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Vegan Mushroom Salsa Stuffed Peppers with Chickpeas

So today was one of those “let’s look in the fridge and see what we can whip up for dinner in 20 minutes” kind of nights that just happened to turn into one of my most enjoyed meals all week! I was certainly not expecting to publish this recipe, but it was just so good I would feel guilty not to share it.

It’s super quick and easy, healthy, and very yummy.. seriously nothing to complain about! The freekeh added a meatless-meaty texture that I absolutely loved, and the roasted almonds added that extra crunch. This recipe is also very versatile and would easily work will virtually any type of grain or other combinations of sauteed veggies and roasted nuts–which is why it’s a perfect adjust and whip up! sort of recipe.

Using fresh salsa as a base for sauces is my recent obsession when trying to prepare fast meals because its already spiced and prepared, and just combining it with simple sauteed onions and veggies in garlic while heating it up adds a whole new flavour blast that’s hard to believe was prepared so quickly. Add some left-over freekeh from tuesday that needs to be eaten before it goes bad, the rest of the chickpeas that were leftover from lunch yesterday, and some roasted almonds and BAM you’ve got yourself a meal. A pretty darn tasty one, too I might add.

Vegan Mushroom Salsa Stuffed Peppers with Chickpeas

Serves Two

 Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 10 crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1 cup cooked freekeh (or other grain of choice)
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp slivered almonds
  • Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium sized skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add water, garlic, onions, and mushrooms, and cook until onions are translucent.

3. Once cooked, add salsa and reduce to low heat. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

4. While simmering, roast slivered almonds in a pot over the stove until golden brown, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

5. Add roasted almonds, chickpeas, and cooked freekeh (or grain of choice) to the skillet, and stir until well mixed.

6. Cut peppers in half and lay face up in a baking pan.

7. Fill pepper halves with salsa mixture until full.

8. Pour about one inch of water at the bottom of the pan, and bake for 15 minutes, or until peppers are easily punctured with a fork.

9. Garnish with basil leaves, and enjoy!

Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad

 

I’m one of those people that use their fridge for inspiration. I’m constantly reading recipes, but I find when I’m actually getting around to making a meal, the outcome will be determined by what’s in my pantry or fridge right now, not what could be if I spent the 20 minutes to go to the grocery store and pick up some extra ingredients. Sometimes it’s great and works wonders! But other times it just results in an incomplete, lazy flunk that’s missing 5000 things.

So today I opened my fridge and my hungry eyes immediately focused in on 3 things: lime, kiwi, and mango. Yummm. Perfect ingredients for a fun, summery tropical dish! With the addition of coconut and cilantro all mixed up with quinoa and chick peas, seriously what could go wrong? And so the Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad was invented, and oh so very enjoyed :-)

Quinoa salads are the new thing recently, and I’ve gotta say it’s making me quite happy! There are endless possibilities and so much room to be creative when working with quinoa, and its packed with all sorts of nutritional benefits. The nutty flavour of the quinoa combined with the tropical fruits and coconut in this recipe just made my taste buds scream with joy! Now all I need are some sunglasses, a beach chair, and my own personal island in the Caribbean and I’m set! Oh and maybe a massage, that would be nice too.

Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad

Serves Two

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium-sized mango
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1/2 can no salt added chickpeas
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 tbsp chopped red onion

1. Bring water to a boil, then add quinoa and reduce to low heat to let simmer for 1012 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, peel and chop up mango, kiwi, and red onion and place into a bowl.

3. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and combine with chopped ingredients.

4. Add chickpeas and tbsp coconut and gently stir until mixed.

5. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and additional coconut.

6. Squeeze lime juice over top before serving.