Monday, August 22, 2011

Random Stuffed Pepper Recipe with Peaches and Mangoes

Oops My Peaches and Mangos are Ripe, I Have Peppers, Quinoa and Tofu in the Fridge, Corn on the Cob in the Veggie Bowl. Plus My Roommate Left Wild Rice Soaking!!! (VEGAN)

Long title for this recipe but that is really how it came about.

So hard to choose. Salad? Appetizer? Main Dish?
The story goes, I’m home. Need to make dinner. Working on a Blog idea for TVeg. (It follows a lot of the ingredients in the recipe so subscribe at That’s Vegetarian Blog to get it later this week!) Was going to go the easy route with pasta, capers, white wine, and garlic but then the mango and peaches were ripe. Had to do something, STAT!!! Dinner was created. It is a perfect recipe to use the sweet summer mangoes and ripe peaches.  
I looked at what else I had in my fridge:
  • Diced onions
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Celery
  • Pasilla and red peppers
  • Garlic
My roommate had some wild rice soaking on the stove (don’t tell her I used some). I just kind of threw everything together and wanted to share it. I can’t even tell you how good it was. That is the fun of experimenting and cooking in the kitchen. There are many websites you can go to, put in what ingredients you have, and they will pop out a recipe. If you have questions, give me a try and I’ll be glad to give it a whirl. It is amazing what you can make out of everything but the kitchen sink!!!

As it is, it is Vegan. I didn’t have the right cheese in the house but I believe a Manchego or Cream Cheese would go really well in the peppers. I had it with some Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc, one leftover bottle to the next, and they both worked well especially with the spiciness of the pasilla pepper (I didn’t get all the seeds out).

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you’ll find yourself saying “That’s Vegetarian?!”


1 cup cooked wild rice
2/3 c cooked quinoa
8 oz extra firm tofu, extra water squeezed out and crumbled
2 peaches, diced
1 mango, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced and roasted
1 ear of corn, kernels sliced off
1 celery stalk, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 T chili powder
1/4 t cayenne powder
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
6 peppers (yellow, red, orange, green, or pasilla), cored and seeds removed
Olive oil

Prepare the corn and onion then roast in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350F.

Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.  Mix the rice, quinoa, tofu, peaches, mango, onion, corn, celery, garlic, chili powder, cayenne powder, lime juice, salt and pepper together in a bowl. * 

Stuff the mixture into the peppers.   Spray with olive oil.  Any left over stuffing can be eaten as is.  Tofu doesn’t need to be cooked.  It makes a great side salad and it is chock full of protein.

Roast in oven at 400F for about 15 minutes, rotating half way through.   Broil for about 3 minutes, rotating half way through.   Experiment on the grill or a on a grill pan.

*Cream cheese or manchego would be a wonderful addition for those of you who do dairy.

Prep Time:15 min
Cook time:  20 min quinoa, 35 min rice, 10 min corn and onions, 18 min stuffed peppers.  With multitasking total should be around 55 minutes depending on the rice.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Serves 6

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Going Against the Grain continued

Quinoa is rich in magnesium which in research has shown to relax the constricted blood vessels responsible for migraines.

Amaranth has plenty of the amino acid lysine which helps in the absorption of calcium.

Black rice helps relieve inflammation associated with asthma and allergies.

Whole grains overall improve cardiovascular health and digestion plus reduce risk of Diabetes 2 and colorectal cancer, just to mention a few.

Here is a quick chart on the amount of protein* in common grains:

Whole GrainCaloriesProtein (g)Carbs (g)
Barley Flakes83324
Barley, Hulled176539
Oats, Rolled98539
Oats, Steel Cut170630
Rice, Brown, Basmati140324
Rice, Brown, Long Grain160539
Rice, Brown, Medium Grain160630
Rice, Brown, Short Grain180731
Rice, Wild160324
Wheat, Bulgur150731
Wheat, Durum163324
Wheat, Hard Red160539
Wheat, Soft Red139630
Wheat, Kernels160731
Whole Wheat Pasta (3/4 cup)180735

*See blog on protein to find out more on protein requirement.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grain This, Grain That~

Whole grains whenever possible.  Whole this, whole that.  But what are the wWhole Grainshole grains?  Which ones are gluten free???  Well, here are some answers.

In preparation for next week's recipe, Mediterranean Grain Summer Salad, I thought we would have a grain talk. There are so many out there. Whole grains help provide us with protein, fiber and many minerals such as selenium, magnesium and potassium, all of which are vital to digestive, muscular, cardiovascular and overall health.  Make an effort to have at least half of your daily grains be whole grains.  
A partial list of whole grains:
amaranth*            brown rice     buckwheat*     bulgur (cracked wheat)   corn*      
millet*                   oatmeal        popcorn           rolled oats                       quinoa*            sorghum*             spelt              triticale            whole rye                        wild rice*           whole grain barley          whole grain cornmeal       whole grain farro               
*Gluten Free Whole Grains!!!

