The Good Dirt

July 31st, 2017

The sour tang of this refreshing salad will wake up your taste buds with the flavors of summer. Using goat’s milk yogurt lends a flavor similar to feta cheese, but go ahead and substitute plain regular yogurt if goat’s milk isn’t available. This recipe comes to us from Kait of Habits of a Modern Hippie.

Serves 1-2

  • 4 cups cucumber, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced paper-thin
  • 1/4 cup dill, de-stemmed
  • 1/2 cup plain goat’s milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Pop in the refrigerator.

Using a very sharp knife or mandolin cut cucumbers, length-wise, and red onion into paper-thin slices.

Combine cucumber and onion in large bowl. Toss well.

One or two tablespoons at a time add chilled dressing to the veggies. Add dressing and toss until you like the consistency of the salad.

Serve chilled and enjoy!

July 31st, 2017

Fresh apples come together with blueberries in this spectacular summer breakfast. Maple syrup plays well off the fruit and sweetens the hearty oats. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

 

Serves 2

  • 1 large apple, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • or
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoons white chia seeds*
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries plus a few more as garnish
  • maple syrup, to serve

*Optional. Found at health stores or the health section of most grocery stores.

Place 3/4 of the apple pulp into a small pot over medium heat. Add the oats, milk, water, chia seeds, if using, and salt to the pot.

Let the oats come to a simmer and allow to gently bubble for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the blueberries and stir to combine.

Transfer the cooked oats to 2 bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup and garnish with a few more blueberries and enjoy!

July 31st, 2017

This unique spin on pasta uses thinly sliced zucchini for noodles and switches up the sauce by featuring golden peppers rather than the traditional tomatoes. The result is a burst of summery flavor in a bowl. This recipe comes to us from Maria of Bean a Foodie.

Serves 2

  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini

Using a spiralizer or julienne peeler, slice/cut your zucchini into spaghetti like strands. Set aside.

Pre heat broiled to high and place oven rack on the top most notch. Place both peppers in the oven underneath the broiled. Cook until skins are just blackened and blistered – about 2-3 minutes per side. This happens quickly, so don’t leave the kitchen while you broil the peppers.

Remove peppers from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel away the blackened skin (though you can eat this if you’d like a charred flavor). Remove stem and seeds and roughly chop.

Place the peppers, garlic, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Process a few seconds more or until sauce is completely pureed.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add in the pepper sauce and cook for about 7 minutes or until thickened slightly (water will be release from the zucchini when it’s cooked so sauce should be thick to prevent it from getting to watery).

Add in the zucchini and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until zucchini is just barely tender. Toss with chopped basil and any extra parmesan cheese desired. Serve immediately!

July 31st, 2017

This fragrant curry is a delicious way to give cauliflower center stage. Packed with the flavors garlic, ginger and coconut milk, it makes an excellent weeknight meal, requiring only one skillet and 30 minutes of cooking. This recipe comes to us from Amber of Homemade Nutrition.

Serves 4

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (about 3 1/2 cups), cut into florets
  • 1 cup low sodium cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup low sodium canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, garam masala, curry powder, and turmeric and stir for about 30 seconds.

Add the garlic, ginger, cauliflower, and chickpeas, and stir until the cauliflower and beans are evenly coated with the spices, about 2 minutes

Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with whole grain naan or pita bread, or over a bed of brown rice.

July 24th, 2017

Tempeh is a whole soybean product that originated in Indonesia. Similar to tofu, tempeh is often a staple in vegetarian diets because of it’s rich protein and fiber content. It has an earthy flavor and readily absorbs flavors when it is marinated or sautéed. This recipe comes to us from Kayli and James of The Plant Eaters’ Manifesto.

Serves 8

Quick-pickled Cabbage:
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 lb. purple cabbage (about ½ a medium head)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 block of tempeh
  • 1 tsp.  olive oil
Peanut Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 8 corn tortillas

For quick-pickled cabbage:

Combine all ingredients except cabbage in a saucepan and heat until liquid begins to simmer.

