The Good Dirt

February 1st, 2016

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.

February 1st, 2016

You won’t miss the meat as this veggie version of a classic sandwich marinates tempeh in a savory spice mix of garlic, coriander, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. You’ll have some leftover Russian dressing, which is delectable as a dip for sliced veggies or served atop tomato salads. This recipe was created by Ashley Kershner who writes the blog Sprout.

Serves 4

For the red cabbage slaw:

  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Russian dressing:

  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickles, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To complete the Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) package tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 8 slices pumpernickel rye bread

To make the red cabbage slaw:

Place the shredded cabbage, apple cider vinegar and salt together in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To make the Russian dressing:

Whisk the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, capers, red onion and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside in the refrigerator.

To complete the Tempeh Reubens:

Combine the garlic powder, black pepper, ground mustard, coriander, red pepper flakes, allspice, cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves, ginger and salt together in a small jar with a fitted lid. Put the lid on the jar and shake the jar vigorously to mix the spices. Transfer the spices to a gallon freezer bag and add 1 teaspoon of the canola oil and 1/2 cup water to the bag. Shake to combine.

Bring 8 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and boil for 10 minutes. Transfer the tempeh to the freezer bag containing the marinade. Let the tempeh marinate for 2 hours.

Heat the remaining teaspoon canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated tempeh slices and cook 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on each side.

Toast the bread and lay a few pieces of tempeh on half the slices of bread. Top each sandwich with about 1/4 cup of red cabbage slaw, 1 teaspoon of Russian dressing and the remaining slice of toasted bread.

February 1st, 2016

Avocados make a great cream cheese substitute, because they bring a smooth consistency in addition to a healthy dose of fiber, potassium and vitamin B. Give your breakfast a boost by spreading avocado on toast then topping it with sautéed tomatoes and onions as well as fresh chives garnished with chive blossoms.  This recipe comes to us from Melissa of Foodista.com.

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 15 grape tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 springs chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chive blossoms*

*optional. Chives are easily homegrown and produce beautiful edible blossoms, so try picking some up at your local farmer’s market or growing them in your own backyard.

Place the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the onions and tomatoes in the skillet and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Toast the bread to preference.

Evenly smear avocado onto each slice of toast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Top the avocado evenly with the sautéed onion tomato mixture.

Garnish the toast with fresh chives and their blossoms if using.

February 1st, 2016

Pack some nutrition into your party fare! These quinoa chili fries skip the meat and cheese in favor of nutrient-packed quinoa and beans, which pack in both fiber and protein. Baking the potatoes leaves them crispy and delicious while using less oil than frying. This recipe comes to us from Gin of Eat Healthy Eat Happy.

Serves 6

  • 1 cup dried quinoa, cooked according to package
  • 3 Tbs olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • a few twists fresh black pepper
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch (8 or so) green onions, chopped (save tops for garnish)
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can or 1½ c cooked red or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can or 1½ c cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 15 oz. cans diced no salt added tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz. can no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 Tbs red cooking wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c water
  • 4 russet potatoes

Cook the quinoa and set aside. Prep the veggies while the quinoa cooks.

In a large, lidded pot combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Raise the heat to low and let the spices bloom for 2-3 minutes.

Add the garlic and onions. Raise the heat to medium low and saute 5 minutes. Add the peppers, raise the heat to medium and saute 5 minutes.

Stir in the cooked quinoa and saute 3-4 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, cover loosely, turn the heat to low and let the chili simmer while you make the fries.

To make the fries, heat the oven to 465F. Cook 2 small or 1 large potato per serving. To cook 2 servings: cut the potatoes into fries. Combine 1 Tbs oil and sprinklings of chili powder, paprika, onion and garlic powder in a large bowl. Just eyeballing is fine. Toss the potatoes in the oil and spice and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, flip them over and bake another 10 minutes. Top with chili and serve.

January 25th, 2016

Although the ingredients are simple, these tacos pack a flavorful punch with potatoes, spinach, onion and garlic. Top them off with queso fresco or feta and you have a satisfying, simple meal! This recipe comes to us from Nancy of Spicie Foodie.

Serves 4

  • 800 grams or 1.75 lb. of potatoes (about two large-sized potatoes)
  • 600 grams or 1.3 lb. fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup or about half a small white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • queso fresco, for topping (you could sub with feta if desired)
  • refried beans, as side dish
  • grilled chiles, as an optional side dish
  • corn tortillas

Prepare any side dish first as the tacos are ready in a short amount of time. Next throughly rinse the spinach to remove any and all dirt that may be trapped on the stems. Also if the stems are really long, cut most of it off. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside. Now throughly clean the potatoes and peel them too. Cut the potato into very small bite-size pieces at roughly the same size — this is important so that the potato doesn’t rip the tortilla.

