The Good Dirt

August 28th, 2017

Bell peppers, mushrooms and tofu are sautéed and seasoned savory with garlic powder, turmeric, agave syrup and apple cider vinegar. Spinach and pepper jack cheese are folded into the tasty tofu and wrapped in a tortilla. This recipe comes to us from Kathy of Happy, Healthy Life.

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon non hydrogenated margarine
  • 3/4 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 18 ounces firm tofu, drained, pressed and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke*
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese
  • or
  • 1/4 cup dairy free pepper jack cheese
  • 6 large flour tortillas

*Found at health food stores or the health food or spice section of some grocery stores.

Preheat an oven to 300 degrees.

Place the margarine in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms and tofu. Season with the garlic powder, pepper, turmeric, salt, olive oil, agave syrup, liquid smoke and apple cider vinegar, stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure seasonings are evenly distributed. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the tofu has reached desired consistency.

Run the tortillas under water and place in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the tortillas are soft and warm.

Fold the spinach and pepper jack into the tofu mushroom bell pepper mixture. Take off the heat.

Plate the warmed tortillas and spoon 6 portions of the tofu mushroom bell pepper mixture into the tortillas. Fold like a burrito and enjoy.

August 28th, 2017

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 28th, 2017

As fall approaches, summer salads give way to hearty cooked dishes. This bean and kale dish, served over a bed of warm polenta, is just the thing to serve for supper as cooler weather moves in. This recipe comes to us from Patrice of Circle B Kitchen.

Serves 4-5

For the Beans and Kale:

  • 1 3/4 quarts water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white beans (such as Cannellini or Great Northerns)
  • 4 cups packed kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups canned crushed,  peeled tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, leaf thyme, leaf oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, then add beans. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, then add 2 cups of the kale, tomatoes and bay leaf. Continue to simmer, covered, for another half hour.

Meanwhile, heat oil and saute onion, pepper and garlic in it with thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes. After the beans have simmered 30 minutes, stir in sauteed vegetables. Add salt and balsamic vinegar. Cover and cook for another hour, adding water if needed, or if the sauce seems too thin, leave the lid off to thicken the sauce.  Cook until beans are tender and the sauce is the desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings and add the remaining 2 cups of chopped kale.  Simmer another 5 minutes and serve over creamy polenta and topped with grated parmesan cheese.

For the Polenta:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend (usually a mixture of asiago, provolone, fontina and parmesan)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives or finely chopped basil

Heat the olive oil in a 2-qt sauce pan over medium-low heat and add the minced garlic. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, kosher salt and milk, and bring to a boil over medium high heat.   Reduce the heat and slowly pour the cornmeal into the hot liquid, whisking to prevent lumps. 

Lower the heat to cook the mixture at a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cornmeal is creamy, about 20 to 30 minutes. The more you stir, the creamier it will be.  Remove the polenta from the heat and stir the cheese, butter, and the herbs.  Cover and keep warm. 

August 21st, 2017

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 21st, 2017

Summer corn is so naturally delicious, not much preparation is needed to make it shine. Spicy paprika, fresh cilantro and salt and pepper contrast corn’s sweetness to add nuance to the flavor of the classic corn on the cob.This recipe comes to us from Jen Brody, The Domestic Diva.

Serves 4

  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon spicy paprika
  • salt and pepper

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

Lay all the corn cobs out on a big sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil. Coat each ear in the chopped cilantro. Season with the spicy paprika, salt and pepper.

Bring the edges of foil up around the outside of the corn to form a packet of aluminum foil which contains all 4 ears of corn. Transfer the packet to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the corn is tender. Remove from the foil and enjoy!

August 21st, 2017

In this refreshing morning treat, Greek yogurt is topped with blueberries and drizzled with maple syrup. Delicate orange zest brings depth to the flavor and texture of the dish, as well as a sprinkling of Vitamin C. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 2

  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Divide the Greek yogurt between two bowls. Top with equal portions of blueberries, the orange zest and drizzle with maple syrup.

August 21st, 2017

Blanquette is traditionally a ragout made from lamb, veal, or chicken paired with a white cream sauce, but here, seitan takes the staring role. This recipe comes to us from Ôna Maiocco of Super Naturelle and France’s version of Meatless Monday, “Jeudi Veggie” (Veggie Thursday).

Serves 4

  • 7 oz. (200 g) gourmet seitan
  • 7 oz. (200 g) mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) white wine
  • 1/2 cup (100 mL) soy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cashew or almond butter
  • Half a vegetable bouillon cube, or 1 teaspoon bouillon powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala or nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the mushrooms and seitan into slices, dice the onion and chop the carrot into rounds. Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron pan (a regular sauté pan or wide saucepan will also do) and sauté the mushrooms, onion and carrot, stirring often.

Once the onions begin to brown, add the spices, white wine, bouillon, soy sauce, water and soy cream. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Finally, incorporate the cashew or almond butter to make the dish creamy. Serve with rice, pasta, or quinoa.

 

August 14th, 2017

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 14th, 2017

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 14th, 2017

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 Apron Strings.

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

*optional

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 14th, 2017

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 7th, 2017

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 7th, 2017

Fresh mangos are puréed with orange juice and then topped with cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeño and lime juice for a spicy crunch. Your choice of fresh basil, parsley or cilantro brings a refreshing herbal finish to this tropical fruit spin on chilled soup. This recipe comes to us from Amber of Howard Payne, Texas.

Serves 6

  • 2 cups fresh mangos, diced
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeño*, seeded and minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, basil or cilantro, chopped

*Optional.

 

Place the mangos, orange juice and olive oil into a blender or food processor. Blend or pulse until pureed.

Transfer the mango orange puree to a medium bowl. Add the diced cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, garlic, lime juice and jalapeño, if using. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle the parsley, basil or cilantro over the gazpacho just before serving.

August 7th, 2017

Frozen corn is a convenient addition to these Southwestern  burritos, but if you have access to a local farmers market, August is prime season to swap in fresh sweet corn instead. Two medium ears of corn will give you the 1 1/4 cups this recipe requires. This recipe comes to us from our friends at The Heart Truth®.

Serves 12

  • 1/4 cup scallions (green onions), rinsed and sliced into ¼-inch wide circles, including green tops
  • 1/4 cup celery, rinsed and finely diced
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen yellow corn
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped (or substitute 2 tsp dried coriander)
  • 1 can (15 1/2 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup salsa or taco sauce (look for lowest sodium version)
  • 12 (9-inch) whole-wheat tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Combine scallions, celery, and corn in a small saucepan. Add just enough water to cover.

Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes, until vegetables soften. Drain vegetables. Set aside to cool.

Combine avocado, cilantro, and beans in a large mixing bowl. Add cheese and salsa, and mix.

When corn mixture has cooled slightly, add to avocado mixture.

In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, warm each tortilla about 15 seconds on each side. Place each tortilla on a flat surface. Spoon ⅓ cup of the mixture into the center of the tortilla. Fold the top and bottom of the tortilla over the filling. Fold in the sides to make a closed packet.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

When all tortillas are wrapped, continue heating in the oven 5 minutes, until all are warm and cheese is melted.

Source: National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

The Heart Truth is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

August 7th, 2017

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!