Food, Glorious Food

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to cook and that I cook (and eat, breathe, and live for) vegetarian/vegan meals. When I first moved from my parents house, after battling frequent illnesses like strep throat, upper respiratory infections, and digestive issues, I made a significant change in my diet. I stopped eating meat and fish. Over the past 26 years, I haven’t eaten meat or fish, and I have had a love/hate relationship with dairy products, cheese, and eggs. Currently, I am dairy-free, but eat the occasional organic, free-range egg for breakfast.

I find that this works best for me, that I don’t get sick often, and I have energy and stamina to do the things God is calling me to do. Yay!

I love exploring new foods, adapting recipes to be vegetarian/vegan, and cooking for my family and friends. My husband, of course, gets to enjoy the food, mostly, but so have many dear friends who have come over to our place for dinner parties. We realized that instead of having people accommodate my diet, it has been easier to cook for other people – plus it has opened up a whole world of possibilities for our omnivorous friends.

During this worldwide pandemic and being at home more, I have been cooking up a storm! At the beginning of March I was a bit worried, because the shelves at the store were empty! However, as this has gone on for several months now, praise God stores are stocked again!

Trader Joe’s, early March 2020, Los Angeles

I thought it would be fun to explore some of the dishes I have served over the past few months and share recipes. This may take a few blogs, so hang in there. Delicious food awaits!

Please try any of the recipes to come and comment with how they turned out!

If you are already vegetarian or vegan, maybe this will expand your repertoire. If you are a meat-eater, perhaps you won’t miss the meat and you’ll enjoy a delicious meat-free dish!

Regardless, happy cooking (and eating!)

First up…Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients and Cooking Instructions

  • 3 medium/large bell peppers (I like a combo of red, green, yellow, and/or orange)
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasoning blend (21 Seasoning Salute is my favorite from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 package of Beyond Meat Crumbles (Or any other brand of vegetarian crumbles you like, found in the frozen section)
  • I medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked rice (I like Trader Joe’s frozen pre-cooked brown rice in a bag that you pop in the microwave for 3 mins)
  • Either chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
  • Optional: grated cheese for the top (whatever blend you like; you could use Vegan cheese or just leave it off – delicious either way!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the bell peppers in half, de-seed and de-vein. Place in a 9×13 baking dish with cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on seasoning, probably 1-2 tbsp to your liking.
  3. Bake the peppers for 10 mins or so, while you prepare the filling.
  4. Sauté the frozen crumbles in olive oil.
  5. As the crumbles defrost, add the onions and garlic. Continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes and rice. Stir to combine and add any additional seasons you like, cooking another 2 minutes or so. I like to add more 21 Seasoning or if I am feeling spicy, I add 2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, and a few grinds of ground pepper.
  7. Take the pan off the heat and let sit until the peppers are done baking.
  8. Once the peppers are done (a little soft, but not mushy), fill the halves with the filling and top with the chopped herbs and cheese, if desired.
  9. Bake the stuffed peppers for an additional 20 minutes.

Enjoy your LEAP into vegetarian/vegan food!

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