The Good Dirt

October 23rd, 2017

Red and yellow cherry tomatoes are roasted spicy-sweet with garlic, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Fresh oregano, parsley and basil brighten the roasted cherry tomatoes and hearty whole wheat rotini, while toasted pine nuts give this dish a rich finish. This recipe comes to us from Valerie of More Than Burnt Toast.

Serves 8

  • 1 pound red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, slivered
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil, cut into chiffonade
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 pound whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces low fat ricotta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • pecorino cheese*, to taste


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove over medium-high heat.

Place the tomatoes inside a large baking dish. Toss the tomatoes with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 40-45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and toss with the basil, parsley and oregano.

When the water boils, cook the rotini according to package directions, or until the pasta is al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Toss the pasta with the olive oil, add the tomatoes with their juices and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until pasta and tomatoes are heated through.

Add the ricotta cheese and cook, stirring for about 1 minute, or until the ricotta melts. Remove from heat, divide into 6 portions, sprinkle with pine nuts and pecorino cheese, if using, and enjoy!

October 23rd, 2017

Chocolate and cherries are a classic combination, but when better to execute it than on Meatless Monday morning? This ice cool breakfast shake is a surefire way to wake up feeling refreshed. This recipe comes to us from Lisa of Barefoot in Her Kitchen.

Serves 3

  • ½ cup ice
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 10 cherries, pitted
  • 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar*
  • ½ cup rice or soy milk
  • or
  • ½ cup nonfat milk
  • 1 ½ cup ice cold water
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate flavored whey protein**

* Agave (ah-Gah-vay) 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.

**optional. Found in health food stores. If you are not using the chocolate whey protein, double the cocoa powder and agave nectar in the smoothies.


Place the ice in a tall blender or pitcher if you’re using a hand mixer. Add the banana, cherries, cocoa, agave nectar, milk, water and whey protein if using. If you are not using the whey protein, double the amount of cocoa and agave.

If you’re using a blender, pulse briefly until the mixture is somewhat crushed, but not pureed. If you’re using a hand mixer, pulse the mixer in an up and down motion until the ice is smashed and the fruit begins to soften and blend, but the mixture is not liquefied.

After mixture is blended, cover the cup or pitcher and shake distribute the ice and fruit evenly. Serves immediately and enjoy.

October 16th, 2017

This isn’t the split-pea type of pea soup but instead is made with fresh or frozen English peas—those bright green orbs—and then topped with a decadent dollop of mascarpone cheese mixed with cream cheese, which is the Italian answer to crème fraiche or sour cream, but better! Mint and peas are good partners but you don’t find mint soup too often.

This recipes comes to us courtesy of Fabio Viviani and is featured in his book, Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian.

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups green peas, thawed if frozen, ¼ cup reserved for garnish
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • Salt and pepper 

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Place olive oil, butter, peas and shallots on a sheet tray and roast in oven for 8 minutes. While in the oven, heat vegetable stock in a pot until right before boiling. Season stock with salt and pepper.

Mix the cream cheese, heavy cream, and mascarpone in a stand mixer until combined and slightly loose—don’t whip it too much. Add lemon zest and mix one more time to combine. Season with salt and set aside.

When peas are done, add to stock and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce to a simmer, add parsley and mint, and cook for 5 minutes.

Using a hand or stand blender, blend the soup until silky smooth. If too thick, add a touch of stock or water.

Serve soup with a drizzle of the mascarpone mixture in the middle and the reserved fresh peas to garnish.

From Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian by Fabio Viviani; published by St. Martin’s Press. Copyright ©2017 by Fabio Viviani. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. Page 52-53. Photo by Matt Armendariz.

October 16th, 2017

You can add just about anything you fancy to risotto, which makes it a creative cook’s dream. This recipe relies on four different kinds of mushroom (you could use different mushrooms or only cook two or three types as long as the amounts stay the same) and if you forget about the risotto part of the recipe, you’re left with an exotic mushroom dish.

This recipes comes to us courtesy of Fabio Viviani and is featured in his book, Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian.

Makes 4 servings

  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided in half
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup torn cremini mushrooms
  • ¼ cup torn oyster mushrooms
  • ½ cup torn shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ cup sliced button mushrooms
  • ½ cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup grated Grana Padano
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper

 Melt the butter in 2 heavy saucepans on medium high. Gently saute the oinons in one until softened, about 3 minutes. In the other, cook the mushrooms until caramelized, about 6-8 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Turn off mushroom pan.

Stir in the rice to the onions and cook, stirring all the time, for about 2 minutes until the mix becomes translucent. Add the wine and cook for around 6-7 minutes until the wine is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 2 cups of the stock to the pan and simmer gently until the stock is absorbed, stirring every minute or so to prevent sticking!

Gradually add more stock, a ladleful at a time, until the rice is tender, about 15-18 minutes. Adjust seasoning in the risotto with salt and pepper and add the mushrooms. Turn heat to low and stir in cheese.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley. Use this as a garnish on top of risotto when served.

From Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian by Fabio Viviani; published by St. Martin’s Press. Copyright ©2017 by Fabio Viviani. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. Page 114-115. Photo by Matt Armendariz.

October 16th, 2017

Oats, sunflower seeds and applesauce make a delightful moist-crunchy contrast in these apple pastries. Brown sugar, whole-wheat flour, apples and dates give these muffins a dark, smoky sweetness which pairs well when served with coffee. This recipe comes to us from Cat of The Verdant Life.

Serves 18

  • a little cooking oil, for preparing the muffin tin
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • or
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 medium apple, seeded and chopped

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 18 muffin cups with a light layer of cooking oil.

Place the almond milk and vinegar or lemon juice together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Toss the oats, sunflower seeds, dates and applesauce together in a separate large bowl, taking care to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed and that the dates do not clump together.

Add both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the oat date mixture. Stir to combine.

Whisk the sugar and water into the almond milk mixture.

In 3 parts, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring after each part is added. Fold in the apple pieces.

Fill each muffin cup with a scant 1/3 cup batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

October 16th, 2017

This dish was created as a meatless spin on Eggs Benedict. Eggs are cooked in sautéed spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes, then served atop whole wheat toast with pesto. This recipe comes to us from Michele of It’s A Dogs Life.

Serves 3

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups baby spinach, cleaned and picked through
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons your favorite pesto*


In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and mushroom and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until onions begin to soften.

Add the garlic and cook for another 2-4 minutes, or until garlic begins to become fragrant.

Add the spinach to the pan and cook for 1 minute, or until just wilted.

Pour the tomatoes into the spinach mixture and heat for 1-2 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

Push the tomatoes with wooden spoon to make three egg sized wells in the tomato mixture. Crack the eggs into the wells, put a lid on the pan and turn heat down to medium-low. Cook eggs for 2-3 minutes, or until they have been cooked as hard or runny as you prefer.

Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on one piece of toast. Place a slice of mozzarella on the pesto, if using. Place one third the spinach tomato mixture on the pesto. Top with one egg. Repeat process to make the other two servings and enjoy!

October 16th, 2017

Quinoa is a superstar. With no gluten yet high in protein, it’s a perfect grain. It’s also sneaky, making sure it touches just about every ingredient in the salad so that with every forkful you get a sprinkling or more of quinoa. “Hey!” it says, “You can’t ignore me!” And who would want to? Here it blends perfectly with honey, dill, fruity olive oil, briny olives, sweet cherry tomatoes, earthy roasted peppers, and creamy, crumbly feta cheese.

This recipes comes to us courtesy of Fabio Viviani and is featured in his book, Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian. 

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1 pound red bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1 pound yellow bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Bring a large pot of water, 2 to 3 quarts, to a boil and add a touch of salt. Pour in quinoa and boil for 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 3 minutes, then drain.

While quinoa is cooking, heat a sauté pan on high heat. Add peppers to the pan and cook for 1 minutes. Toss and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and add a touch of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss for 30 seconds. Let sit in the pan for 2 minutes, and then transfer to a plate to cool.

Mix the honey and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, feta, dill, parsley, and olives. Toss to combine.

Once peppers have cooled to close to room temperature, add to the large bowl along with the arugula and quinoa. Season with salt and pepper and an additional drizzle of olive oil to bring everything together.

From Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian by Fabio Viviani; published by St. Martin’s Press. Copyright ©2017 by Fabio Viviani. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. Page 32-33. Photo by Matt Armendariz.

October 9th, 2017

Applesauce and oatmeal are the basis of this hearty breakfast bread. Those breakfast flavors come together with cinnamon, cloves and dried cranberries, topped with a brown sugar nut streusel. This recipe comes to us from Patrice of Circle B Kitchen.

Serves 12

For the nut streusal:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Bread:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan with a light layer of butter and flour.

Toss the brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, applesauce, oil and yogurt together in a medium bowl.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves together in a separate large bowl. Stir in the oats.

Toss the dried cranberries and raisins with 1/2 teaspoon of the flour mixture in a separate small bowl. Set aside.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and fold with a spatula until just combined, taking care not to over mix. Fold in the fried fruit, taking care to ensure the fruit is evenly distributed in the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Scatter the nut streusel mixture over the top, pressing it into the batter with your fingers. Place the loaf pan in the oven and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a sharp knife comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edges. Invert the loaf onto a plate, cut into slices and enjoy!

October 9th, 2017

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.

Serves 10

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!

October 9th, 2017

This mixed mushroom soup, or “zuppa di funghi misti,” as the Italians would say, is perfect for the fall season. The aromas and flavors provided by shallots, garlic, red wine and thyme excellently compliment the mushrooms’ earthiness. We love that this gourmet recipe is also perfect for home cooks! This recipe comes to us from Alicia Walter of Eataly’s La Scuola.

