The Good Dirt

April 30th, 2018

Shredded kale is added to the mix of this classic French dish which highlights the beauty of zucchini, tomatoes and fresh herbs. Serve this Kale Ratatouille over Black Rice with Shaved Scallions. This recipe comes to us from Stefanie Sacks.

Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • or
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • or
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cups shredded kale
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until lightly browned.


Add the rosemary, thyme, tomatoes, zucchini, pepper, tomatoes, kale and salt to the pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. If using fresh herbs, take out the sprigs when the dish has simmered together and enjoy!

April 30th, 2018

Sweet bell peppers are balanced by briny artichoke hearts and robust spinach. This crowd pleaser is quick to prepare and ideal for a family brunch.

This recipe comes to us from Vicki of The Funny Spoon.

Serves 10

  • 2 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 6.5 ounce jars artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, washed, picked over and chopped
  • or
  • 1 13.5 ounce can chopped spinach, drained
  • 4 slices 7 Grain Bread
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded or grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chopped red pepper, onion, artichoke hearts and spinach.

Tear bread into crouton-sized pieces and layer bottom of baking dish. Pour egg mixture over top. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until eggs fluff up and are fully cooked.

April 30th, 2018

A tostada is a layered Mexican dish which uses a crispy tortilla for its base. Making refried beans from scratch is simple and infinitely more delicious than canned, but if you don’t have the time, substitute 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans and begin the recipe after the beans have been boiled, but not yet seasoned and mashed. This recipe was created by Elizabeth Parrish who writes the blog Sophisticated Pie.

Makes 8 Tostadas

For the refried beans:

  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To complete the Vegetable Tostadas:

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • canola oil, for preparing the tortillas
  • 1 cup freshly chopped lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced

To make the refried beans:

Cover the beans with 3 inches of water in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot with a lid. Let the beans simmer for at least 30 minutes. After the first half hour, taste the beans every 15 minutes to see if they are fully cooked. The timing will depend on the age of the dried beans and how long you presoaked them for. When beans are cooked to preference, strain through a colander.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Season the onions with the cumin.

Add the cooked beans to the pan and mash using a fork, wooden spoon or a potato masher. Mash while stirring for about 5-7 minutes, or until the beans have reached desired consistency. Season with the cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste.

To complete the Vegetable Tostadas:

Stir the lime’s zest and juice into the sour cream and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a bed of paper towels and place it in the oven.

Heat a 1/2 inch thick layer of canola oil into a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Using tongs, dip 1 corn tortilla into the oil and cook for 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Flip the tortilla and cook an additional 30 seconds on the other side and transfer it to the paper towel lined baking sheet in the oven to keep it warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Remove the fried tortillas from the oven. Top each with equal parts refried beans, lettuce, tomato and avocado. Top with a dab of the lime infused sour cream.

April 23rd, 2018

Avocado’s nuttiness is heightened by lemon juice, cayenne pepper and garlic powder, which are then massaged into the kale in this classic winter greens salad. The leaves of Tuscan kale are more tender than other varieties, so you can dig into this refreshing salad as soon as you start salivating for that quintessential kale crunch. This recipe comes to us from Lindsay of Running with Tongs.

Serves 4

  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, washed & ripped into large pieces
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast*

*optional. Found in health food stores of the health food section of some grocery stores.

Place the kale and avocado in a bowl. Pour the lemon juice on and season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne and nutritional yeast, if using.

Massage the lemon juice, avocado and seasonings into the kale for 2-3 minutes, until evenly coated. Let sit for 5 minutes and enjoy!

April 23rd, 2018

This vegetable baeckeoffe from Chef Antoine Westermann is a Meatless Monday fixture at his restaurant, Le Coq Rico. A baekeoffe is a traditional Alsatian slow-cooked dish. Back in the old days, women would drop off a baekeoffe at the bakers after he’d turn the oven off at night. The dish would be sealed with dough and the women would put their initials in the dough so that they knew which dish was theirs. The next day (usually laundry day—at the time a day-long affair) they wouldn’t have to spend any time cooking but could pick up the dish from the baker and have a hot meal ready for the family.


