Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

For those of you who like stuffed peppers, you are in for a treat with these quinoa stuffed peppers. My mom used to make Indian stuffed pepper using green bell pepper and making the stuffing with potatoes, peas, onions and spices. They were so yummy. This is my version using a variety of colourful peppers and stuffing them with quinoa, peas, onions, spices and feta cheese. I guess you can call this an Indian fusion recipe.

Ingredients

4 bell pepper (cored and seeded)
1 cup quinoa (white, red or mixed)
2 cups water
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions
Step 1

Preheat oven to 375F
In a medium sized pot bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until water is completely absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Step 2

While quinoa is cooking, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a small frying pan on medium high heat. Add peas and cook for about 3 minutes. Add spices and mix well. Add sautéed mixtures to the cooked quinoa, also add the cilantro and feta cheese. Mix everything really well.

Step 3

Stuff the cored & seeded peppers with the filling, pushing as much filling into them as possible. The tops can be placed back on. Place in baking dish sprayed or brushed with olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil, if peppers are fully cooked then broil for 1 minute to blister the peppers. If not, bake for a few minutes longer before broiling.

Step 4

Serve with leftover filling, if any, and a green salad.

Ginger Molasses Cookies with Cocoa

It makes me so happy that my family, and everyone else that has tried them, absolutely love these cookies. My reason for joy is that they are totally guilt free, without any refined flours or sugar (I use organic stone ground spelt flour). And they are vegan as well as the added anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger! I always double the recipe because they disappear so fast!!

Ingredients
1 1/2 tsp ground flaxseed 2 Tb water
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (not melted)
1/4 cup coconut sugar or dark cane sugar
1 Tb maple syrup
3 Tb almond milk (or any other milk)
2 Tb blackstrap molasses
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 Tb cocoa powder
1 heaping teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fine sea salt (I use pink Himalayan salt)
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Directions
Step 1

Preheat oven to 350F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2

In a small bowl or cup, stir together ground flax and water. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken.

Step 3

In a large mixing bowl, cream the coconut oil, sugar, maple syrup with an electric mixer. Add molasses, vanilla, almond milk and flaxseed mixture (or egg) and mix until smooth.

Step 4

In a smaller mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Stir to mix.

Step 5

Add dry ingredients to the large bowl, mixing it in gently with a spoon first, then beating until just combined. Don’t over mix.

Step 6

Put a couple of tablespoons of the brown crystal sugar in a shallow bowl. Shape the dough into approx. 1 inch balls (about 1 tablespoon). Roll it in the sugar. Place on cookie sheet and flatten it a bit with your fingers.

Step 7

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They will be soft when you take them out of the oven, but will get firmer once cooled for 10-15 minutes. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or in fridge if they don’t disappear.

Chickpea Avocado Dip

Store bought dips can be tasty but they have a tendency to be high in calories and unhealthy fats. This dip is exceptionally fresh and tasty and loaded with nutritional value – vitamin C, A, plant protein, iron, fibre and healthy fats. It can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes!

Ingredients

1 cup frozen green chickpeas or edamame
1/2 medium avocado
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne or smoked paprika (optional)

Directions

1. Cook the chickpeas or edamame according to package instructions. (I cooked the green chickpeas for just 1.5 minutes in the microwave)
2. Put all ingredients into your mixer and process until smooth.
3. Serve with raw vegetables, sweet potato or potato fries, veggie chips, nachos, crostini or crackers.

Credits: GlobalVegetarian.ca

Brown/wild Rice Lentil Salad

This salad can be served cold or at room temperature and can be kept in the fridge for several days. It is not only delicious but also satisfies the appetite. Top it with pan fried/grilled organic tofu or wild salmon to make it a complete meal.

Tip: Although the wild or red rice has to be cooked separately, the brown rice can be cooked together with the lentils as suggested below.

Ingredients

½ cup red or wild rice (see below)
½ cup brown or sprouted rice (see below)
1 cup flat brown lentils
3 cloves minced garlic (optional)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large yam peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
1 tsp paprika or chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup craisins or raisins
1/3 cup or handful of chopped walnuts (can be roasted to bring out flavour in 300F degree oven for 6mins)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 Tbs balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (or both, if preferred)

Directions

1. Cook the red or brown rice according to package directions and set aside (1 part rice to 2 parts water and ½ tsp salt. Bring water,salt and rice to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 40mins or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with fork and set aside)
2. Measure 3 cups water and place on high heat in medium sized pot. Wash lentils and add into pot. Add brown rice and 1tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until water is absorbed and both rice and lentils are cooked. Set aside to cool.
3. Drizzle some olive oil into medium pan (preferably with lid) on med high heat. Add cumin, garlic and onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add yams and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, paprika. Increase heat if needed and sauté until yams are nicely coated with the spices but not overcooked. Remove from heat.
4. In large mixing bowl, add cooked rice and lentils, , walnuts, craisins, yams and chopped cilantro.
5. Stir together olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice in small bowl. Add to the salad and mix everything thoroughly. Add more seasoning and/or balsamic vinegar according to taste.
6. *The rice and lentils can be cooked a day ahead and kept overnight in fridge

Credits: GlobalVegetarian.ca

Gluten free Chocolate Banana Bread

Like me, if you have gluten intolerance and love banana bread, but can never find one that tastes like the real thing, then you are in for a treat. I created this recipe by experimenting with different gluten-free flours to see if I could get that same moist but light cake-like texture of traditional banana bread. Although the original recipe is from my favourite gluten-free cookbook by Robert Landolphi, Cooking Light – Gluten-Free Baking, I altered it to make it even healthier by replacing white rice flour with millet flour; replacing butter with coconut oil; eliminating refined sugar; and adding cocoa powder. The result is a deliciously moist, airy and flavourful loaf which is sugar-free, guilt-free, and gluten-free!

Don’t be daunted by the number of ingredients because they don’t imply level of difficulty. This banana bread is actually very easy to make.

Note: Xanthan gum is essential to bind gluten-free flours together.

Ingredients

1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 full cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F
Measure all dry ingredients up to and including cocoa into a medium bowl. Mix with a fork or whisk until combined.
2. In a larger mixing bowl, add mashed bananas, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, yogurt, vanilla and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula, until well blended and smooth.
3. Pour batter into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray or butter and flour. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 – 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Credits: GlobalVegetarian.ca