The Good Dirt
October 24th, 2016
This hearty chili features a protein-packed secret ingredient…peanut butter! Give it a shot, you’ll be surprised with the rich flavor it offers. This is the winning recipe from Meatless Monday’s Instagram recipe contest with The Natural Gourmet Institute and The Peanut Institute. It was submitted by Patrica of the blog Mrs. Kitchenstein.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juices
- 3 cups pinto beans, soaked overnight (OR 3 14-ounce cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed)
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into small dice
- 1 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Handfuls of fresh basil and cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Optional toppings: avocado, radishes, cilantro, toasted peanuts
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes, or until softened. Stir in all spices from sweet paprika through turmeric and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste until it is dissolved.
Add tomatoes, mashing them lightly with your fingers before throwing them into the pot. Add beans, sweet potato, peanut butter, stock, Worcestershire sauce, basil and cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes, or until beans are soft and chili has thickened.
October 24th, 2016
Full with fall flavors of butternut squash and sage, this orecchiette pasta dish will provide a comforting, nutritious dinner for the whole family. This recipe comes to us from Gina Matsoukas on behalf of Pasta Fits.
Serves 4 – 6
- 1pound whole wheat orecchiette pasta
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 pound baby bellas/crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 shallot, chopped
- ½ tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup heavy cream (or any kind of milk)
- salt & pepper to taste
Place the butternut squash in a large stock pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Boil the squash for about 10 minutes until fork tender.
While squash is boiling, melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, cook for about 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and sage.
Let cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms have given off all their water and start to caramelize. Once that happens, turn the heat off and set aside.
Transfer the squash to a food processor, leaving the water in the pot.
Bring the water back up to a boil and add the pasta.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions (about 10 minutes for al dente orecchiette).
While the pasta cooks, add the nutmeg, vegetable broth, heavy cream and salt & pepper to the food processor and process until smooth and sauce-like. Depending on the size of your squash, you might need a little more or less liquid. Just eye ball it until you get a sauce-like consistency.
Drain the pasta once cooked, return the pasta to the pot add the butternut squash sauce and toss to combine.
Once all the pasta is coated in the sauce, fold in the mushroom mixture.
Serve immediately and garnish with fresh Parmesan.
October 24th, 2016
Hot cereal is simmered with cinnamon, dates and maple syrup for a sweet spiced breakfast that’ll take you back to childhood. Pumpkin’s earthiness is a great match for the porridge grain farina in this stick-to-your-ribs dish that’s sure to keep you full until lunch. This recipe comes to us from Kathy of Happy. Healthy. Life.
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk
- 1/3 cup uncooked farina based porridge
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dates, chopped
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin*
- 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin puree*
- 1 teaspoon nondairy buttery spread, for garnish
- 1 teaspoon butter, for garnish
- additional soy milk, for garnish
- dash of cinnamon, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons dates, chopped for garnish
- 2 tablespoons pecans**, chopped for garnish
*please note that canned pumpkin is not the same as canned pumpkin pie filling, which should not be substituted. To make your own pumpkin puree, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and roast, cut side down, in a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until pumpkin flesh is soft when poked as a fork. For the smoothest consistency, puree the roasted pumpkin pulp in a food processor or blender.
Bring the water and milk to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the salt and porridge, stirring constantly. Bring to a strong boil and reduce heat to medium.
Continue stirring constantly and cook according to package directions, or until the porridge thickens.
Stir in the cinnamon, dates and maple syrup. If you desire a thinner cereal add in additional milk. Thicker, add in more cereal.
When the porridge has cooked into a thick, hydrated consistency resembling thick applesauce, turn the heat down to low.
Stir in the pumpkin puree over low heat. You can either stir it in completely or you can leave it swirled gently into the porridge.
Turn off the heat and spoon equal amounts of porridge into 2 bowls. Add ½ teaspoon butter per bowl, a dash of cinnamon and a splash of milk on top. Add a few leftover chopped dates and pecans, if using, as garnish and enjoy.
October 17th, 2016
These pancakes have pumpkin baked in the batter for the ultimate autumnal flavor profile. Egg whites are whipped in to make these flapjacks fluffy, which counters their delightful crunchy candied pecan topping. This recipe comes to us from Carolyn, The Health Voyager.
- 5 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine, divided
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup silken tofu, pressed and drained
- 4 egg whites
- 4 tablespoons powdered egg substitute
- 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup pumpkin puree*
- confectioners sugar, to taste
- maple syrup, to taste
*Please note that pumpkin puree is not the same as pumpkin pie mix and should not be substituted. To make your own pumpkin puree, roast a halved pumpkin at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork. For smoothest consistency, puree the pumpkin’s flesh using a food processor.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the margarine in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar begins to melt. Add the pecans and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer the pecans to a small dish and set aside.
Mix the flour, pumpkin pie spice, sugar and salt together in a small bowl.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine in the skillet and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tofu, buttermilk and vanilla to the bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until well combined.
Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Carefully stir in the pumpkin puree.
If using egg whites, beat in a large mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. If using powdered eggs, beat in a large mixing bowl with the amount of water listed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pumpkin tofu batter into the egg whites until well mixed.
Spoon the pumpkin pancake batter into the skillet, place in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Top the pancake with the reserved pecans and cut the pancake in 4 quarters. Serve one quarter per person, dust with confectioners sugar and syrup to taste and enjoy!