  • 4 cups mixed mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, stems and scraps reserved
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup shallots, cut into small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked from stem and chopped
  • Pinch red chili flakes
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf rustic bread, sliced and grilled

Prepare a mushroom stock by adding the reserved mushroom scraps and dried porcini mushrooms to a large stockpot filled with 5 cups of water. Simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes and then strain. You should have 4 cups of stock.

In a small stockpot, heat the olive oil until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms in one layer, working in batches if necessary. Once the mushrooms have been browned on one side, sprinkle with salt, add in a small spoonful of butter or oil and continue to cook until the mushrooms are browned on all sides. Remove the mushrooms from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Reduce the heat and add the shallots, garlic, thyme, red chili flakes and a pinch of salt. Add more olive oil if necessary. Cook until the shallots are soft.

Add the tomato paste and cook until the color changes from bright red to brick red. Add in the red wine and boil until the alcohol has cooked off. Finally, add the kale and an additional pinch of salt. Sauté until soft.

Slowly pour in the strained mushroom stock and simmer for ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place a quarter of the reserved mushrooms into a shallow bowl. Ladle the broth over the mushrooms. Top with a piece of grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic if desired. Enjoy immediately.

October 9th, 2017

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.

Serves 6

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

Toppings, optional

  • Avocado
  • Chopped tomato
  • Cilantro
  • 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!

October 2nd, 2017

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.

Serves 4

  • 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 2nd, 2017

Shakshouka typically features eggs baked in a seasoned tomato sauce, but why not amp up the veg factor with rainbow chard? This recipe comes to us from Phoebe Lapine of the blog Feed Me Phoebe and appears in The Home Cook Breakfast Book, a collaboration between Meatless Monday and Earthbound Farm.

Serves 4

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large bunch chard, thinly sliced into ribbons (about 4 loosely packed cups) or 9 oz. frozen chard*
  • Sea salt
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon harissa**
  • One (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • *if using frozen chard, defrost and squeeze dry before using and omit sautéing step
  • **optional

In a large oven-proof (preferably cast iron) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the chard over high heat until wilted and the stems have begun to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chard to a bowl, along with any juices.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Saute the onion and peppers over medium-high heat until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and harissa, if using. Cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Carefully pour in the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cook until the tomatoes have begun releasing their liquid, 5 minutes. Using a fork or masher, crush the tomatoes to break up the larger chunks and create a saucy consistency. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have lost their acidity, about 20 – 30 minutes.

Stir in the chard and simmer 5 minutes more. Create 4 large wells in the sauce. One at a time, crack the eggs into the wells. Simmer until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and serve straight from the skillet.

October 2nd, 2017

Button mushrooms soaked in Marsala wine are used as a unique serving dish for these perfect for parties hors d’hoeuvres. Protein packed tempeh is marinated in soy sauce, smoked paprika, red pepper, garlic and thyme for a flavorful filling finished with a crunch of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs. This recipe comes to us from Lindsay of Running with Tongs.

Serves 12

For the mushrooms:

  • 12 large button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala wine*

For the marinated tempeh:

  • 1/2 cup tempeh, small dice
  • 1/2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme

To complete the Tempeh Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, small dice
  • 1/4 cup celery, small dice
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs**
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste

*A sweet Sicilian wine found in most wine shops. Another sweet, red wine, like Port, can be substituted if Marsala wine is not available.


**Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and crunchier than traditional breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs can be found in the Japanese or grain sections of most grocery stores.

To prepare the mushrooms:

Preheat an oven to 375F.

Slice off the mushroom stems, chop the stems and set aside. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh out of the mushrooms and discard.

Place the hollowed out mushrooms in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil, Marsala wine and let the mushrooms marinate while preparing the remaining ingredients.

To marinate the tempeh:

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and water. Season with the paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and thyme. Place the tempeh in the marinade and set aside.

To complete the Tempeh Stuffed Mushrooms:


Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil remaining in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the mushroom stems, onion and celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion and celery begin to soften.

Stir the tempeh and its marinade into the sauté pan. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

Add the panko breadcrumbs and vegetable broth, stir to combine and cook 3-4 minutes more, or until the broth has reduced a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the marinated mushrooms in a shallot baking dish. Spoon the leftover masala marinade over the mushrooms. Using a spoon, stuff the mushrooms with the tempeh mushroom stem filling until the mushrooms are full.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the mushrooms are browned. Enjoy!

October 2nd, 2017

Sharp Dijon mustard makes a savory seasoning with sweet apple slices in these fruity paninis. Mozzarella lends a luxurious mouth feel and fresh basil provides an herbal note. This recipe comes to us from Cat of The Verdant Life.

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 small baguettes, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices lowfat mozzarella cheese
  • or
  • 4 slices dairy free mozzarella
  • 6 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • 1/2 apple, thinly sliced

Place the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Spread the mustard evenly between both halved baguettes. Layer the mozzarella, basil leaves and apple slices on the bottom side of each baguette. Close the sandwich with the top halves.

Press the sandwiches together with a heavy pot or foil covered brick. Place in the skillet, continue pressure on the sandwich using a spatula and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted.

Cut each sandwich in half, serve one sandwich per person and enjoy!