Category Archives: Gluten-Free

“Stuff Your Face” Stuffed Red Peppers

Yum!  I have never had an official stuffed bell pepper before, but the other day the peppers at the store looked so vibrant I decided to figure out how to stuff them all by myself.  The result is this good-looking, easy, and healthy meal- and I have no clue if it is what other stuffed pepper recipes are like.
Red peppers are higher in lots of good stuff- including antioxidants, lycopene, and vitamins A and C than their green counterparts.  What could be better than filling them up with some protein, rice, and your favorite salsa and calling it a meal?
This is a great mix n’ match candidate.  Don’t have any scallions on hand?  Try red onion.  No Rice?  Quinoa will do.  Or experiement with different types of cheese and verious flavors and colors of salsa.  Then go ahead and stuff your face.

 Make Ahead and Make it Easy

Prepare the peppers up until they are stuffed and keep them covered in foil in the fridge for a few days.  When you are ready to make them add the veggie broth mixture to the dish, put the foil back on, and bake as instructed.
  • 4 big, round red bell peppers
  • 1 cup dried TVP
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup cooked white or brown rice (1/2 cup cooked in 1 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup your favorite salsa
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I like sharp cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup hot water or veggie broth
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce or Tamari

How to make it

  1. First, soak the TVP in the boiling water with 2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari and let it sit.
  2. Cook the rice if you have not already.
  3. Cut the top off of each pepper and remove the innards.  If the pepper “bowl” wont stand up on its own then use a knife to cut off just enough of the bottom to make a flat surface.  Dont worry if there is a hole at the bottom.
  4. Add the tsp of oil to a skillet and over medium heat saute the garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until onions are soft.
  5. Using a sieve or a fine mesh colander drain the excess water from the TVP.
  6. In a large bowl mix together the TVP, onion mixture, rice, salsa, cheese, sour cream or yogurt, and scallions.  If you’re feelin’ it throw some hot sauce into the mix.
  7. Stuff each pepper with 1/4 of the mixture and stand them all upright in a casserole dish.
  8. Pour the hot water and remaining soy sauce or tamari in the dish around the peppers.
  9. Cover the whole thing with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Uncover, and using a baster squirt some broth into each pepper.
  11. Bake, uncovered for another 15-20 minutes.
  12. Slice each pepper in half and serve open-faced.

Poblano and White Bean Chili

Back in October 2010, Vegetarian Times ran a feature on the Poblano pepper.  I swear, every recipe in that aricle was to die for.  This was one of my favorites.  I’m not gonna lie- it is not a quick fix.  But it is a great candidate for prepping on a lazy weekend afternoon and throwing together after work, so check out the “Make Ahead and Make It Easy” tips!

Poblanos are high in vitamin C and low in calories and their flavor is perfect- a bit of kick but never too much spice.  White beans add fiber and protein.  Serve this over rice or with some tasty cornbread to sop it all up! 

To make it vegan simply omit the goat cheese.

 Make Ahead and Make it Easy
 Though this recipe has a lot of steps there are a lot of them that can be done a few days early.  You can roast the peppers in advace and get them ready.  You can do everything through step 6 early and keep the chili in a container in the fridge for reheating.  I think this tastes even better after a day or two!
  • 6 poblano peppers
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  •  2 15.5-oz. cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

How to make it

  1. Turn on your broiler and place the poblanos within a few inches of the heat.  Rotate them every 5 minutes or so until they are nicely charred.
  2. Take them out and place them in a plastic bag tied shut.  This will allow them to steam and the skin will come off easier.
  3. Once the poblanos are cool, peel off the skin, remove the seeds and stems, and cut them into strips.
  4. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onion is soft. Add garlic, oregano and poblano strips, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  5. Add beans, broth, remaining oregano and cumin to skillet and simmer over medium heat. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 2 minutes more.
  7. Warm milk in separate saucepan. Add goat cheese, and stir until smooth. Serve chili garnished with goat cheese sauce, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro.

Flipper Approved Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

This is a great one for when you are super unmotivated but find yourself with a family to feed.   Or superunmotivated with just yourself to feed.  Either way, it will take you about 10 minutes to throw together and my unscientific uncontrolled studies have shown than 100% of tuna-eaters find this to be a great substitution (without Flipper’s friends on your conscience).  I invented it while on a 3 week vegan, gluten-free, animal-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free cleanse (don’t ask).
My kid likes this, my omnivorous huband likes this, even my dog likes this.  Mash it together, throw it on some bread on in a bowl of lettuce and you’ve got yourself a nutritious meal packed with calcium, iron, fiber, B vitamins, and protein.

 Make Ahead and Make it Easy

 There isn’t much you can do to make this recipe easier.  Whip up a batch and use it in sandwiches for work and school.  r, make a tuna melt and enjoy with a bowl of soup.
  • 2 14 oz cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup vegan or regular mayonaise
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1.5 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

How to make it

  1. Place the chickpeas in a bowl with the mayo and smash with a potato masher or a fork.  You will be very effective at this if you’ve had a long day at work or your kid is screaming in the background.
  2. Once the texture is to your liking, add in all the other ingredients, adjust the flavor as  needed, and you’re done.  See?  I told you it was easy.

