cranberries

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 ÂșC. 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.

Detox Winter Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Cranberries + Pumpkin Seeds

roasted veg

I feel quite sorry for brussel sprouts, they have a hard life. First off, they are a hugely love/hate food and brussel sprout haters seem to feel strongly about these poor green vegetables, like there’s hatred there!! The other reason why I feel sorry for brussel sprouts is they only come out once per year for a little christmas festivity + are generally always just a token at the dinner table. I propose we grow more and eat more sprouts outside of the festive season and secondly to promote the poor brussel sprout to something other than a side to a piece of meat. Don’t get me wrong, I like a side of sprouts, especially dipped in ketchup (is that wrong?) but I just think we’re selling them short that’s all. There are endless ways to celebrate sprouts and get more involved.

roasted sprout quinoa salad

How about a winter vegetable quinoa bowl?

Hail to brussel sprouts in curries, stir fries, roasted vegetable dishes, veggie skewers, salads and vegetable hash. They are versatile little buggers.roasted veg sprout quinoa salad

These are a super dietary form of vitamin and mineral antioxidants which helping to address chronic and excessive inflammation, they provide fantastic cardiovascular support with their powerful cholesterol lowering properties and being super detoxing they’re ideal for the excesses of the holiday season. But don’t wait ’til any holiday season to enjoy the deliciousness. Have this now and detox the tasty way!

quinoa sprout veg

Winter vegetable quinoa bowl with cranberries + pumpkin seeds

(serves 2)

2 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 cups chestnut mushrooms, cut in half
1 red onion, chopped into segments
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt + pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
herbs + lemon juice for dressing

method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ÂșC. Prepare vegetables + spread evenly on a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season + roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when softened + starting to brown.
2. Add the quinoa, pumpkin seeds + cranberries to a large serving bowl. Fold through the roasted vegetables, add a squeeze of lemon + adjust the seasoning.
3. Serve dressed with extra seeds + cranberries.

Mushroom, Kale + Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

pumpkin stuffed This is a Christmas recipe that’s coming a little late but that really doesn’t matter as this is so good it should never just come out just once a year! What is all that about anyway – people’s favourite foods and extra effort recipes coming out on just those special occasions! I just think we should all be eating delicious food we love all year round

or is that just me?

Anyway, every year Russ’s family have a boxing day tradition with another family to meet up every year for a big festive boxing day meal and it doesn’t actually have to be on boxing day either, in fact this year’s is 11 days before boxing day!!! I have missed the last 4, yes 4 because I generally try to be somewhere lovely over the Xmas period but this year it’s early and I get to go which is generally good news! The day is usually pretty fun and a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family whilst playing silly games and eating a lot including copious amounts of meat, cheese and wine. Hard times for me. Not eating meat, cheese or being a huge wine drinker makes me look a little strange amongst a room full of people who bond over their love of cheese and a mighty lamb shank. Plus I swear I get ‘blamed’ for Russ’s plant based lifestyle!! Yep blame, cos that’s just what it feels like in such a meat focused environment, Arrrrrhhhh!!!

pumpkin stuffed
So we’ve been asked to take our ‘veggie’ boxing day meal as I think it’s all too much for people who relish huge hunks of meat and wedges of every cheese known to man! I don’t mean it in a bad way but people tend to be a bit freaked out when you announce your vegan status! Anyway, it’s such a pleasure to take this mushroom, kale + stuffed pumpkin extravaganza because not only is it utterly delicious, but in my opinion she’s a bit of a show stopper! Pumpkin should never be just a side but rather the star of the show! That’s why I made four cos I just know that others will be wanting some as a side to their lamb. Quietly weeping.

pumpkin stuffed

This is wholegrain, contains 3 servings of veggies, is packed full of vitamins and minerals + an excellent source of protein. Merry Christmas. And a happy new year of course!

pumpkin stuffed

Not to mention it is utterly delicious spiked with white wine, earthy mushrooms, sweet cranberries, crunchy seeds encased in gooey sweet pumpkin flesh. Oh lord. This is proper winter food. Christmas food. Everyday food.

Mushroom, kale + rice stuffed pumpkin

(serves 2/3)

1 medium culinary pumpkin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cups of chestnut mushrooms
2 large handfuls kale, torn
juice + zest of half lemon
salt + pepper
1 glass of white wine
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups cooked wholegrain rice

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ÂșC. Prepare pumpkin by slicing the top off to create a lid + scoop out all the seeds.
2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil over a medium heat + gently fry the onion, garlic, mushrooms + kale until softened. Add the lemon, seasoning + white wine, continue to cook until the alcohol has burned off.
3. Stir through the remaining ingredients + transfer the mixture to the empty pumpkin. Place the lid back on + bake for 45-60 minutes. The skin should be browned + soft when a sharp knife is inserted.
4. Serve immediately + knock their socks off.

The Healthiest ‘Cup’ Cake Ever (Gluten Free + Low Carb)

A cake to celebrate!Cake in a mug

Life’s too short not to eat cake. I whole heartedly agree but life’s also too short to eat over processed junk and be unhealthy, sick and unhappy. And there really is no need to be, not when you can actually have your cake and eat it. This healthy coconut, cranberry + dark chocolate mug cake is a nutritious, protein rich, gluten free, low carb, sweet and nutty cake served mug style.

Oh, and it’s delicious, I mean really delicious. It’s the kind of deliciousness where I wish I was eating it, like all of the time. It’s in a mug, there’s a microwave involved so you know that this is minimal on the washing up and pretty quick too. I love baking with coconut flour as its gluten free and high in fibre and lauric acid which is essential for a healthy immune system, great skin and optimal thyroid function.Mug cake in a bowl

The healthiest ‘cup’ cake ever is flavoured with extra coconut, cranberries and dark chocolate purely because I believe this is a perfect combination and essential for my peace of mind! It works, take my word for it, no don’t do that, make it and see for yourself! Any variety of dried fruit, chocolate chips and nuts would work so this is great for adapting to suit your mood or the contents of your kitchen cupboard. I used coconut flour purely because I really do love it and it’s grain free but any flour would work well, as long as a cake batter consistency is achieved. Mug cake = easy

I eat this as part of my lunch when I fancy something a little sweeter, sometimes breakfast and often an afternoon or evening snack. Oh OK, I eat it whenever, because it really is that good, and healthy too, it’s definitely that.

See if you can get it out of the mug without breaking it in half like me – it’s hit and miss! Just grab a mug and have your cake and eat it, a healthy cake at that. Mug cake

Healthy coconut, cranberry + dark chocolate mug cake

(serves just you)

1 heaping tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/3 cup coconut milk (or nut milk of choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon maple syrup
sprinkle of cranberries + chocolate chips (dairy free)

Combine the dry ingredients in a mug + stir thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients and mix to fully combine. Stir through the cranberries + chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Eat from the mug or transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with extra sweetener. Maple syrup is good.