Month: March 2014

Christmas Stuffed Peppers

christmas stuffed peppers

Ha ha ha! Christmas stuffed peppers, I know, I know! I did this months ago (like in DECEMBER!) but then I kinda got pregnant and I felt sick. Really really sick. Like all the delicious food I lusted after I suddenly hated! I lost all my energy, I was tired and let the blog slip. I went to India in December (yes, I did go to India with horrific morning sickness and it was hardwork! This is another story) and came back in January with a nasty bug which was making good friends with pregnancy nausea. Man, I felt like shit. I let the blog go more and I found my fleece blanket, a good book, salty potato anything and turned the heating up for weeks.

But but but but…….I am FIVE months nearly and I don’t feel sick, or tired but full of energy and my love of food has returned to me! Hence, I can now look at these peppers again. God, in no way are these just for xmas but they seemed like an appropriate thing to eat on the day in place of bird and sauce.

christmas stuffed peppers

What the heck is a Christmas stuffed pepper anyway? I’m not sure either but these are damn tasty and do actually contain walnuts and cranberries which are pretty Christmassy! Oh and just red and green bell peppers too – true Crimbo colours! When you don’t eat meat you need to be a little more creative but it’s sure worth it cos these are tasty, satisfying and miles better than any sliced meat I ever had. Of course I’m going to say that, I don’t eat meat – but it’s true. Any vegetarian or vegan would be happy to be served these if you’re ever struggling to cater for these fussy fellows 😉

christmas stuffed vegan peppers

I love stuffed peppers for how easy they are and you can stuff them with absolutely anything!
Here’s to many more recipes to come!

vegan stuffed peppers

Christmas stuffed peppers

(serves many)

6 bell peppers, tops cut off + cleaned inside
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion, diced
2 cups chestnut mushrooms, chopped roughly
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 cups cooked lentils/rice
1 teaspoon each of thyme + cumin
salt + pepper
2 large handfuls kale
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 ºC. Prepare peppers + cook rice/lentils if not already cooked.
2. Fry onions, garlic + mushrooms until fragrant + softened.  Add tomatoes, lentils, seasonings, kale, cranberries + walnuts + gently simmer for 5 more minutes.
3. Spoon the mixture into the hollow peppers and replace the lids. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven + serve immediately on ANY day of the year, not just for Christmas.

Polenta Taco Pizza (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Who doesn’t like pizza?

polenta GF pizza

I really like it but rarely eat it these days seeing as it is so hard to find gluten free or even healthier alternatives. I just don’t have the stomach for doughy, heavy, stretchy glutenous pizza bases. Which is why I love (am loving!) polenta based pizzas! Not only does it allow for a gluten free base but it really is so much tastier than wheat pizza – really.

I’m not sure I’ll bother with regular pizza again after this. Polenta is pretty magical stuff, like instant pizza dough but way more delicious and gluten free. Why are we not seeing more polenta pizza out there, c’mon Zizzi and Pizza Express – get with the program!

polenta pizza

Seriously, this is so quick, no yeast, no rising, no kneading, no resting but rather instant dough that you can form into the pizza of your dreams whether that be thin, fat, round, square or mighty irregular! This is a vibrant, nutrient dense easy peasy pizza crust! The smoked chipotle sauce and a little avocado later and you have a Mexican polenta pizza for one. Just double the recipe if you care to share. I didn’t feel much in the mood for sharing mine.

polenta GF vegan pizza

Don’t buy pre-made pizza – make polenta pizza because it really is that easy and have a personal polenta pizza party.

polenta GF vegan pizza

Polenta taco pizza

for the crust:
1 cup polenta
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

for the sauce:
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons chipotle paste
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed

toppings:
tomatoes, sliced
green bell pepper, sliced
sweetcorn
avocado
preferred vegan cheese

method:
1. Heat the water in a small pan until bubbling + slowly pour in the polenta, stirring continuously until smooth + thick. Turn off the heat + stir through seasoning + olive oil.
2. Preheat oven to 200º C. + line a baking pan with parchment paper (I used a round 8″ pan).  Pour the polenta mixture into the pan + flatten with the back of your spoon, allowing for a thicker crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Bake for 30 minutes. Prepare sauce + toppings whilst base is in the oven. Remove pizza + top with all toppings apart from avocado + bake for a further 10 minutes.
4. Remove + serve with copious amounts of avocado + wedges of lime for a taco inspired pizza.