The Good Dirt

November 12th, 2018

This flavorful spread pairs split peas with pine nuts, basil and garlic, adding a punch of protein to the traditional pesto recipe! It’s perfect to serve on crostini with your choice of toppings.

This recipe comes to us from our friends at USA Pulses.

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup cooked split peas
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


Combine the split peas, pine nuts, basil, garlic, Parmesan and salt in a food processor. Pulse for about 10 seconds until roughly chopped and combined.

Slowly add the olive oil with the food processor running, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Continue to pulse until mixture reaches desired consistency.

Use immediately as pasta sauce, or spread on crostini or crackers with your toppings of choice.

Transfer unused portion to air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

November 12th, 2018

Pulses are eaten for breakfast in many cultures around the world, but it’s rare to see peas on a breakfast menu in the U.S. This recipe will change that! Savory split yellow peas are paired with rich coconut milk for a satisfying porridge that makes for a great way to start your day.

This recipe comes to us from our friends at USA Pulses.

Serves 5

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large or 4 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons grated or minced ginger (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow split peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned, not boxed)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


Heat the coconut oil in a Dutch oven or a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds, if using, and allow them to cook until they start to pop. Stir in the onion and carrots. Saute the vegetables for 8-10 minutes, or until they’re very soft and the onions are clear, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the vegetables start to stick. Stir in the ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the split peas and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.

Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the split peas are tender. Check the split peas a few times to stir them and make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom of the pot; if they’re very thick, stir in a half cup of water.

Once the split peas are very tender, stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust salt, pepper, lime juice, and turmeric to taste. Serve with rice and toppings of choice.

Leftover porridge will keep for up to 6 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

November 12th, 2018

Rather than traditional buns, these sloppy joes are served with spaghetti squash for a plant-based twist. And this hearty meatless meal is super simple to prepare – just toss protein-packed green lentils along with everything else in a slow cooker and turn it on!

This recipe comes to us from our friends at USA Pulses.

Serves 4

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced (carrot is optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder,
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups water plus more if necessary
  • 2 tbsp organic ketchup
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 spaghetti squash, washed
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large slow cooker, add in all ingredients except spaghetti squash. Stir to combine.

Cut the washed spaghetti squash in half around the middle and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash halves face down in the slow cooker right on top of the lentils. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until squash is tender and lentils are cooked completely. If the lentils seem dry in any way, just stir in some water until it reaches a nice thick, consistency.

Remove spaghetti squash and shred inside with a fork. Divide among bowls and add lentil sloppy joe topping. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

November 12th, 2018

The recipe below makes one serving of a fantastic make-ahead salad, packed with plant-powered ingredients like lentils and sweet potatoes. So stock your fridge with a few servings and you’ll be set with nourishing lunches all week long!

This recipe comes to us from our friends at USA Pulses.

Serves 1

  • For the Salad:
  • 1 cup sweet potato (diced)
  • 1/2 cup cup green lentils (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup couscous (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil


  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare French green lentils and couscous according to package directions

Preheat oven to 400F, toss sweet potatoes with avocado oil and spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove sweet potatoes from oven and set aside.

Add dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir with a fork until combined

In a mason jar add dressing, lentils, sweet potatoes, couscous, cranberries, arugula in that particular order, to make sure the greens stay crisp!

Store mason jar in refrigerator until ready to eat. Mason jar will keep for 3 days refrigerated.

Note: The above recipe makes one very large serving. Consider portioning the ingredients according to your own appetite if the portion seems large to you.

November 5th, 2018

Red cabbage is chopped into ribbons and tossed with red wine vinegar, honey, coriander, soy sauce and chili powder for a sweet-sour-spicy flavor. Green apples soak up this delectable sauce, before this fruit veggie medley is topped with freshly grated ginger. Try this dish on the side in place of coleslaw. This recipe comes to us from Jenné of Sweet Potato Soul.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, washed & cut into ribbons
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice with pulp
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • fresh black pepper
  • orange slices*, for garnish

Place the olive oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the red cabbage ribbons, sprinkle with a little salt, stir and cover. Cook the cabbage for about 2 minutes, or until the cabbage begins to soften.