Thinly slice cabbage and place in a bowl.

Pour hot liquid over shredded cabbage and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

For roasted sweet potatoes and tempeh:

Preheat oven to 450F.

Dice sweet potatoes and tempeh into bite-sized pieces.

Toss with a drizzle of oil. salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until they begin to brown.

For peanut sauce:

Combine sauce ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir mixture until a smooth sauce forms, adding water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches a thin, potable consistency.

In a large bowl, toss roasted sweet potatoes and tempeh with the peanut sauce.

Pile tempeh-sweet potato mixture into tortillas and top with Quick-pickled Cabbage and other optional ingredients.

July 24th, 2017

Corn is grilled and sautéed with shallots and roasted garlic, then purred with fresh chives and tarragon. Bread is grilled and topped with a delightful contrast of the rustic and the refined as corn tarragon puree is garnished with a few freshly grilled corn kernels and tarragon leaves. This recipe comes to us from Ashley of Sprouts.

Serves 8

  • 5 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 loaf multigrain bread, sliced 1/2 thick
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon nondairy creamer

Preheat a grill to medium high heat.

Coat the corn in grapeseed oil and season with the salt and pepper. Grill for about 15 minutes, or until the kernels are slightly charred on all sides, turning every 5 minutes to ensure all sides of the corn cobs are evenly cooked. Set aside to cool.

Brush the slices of bread with a light coating of olive oil and season with a sprinkling of salt. Grill or broil the bread for 3-5 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking, or until the bread is golden. Set aside.

Shave the corn kernels off the ears by holding the ears vertically over a large bowl and cutting down with a knife, allowing the bowl to catch the kernels.

Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Deglaze the shallots with the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Add 2 cups of the corn kernels and roasted garlic to the skillet. Set the remaining grilled corn kernels aside. Sauté the kernels and garlic for another 2-3 minutes or until the corn and garlic is heated through.

Transfer the corn garlic shallot mixture to a food processor. Add the tarragon, chives and creamer. Pulse until the corn mixture reaches desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Top each slice of grilled bread with a heaping tablespoon of corn tarragon garlic spread. Garnish with a teaspoon grilled corn kernels and a few tarragon leaves. Repeat with the remaining bread, divide into 8 portions and enjoy!

July 24th, 2017

This hearty lunch creates delectable flavors by preparing four distinct foods simply to show off their best qualities and then contrasting them. Acorn squash is steamed, bulgur is soaked and chickpeas are sauteed before it’s tossed with fresh baby spinach and seasoned with lemon juice, cinnamon and paprika. This recipe comes to us from Jennifer of Eat Well Meal Plans.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup bulgur*
  • 2 medium acorn squash, cut in half & seeds removed
  • 1 14.5 ounce can chick peas, drained, rinsed & dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

*found in the grain section of most grocery stores.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bulgur to the pot. Remove from heat, cover and soak for about 30 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed.

Place the seeded squash halves on a microwave-safe plate. Pour 1 teaspoon water in each of the 4 squash cavities. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, or until the squash’s flesh softens. Scoop the softened flesh from the outer shell and transfer it to a bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and sauté, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until they start to brown. Set aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add squash by the spoonful, about 2 to 3 tablespoons per scoop. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

Drain any excess water from the bulgur and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the chickpeas, squash and baby spinach. Toss lightly to wilt the spinach. Season with the lemon juice, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine and enjoy.

July 24th, 2017

Pancakes are stacked with banana and brown sugar in between. Orange slices, blueberries, dollops of yogurt and fresh mint leaves top these fruit flapjacks. This recipe comes to us from Tracy of veggie.num.num.