Serves 4

  • 2 potatoes
  • 500 gr broccoli
  • 4 turnips
  • 2 onions
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 16 almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 30g raisins
  • 4 poached eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • White pepper from Cameroon or Penja India
  • liter of vegetable stock (dehydrated or homemade)
  • 4 sprigs chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of half a lemon



Wash, peel and cut the vegetables and onion and chop roughly so that they are approximately 3-4 cm cubes.

In a frying pan, sauté the vegetables in 4 teaspoons olive oil in batches, one after the other, (ie all the fennel together, then all the carrots and so on) until lightly browned. Set aside.

In a pan, fry the chopped almonds until lightly browned and then set aside.

Preheat the oven 350 °F.

Place all mixed vegetables in a terracotta casserole with a lid.

Add the spices, the grapes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix to evenly distribute all the ingredients.

Cover with broth.

Place in the oven and turn the temperature up to 425 °F. Cook for ½ hour, then reduce to 350 ° for one hour. The absorption of the broth depends on each oven and each container, so it is necessary to monitor the casserole. There must always be liquid in the bottom of the casserole.

While cooking in the oven, poach eggs and set aside.

In a plate place the vegetables with a little broth, sprinkle with almonds, then top with poached egg and fresh cilantro.

April 23rd, 2018

Mushrooms and onions are seasoned with Indian spices and sautéed with crumbled tofu. This quick breakfast scramble is easily edited to incorporate whatever veggies you have in the fridge. This recipe comes to us from Amy of Mmmunch On This.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pounds firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 of cup nutritional yeast*

*optional. Found in health food stores.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and cook 5-7 minutes, or until softened.

Add the crumbed tofu to the sauté pan. Season tofu mushroom mixture with coriander, paprika, chili powder, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until thoroughly combined.

Sprinkle scramble with nutritional yeast, serve and enjoy!

April 23rd, 2018

Kofta is a type of Middle Eastern kebab or meatball. Here, mushrooms provide that “meaty” flavor. This recipe for meat free kofta comes to us from our friends at the Meatless Monday movement in Denmark.

Serves 4


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 1 kg mushrooms (2.2 lbs.)
  • 200 gram red lentils (7 oz.)
  • 100 g hazelnuts (3.5 oz.)
  • 1 egg
  • Oatmeal or flour
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, etc.

Grate the onions and carrots. Finely chop the mushrooms and fry them in a pan adding a little salt, pepper and garlic.

Cook red lentils in plenty of water for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Drain through a sieve and rinse under cold water. Finely chop the hazelnuts.

Put cooked lentils in a large bowl along with grated onion, carrots, fried mushrooms, hazelnuts, eggs, salt, pepper and gently mix together. Gradually add oatmeal and / or flour until you get the desired consistency. Shape to a size of a muffin and fry in a frying pan until the meat free kofta are brown and crispy.

April 16th, 2018

Spring is in the air and pasta is on the table! Show off spring’s seasonal produce like asparagus and peas with this simple pasta primavera, which uses coconut milk and vegan parmesan to keep the dish 100% plant-based. This recipe comes to us from Aimee of The Veg Life.

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp. oil for sauteeing
  • 1 medium Vidalia or yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 16 oz. mushrooms (any variety), cut into quarters (or 1″ pieces)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, steamed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/4-1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 lb pasta, such as farfalle
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, parmesan and/or lemon zest for garnish

Prepare pasta to package instructions and drain (do not rinse).
Meanwhile, steam the asparagus spears until tender. Cut into 1″ pieces.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and onion slices. Saute for about 3-5 minutes before adding the mushrooms.
Saute the mushrooms for an additional 5 minutes and if using garlic, add now. Saute for 30 seconds and then add the vegetable broth.
Allow to reduce slightly. Add the corn and peas.
When the broth has reduced and the vegetables have cooked through, add the drained pasta (a little residual pasta water will actually help thicken the sauce) and asparagus pieces.
Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and vegan parmesan stirring to combine. If necessary, add a splash more vegetable broth. The pasta will continue to absorb the liquids as it sits.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To serve, divide between four bowls and top with additional vegan parmesan.
Garnish with parsley and/or lemon zest.