Heat the oil in a very large pan, once hot add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Next add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, then add the minced garlic, and a large pinch of sea salt. Continue to cook until the potatoes are soft and cooked through — if needed you can add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan to prevent the potatoes from burning. Now add the roughly chopped spinach to the pan and gently stir the ingredients. Sprinkle some ground black pepper over the ingredients and stir. Continue to cook until the spinach has just begun to wilt. Additionally you may need to add the spinach in a couple of batches as it takes up a large space. Taste and if needed add more salt and/or black pepper.

Warm the corn tortillas up and scoop a couple of tablespoons into each tortilla, sprinkle some crumbled queso fresco over each taco; and if desired top with a couple of pieces of purple onion. Serve from 3 to 4 tacos per person and with side dishes of your choice. Enjoy!

January 18th, 2016

Pancit is a traditional Filipino dish made with rice noodles. While pancit dishes often feature meat, this vegetable version is a light and healthy take that’s perfect fit for healthy eating resolutions. This recipe comes to us from Christin of Veggie Chick.

Serves 8

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 package (15 ounce) extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch pieces and pressed with paper towel to remove all moisture
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cups chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 head)
  • 2 cups baby broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger)
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt

Place the rice noodles in a large bowl; cover with warm water and let sit. When the noodles are soft, after about 20 minutes, drain and set noodles aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and sauté until browned, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the tofu from the wok. Reduce heat to medium.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the wok. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the carrots, cabbage and broccoli. Stir fry until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.

Add the tamari, ginger, veggie bouillon cube, vegetable broth and sea salt. Stir until the bouillon cube is dissolved. Add the cooked tofu, rice noodles and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Serves 8. Best served immediately. Stays fresh in the fridge for 1 day.

January 18th, 2016

Featuring sweet apples and sharp cheddar, this is a flavor combination most often seen in pie recipes, but you can have these fruit filled muffins for breakfast! Why not cook up a batch to keep on hand as an exciting way to start the day? This recipe was created by Deirdre Holmes, who writes the blog Plan It Healthier.

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large apple, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, wheat bran, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Fold in the apples and three-quarters of the cheddar cheese. Reserve the remaining cheddar.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and yogurt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the milk mixture into the well. Stir until just combined. Fold in the lemon juice, raisins, cranberries and walnuts.

Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with some of the reserved cheddar. Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

January 18th, 2016

Pumpkins are roasted sweet, potatoes are steamed tender and onions are caramelized in this hearty stew with flavors both sweet and savory. Curry powder and chili powder give this supper a kick, while fresh thyme lends its herbal undertone. This recipe comes to us from GF Celebration!

Serves 8

  • 2 pie pumpkins, halved and seeded
  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 32 ounces low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, for preparing the onions

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin becomes tender when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.

Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and place it over medium heat. Add the cubed potatoes, cover and steam for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes become tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

When the roasted pumpkin has cooled, scoop out its flesh and add it to the mixing bowl with the potatoes. Season the potatoes and pumpkin with the vegetable stock, salt, curry and chili powder. Transfer to a pot and cook over medium heat while you prepare the onions.

Place the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are well done and translucent. Add the caramelized onions to the stew on the stove. Season everything with the garlic and fresh thyme, taking care to stir to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Add the onions to the simmering potato mixture. Stir, turn heat down to medium low and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the flavors have melded. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Divide into 8 portions and enjoy!

January 18th, 2016

Dates, almond milk and bananas come together for a sweet tropical smoothie with unexpectedly sophisticated flavors. Rolled oats are the secret ingredient, used to provide a luscious texture to this delicious breakfast drink. This recipe comes to us from Cat of The Verdant Life.

Serves 2

  • 8 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

Place the dates and almond milk into a blender or food processor. Puree until the dates are the size of specs.

Add the bananas to the blender and puree until smooth.

Add the oats, wait 2-3 minutes for the oats to soak into the date almond milk mixture and puree.

Pour the smoothie into 2 glasses and enjoy!

January 11th, 2016

Your grill may closed up for the season, but that’s no reason not to enjoy a delicious meatless burger! These baked burgers combine the sweet and savory flavors of winter produce for a comforting seasonal dish. This recipe comes to us from Sophia of Veggies Don’t Bite.

Serves 6

  • 2 cups rice medley (or other favorite rice)
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 3 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cups diced granny smith apples
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (leaves only)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Toppings:

 

Cook rice in a rice cooker or on stovetop using broth making sure to measure out the amounts of each.