October 17th, 2016
Forget canned pumpkin! Truly eat with the seasons with this cool-weather recipe, which features whole pumpkin, leeks and hearty kale over a bed of comforting polenta. Top it off with a homemade basil dressing for a spectacular plant-based meal. This recipe comes to us from Elena of Happy Kitchen. Rocks.
- For pumpkin and kale with creamy polenta:
- 1 1/2 cup polenta
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
- 1/2 small pumpkin
- 1 small red chili pepper
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 7 oz curly kale chopped, veins removed
- 1/3 leek sliced
- black pepper
- 4 oz mozzarella (optional)
- For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Demerara sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- black pepper
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (to serve)
In a pot, bring water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil. Gradually add polenta, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, add parmesan (optional),cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the pumpkin. Heat a lug of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium high heat. Add pumpkin and cook until the pumpkin it is soft, about 8 minutes. Chop red chili pepper and thyme leaves and add them before the pumpkin is ready. Transfer to a plate and put the pan or wok back on the stove.
Add a bit of oil to the pan and once it’s hot, add garlic and kale. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add leek slices and cook until soft and slightly golden, about 4 minutes.
Make the dressing: combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Demerara sugar (optional), chopped basil, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Arrange polenta, pumpkin, kale and leek on two plates. Add sliced mozzarella (optional). Serve with balsamic dressing and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
October 10th, 2016
This vegan tartare, while elegant enough to be found on the menu of a high-end restaurant, is actually simple enough to be cooked by the average home chef! This recipe comes to us from chef Matthew Kenney of Matthew Kenney Cuisine.
- 2 firm avocados, finely diced
- 4 to 5 baby zucchini, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons micro basil (or finely minced basil)
- 1 tablespoon minced chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon agave
- Coarse salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper for garnish
Toss all ingredients until well combined. Divide into four servings and press into ring molds. Garnish with chives, fresh ground pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
October 7th, 2016
Butternut squash is roasted and mashed with sunchokes in this root vegetable crowd pleaser. A Dijon mustard roux serves as the base for a luscious sauce in this hearty mac and cheese, finished perfectly with crunchy whole-wheat breadcrumbs. This recipe comes to us from Lisa of Cold Cereal and Toast.
- 1/2 small butternut squash, seeded
- 2 medium sunchokes*, peeled
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 3/4 cups nonfat milk
- 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
- 4 ounces Muenster cheese, grated
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
*Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes can be found at farmer’s markets or in the gourd section of vegetable aisle in some grocery stores.
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil. Lay the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Add the peeled sunchokes to the sheet, place it in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a butter knife.
Scoop the squash’s flesh into a large mixing bowl and mash it using a fork. Add the roasted sunchokes, mashing to incorporate them with the butternut squash. For the smoothest consistency, add the squash sunchoke mash to a food processor or blender and puree if desired.
Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente, drain, return to the pot, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the saucepan, then whisk in the flour and mustard. Continue whisking over medium heat for about 1 minute, then slowly add in the milk, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, lower heat to medium-low and keep simmering, whisking frequently, for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream.
Season the sauce with the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the squash sunchoke mash, Muenster and cheddar, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cheese has melted.
Pour the cheese sauce into the cooked macaroni, stirring to ensure all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Preheat your broiler.
Pour the macaroni into a medium baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the bubbly with brown edges. Divide into 10 servings and enjoy!
October 3rd, 2016
Hash may be everyone’s favorite brunch side, but this version using kohlrabi in place of potatoes is produce packed, making it an excellent main course any time of day. Look for kohlrabi, a bulbous cabbage cousin, in your local farmers market. This recipe comes to us from Olga of Mango & Tomato.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled, diced 1/4″
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- kernels from 1 ear of corn
- salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced (jarred or home roasted)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/4-1/3 cups chevre
Heat a cast iron skillet. Add oil and allow the oil to get hot. Add kohlrabi, onions, green pepper and corn. Season with salt and smoked paprika and sauté for 15-20 minutes. You want the kohlrabi to be cooked through and slightly caramelized.
Add roasted red pepper and allow to heat through.
Serve topped with parsley and chevre.
October 3rd, 2016
Zucchini sticks are tossed with light panko breadcrumbs and then baked in the oven. Try these healthy “fries” dipped in creamy Greek yogurt seasoned with parsley and lemon. This recipe comes to us from Elizabeth of Sophisticated Pie.
For the baked zucchini fries:
- a little olive oil, for preparing the sheet pan
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
- 2 large zucchinis, cut into 4-inch sticks
- 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs*
- ½ cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the yogurt dipping sauce:
- 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 scallion, chopped
*Japanese panko breadcrumbs are thinner and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. They can be found near the standard breadcrumbs or in the Asian food section of most grocery stores.
To bake the zucchini fries:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a large sheet pan with olive oil.
Lightly beat the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl.
In a separate medium bowl, stir the panko breadcrumbs and cheese together.
Dip zucchini sticks in the egg mixture, making sure to coat them well. Dip the egg coated zucchini into the panko mixture.
Spread out the coated zucchini pieces onto the prepared sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip the zucchini sticks over with a spatula and bake for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
To complete the dish:
Mix the Greek yogurt, chopped parsley and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped scallion on top.
Serve the yogurt sauce alongside the fries, for optional dipping. Enjoy!