April 16th, 2018

This protein-packed salad combines whole grain spelt, edamame, fresh herbs and vegetables, and a light dressing  lemon juice and apple cider vinegar dressing. The result is a satisfying meal perfect for lunch or dinner. This recipe comes to us from our friends at M Cafe.

Serves 8-12

  • 1 cup (6 oz) whole spelt berries
  • 2 cups frozen edamame
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup scallions (green tops only), chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegan honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Soak spelt berries for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Drain well, and add to a pot of lightly salted boiling water (at least a quart).

Boil for 20 – 30 minutes, or until grains are completely tender.  Drain well and rinse under cool water.  Drain again and set aside.

Meanwhile, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in small bowl. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine cooked spelt berries with chopped vegetables and herbs.  Fold in dressing, and let sit for a few minutes to allow flavors to blend before serving.

April 16th, 2018

Tart, crisp green apple is seasoned apple pie style with cinnamon and lemon juice before being covered with hearty oatmeal. A well-balanced trio of salty, sweet and refreshing flavors completes the dish, as roasted almonds, brown sugar and mint are placed atop the oatmeal. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 1

  • 1 green apple
  • a squeeze lemon juice
  • a dash cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • or
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk alternative
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roasted
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • fresh mint, to taste

Grate the apple and place it in a serving bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice over it and grate the cinnamon on top.

Place the oats and milk into a small saucepan over medium low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the oatmeal is fully cooked.

Once the porridge is cooked, spoon it over the seasoned apple, top with the dry roasted almonds and the brown sugar. Drizzle a little pour of extra rice milk over the porridge and garnish with a little mint. Enjoy!

April 16th, 2018

This salad is the perfect harbinger of spring. It combines the first spring shoots of asparagus and sprouts with protein-rich seeds and chickpeas for a fulfilling but light lunch or supper. This recipe comes to us from Dig Inn.

Serves 4

For the salad:

  • 1 lb pencil asparagus
  • 4 oz bay arugula
  • 1/2 lb mixed leaf lettuce
  • 1 small bunch radishes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 clamshell sunflower or pea sprouts
  • 2 sprigs dill
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
  • 4 eggs (optional, remove for a vegan salad)

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced very fine
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey or agave
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl. Hold until ready to use.

Prepare asparagus by cutting each stalk lengthwise on a bias into 4 or 5 thin pieces. Discard the woody end.

Using a sharp knife or mandolin slice the radishes into thin coins

Place the sunflower seeds and the caraway seeds in a skillet and toast until golden brown and fragrant. When well toasted, toss in ground flax seed. Set aside until ready to use.

Combine mint leaves with the dill and parsley sprigs and roughly chop.

Reserve until ready to use. Chefs note: make sure not to go over any of the leaves more than twice with your knife blade–this is what keeps the herbs tasting fresh like a spring meadow.

Hard-boil the eggs: place eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil, then immediately cover with lid and turn off heat. Let eggs sit for nine minutes, then shock with ice water and peel immediately. To serve, slice or quarter the eggs.

30 minutes before serving, place the asparagus, cooked chickpeas, and radish in a bowl and pour the dressing on top. Let macerate until ready to use.

Finish the salad by tossing the macerated asparagus mixture with the arugula, leaf lettuce, and chopped herbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper and place into four individual bowls.

Top each salad with 1 tablespoon of the seed mix, the sprouts and one sliced egg each. Enjoy.

April 9th, 2018

Sweet meets spicy meets sour as fresh peas are tossed with fresh ginger, chili and lemon juice. The Indian spice mix garam masala pairs perfectly with sweet peas in this satisfying side dish. This recipe comes to us from Kulsum of Journey Kitchen.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • or
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons non hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, shredded
  • 1 green chili, diced
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala*
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

*Found in Indian markets or the Indian section of most grocery stores.


