Obviously, I didn’t make up Meatless Mondays, I heard it a long time ago. I don’t remember where I heard it from but its something that people have been doing for awhile. Still, when I tell people that we do meatless Mondays I usually get a chuckle, followed by an “Oh, your serious? Why?” Despite this being an old idea, there are still a lot of people out there who have yet to hear about it, or think about the reasons why it might be a healthy adjustment to make to their diets. Why do I do it? For a couple of reasons really. It is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet and it forces you to explore new and alternative protein sources. It’s also a great way to expose children to new foods and promote a habit of healthy eating. Needless to say, I was totally excited when I stumbled upon meatlessmonday.com. Of course, you’d think I would have googled “meatless mondays” alot earlier but I didn’t 😛 Meatlessmonday.com has tons of recipes to try. Lucky for you I plan to try as many as possible and I will definitely share it all with you 🙂
So here is the first one I’m going to try:
Hazelnut Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Shallots and hazelnuts are sautéed together and seasoned with cumin and garlic before being mixed with protein packed grain quinoa. The bell pepper “bowls” are roasted to bring out their natural sweetness, which contrast beautifully with the nutty filling. This recipe comes from Donna of Apron Strings.
- 1 cup quinoa*, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large red or orange bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- a little cooking oil spray, for preparing the peppers
Place the quinoa, water and salt into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is fully cooked and all the water has been absorbed. Set aside.
Place the seeded bell pepper halves into an 8 by 10 inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the olive oil into a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 1 minute, or until it begins to become fragrant. Add the hazelnuts and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the garlic and spinach and cook for one minute more, or until the spinach is lightly wilted. Add the quinoa, stir to combine all ingredients evenly and remove the pan from heat.
Spoon the quinoa mixture into the bell pepper halves. Spray lightly with oil.
Place the stuffed peppers in their baking pan into the oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the peppers have softened and the filling is lightly browned. Serve 2 pepper halves per person and enjoy!
I’ll post pictures next week!!!
Before I go, here is another little revelation about me: I HATE mornings 😛 If I could, I would be in bed until 10 every morning. I set my alarm and hit the snooze button at least 3 times, and even then I can barely drag my butt out of bed. I used to be a night owl, and loved the the peace and tranquility of the dark. I’ve learned to get to bed on time now, though, and I recognize the importance of a good night’s sleep. I wish I could be an early riser, popping out of bed with energy and jumping into my day head first, but I can’t. One day I hope to at least have myself trained to get out of bed by my first snooze alarm, and that will be good enough for me. Until then, I will question why I thought it was a good idea to have a job that starts at 6:30 in the morning (meaning I have to be up at 5am) and be eternally grateful for a daughter who can sleep until 9am on weekends!
Have a great day, take care everyone 🙂
I’m Happy, I’m Healthy, I’m Fertile, ttfn, xo