until the rice starts to become crispy and caramelized.

Place the tempeh pieces to the wok. Add about half of the maple sauce so that the rice and tempeh are coated and sticky. Add more of the maple sauce if necessary to coat the rice and set the rest aside. Cook over medium heat, stirring to combine, for 3-5 minutes or until tempeh is thoroughly heated.

Season fried rice to taste with low-sodium soy sauce. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and enjoy!