PHOTOGRAPHY: Dimitar Nikolov

Myra Goodman, founder of Earthbound Farm, the largest grower of organic produce in the United States, shares two of her favorite fall recipes, Chopped Autumn Salad and Oatmeal, Carrot and Apple Breakfast Squares, with IDEA Fitness Journal readers. Both are vegan. The salad uses some of fall’s best bounty: apples, pears and persimmons. The breakfast squares are a good choice for people who exercise, Goodman says, because “you can put a frozen square in your gym bag and after you work out or teach, it will be thawed to room temperature and you’ll have a yummy, nutritional snack.”

Chopped Autumn Salad

Myra Goodman: “Romaine lettuce and red cabbage make a delicious, crunchy combination. The colors of this salad are beautiful, and every bite is good for you. Apples, pears, persimmons and pomegranates are the signature fruits of autumn; for a change of pace, you can add dried cranberries or sliced grapes.” Serves six to eight as a side salad.


12 ounces (oz) red cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

2 romaine hearts, coarsely chopped (about 6 cups), rinsed and dried if not prewashed

2 crisp apples, such as Fuji, Gala or Braeburn, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
2 ripe but firm pears, such as Bosc or Anjou, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice, seeds discarded, if any
apple cider vinaigrette (recipe follows)
seeds from 1 medium pomegranate (optional)
20 fresh mint leaves, cut into thin ribbons

Place cabbage and romaine in large bowl and toss to combine.

Just before serving, add apples, pears and persimmons to cabbage-romaine mixture and toss to combine. Add half of Apple Cider Vinaigrette and toss again, adding more dressing as desired.

Transfer salad to large platter and garnish with pomegranate seeds, if using, and with mint. Serve immediately.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This sweet-tart dressing is terrific with sturdy or assertive greens like the romaine and red cabbage in the Chopped Autumn Salad. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, add an extra tablespoon of brown sugar or a tablespoon of honey or agave syrup. Makes about 3/4 cup.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons (tbs) packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt, or more to taste

Combine all ingredients in glass jar, and seal lid tightly. Shake vigorously to combine. (The vinaigrette can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 weeks. Let it return to room temperature and shake vigorously before using.)

Oatmeal, Carrot and Apple Breakfast Squares

“Sarah LaCasse [Earthbound Farm Stand executive chef] and I worked on this recipe for weeks, testing version after version until the result was a perfect breakfast square,” Goodman says. “Packed into every sweet and wholesome square are 8 grams of protein, 20% of your daily requirement for fiber, 10% of your calcium and over 100% of your vitamin A. Buttermilk keeps the cake tender, carrots and apples add moisture, and walnuts and coconut combine for a crunchy topping. This recipe makes enough to feed a dozen, and the squares stay fresh and delicious for days. And although we call these ‘breakfast squares,’ you may like them best as an afternoon or late-night snack.” Makes 12 squares.


butter, for greasing baking dish
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cup (5 oz) whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 tbs baking soda
1 teaspoon (tsp) baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (11.25 oz) packed light-brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 cup grated, peeled carrots (about 4 medium carrots)

1 cup grated peeled apples (2 medium apples)


2 cups walnut pieces

1/2 cup (2 oz) unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup (scant 2 oz) packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter bottom and sides of 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Place oats, flour, flaxseeds, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium-size mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and toil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in buttermilk.

Add oat mixture to buttermilk mixture and stir to combine. Add carrots and apples, and stir just until blended. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish.

Place walnuts, coconut, brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Stir to blend and sprinkle topping mixture evenly over batter.

Bake squares until batter has set and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean (about 45 minutes). Let cool on wire rack for 1 hour; then cut into 12 pieces. (Squares can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.)