The Good Dirt
October 12th, 2015
Chili made with white beans and chicken is a carnivorous classic, but toasting your own spices in this vegetarian version adds a flavor punch so fragrant and delicious, you won’t miss the meat. This recipe comes to us from Maria of Bean a Foodie.
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tsp cumin seeds (or 1 tbsp ground)
- 3 tsp coriander seeds (or 1 tbsp ground)
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (about 1 cob’s worth)
- 3 15.5 oz cans white beans
- 1 15.5 oz can hominy
- 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Optional toppings: avocado, more cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce or shredded cheese
In a small saute pan, heat cumin and coriander seeds over medium. Toast seeds for about 60 seconds or until fragrant – be careful not to burn them. Allow to cool slightly and then grind into a powder. If you’re not using spices from seeds, skip this step.
Heat oil in a large dutch oven set over medium high heat. Add in onion, poblano, salt and pepper and saute for 7-10 minutes or until softened.
Next, add in the garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder paprika, and liquid smoke. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add in vegetable broth ensuring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with your wooden spoon.
Bring soup to a boil and then add in the lime juice and zest, corn, white beans and hominy. Reduce chili until simmering and cook for another 45-60 minutes stirring occasionally.
Lastly, add in the cilantro. Taste chili and adjust for flavorings. I added some more lime zest and juice for an extra kick! If you want it spicier, add in some cayenne or hot sauce!
Serve with sliced avocado, cilantro, sour cream or cheese!
October 5th, 2015
This simple dish highlights the season’s freshest, sweetest produce with a simple vinaigrette made with cucumber vinegar. If you can’t find cucumber vinegar online or in your local specialty store, apple cider vinegar will work as a substitute. This recipe comes to us from Chef Bryce Shuman of Betony restaurant.
For the Cucumber Vinaigrette
- 300 g (1 1/4 cups) cucumber vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 900 g (4 1/4 cups) extra virgin olive oil
- 14 g (2 1/2 tsp) salt
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and mix well with a whisk. Transfer to a squeeze bottle. Reserve.
For the Salad:
- 2 cucumbers, blonde
- 2 peppers, sweet
- 3 cherry tomatoes
- 12 g (about 1 tbsp) Cucumber Vinaigrette
- 3 g (1/2 tsp) salt (to taste)
- 3 dill plouches (sprigs)
- Extra virgin olive oil, to finish
Split both of the blonde cucumbers in half, and slice one half of the cucumbers into 1⁄4 inch thick slices. Cut the peppers into 1⁄4 inch thick rings. Remove the stems from the tomatoes, and slice them in half. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, peppers, and cherries. Dress with the cucumber vinaigrette and season to taste with salt. Toss well. On an appetizer plate, arrange the vegetables by shingling the different cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes on the plate. Garnish with the dill plouches and finish with the finishing extra virgin olive oil. Serve.
Alternatively, make your own cucumber vinegar:
- 500 g cucumber skin
- 500 g cucumber seeds
- 1000 g champagne vinegar
In a cryovac bag, combine the cucumber skins, the seeds, and the vinegar. Seal at 24 mBar. Steep the mixture under refrigeration for 1 week. Strain and reserve the vinegar.
September 28th, 2015
Quinoa is spiced with shallots and red pepper, then cooked with Portobello mushrooms and shredded zucchini. If zucchini is out of season, try incorporating shredded carrots or bell peppers for a different take on these innovative burgers. This recipe comes to us from Cathy of A Life Less Sweet.
- 2 portobello mushrooms (8 ounces), stems removed
- 1 small zucchini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup mixed onion & garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed & cooked to package directions
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup oats, pulsed in a food processor until ground
- an additional 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 15 hamburger buns or rolls, toasted
Chop the Portobello mushrooms into 1” pieces. Pulse the mushrooms pieces in a food processor until finely diced. Shred the zucchini and squeeze out excess moisture with a paper towel. Place the chopped mushrooms and shredded zucchini into a bowl and set aside.
Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot or garlic onion mixture and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the shallot begins to soften.
Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, cooked quinoa and salt. Let cool completely.
Stir the egg, breadcrumbs and oats, if using, into the quinoa zucchini mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until cold and firm.
When quinoa zucchini mixture has chilled, shape into small patties of preferred size, between 1/4’’ and 1/2’’ thick.
Place the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When mixture is hot, place the quinoa patties into the skillet in an even layer. You may have to cook them in batches or use 2 skillets.
Cook the quinoa patties for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked through.
Serve each quinoa zucchini burgers on a toasted bun with a side of blanched green beans. Enjoy!
September 28th, 2015
Brimming with fall’s freshest flavors, this Southwestern spin on risotto is a cozy treat for your next Meatless Monday meal. This recipe comes to us from Jenn at Veggie Inspired Journey.
For the Risotto
- 1 1/2 cups risotto rice (Acquerello or Arborio)
- 1/2 cup Spanish wine (such as Malbec)
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 tbsp lime juice
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 1 15 oz can black beans (or 1.5 cups)
- 4 oz can diced green chiles
- salt/pepper to taste
For the Pumpkin Sauce
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp agave nectar (or pure maple syrup)
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- salt/pepper, to taste
- Chopped tomato
- Green Onion
- Dash of Sriracha
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Crushed tortilla chips
Gently heat the vegetable stock in a sauce pan with 1 1/2 tbsp of lime juice in a sauce pan and keep it warm on low heat.
In a large pot, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and spices in 1/4 cup vegetable broth, about 5-7 minutes or until the veggies start to soften.
Meanwhile, make the pumpkin sauce. In a small bowl, whisk everything together listed under pumpkin sauce above and set aside.
When veggies are tender, add the corn, black beans, green chiles, and salt/pepper and sauté another 2 minutes. Add another tbsp or two of veggie broth if veggies are starting to stick. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same pot you sautéed the veggies in, add the rice over medium heat and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes just to toast gently. Add the wine and and stir until the liquid is completely absorbed by the rice.
Add about 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the rice at a time. After each addition, stir constantly until the liquid is almost fully absorbed. It’s ok if it still looks a little wet, but if you drag a spoon through the rice, it should be able to stay separated.
Continue with this process until the rice is cooked through. Start testing the rice (by eating a small piece) after about 15-20 minutes. You may not use all of the vegetable broth.
When you are happy with the texture of the rice, take off the heat and stir in the veggie mixture and pumpkin sauce you made earlier until well combined.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Garnish with the toppings of your choosing and enjoy!
September 28th, 2015
Crisp jicama, savory squash and bitter radishes are cut into tiny matchsticks and tossed with sweat peaches, snap peas, cilantro and dill. A spicy lime ginger vinaigrette is the perfect pairing to dress this sophisticated salad. This recipe comes to us from Amy of The Crunchy Carrot.
For the salad:
- 5 ounces jicama
- 5 ounces summer squash, preferably zephyr squash
- 3 radishes
- 1/2 lime
- salt, to taste
- 6 baby carrots, peeled and cut into slices
- 2 peaches, cut into small cubes
- 1 pound snap peas
- 1-2 teaspoons dill
- 1 tablespoon cilantro
- sesame seeds, to taste
For the ginger lime dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced and half zested
- 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 squirt hot sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
To make the salad:
Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, slice the jicama and squash into very thin ribbons. Stack the ribbons of each vegetable on top of one another and cut with a knife to create matchsticks. Cut the radish into matchsticks using a knife.
Place the jicama, squash and radish matchsticks together in a large sized bowl. Squirt with the half lime and season with salt to taste. Add the sliced baby carrots, peaches, snap peas, dill and cilantro. Toss to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
To make the lime ginger dressing:
Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, ginger and hot sauce together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To complete the Snap Pea Salad:
Toss the salad with half the lime ginger dressing and toss to ensure the salad is evenly coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Divide into 4 portions, add more dressing if desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!