Uncover the pot and coat the cabbage with the vinegar, honey, bay leaf, coriander, tamari or soy sauce and chili powder. Stir thoroughly, turn down heat to medium-low and cover again and cook 4-6 minutes.

Uncover and pour in the orange juice, orange pulp and apple cubes. Cook about 10 minutes more, or until the cabbage has reached desired tenderness. Taste for seasoning and adjust to preference.

Serve hot or warm, sprinkled with freshly grated ginger and black pepper. Garnish with sliced oranges, if using, and enjoy!

November 5th, 2018

Yogurt stands in for ricotta cheese in these fluffy flapjacks. A sprinkling of pomegranate seeds makes for a slightly tart fruit topping, but for a more traditional take, try them with berries, sautéed apples or banana slices. This recipe comes to us from Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen.

Serves 1.

  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup*


In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 egg yolk from the separated egg with the yogurt, flour and vanilla extract.

In a larger bowl, beat the 2 egg whites, sugar and salt together until they are fluffy and hold a soft peak.

Scrape about a third of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk yogurt mixture and stir gently until the mixture is lightened. Very gently, fold in the rest of the egg whites, trying not to deflate them.

Melt the butter in a small nonstick pan over medium-low heat. When the pan is heated, add half of the batter. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until brown, then flip and cook 3-4 minutes on the reverse side. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

Top the pancakes with pomegranate seeds and syrup, if desired, and enjoy.

November 5th, 2018

Savory mushrooms compliment tagliolini pasta in this recipe. Tagliolini is a richer version of fettuccine, usually made fresh. Dried fettuccine will work as a swap, but fresh pasta will elevate the recipe (and save cooking time). If you can find them, don’t forget the fresh truffles to finish off the dish! This recipe comes to us from Chef Michael Pirolo, executive chef and owner of Macchialina.

Serves 4

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 7 oz Abalone mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2-1 oz. fresh truffles
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus more as needed
  • 10.5 oz tagliolini or tagliatelle pasta
  • salt
  • chili flakes
  • parsley, chiffonade


Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes, adding chili flakes and salt.

Add about 6 oz of water, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add another 1/2 cup of water.

In the meanwhile, cook the tagliolini in abundant salted water until ‘al dente’, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water before draining the pasta.

Fold the pasta into the mushrooms.

Add drizzle of olive oil, parsley, and sauté while adding the grated parmesan, until you have a creamy consistency. Add some of the reserved cooking water if pasta is too dry.

Serve immediately, grating or shaving the fresh truffle over each plate. Buon appetito!

Note: To clean the mushrooms, do not wash with water! With a small knife cut off the bottom; then take off any remaining dirt with a vegetable brush or a damp cloth.

November 5th, 2018

This plant-packed salad features all the flavors we look forward to once fall rolls around…namely, cranberries, kale and roasted butternut squash! Filling farro adds fiber and protein to the dish, while a tangy apple cider vinaigrette ties it all together. This recipe comes to us from Tiffany from Parsnips and Pastries.

  • For the Salad:
  • 12 ounces of cubed butternut squash, roasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, roasted and salted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cooked farro, cooled*
  • 5 ounces baby kale
  • 1 heaping cup arugula
  • 1 Gala apple, cut into matchsticks
  • For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Make the vinaigrette:
Combine all of the ingredients in a glass mason jar and shake vigorously until combined. Set aside to let meld.

Roast the butternut squash and cook the farro:
Combine the butternut squash with a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until tender.
For the farro, cook 1 cup of dried farro in 3 cups of water or stock. Add rinsed farro to a pot of water/stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and let cool.

Assemble salad:
Cut the apple into matchsticks and roughly chop the pecans. Toss with the kale, arugula, farro, squash, and cranberries. Dress with the vinaigrette and serve topped with additional pecans and cranberries, if desired.

