Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Do you like it spicy or sweet? ;)

Stuffed Peppers!

One of my favorite things to make when I want something easy, filling, and tasty is stuffed peppers. What I love about them is how completely versatile and easy they are to make. If you have peppers, and you can use any kind of pepper too, and any number of ingredients for filling then you're basically good to go! You can go for poblano peppers if you want some heat, bell peppers if you prefer them mild and sweeter, or anything else you can find! Below is a recipe I am particularly fond of.


8 large poblano peppers (bell peppers work too), with tops cut off and seeds removed, unless you're really brave
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, diced
1/3-1/2 diced yellow onion, sauteed
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup chopped green cabbage, sauteed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1 can of your favorite salsa (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Fill the poblanos with every ingredient up to through the cabbage. Put the poblanos in a glass baking dish standing upright. I find that using crushed tinfoil helps them remain upright. Place the dish in an oven heated to 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes, or until the peppers are very tender. Remove the peppers and sprinkle with cheese, salt, pepper, and top with salsa to your preference.

Vegetarian Indian Spice Split Pea Soup

Somehow, some way, I found myself recently with two pounds of dried peas in my cupboard. I don't really know how I accumulated those, but given that I have made a decision to make sure I am not wasteful of food I thought I'd find a way to use them up. I love split pea soup but do feel like vegetarian versions can sometimes be bland so I thought I'd mess around with some ways to make them taste good enough that they would not seem to be lacking. I think I was pretty successful, and on top of that I'm very happy I was able to use my new immersion blender. :D


2lbs dried green peas (or any amount you like really, but it does cook down a bit)
Vindaloo Curry spice (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Goat cheese (or other tangy cheese) crumbles to sprinkle over the top
While not required, I would recommend either crackers or toasts to go with the finished product


-Add peas and water (twice as much water as peas) to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until very tender. Use either an immersion blender or regular blender to smooth out the peas, adding in the Vindaloo Curry Spice, salt, and pepper as you blend. Once smooth you can then serve the soup topped with goat cheese and preferably with crackers or toasts on the side. It's quite simple, just a bit time consuming.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tomato-Garlic Marinara

I discovered a few months ago that I am sensitive to gluten and because of that must avoid consuming a lot of the foods I used to eat constantly. One of my favorite meals ever is spaghetti, which is traditionally made with wheat pasta. Unfortunately, I cannot eat that type of pasta anymore, or at least not without getting quite a stomachache. Luckily for me there are gluten-free versions of pasta, but they lack in taste and texture compared to the original. Upon discovering this I thought about what I could do to make my spaghetti better so that it would still be as good as what I used to eat. That was when I realized that while I could not do much to improve my pasta I could improve on the marinara. I had used to buy marinara in jars from grocery stores so I figured that now I would make it myself from scratch. It ended up being so delicious that I now think my spaghetti is even better than it was before!

-2 pounds Heirloom tomatoes, diced (you could use any type, but these have the best flavor)
-2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-few tablespoons white truffle oil
-1/8 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over mdeium-high heat until it is near the smoke point, then add the tomatoes. Stir the mixture constantly until the tomatoes are near a paste-like consistency.
2. Add garlic and basil and cook a few minutes longer over lower heat.
3. Remove mixture from heat and add in truffle oil, salt, and pepper.
4. If you prefer marinara smooth you can put the mixture into a food processor or blender. If you prefer chunky marinara use as is.
5. Add to your favorite pasta/pasta substitute and enjoy!