Serves 6

For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour*
  • ½ cup wholemeal or stone ground plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ½ cups nonfat milk
  • 3 ounces butter, melted and cooled
  • or
  • 3 ounces non-dairy butter substitute, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • a little extra butter or non-stick cooking spray, for the skillet

To complete the Orange Blueberry Banana Pancakes:

  • 16 ounces Greek yogurt
  • a little lemon juice, for preparing the bananas
  • 3 bananas, sliced diagonally
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar**
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 basket blueberries
  • maple syrup**, for drizzling
  • 12 fresh mint leaves, for garnish

*Self-rising flour can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores, but it’s quick and easy to make your own from all-purpose flour.

**optional

To make the pancakes:

In a large bowl sift the self-rising flour together with the stone ground flour. Add the sugar and stir to combine.

Make a well in the center and add the milk, melted butter and whisked egg. Mix until all ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth.

Prepare a skillet very lightly with a little extra butter or cooking spray and put over medium heat.

When skillet is heated, add 2 tablespoons of batter to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbled begin to appear. Carefully flip pancakes over with spatula and cook for another minute. Transfer finished pancake to a warmed plate and cover with a towel.

Repeat process until you’re out of batter. Makes 10-12 pancakes.

To complete the Orange Blueberry Banana Pancakes:

Spread each pancake with a little Greek yogurt. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the sliced bananas.

Stack the pancakes in 2’s with banana slices and brown sugar in between the pancakes in each stack.

Top each stack with 2 slices of orange and a good dollop of Greek yogurt. Drizzle with maple syrup if using and finish with blueberries and fresh mint leaves.

July 17th, 2017

This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is a classic dish in France. It makes a wonderful, protein-rich highlight of any meal. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day. This recipe comes to us from Sharon Palmer, RDN.

Serves 6

  • 1 pound (454 g) dried lentils (or 3 cups cooked; see Note)
  • 4 cups (948 ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium vegetable broth base
  • 4 celery stalks, diced (160 g or about 11⁄2 cups)
  • 11⁄2 cups (224 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 1⁄4 cup (15 g) packed chopped fresh parsley
  • 11⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of sea salt, optional

Place the lentils, water, and broth base in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but firm.

Remove from the heat, drain any remaining liquid, and transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Stir in the celery, tomatoes, shallots, and parsley.

In a small dish, make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, herbes de Provence, black pepper, and garlic.

Add the dressing to the lentil mixture and toss. Taste and season with sea salt, if desired. Chill until serving time.

Note: If you’re in a rush, use precooked, refrigerated lentils, available at many stores. Although a classic French lentil salad uses lentils du puys (small, dark green lentils), try other varieties for a colorful twist, such as yellow, beluga (black), or multicolored lentils.

Variation: Substitute cooked beans, such as white, fava, or cranberry beans, for the lentils.

July 17th, 2017

Spaghetti squash is a unique vegetable, to be sure, but it’s the sauce in this recipe that’s likely to raise your eyebrows. Featuring ginger, hot sauce and – gasp – chocolate peanut butter, this dish is a taste experience you won’t forget! This recipe comes to use from Aditi & Nikhil of Confused Bawarchis.

Serves 2

For the spaghetti noodles

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds taken out
  • 1 cup spinach, cut in a chiffonade
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons toasted spaghetti squash seeds
  • 5-6 tablespoons mint cut in a chiffonade

For the spicy chocolate peanut sauce

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 teaspoons pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chocolate peanut butter (or plain peanut butter)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • tiny splash of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the squash halves, cut side up, on the baking sheet with a little drizzle of olive oil.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the flesh pulls away in easy strands. In the last 15 minutes of baking, add the spaghetti squash seeds on to the same baking sheet on the side and allow them to toast.

In the meanwhile, place all of the sauce ingredients either in a small jar and with the lid on shake it well. Alternatively you could blend them in a blender. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the spaghetti strands out with a fork into a large bowl and add the onions, carrots, spinach and mint and mix it very gently.

Pour a big splash of the dressing into the bowl and toss it gently.