November 5th, 2018

Go behind the scenes with Freebirds World Burrito’s recipe for meatless Beyond Meat crumbles. This savory, protein-packed recipe is a perfect addition to any tex-mex entrée, such as burritos, tacos, nachos or salads. This recipe comes to us directly from the burrito masters at Freebirds World Burrito.

Serves 4

  • One package Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles
  • One potato, cubed
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Approx 2-3 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Salt to taste


Pre-heat frying oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer or deep skillet or frying pan.

Place 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil in sauce pan over medium heat.

Add the onions and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until tender.

While the onions are cooking fry the potatoes in 350-degree frying oil for 4 minutes. Remove from oil and allow to drain.

Once the onions are tender, add the taco seasoning, chili powder, paprika, cayenne and the Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles.

Cook mixture for about 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat.

Add the Beyond Meat mixture to the potatoes and stir gently with spatula to evenly mix the onions, spice and potatoes. Salt to taste.

Top off nachos, tacos or a salad and enjoy!

October 29th, 2018

Who says Halloween has to be all about candy? These savory stuffed pumpkins are the perfect autumn treat. Filled with millet, jalapeno, nuts, coconut and curry, they’re perfect for guests or a quiet evening in. This recipe comes to us from Robin Asbell.

Serves 6

  • 3 small sweet dumpling squash or mini pumpkins (about 13 oz/370 g each)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup/60 g chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 medium jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup/50 g millet
  • 1/2 cup/120 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup/55 g raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup/55 g whole almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C/gas 6. Cut the squashes in half from the stem to the tip, or if you are using pumpkins that sit flat, cut off the tops as shown in the photo above. Scoop out the seeds and place them cut-side down on oiled baking sheets/trays. Bake for 10 minutes (they will not be completely cooked). Take the pans out and flip the squash halves over. When they have cooled, use a spoon to cut into the flesh, loosening it in spots but leaving it in the shell. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F/190° C/gas 5.

In a 2-qt/2-L saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion, ginger, and mustard seeds. Sauté over medium-high heat until the onions are golden, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeño, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon and stir until they are fragrant. Add the millet and stir to coat, then add the ¼ cup/60 ml water, the coconut milk, and salt and bring them to a boil. When it boils, cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the nuts, then stuff the mixture into the squashes. Sprinkle each with 1 tsp of coconut.

Bake the squashes until the filling is set and bubbling and the squashes are easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Let them cool slightly before serving.

October 29th, 2018

Hot cereal is simmered with cinnamon, dates and maple syrup for a sweet spiced breakfast that’ll take you back to childhood. Pumpkin’s earthiness is a great match for the porridge grain farina in this stick-to-your-ribs dish that’s sure to keep you full until lunch. This recipe comes to us from Kathy of Happy. Healthy. Life.

Serves 2

  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • or
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/3 cup uncooked farina based porridge
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin*
  • or
  • 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin puree*
  • 1 teaspoon nondairy buttery spread, for garnish
  • or
  • 1 teaspoon butter, for garnish
  • additional soy milk, for garnish
  • dash of cinnamon, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons dates, chopped for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons pecans**, chopped for garnish

*please note that canned pumpkin is not the same as canned pumpkin pie filling, which should not be substituted. To make your own pumpkin puree, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and roast, cut side down, in a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until pumpkin flesh is soft when poked as a fork. For the smoothest consistency, puree the roasted pumpkin pulp in a food processor or blender.



Bring the water and milk to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the salt and porridge, stirring constantly. Bring to a strong boil and reduce heat to medium.

Continue stirring constantly and cook according to package directions, or until the porridge thickens.

Stir in the cinnamon, dates and maple syrup. If you desire a thinner cereal add in additional milk. Thicker, add in more cereal.

When the porridge has cooked into a thick, hydrated consistency resembling thick applesauce, turn the heat down to low.

Stir in the pumpkin puree over low heat. You can either stir it in completely or you can leave it swirled gently into the porridge.

