Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It seems too early to be transitioning from fall to winter, but it’s kind of already happening. Why the heck is it so cold? And why is the sun rising at like nine and setting at like six? These are questions we have yet to answer, my friends. But in the meantime, we might as well embrace the freezing darkness that is winter and enjoy these stuffed peppers.

Stuffed peppers are an amazing comfort food🥰 They’re hearty and delicious, perfect for a cold winter night. These ones also happen to be super healthy, as well as vegan and gluten free. I used lentils and quinoa for the meat substitute, and it makes a filling that is INCREDIBLE. My advice is to double or triple the recipe so you can have tasty peppers for lunch all week long.

Also, if you don’t feel like cooking for hours or washing a TON of dishes, these are for you! I used canned lentils and already cooked quinoa for increased simplicity. You just need to fry up some onions and basically mix everything tightest in the pot. Then stuff your peppers, pop em in the oven, and let them get nice and soft on the outside, warm on the inside, and crispy on top😍 (Those crispy bits are the best part). You’re left with a meal that is so flavourful and filling that you’ll be like, take that, stupid winter. So yeah, the season might not be too bad if you’ve got these hanging around!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!:)

Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Serves: 2

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bell peppers, any colour
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can of tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (I used the brown canned variety)
  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the diced onions and cook for 6-8 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Then dump in the tomato paste, lentils, quinoa, balsamic, soy sauce, herbs and spices, and stir to combine.
  3. Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the spinach and continue to cook until it’s wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from the heat.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut out the tops of your peppers so that a round hole is left. Full each pepper with half of the lentil and quinoa filling, then place in a glass baking dish.
  5. Bake the peppers for about 15 minutes in the oven; then reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the top of the filling is crispy.
  6. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Hope you guys are having a great week! I have another great pumpkin recipe for you guys on Friday. We’ve got to milk this pumpkin and apple stuff before fall is over, am I right? See you then!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Soul-Warming Chickpea Curry

It’s been so rainy and blah where I live for the past while, and it really makes me feel like cooking, you know? I feel like I haven’t COOKED something in a while, and today it felt right. Also on days like this, I just want a nice bowl of something warm and comforting. Curry is this perfect comfort food, because it’s so flavourful and it warms your soul as well as your body. You can throw as many crazy vegetables as you want in a curry, but I wanted to keep it simple and let the flavour shine through. So I only used chickpeas.

Chickpeas and I go way back. They have protein and lots of fibre, and in this curry they add a bit of texture so everything isn’t just mush. The only other elements in here are onions, garlic, spices, tomatoes, and some basil leaves. I caramelized the onions for maximum flavour, and the spice blend is great! Everything stews together in the tomatoes and melds and becomes something amazing, that feels like a big hug. I served this with wild rice, but any grain works.

Today this curry really took me back to my love of coming up with recipes and slicing things up and stirring things on the stove and smelling and tasting and eating. It’s so fun and just takes me to a place of calm where I’m not worrying about anything but what I’m cooking. I really hope that you guys get to try out this recipe and feed your soul by making it and eating it! That’s my goal here, anyways;)) Enjoy!

Soul-Warming Chickpea Curry

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (plus more as needed)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 small basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked grains for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pot, heat up the olive oil over low-medium heat and add in the onions. Cook them until they’re nice and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir often and add more oil if needed to prevent them from burning.
  2. Add the garlic and spices to the pot, and cook for another minute or two, again watching to make sure nothing burns.
  3. Dump the tomatoes, chickpeas, tomato paste, and leaves of basil into the pot and give everything a good stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the curry from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and remove the leaves of basil. Serve with a grain of choice and enjoy!

Hope you like this soul food! Have a great Canada Day;))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;))

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

It’s SUMMA TIME and there’s an abundance of zucchini! Zucchini is delicious fried, roasted, in a fritter, and in salad, but today we’re using it in a Pasta Bake. Our guest star is the olive, which adds so much dang flavour into the sauce. If you’re not a fan of olives you can leave them out, but you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t be a party pooper and just throw them in there!

We’re using my fave kitchen tool again- the amazing veggie peeler- to create little zucchini rolls for the bake.

