entrees

Stuffed Bell Peppers

39CF5BD5-16F0-4217-8F85-88F07F8C5309I am a strong believer in flavorful cooking. Yes I said it, I will not eat grass, I will not eat something that doesn’t make my tastebuds go wild! Ok, wait, I take that back… a little… I do eat things that are good for me nutritionally and that perhaps don’t taste the total best. Sometimes I am lucky enough to have a wheatgrass shot or some fresh algae, and that to most doesn’t seem tasty, but to me I’m so use to these wonderfully nutritious items I’ll take em down knowing the benefits. It takes time to get there, don’t worry, and meanwhile I still eat really yummy spiced up foods!! I recommend starting to work on your spice cabinet pronto! Try to Grab organic when you can. I know it’s a little more expensive but it’s worth it. Your health is worth it. Buying all the spices upfront can get pricey, but with each recipe, you might find one new spice you need to purchase and it won’t seem so crazy expensive buying one or two at a time.

So back to the recipe. I actually never had a stuffed bell pepper when I was a child. Is that crazy? Did you eat them a lot when you were growing up? Once I got older and I realized how much fun it was to put a bunch of ingredients together and stuff them in a vegetable, I did! The possibilities are endless! You can flavor and add ingredients basically however you’d like, this is just one of my versions.

I always love to do Cajun or taco seasoning with my bell peppers, but I am also a huge Italian flavors fan!! So you could absolutely use Italian season and fresh basil and even a little tomato sauce to give those flavors. Though I might use garbanzo or white beans instead of black beans with an Italian version, which this recipe calls for. I also like to add a whole grain such as brown rice or quinoa to add nutrients and quinoa packs some protein. I also have a version of this recipe where I just used more beans and vegetable without the quinoa. Hit me up if you want that recipe.

I have made stuffed bell peppers a ton of times. They look fun and taste great. They are pretty dang hearty too. You can serve them with a side of salad or if there is something else you prefer, do that! Do what makes you feel good and what tastes good to you. Share these yummy suckers with your friends and family as well!! They’ll thank you for it.

A59E4844-8DD9-4A9A-AF3F-3F8EF1CE5CB5

 

Stuffed Bell Peppers 

4 Bell peppers (top cut off, de-seeded and baked for 10 minutes at 400)

1 1/2 C Quinoa cooked (or rice )

1 small Onion

2 cloves of garlic

8 Mushrooms

1 Medium zucchini (chopped)

1/2  Package Taco Seasoning

1/2 Rounded Cup of Daiya cheese, any flavor your heart desires!   OR You can use half a cream cheese tub

1/2 can of Black Beans (BPA free can or box or soak and boiling your own is even better!)

Optional: instead of beans, you can grab a meat substitute like “ground meat” or another favorite. (I just try to stay away from processed as much as possible which is why beans are such a great low fat protein option).

Method:

-Cook the Quinoa according to package, make sure you rinse it properly before cooking. Set aside to cool until it is ready to mix with the other ingredients.

-If you want your bell peppers to stand, Cut the tops off and take the inner seeds out of the bell peppers. If you would like to lay them on their side, keep the tops on and cut the peppers in half lengthwise and take the seeds out, spray oil on the the bell peppers and bake them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then take them out and let them cool to the touch before stuffing.

-Sauté the chopped onions and garlic (about 5 minutes), then add zucchini (cook 3-5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and sauté (for 3 more minutes).

-Once the veggies are sautéed and the quinoa is ready, place them and the black beans in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix together. Add the cheese and pulse one more time.                                 ——-If you’re adding cream cheese, you can spoon that in with these ingredients to the food processor as well. ——————-If you don’t have a food processor, cut the vegetables into very small pieces and just mix the cheese into the other ingredients in a bowl.

-Spoon the mixture into the bell peppers and place on the baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. If desired, at 15 minutes, place some vegan cheese on top.

-Then, please enjoy.

love, Stephie xoxo

 

396C2AD0-C3F1-4EB9-82F6-F05DC7E07D2B

 

appetizers

7 Layer Bean Dip

374E99E3-0479-44B1-A91C-C8073EDB5079Ok, So I’m going to be real honest here. Growing up, dad wasn’t really around. So football parties and get togethers weren’t a huge thing around our house. BUTTT for whatever reason… Superbowl parties always took place at our house! If I had to work during the game I found myself so bummed! I realized shortly after this behavior that it wasn’t that I was bummed to miss the game, but I was bummed to miss the party and eat food. LOL. Yes, it bummed me out to miss the food. I want good food too ok?! I was always in charge of making the dips. Bean dip, Onion dip, and Ranch dip. Of course, as you can probably imagine, 7 layer bean dip isn’t traditionally made vegan. So naturally I had to veganise it.

