Barley Stuffed Peppers

These barley stuffed peppers from ThugKitchen are a staple at our house. I posted them on the blog about a year ago, but wanted to repost with a few additional notes.

A couple of thoughts regarding these barley stuffed peppers

In our humble opinion, it needs cheese. So, we add 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan to the actual stuffing mix and then we sprinkle shredded parmesan as a garnish. Obviously, doing this makes the recipe “non-vegan” but we are cool with that.

Technically, the ThugKitchen version of these barley stuffed peppers calls for white OR kidney beans. We always use white beans because they are smaller than kidney beans, which just seem to bulky to be stuffed into small places.

Also, the barley stuffing can be used to stuff much more than just peppers. We have used it to stuff zucchini, acorn squash, and tomatoes.

The kids, age 3 and 11, have a great time selecting their bell peppers. Audrey usually goes for green and you can’t really count on John to be consistent with the color of pepper he chooses. I usually buy a few extra peppers because the kids manage to eat them raw before I even have time to get the stuffed peppers in the oven.

Print Recipe
Barley Stuffed Peppers
These barley stuffed peppers from ThugKitchen are a staple at our house. I posted them on the blog about a year ago, but wanted to repost with a few additional notes. Bell peppers with a vegan barley stuffing. Serve as a main dish for a light meal or as a side for a colorful and flavorful addition to any meal.
barley stuffed peppers
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings
Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings
Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients
barley stuffed peppers
Instructions
  1. 1–In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts turning golden, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes. Throw in the barley, tomato, and vinegar and stir. Add the broth, salt, and pepper and let it come to a low simmer. Cook, uncovered, until all the broth is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. 2–While the barley is simmering, heat your oven to 375° F. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and scrape out the seeds. Place them in an oiled pie place or loaf pan, something where their asses won’t be sliding around once they’re stuffed. 3–When the barley is done, fold in the beans and turn off the heat. (This filling can even be made a day or two ahead of time, no fucking problem.) Fill the bell peppers up to the top with the filling, cover them tightly with foil, and bake until the peppers are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let them rest for 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, ’cause those fuckers are hot. Top with the parsley and serve.
Recipe Notes

Thanks to ThugKitchen for the recipe. I didn't technically ask them for permission to publish their recipe, but those assholes can just fucking get over it.

For more vegan and vegetarian recipes, visit the recipes are of this site here. Check out the homepage for additional yoga information and inspiration. Namaste!

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com

Chia Seed Pudding with Pomegranates and Kiwi

To me, chia seed pudding seems so bizarre. I mean, who looked at their chia pet and said, “I bet I can make a great pudding from these seeds!”? Nothing about a chia pet appears to be edible let alone appetizing. And yet, here I am, experimenting with chia seeds for breakfast and desserts.

Because it’s Christmas time, I wanted to create something festive using seasonal fruits. That means pomegranates and kiwis were first on my list of toppings to use for maximum food styling points. I have created versions of this for Thanksgiving as well using pomegranate and persimmons and pears. You could go really crazy and use figs and dates and chopped toasted nuts. Anyway, the options are endless and I strongly encourage you to use your imagination.

You can make this pudding with milk, water, or juice rather than almond milk, but keep in mind that the absorption rates differ quite a bit depending on the liquid you choose, so you’ll need to be willing to experiment or search the web for other recipes where someone has done it successfully.

There is a wide variety of flavored almond milk on the market as well, so if that’s what you are using, cut back on the maple syrup and the vanilla. I recommend always using plain unflavored almond milk so that you have control of the flavor, but hey, you do you, okay?

In other news, but still related to chia seed pudding, my kids are in love with this recipe. I suspect it is because they live for pomegranate seeds, but I’ll take it. Anytime I can get my kids to embrace something as nutritionally action packed as chia seeds, I take the win.

Please enjoy the recipe and use it all year long with whatever is in season. Use the comments section to let me know what you are putting in your chia seed pudding these days.