Top it off with the toasted squash seeds and enjoy the crunchy salad!

July 17th, 2017

These gluten free muffins contrast sweet strawberries with sour lemon juice and herbal lavender. Try pressing a quartered strawberry on top of the muffins before baking to give this breakfast bread a refreshingly sweet finish. This recipe comes to us from Christy, The Blissful Chef.

Serves 12

  • 1 cup brown rice flour*1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lavender, minced
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, finely chopped
  • 3 strawberries, greens removed & quartered

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

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with liners or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the brown rice flour, cornmeal, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, arrowroot and salt together in a large bowl.

Whisk the almond milk and vinegar together in a smaller bowl until they begin to bubble. Add the safflower oil, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and sugar. Whisk together with the almond milk vinegar mixture until well combined.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring, until well combined.

Fold the minced lavender and finely chopped strawberries into the batter. Spoon the batter equal amounts into the muffin tin cups.

Top each muffin liner with one strawberry quarter, pressing down lightly. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry. Enjoy!

July 17th, 2017

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.

Serves 4

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!

July 10th, 2017

Tomatoes are marinated in garlic and olive oil, then stuffed with goat cheese lemon quinoa stuffing. The classic Italian flavor profile has never come together in a more elegantly deconstructed fashion, as the quinoa stuffed tomatoes are baked and finished with fresh basil.This recipe comes to us from Namisha of Club Dine In!

Serves 4

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper.

Remove the seeds and some of the flesh from the tomatoes with a spoon. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on paper towels to drain for about 5 minutes.

Whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Gently toss the drained tomatoes in the garlic oil mixture with your hands until the tomatoes are well coated. Set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Place the quinoa, goat cheese, bread crumbs and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly, taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Place the marinated tomato halves, cut side up, on the parchment paper lined baing sheet. Fill each tomato with the quinoa goat cheese mixture. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are slightly softened and their undersides are brown.

Divide the tomatoes into 4 portions, sprinkle with basil and enjoy!

July 10th, 2017

Strawberries bring summertime’s sweetness to balance refreshing grape tomatoes, carrots and yellow bell peppers. Balsamic vinegar is tempered with maple syrup and lemon juice to create vinaigrette which tastes complex, but is simple to prepare. This recipe comes to us from Christy, The Blissful Chef.

Serves 5

For the balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons maple syrup
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    1 clove garlic*, diced

To complete the strawberry tomato salad:

  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn or cut chiffonade
    2 avocados, chopped bite size
    1 medium carrot, julienned
    10 grape tomatoes, quartered
    6 strawberries, ends cut off and sliced
    1 cup yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
    salt and pepper, to taste

*optional

 

To make the balsamic vinaigrette:

 

In a medium bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, pepper and garlic if using. Whisk together until full blended.

To complete the strawberry tomato salad:

In a large bowl combine the lettuce, avocados, carrot, tomatoes, strawberries and yellow bell pepper. Toss salad together, dress with the balsamic vinaigrette and toss again until the salad is fully coated. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Enjoy!

July 10th, 2017

Fresh strawberries are sprinkled with a little brown sugar to release their fruit juice in this grab and go breakfast. Yogurt and ricotta are naturally sweetened with honey then layered between brown sugar strawberries and crunchy granola. This recipe comes to us from Madelyn of Karma Free Cooking.

Serves 3

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups granola*
  • 1 cup part skim low fat ricotta
  • 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • squirt of honey

*Many varieties of prepackaged granola are sold in grocery stores, but if time allows we suggest making your own.

Place the berries brown sugar together in a large bowl. Allow to macerate for 10 minutes.

Mix the ricotta, yogurt and honey together in a separate bowl. Mix well.

Pour a few tablespoons of the yogurt ricotta mixture in a glass. Place with brown sugar strawberry slices on the yogurt ricotta and then with the granola. Top with a few more brown sugar strawberry slices. Repeat the layering process in 2 other glasses and enjoy.