I am pretty sure I ave said this to you all before. When you are first transitioning, find a few of your favorite dishes and make them vegan! When your comfortable making something its so much easier to make it healthier with different swaps. So that is exactly what I did. I think Tofutti Brand makes a nice “sour cream” and for the cheese on top, Earth Island, formerly known as Follow your heart, makes a good shredded cheese. You do need to check your refried beans and make sure that they are also vegan. I was actually surprised that many refried beans still contain lard or other animals fats in them. I get it, they make it taste better, i guess… But they have been time and time again been called out for being unhealthy. But whatever, not trying to call anyone out here right now. I am just saying, check your beans at every meal.

If you wanted to keep it super wholesome and real, you could make a sour cream out of nuts, homemade, and you could take some black beans and spices and blend them into a dip to make “refried” beans. That is totally fine with me and I actually encourage it, I just know not everyone has the time to do that or learn it, at least perhaps not at this present moment.

9228CE19-EBB3-46F7-AD43-D15E3C1FB936

7 Layer Bean Dip

-1 can refried beans

-1/2 package taco seasoning

-1/2 package of sour cream (I like Tofutti)

-Home made or store bought guacamole 

-1/2 package of vegan cheese (I like Earth Island or Daiya)

-6oz Can of sliced olives 

-3 tomatoes chopped 

-4 scallions finely chopped

Method:

-Mix almost the entire half package of taco seasoning, save a little to sprinkle over the sour cream later, then save the other half package for next time you make this. 

-It’s a pretty easy layering game. Put the ingredients into a square Pyrex dish in the order the list goes. 

-Serve immediately, or cover and place in the fridge to set for a few hours. You can keep this dip up to 3-5 days. Bring this to a party and don’t say it’s dairy free, see if anyone says anything…

breakfast

Breakfast Nachos!!!

 

Who doesn’t like Nachos?? And don’t we all enjoy a good breakfast meal or brunch?? Well, I do, thats for sure! So often I am asked how breakfast can ever be the same again after going plant based, or how it is even possible to have a good breakfast meal. I PROMISE you, it can happen. There are loads of options, you just have to get creative. Breakfast, especially a good scramble, has always been my favorite meal. So naturally, I figured out how to make a breakfast scramble pretty quickly. Once I had that covered, I felt like the next step was to get even more creative and add a twist… I could have nachos at least once a day. I don’t know if it has something to do with the crunch of the chips, or perhaps the creaminess of the sauce and all the flavors coming together, BUT I LOVE THEM!! Heck, I would even order loaded veggie nachos without cheese or sour cream, ADD ALL the guacamole and still be a happy camper at a non vegan restaurant. Though lets be real, the creamy cheesiness makes me pretty happy.

So I decided I would make breakfast nachos! DUH! It was one of those spur of the moment decisions I made for mothers day Brunch last year and it was a hit!! Get ready though, these aren’t just regular nachos with salsa, guac, and cheese… I like to add ALLLLL the toppings. K, BYE! Just kidding, I’m not going anywhere yet, I still have to write the recipe. Here is the thing that is beautiful about nachos, you can add and subtract whatever you please to the dish. I am only writing an outline to you, it’s your decision if you want to go out on a limb and get creative and magical and substitute anything else you would like. Or maybe this time you make it ingredient for ingredient and then add a spin to your next batch..? Life is about creating! Get creative, Be creative! Happy Tuesday loves.

 

Breakfast Nachos

For the Queso:

-1 Cup White Beans

-1/4 Cup Water
-1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
-1/4 Red Bell Pepper (cut into 4 pieces)
-1 Tablespoon Jalepeno
-1 Tablespoon Lemon
-1 teaspoon Salt
-1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
-1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
-pinch of Cumin
  • Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy; for about a minute.
For the scramble Topping:
-1/2 Large Onion
-3 Cloves Garlic
-1 1/2 Zucchini
-1 1/2 Cups Broccoli
-1/2 Bell Pepper
-10 Mushrooms
-1 package extra firm tofu
-1 Handfull of Spinach
-1 Package of Soyrizo
Optional Toppings:
Guacamole (make your own, or use my recipe in the dips section)
Sour Cream (Tofutti brand is great)
  • Chopp the onion and sautĂ© with a pinch of salt on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Then add the garlic and sautĂ© another 2 minutes. Add zucchini and broccoli and sautĂ© for about 5 minutes, add taco seasoning or salt+black pepper+cumin+cayenne to season. Then add bell pepper and mushrooms and sautĂ© another 5 minutes. Take the tofu out of the package, drain the water, and crumble it over the pan to give it a “Scrambled” look. Add more seasoning and cook another 5-10 minutes to allow the tofu to soak up all the flavors. At the end, I like to add a heaping handful of spinach, which will look like a lot at first, but it will wilt down pretty quickly. Once the spinach is wilted down the scramble topping is ready.
Towards the end of cooking the scramble, empty the soyrizo into a different pan on low heat and add a little water to break up the mixture. Let it warm up for about 5 minutes and it will be ready to serve.
Option to add black beans as well. Warmed up or straight out of the BPA free can. BOO-YA.
After you have all of the components ready, THROW THAT ON A PLATE AND PILE HIGH!!! Well, if I were you, I would pile high. That means more nutrients and more food. Not that I am advocating to over eat, but ya know, I am sure you’ll want to eat now… Enjoy Beautifuls!