Happy Holidays and Namaste!

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com. 

Print Recipe
Chia Seed Pudding with Pomegranates and Kiwi
Vegan chia seed pudding with pomegranates and kiwi fruit. Almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, salt. Top with your favorite fruits or nuts. Here we used pomegranates and kiwi because it was Christmas.
chia seed pudding
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk plain, unflavored
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds food grade
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup you can also use agave nectar or regular sugar and adjust accordingly
  • 2 sticks cinnamon or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon if you don't have sticks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla or to taste
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Passive Time 12 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk plain, unflavored
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds food grade
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup you can also use agave nectar or regular sugar and adjust accordingly
  • 2 sticks cinnamon or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon if you don't have sticks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla or to taste
chia seed pudding
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well mixed and chia seeds have absorbed some liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for about 12 hours. You'll know it's ready when the consistency is thick and the chia seeds have a light halo around them.
    chia seed pudding ingredients
  2. chia seed pudding combined
Recipe Notes

I have often mixed this in a large mason jar. You can dump it all into the jar, give it a good shake, put the lid on and toss it in the refrigerator. This makes more than one service and it's nice to have a container with a lid to store it in. Just a thought. Enjoy.

Quinoa-Farro Cherry Salad

The inspiration for this recipe came from a vegan cookbook called PLUM: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro. I changed so much about the original recipe that it is no longer gluten, soy, or dairy-free–oops. It is, however, still a protein rich vegetarian salad that we use as a main course or side dish at our house.

Ingredients
1/2 cup Farro ( or pearled farro)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 chopped almonds
8 oz fresh cherries, pitted, quartered
1/4 small red onion
1 lime
1/4 fresh parsley
3 mint leaves

Here’s how to make it:

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Quinoa and farro have very different cooking times. So, really, you should cook them separately according to their individual cooking instructions. However, I am lazy, so I use pearled farro, which cooks faster, and I soak it for an hour or so before I mix it with the rinsed quinoa and cook it together. That gets their cooking times closer. So make that major life decision and while your grains cook, take care of your chopping.
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Pit and cut your cherries. Chop your other ingredients. Toast your almonds in a dry skillet for a few minutes to activate their flavor. Then let them cool before you use them. I go light on the red onion because it seems to stay with me for days, but feel free to increase the amount and use a finer dice. You do you.

Put it all together:
Fluff you grains and let them cook a bit before you put them together with your chopped ingredients. Then, toss it all together, season with salt and pepper, squeeze lemon juice liberally, and garnish with mint. We serve this over a bed of mixed greens, but it works on its own too.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com

Meatless Meatballs Recipe: Deliscious and a complete pain in the ass.

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A few days ago, I posted this photo to my instagram feed. It is a picture of meatless meatballs for which I found the recipe in the New York Times Cooking section. I said I would try them and report back as I wasn’t sure how they could be tasty or even pretend to be meatballs given what was in them.

Here is a simple Q and A to help you decide if these meatless meatballs are for you:

Q: How did they taste?
A:  Just like meatballs, so great.

Q:  Are they easy to make?
A:  Absolutely not.

Q:  Did the kids eat them?
A:  No way.

Q:  Would you make them again?
A:  Yes, but I would chop the mushrooms smaller or run the whole business through the food processor. I would double the batch while I was at it since they are time consuming and a little bit messy. I would freeze the extra batch for a future date when I needed meatless meatballs but didn’t want to go through the production of making them.

Q:  How did you serve them?
A: On homemade fettuccine noodles with red sauce and salad. Also, because the kids wouldn’t eat them and the batch was huge, my husband and I ate them on salads all week.

Q:  Where can I find the recipe?
A:  Right here,  Veggie Balls Recipe – NYT Cooking

 

Pistachio Pesto Pasta: Our most requested recipe

I’m finally getting around to writing up our most requested recipe. This is a recipe for Pistachio Pesto Pasta otherwise known simply as “Green Pasta” at our house. I can’t claim this recipe as my own because my husband tore it out of Bicycle Magazine sometime last year and asked that we try to make it. We did, and now it is a staple in our menu rotation at home.