If using fresh peas, place a medium pot of water over high heat. When the water boils, cook the peas in the water for 2-3 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon into a large bowl of ice water.

Melt 1 tablespoon of margarine in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute, or until the peas absorb the margarine. Remove the peas before they start popping and set aside in a small bowl.

Add the shredded ginger and diced green chili to the wok. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the ginger has become crisp.

Season with the red chili powder and salt to taste. Add the peas back to the wok and season with the garam masala. Mix well and remove from heat.

Add the lemon juice and enjoy.

April 9th, 2018

A traditional French ratatouille is cooked on the stovetop then wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Onions and bell peppers give the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes a savory flavor boost, while maple syrup lends a sweet touch. This recipe comes to us from Carrie of Happy Vegan Yogini.

Serves 4

  • a little olive oil or cooking spray, to coat the skillet
  • 3 small Japanese eggplants, sliced
  • or
  • 1 globe eggplant, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 large whole wheat tortillas, warmed

Prepare a skillet with a light coat of olive oil or cooking spray. Place the skillet over medium high heat and add the eggplant and zucchini. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until eggplant and zucchini start to become tender. Add the onions and pepper and sauté 3 more minutes, or until onions and peppers begin to soften. Add the garlic and sauté 1-3 minutes more, or until garlic becomes fragrant.

Add in diced tomatoes with their juices. Gently stir in the dried thyme, basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a slow boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft and tender.

Add in maple syrup and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Place about ½ cup of the ratatouille filling in the center of a large, warmed tortilla.Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and roll burrito style. Repeat 3 times to make the additional ratatouille wraps.

April 9th, 2018

Green plantains are boiled then spiced with onion, turmeric and cilantro in this Caribbean breakfast. Red beans are seasoned with garlic and cumin for a savory contrast to the plantains and fresh pea shoots top the dish to add a touch of springtime. This recipe comes to us from Karen of Sprouts in the Hood.

Serves 4

For the red beans:

  • 1 cup dried red beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the mashed plantains:

  • 2 unripe green plantains, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup  water
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste

To complete the Mashed Plantain with Red Beans:

  • 1 cup pea shoots

To make the red beans:

Place 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker.

Rinse the soaked beans and place them in the pressure cooker with the water. Cook on high until you hear the whistle. Turn heat down to low and cook for 13 minutes more.

While the beans are cooking, place a little olive or canola oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, garlic and cumin. Sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until the onion has softened and become fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn heat off and let the beans sit in the pressure cooker, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the beans are cooked, but still hold their shape.

Take off the lid and stir in the onion garlic mixture. Set aside.

To make the mashed plantains:

Place a large pot of water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.

Add the unripe plantains and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place in a blender or food processor.

Add the olive oil, vinegar and water to the blender or food processor. Pulse until blended. Season with the cilantro and salt to taste.

Place a little olive or canola oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and turmeric and sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft and fragrant. Mix the onion garlic mixture into the blended plantains.

To complete the Mashed Plantains with Red Beans:

Divide the mashed plantains in 4 portions. Top with a quarter of the red beans and fresh pea shoots per plate and enjoy.

April 9th, 2018

According to our friends at the Meatless Monday movement in Kuwait, this dish of red lentils, rice, and aromatic herbs and spices, called Moadas, provided sustenance to the Kuwaiti people in days past. Dried lime can be found in Middle Eastern markets or specialty online retailers and lends a complex acidity to the dish.

Serves 2-4

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup red lentil
  • 1 handful chopped dill
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped tomato*
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dried lime powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • A dash of salt
  • 3 tbsp. cooking oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 1/2 liters hot water
  • 2 whole heads of garlic*
  • 2 whole green chilis*
  • 3 whole dried limes*
  • *Optional

Heat cooking oil in a large pot. Cook onion, garlic cloves, tomato, spices, and half the amount of dill in cooking oil for 3 minutes.

Add the rice, lentils, whole garlic, whole dried lime, whole green chilis, water, and the rest of the dill.

Cover and cook over high heat until the water is absorbed, then simmer over low heat about 20 minutes.