Secret Mission Cauliflower Soup

The thing about veggies is that veggie haters assume they are all green, and therefore easily identifiable.  The thing about cheese is, it makes everything awesome.  So there you have it.  The Secret Mission that this soup is named after is “Mission: Get-Vegetable-Hater-to-Consume-a-Full-Day’s-Worth-of-Vitamin-C-Plus-Lots-of-Fiber-Folate-Calcium-and-Phytonutrients.”  Now that mission is important, as evidenced by the sheer number of syllables in its name.
If the blue cheese varieties are too strong, I think this would work quite well with just about any type of cheese.  I also think you could mix n’ match veggies (broccoli and carrots come to mind).  Be sure to let us know what you try!  Serve it up with some braised greens and bread (shown- and don’t bother making the veggie hater eat the greens.  You’ve got to pick your battles) for a well-rounded and fast dinner.

Make Ahead and Make it Easy

 Make this soup a few days in advance and slowly heat it back up when you are ready to eat it.  Some folks don’t like freezing dairy based soups but I find they freeze just fine.  Be sure to freeze it from room temperature and re-heat slowly, stirring often.
    • 3 Tbs butter or olive oil
    • 2 onions, chopped
    •  4 celery stalks, chopped
    • 4 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped
    • 4 cups veggie broth
    • 2 cups milk
    • 4 oz (2/3 cup) cheese from the blue family (Stilton, Gorgonzola, etc.)
    • 1 cup cream
    • salt and pepper to taste

How to make it

    1. Melt butter in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
    2. Add onion, celery and cauliflower and cook about 10 minutes
    3. Add broth, reduce heat  and simmer until cauliflower is very soft- about half an hour
    4. Stir in 2 cups of the milk and use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to puree the soup (be very careful as hot liquids can explode in the blender!).
    5. Return to pot, add cheese, cream, salt, and pepper.

Peanuts- Not Just For Elephants and Baseball Anymore: West African Peanut Stew


For those of us lucky enough to be born without a deadly allergy to these crunchy legumes, peanuts are relatively underused in cooking considering all of their health benefits.  They are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. Studies have found peanuts high in antioxidants, and they are helpful in fighting various forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s too.  My two-year old knows best:  peanuts (well, PB&J) are awesome! 
The peanuts are just the beginning of this so-rich-you’ll-never-believe-it’s-vegan stew!  Its packed with vitamins A and C too, thanks to the sweet potatoes and red bell pepper.  The chickpeas add an extra shot of protein and fiber.
If you have access to a great spice shop, pick up some Zanzibar Curry Powder (yes, I am aware that Zanzibar is not in West Africa) to make this stew really pop.  If you don’t have access, use what you’ve got and start with a little and keep adding until it’s the right spice level for you.
This makes enough to freeze half for later.

Make Ahead and Make it Easy

 Depending on how busy you are, you can make this entire dish a few days ahead and freeze or refrigerate  it,  and gently reheat it.  Or, you can do all of the prep work (peeling and chopping) and put the onions in an airtight container with the bell peppers, and use a separate container to store the prepped sweet potato, tomatoes, chickpeas, peanut butter, and curry.  That way all you’ll need to do is thow everything in a pot and wait.
  • 2 Tbs peanut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 14 oz. cans chickpeas, drained
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • How to make it
  1. Saute the onion and bell pepper in peanut oil until onion begins to soften- about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and saute about 30 seconds.  Be careful not to burn the garlic!
  3. Add sweet potato, tomatoes, chickpeas, stock or water, peanut butter, curry, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  4. Simmer uncovered until sweet potatoes are soft- 30-45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk and serve.

Paella with Soyrizo and Edamame

I love keeping frozen pre-cooked edamame in the freezer for meals such as this, last minute entertaining, or a protein-packed super snack!  Find it in the freezer section.
While saffron can be pricey, a little bit goes a long way, and its flavor is what makes paella unique.  If you are really on a budget you can substitute tumeric for the color, but the taste won’t be the same.
For a little extra kick try adding 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper with the rice and bell pepper.
  • 6 ounces Soyrizo
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (or tumeric)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

How to make it

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Soyrizo to pan, and cook, stirring constantly for 5-6 minutes or until browned. Place in a small bowl, and set aside.
  2. Return pan to medium heat. Add olive oil and yellow onion; cook for 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add saffron and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add rice and bell pepper (and crushed red pepper, if using); cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir in white wine, and cook for 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently.
  6. Add vegetable broth and salt; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  7. Return Soyrizo to pan, and stir in edamame. Cook for 5 minutes or until edamame is thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with green onions.
 From Cooking Light, April 2011