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The pasta that I used was Go Go Quinoa brand macaroni, and it usually takes about 4 minutes on the stove top to cook. I baked it in the oven for 10 minutes, and it was just slightly past al dente. So if you’re using just regular wheat macaroni or small shells (you don’t want to go any bigger with your pasta selection) that normally take 7-9 minutes to cook in boiling water, I bake them for 10-15 minutes for an al dente texture. My recipe below doesn’t account for that, so just keep in mind what kind of pasta you’re using when baking this bake.

And that concludes my Ted Talk about how great this pasta bake is! DEFINITELY try it out and let me know what you think because it is now officially one of my favourite recipes. Here it is!

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 200 ml can of sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Go Go Quinoa Macaroni **see note above if using a different pasta**
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the beans, olives, tomatoes, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, chilli flakes, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, use the veggie peeler to create as many zucchini ribbons as you can. The centre part of the zucchini, where the seeds are, won’t make nice ribbons, so you can dice it up at toss it in the sauce, making sure it has at least 10 minutes to cook in there.
  3. Add the macaroni into a small glass loaf pan or baking dish. Roll up each zucchini ribbon into a little rosette and place evenly spaced out in the pasta, like this:
  4. Once the sauce is done simmering, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the sauce and bring it to a hard simmer before removing it from the heat. Scoop enough of it into the baking dish so that the pasta and zucchini are fully covered, about 2-3 cups of sauce. You may have some sauce leftover that you can eat with the pasta after it’s baked or save for later.
  5. Cover the glass dish with foil (shiny side down) and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Hope you like this pasta dish! See you Wednesday;))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;)

Creamy Avocado Balsamic Dressing

Hi there! Today I have a delicious and creamy dressing recipe for you guys. It may not be a looker but it’s sure packed with flavour and goes great with any salad combo! I used some delicious fresh basil from my plant (throwback to last year when I did Herb Month) and it adds so much!

This dressing takes five minutes to whip up, and has all of the taste of a balsamic dressing, but is much creamier and has that extra basil in there. It’s the consistency of a good ranch dressing. I like it because oftentimes I’ll make vinaigrettes, and it’s nice to have something more unctuous. Isn’t that a great word? When something is unctuous you know you want to eat it.

For lunch lately I’ve just been roasting a bunch of veggies (including sweet potatoes, of course) and tossing them with some lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a sick dressing like this one. It just ties everything together and still tastes so light and fresh! Some other things you could slap this on would be sandwiches, wraps, and bowls. It’s so good! Here’s the recipe;))

Creamy Avocado and Balsamic Dressing

Serves: 4

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 small leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mash the avocado very well in a small bowl. You want as few lumps as possible.
  2. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients, then serves in salads, wraps, bowls or sandwiches.

Hope you like this dressing! It’s great for summer;))

Yours Truly,

MyDayIsBooked

Basil Week: Kale and Arugula Pesto

Bad news!! MY BASIL PLANT IS DEAD! I went to check it this morning and it only had about 10 shrivelled leaves on it. All of my other herbs are growing like crazy, and I don’t think that it got enough sun. I salvaged as much as I can, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to make a full on basil pesto like I’d planned. So, I used some kale and arugula instead! The colour, texture and flavour of this pesto is still amazing though. I can’t wait to eat it on pasta, fish, veggies, and in wraps! I used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts or almonds, because they’re cheaper and still have a really good taste. Other than that, the ingredients you’ll need are super simple; lemon, garlic, olive oil, kale, arugula, and of course, a little bit of basil. Here’s the recipe!

Kale and Arugula Pesto

Serves: 4 (this recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto)

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 3 cups kale and arugula mix, packed
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds, hulled
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the basil, kale and arugula, lemon, garlic, and sunflower seeds until combined but chunky.
  2. With the blender on low speed, stream in the olive oil. Continue to blend until you’ve reached a fairly smooth texture.
  3. Enjoy with pasta, fish, veggies, salads and wraps!

And with that, Herb month has come to an end! I’ve enjoyed coming up with new recipes for all of the different herbs that I’ve grown, and love having my own little garden! Hopefully my other plants don’t die off😬😬. Thanks for reading my posts throughout the month;) I cant wait for summer- I have some awesome ideas! See you then☺️😊

PS. I’m planning to show you guys my July Bullet Journal today as well, so keep your eyes peeled!

Yours Truly,

MyDayIsBooked;)))