Preheat oven to 400. Wash and dice/chop squash, shallots and apples making sure to keep squash separate from the others. Place squash on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and roast for 15 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, add apples and shallots to the cookie sheet. Roast another 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, put in a food processor with the thyme and pulse until chunky. Do not puree into a mush or paste. Add to a large bowl.

Next add the cooked rice and pumpkin seeds to the food processor and pulse until chopped a bit but still chunky. Add to the bowl.

Mix everything well. Taste and add more salt if needed, but it shouldn’t need much if you cooked the rice with broth.

Shape into 4 inch patties, then cook on stove top in a pan over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until browning (depending on stove). Make sure to keep pan covered to help the burger cook throughout. Check every few minutes to prevent burning, should be slightly browned when ready. Let sit for a few minutes after cooked to help burger get more stable before eating.

Serve burgers with Caramelized Onion Sage Aioli on pretzel rolls or other gluten free or sprouted wheat buns. Top with lettuce.

January 4th, 2016

This breakfast proves lentils are delicious any time of day, as they are sautéed here with shallots, paprika, lemon juice and fresh parsley. The versatile legume stands in as a savory alternative to jam, as the spiced lentils top toast in this protein packed morning pick me up. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 14 ounce can brown lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • or
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • juice from 1/4 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 slices whole wheat or multigrain bread, toasted
  • tahini, to taste

Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots or green onions and sauté for 1 minute, or until veggies begin to become fragrant. Add the lentils and season with soy sauce, paprika and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes more, or until the onion becomes translucent.

Add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Add the chopped parsley and stir. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce if desired.

Spread the tahini to taste over the whole wheat or multigrain toast. Spoon the spiced sautéed lentils over the tahini and enjoy.

January 4th, 2016

Butternut squash and black beans are spiced with ancho and chipotle chili powders in this hearty winter warmer, which also packs fragrant notes of garlic and cumin. This squash spin on an American classic proves the adage “if you think chili needs meat, you don’t know beans!” This recipe comes to us from Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani.

Serves 4.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes with green peppers
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Place the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash and onion and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the onion softens slightly. Season with the garlic, chili powders, cumin and salt. Stir to ensure the spices are evenly distributed and cook for about 30 seconds more, or until they become fragrant.

Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender.

Add the beans, tomatoes and lime juice to the pot. Increase heat to high and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly. Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro and enjoy!

January 4th, 2016

Sweet figs, tangy feta and spicy arugula don’t need much help to shine in this salad celebrating fall’s bounty. A simple balsamic vinaigrette seasons the greens, while almonds add an earthy crunch. This recipe comes to us from Jen of Domestic Divas.

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pint figs, quartered
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Place the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl, Whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Layer 1/4 of the arugula and figs onto a small plate. Top with 1/4 of the almonds and feta. Drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette. Repeat with the remaining ingriedients on 3 other plates and enjoy!

January 4th, 2016

Here’s an easy way to pack more of those super-healthy Mediterranean foods into your diet! Greens are stewed with tomatoes, fresh basil, sage and rosemary. Whole wheat macaroni and chickpeas transform this otherwise light soup into a hearty lunch. This recipe comes to us from Marti of Tofu ‘n Sproutz!

Serves 4.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetarian broth
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked, or 2 cups white beans, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat macaroni, ABC or orzo pasta
  • 2 cups greens*, finely chopped
  • several drops hot sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

*quicker cooking greens like chard, spinach, dandelion greens or beet greens work best in this soup.

Place a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is transparent.

Add the tomato juice, wine and tomatoes. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down.

Add the vegetable broth, cooked chickpeas or white beans, basil, sage and rosemary. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil.

Add the uncooked pasta and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for about 7 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked, but still firm.

Add the green and simmer for 5 minutes more, or until the greens are soft and lightly cooked and the pasta is cooked to taste.

Season with the soup with hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

December 28th, 2015

This simple grain salad can be a a healthy dish to share at your next gathering or a great option to whip up in bulk and store in the fridge for a week of quick lunches. Top it off with a bit of feta cheese for a heartier dish. This recipe comes to us from Mummy’s Fast and Easy.

Serves 6

  • 150g/5 oz white rice, cooked
  • 150g/5 oz black quinoa, cooked
  • 150g/5 oz farro, cooked
  • 10-12 radishes
  • a bunch of fresh chives, chopped
    For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt

In a bowl, combine all the grains together.
Add the radishes(if they’re too big, cut them in halves) and chives and mix well.
Finally combine the dressing ingredients together, pour over the salad and mix again.