Here is the link to the article if you want to read about how awesome pistachios are as an energy source or if you like to read about bikes and people who ride them. Otherwise, follow the instructions below.

Pistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup salted, shelled pistachios
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt to taste

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Add the pistachios to the bowl of your food processor and pulse them approximately 20 times, then STOP. Do not over process at this point or you will have pistachio butter when you are finished.
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Add all the other ingredients to the pistachios in the bowl of your food processor and process until all the ingredients are well incorporate but you still have a few small pistachio chunks.
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Combine your pesto with warm pasta. A few notes here: this pistachio pesto is THICK and works best when mixed into short pastas like penne, macaroni, or whatever I have shown in the picture. Also, it mixes better when the pasta is still hot.
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And here you are–Green Pasta. Gram for gram, pistachios have more muscle building protein than beef and because this recipe is packed with spinach, there is no need for you to harass your kids about eating their salad and you don’t have to make one, so everybody wins with this recipe.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

OMGhee!

I like butter, a lot. So when I heard I could make butter healthier and still keep the deliciousness, I was pretty sure I was being punk’d. And off I went to the test kitchen (aka my kitchen).

Ghee is not a secret if you are a yogi or a cross fitter or desperately lactose intolerant; it has been around for thousands of years. But if, like me, you are a native midwesterner who was raised on a daily three squares of meat and dairy, than ghee is a bit of a mystery to you.

Here is the deal, ghee is similar to clarified butter (like for crab legs). It is butter from grass fed-and also sacred-cows that has been cooked to remove the milk solids (lactose, whey, and casein) and the water. Ghee  originated in India and is still commonly used in South Asian, Iranian and Arabic cuisines, Ayurvedic medicine, and religious rituals.

Nutritionally, ghee is a more concentrated source of fat than butter since the moisture and the milk solids are removed during its preparation. One tablespoon of ghee has 13 g of fat and 117 calories versus butter, which has 11 g fat and 100 calories per tablespoon.

Why ghee in your kitchen?

  1. Ghee has a higher smoke point than many other “healthy” oils so it is good for frying and sautéing.
  2. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated and has a shelf life of up to 3 months.
  3. It can replace butter for those who are lactose intolerant because the milk solids have been removed.

Why ghee in your body?

  1. It is high in butyrate which is a short-chain fatty acid essential to the colon and the intestinal ecosystem.
  2. Ghee can reduce inflammation when applied to the skin and is used to treat burns in auyrvedic medicine. It can also be used as a skin moisturizer.
  3. This oil is rich in fat soluable vitamins A, D, E, and K.

There are some studies that show this delicious oil may reduce the risks of cancer, lower your cholesterol and support weight loss. But let’s not go crazy here. Keep in mind that it is butter, not magic, and still contains the saturated fats that should be kept to a minimum.

You can buy ghee at most well stocked grocery stores, but I suggest making your own because:

  1. it is easy
  2. if you are thinking about ghee, you have already gone all-in on the health food thing, so you might as well take it to an extremely unnecessary level. That’s how we like to do it around here.

Let’s Make Ghee

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Start with  unsalted butter from grass fed cows. Try not to eat this butter before you turn it into ghee; it is amazing on a spiritual level, as the Hindus already know (even though technically, the butter in the photo is Irish. But whatever). 8 oz of butter makes about 6 oz of ghee when all is said and done.

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Line a sieve with two layers of cheese cloth and strain the oil into a small container. The milk solids will catch in the cheese cloth and the strainer and you should be left with only the oil. If it looks like maybe you still have some milk solids in there (white cloudiness or graininess) strain it again, I did.
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I strained mine twice and then put it into the refrigerator to firm up, but you can leave it on the counter or in your pantry, too.

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