September 21st, 2015
Your traditionally meaty dish made for a Meatless Monday Night, this hearty chili is packed with protein from both beans and quinoa. Chili powder and cumin add familiar fall flavors while a touch of cashew milk rounds out the taste with a hint of creaminess. This recipe comes to us from our friends at Silk® and was created by celebrity chef Candice Kumai.
For more chili recipes, check out our Meatless Monday Chili Cookbook.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 medium green, yellow, orange or red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1/4 cup cashew milk (such as Silk® Original Cashewmilk)
- 2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 3/4 cups vegetable stock
To top the Chili (all optional):
- Whole cilantro leaves or parsley, rinsed and patted dry
- 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on a diagonal, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, bay leaf, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes until thick.
Add cashew milk, beans, quinoa, and stock, and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt or pepper as needed. Serve topped with cilantro and scallions, if desired.
Image courtesy of Candice Kumai, television personality and author of the book “Clean Green Eats.”
September 14th, 2015
This recipe comes to us from Norma of the Meatless Monday community in Honduras.
It’s an easy, delicious, spicy, creamy and highly addictive jalapeño dip. The perfect appetizer to serve at gatherings. The hardest part of this recipe is not eating it all by yourself!
- 1 ½ cup raw (unsalted) cashews, soaked overnight, then drained
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup water (or more as necessary)
Add soaked (and drained) cashews, lemon juice, jalapeños, garlic, nutritional yeast, sea salt, pepper and water to a food processor.
Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the cashew cheese is a smooth, creamy consistency.
Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and microwave on High until hot, about 3 minutes.
Serve with sliced sourdough baguettes, tortilla, pita or bagel chips.
Tip: Be careful when cutting hot peppers; avoid touching your face- eyes.
September 14th, 2015
Tortilla soup is a Mexican culinary staple. Though traditionally made with chicken and chicken broth, vegetarian versions abound. This version mixes the best of both worlds by featuring a fully vegetarian chicken-style seitan. This recipe comes to us from Upton’s Naturals and Fettle Vegan.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 limes, freshly juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 package (4 ounces) of chicken flavored seitan (such as Upton’s Chick Seitan)
- tortilla chips and cilantro, for garnish
In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, and peppers until softened.
Add in tomatoes, veggie broth, lime juice, bay leaf, spices, and seitan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes.
When ready, serve with tortilla chips and freshly chopped cilantro.
Makes 4-6 servings, and keeps about a week in the fridge.
September 7th, 2015
In Japan, onigiri (filled rice balls) are as common and versatile as the American sandwich. Though many recipes call for fish, this version is fully veg, using sweet potatoes and kabocha squash for a delectable twist. This recipe comes to us from Jenné of Sweet Potato Soul.
Makes 8 rice balls
- 2 cups sticky rice, rinsed well
- 1/2 cup Japanese yam, diced*
- 1/2 cup kabocha squash, diced (you can eat the skin)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
- 8 strips of toasted nori
- 2 tbsp. shiso leaf seasoning**
*an especially sweet variety with red or purple skin.
*found online or in Asian specialty stores. Substitute additional salt if unavailable.
Bring the rice, yam, and squash, salt, and water to a simmer.
Place a lid on the pot, keeping it slightly ajar, and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the rice from the heat, and cover completely with the lid. Allow to steam for 10 minutes.
Stir the black sesame seeds into the rice, and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes longer.
Dampen your hands, scoop out 1 cup of rice, and shape it into your desired onigiri shape. You’ll have to work quickly because the rice is hot. Alternatively you can put the rice in a sheet of plastic wrap, tighten the wrap, and shape the rice.
After shaping each rice ball wrap it in a sheet of nori, and sprinkle some shiso leaf seasoning over it.
Complete with the remaining rice.
Onigiri will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Allow to sit out at room temperature before eating left overs, because the rice is hard when it comes right out of the refrigerator.
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 SharonPalmer.com and appears in The Home Cook Breakfast Book, a collaboration between Meatless Monday and Earthbound Farm.
- 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.
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.
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*
- 2 1/2 cups warm cooked brown rice
- 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.