Turn off the heat and spoon equal amounts of porridge into 2 bowls. Add ½ teaspoon butter per bowl, a dash of cinnamon and a splash of milk on top. Add a few leftover chopped dates and pecans, if using, as garnish and enjoy.

October 29th, 2018

Rice is cooked bright orange in carrot juice and shaped with your hands to form mini pumpkin lookalikes. In this creative snack, kalamata olives are cut into triangles for the eyes and mouths, while green bell pepper pieces are used as stems. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Apron Strings.

Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups medium or short grain rice
  • 2 cups carrot juice*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 kalamata olives
  • 1/4 green bell pepper

*Although carrot juice can be found premade in stores, if time and equipment allows, we suggest making your own.

Place the rice, carrot juice, water and salt in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed. Let the rice cool to room temperature.

Lightly sprinkle your hands with water to prevent the rice from sticking. Roll the orange rice into golf ball sized spheres with your hands.

Cut the kalamata olives into small triangles and curved lines and the bell pepper into small rectangles. Place eyes and mouths on the rice jack o’lanterns using the olive pieces. Place a stem atop each rice jack o’lantern using the bell pepper and enjoy!

October 29th, 2018

Forget canned pumpkin! Truly eat with the seasons with this cool-weather recipe, which features whole pumpkin, leeks and hearty kale over a bed of comforting polenta. Top it off with a homemade basil dressing for a spectacular plant-based meal. This recipe comes to us from Elena of Happy Kitchen. Rocks.

Serves 4

  • For pumpkin and kale with creamy polenta:
  • 1 1/2 cup polenta
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
  • 1/2 small pumpkin
  • 1 small red chili pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 7 oz curly kale chopped, veins removed
  • 1/3 leek sliced
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 4 oz mozzarella (optional)
  • For the dressing:
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Demerara sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (to serve)

In a pot, bring water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil. Gradually add polenta, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, add parmesan (optional),cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the pumpkin. Heat a lug of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium high heat. Add pumpkin and cook until the pumpkin it is soft, about 8 minutes. Chop red chili pepper and thyme leaves and add them before the pumpkin is ready. Transfer to a plate and put the pan or wok back on the stove.

Add a bit of oil to the pan and once it’s hot, add garlic and kale. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add leek slices and cook until soft and slightly golden, about 4 minutes.

Make the dressing: combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Demerara sugar (optional), chopped basil, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Arrange polenta, pumpkin, kale and leek on two plates. Add sliced mozzarella (optional). Serve with balsamic dressing and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

October 22nd, 2018

Sweet potato is sautéed with onion until crisp while eggs are seasoned with oregano and thyme. This hearty breakfast boasts both sweet and salty flavors as roasted sunflower seeds finish the dish with a delightful crunch. This recipe comes to us from Karen of Sprouts in the Hood.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 sweet potato, sliced
  • 5 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup low fat cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds, roasted

Place the olive oil in an 8 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the sweet potato and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked through and slightly crispy. Set aside.

Pour the beaten eggs into a separate medium bowl. Stir in the milk and grated cheese. Season with the oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Add the egg milk mixture and the sautéed sweet potato mixture to the skillet. Stir until the sautéed sweet potatoes are they evenly distributed in the egg mixture. Turn heat down to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the eggs are almost firm. Turn on the broiler.

Place the skillet under the broiler for 1-3 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Set aside and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Loosen the frittata from the skillet by running a knife around the edges. Flip onto a platter and remove the skillet.

Garnish with roasted sunflower seeds, cut into 4 slices and enjoy.

October 22nd, 2018

A Middle Eastern dip with an Asian flair that’s perfect to bring to potlucks. The hot chili oil adds a subtle spice and lemon juice brings a citrus tang to this zesty hummus.

This recipe comes to us from Lindsay of Running with Tongs.

Serves 8

  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
  • 1 tablespoon sesame chili oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place chickpeas, sesame chili oil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and tahini together and blend until smooth.

Add 1/4-1/3 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid until the hummus has reached its desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with cut up veggies or pita bread.