Below are descriptions of some of the less common grains.
  • Amaranth is originally part of the Aztec culture. It is small, peppery in taste and about 14% protein. Make "popcorn" out of it by placing in a saucepan, cover and shake over medium heat with no oil necessary!!!
  • Whole grain farro is popular in Europe dating back to the Romans and is making its way into the US diet. It is the grain that makes semolina flour.
  • Millet is a staple in India, and found in bird food in the US. It is great in stews and as porridge.
  • Quinoa is a gift from the Incans. Rinse it before you cook it to shed the bitter saponin coating. It is a complete protein and at about 15% protein.
  • Sorghum is extremely versatile for ability to grow and food consumption from eating it like popcorn to porridge but is not high on the list of US consumption.
  • Triticale is a hybrid from durum wheat and rye created about 35 years ago. It is ideal for organic farming. Once again, big in Europe and looking for a home in the US.
  • Wild Rice isn't a rice at all but a grass seed. It has more protein than regular rice. 
To read more on grains, I recommend visiting Whole Grains Council website 

To make your grains a little nuttier and toasty, cook them for a few minutes in the pan before adding the water. Add the water when you hear them start to crackle. Most are cooked at 1 cup grain to 2 1/2 cups water ratio. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes or so. Read the labels for the specifics.


To receive additoinal updates and hints throughout the week on the various benefits from different whole grains like the ones above, sign up on Find us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and View our videos on YouTube.

Scroll down to older posts or go to That's Vegetarian and watch one (or all) of the recipe videos, print the recipe(s), and prepare any one of the dishes.  You'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vegan Ceviche

To be honest, I never had seafood ceviche.  But, during the taste testing process, this recipe received glowing reviews from finicky eaters who enjoy the seafood ceviche.  Growing up in Buffalo in the years I did (can't give my age away), ceviche  was not in my family's lexicon.  We had smoked whitefish and Friday Fish Fry (grew up Roman Catholic).  The only raw fish were oysters, sardines and pickled herring.  Did I mention my ancestry is Polish? 
Vegan Ceviche
Vegan Ceviche

Back to the Vegan Ceviche...It is tangy, light, fresh and full of crunchy, soft, and chewy textures.  The vegan Worcestershire sauce is a great marinade for the tofu.  The key on making the tofu work is the chewy texture obtained by freezing it right in the container, defrosting it, and squeezing out the excess water before using it in the recipe.  It does call for prepping that the day before but it is well worth the extra effort.  The oyster mushrooms, if you can find them, are texture perfect because they are chewier than other mushrooms.

It is fun to serve in the martini class too!!! I know it is a lot of ingredients and a bit of prepping, but it is well worth it.  I hope you enjoy this refreshing Vegan Ceviche as much as I do.

Sal y Pimienta is now available.  Email Karen to find out more!

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

Vegan Ceviche  

12 oz tofu, extra firm cut into 1/2" cubes *
2T Vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 cup combination of lime, lemon and/or orange juice, fresh squeezed (mostly lime and lemon tastes best)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled (full or partially) and thinly sliced
2/3 c hearts of palm, small cubes or push the rings out
1 c mushrooms, preferably a combination of oyster and/or lobster but you can use shitake or portabella if you can't find the other two
5 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 c orange, yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c green pepper chopped
4t hot pepper such as jalapeƱo, Serrano, or Anaheim seeded and finely diced
1/2 c celery chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
2 t garlic chopped
2/3 c cilantro, chopped
1T Sal y Pimienta avocado oil or olive oil
Tortillas, wedged
Chili powder
Cilantro stems for garnish
1 avocado, 1/2" cubes for garnish

*It is preferable to use defrosted tofu that has been previously frozen in the original packaging with the water. If you don't have the time, then extra firm tofu will work. In either case, drain or squeeze out the excess water before using.

Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with olive oil. Toss the cubed tofu in the Worcestershire sauce then place on prepared baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes, flip tofu over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.

Meanwhile gently mix the red onion, cucumber, hearts of palm, mushrooms, radishes, peppers, celery, cilantro, oil with the citrus juices. When the tofu has cooled, add to the mixture and gently toss. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.

To bake tortillas, preheat oven to 400F. Spread the tortillas on a baking sheet. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice on them, then sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Serve 1/2c of the vegan ceviche in a martini or margarita glass or whatever look pretty. Pour some of the marinade from the container on top of the serving. Garnish with cubes of avocado, cilantro and tortilla wedges.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes for tofu, 10 minutes for tortillas
Serving size: 1 cup
Serves 6
Level of difficulty - intermediate.
3pp add 2pp per tortilla

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Caprese Skewers

A caprese salad is light and refreshing.  Putting it on a skewer makes it a fun appetizer or snack!!   Summer is the best time to make the caprese skewers because of the fresh grape or cherry tomatoes you can get from your own garden or your local farmers’ market.  Use good extra virgin Sal y Pimienta avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to add to the intensity and flavor of the dish.

5 skewers (no need to soak the wood or bamboo ones since they will not be grilled)
20 grape or cherry tomatoes
20 fresh mozzarella balls, if they are larger balls, cut them in half or smaller
20 fresh basil leaves
Sal y Pimienta avocado oil
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh ground pepper

Grab a skewer. Grab a tomato, stick it on the skewer.  Grab a basil leaf, stick it on the skewer.  Grab a mozzarella ball, you guessed it, stick it on the skewer.  Repeat 3 more times ~ T~B ~M /T~B ~M /T~B ~M

Lie skewers on a plate.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar plus a few turns of fresh cracked pepper. Pick up and enjoy!!! 

Prep time: 10 min
Serving size: 1 skewer
Servings: 5

PP: 5