Tag Archives: meatless monday

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers

20 Feb

How was your weekend? Ours was packed – Chris and I had date night on Friday at Odd Duck, one of our favorite restaurants in Milwaukee. The food was amazing, and the dessert was even better! We checked out two new breweries afterward for some tasty beer to cap off the night. Saturday was full of fitness and more beer – it’s unseasonably gorgeous outside (61 degrees in February in Wisconsin is unheard of), so I went for a run, followed by yoga at another local brewery, and a walk around the neighborhood with Chris. At night, we poured beer at Food & Froth, a beer festival/fundraiser for the Milwaukee Public Museum. So, all the housework and my long run was left for Sunday.

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Left: Date night with Chris, including an amazing flourless chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse. Right: pouring beer at Food & Froth at the public museum – got to hang out with the Eskimos!

I’ve finally jumped on the Sunday food prep bandwagon. I’m not sure what’s taken me so long, as the routine of cooking and baking a bunch of food on the weekend is actually quite relaxing. It’s also satisfying to know that most of the week’s meals are ready to go.

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

But you can’t forget a delicious Sunday dinner! Craving something naughty, but wanting something nutritious, I combined the best of both worlds. The flavors of a cheeseburger are packed into these stuffed bell peppers. Traditional stuffed peppers are made with rice, but to reduce the carbs and increase the veggie intake, I replaced rice with shredded zucchini and carrot. You can’t tell the difference and it is SO much better for you! You can’t forget the cheese, and these peppers use two kinds for a delicious meal you can feel good about. It’s high protein, low carb, vegetarian and gluten free; make this vegan with dairy-free cheese!

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers, adapted from Skinny Kitchen

Serves 4

  • 4 bell peppers, washed, tops sliced off and ribs removed – I used a variety of colors, but use whatever you prefer!
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 10 oz Beefless Ground – tempeh would work if you crumble it up
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup – such as True Made Foods, whose condiments are made with all veggies!
  • 1 tbsp mustard – any kind works – I used beer mustard
  • 1/3 C Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 C shredded mozzarella
  • 3 oz shredded aged cheddar – I prefer 5-year aged

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the bell peppers and slice off the tops. Clean out the seeds and ribs. You may need to also slice just a bit off the bottom of the peppers, if they don’t stand up on their own. Place them in an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking dish; set aside.

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and saute the onion with the shredded zucchini and carrot. Cook until everything is nicely browned and the water has cooked out from the veggies. Add the Beefless Ground and cook another 5 minutes, to brown.

Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard and Bloody Mary mix. Then, mix in the mozzarella.

Use a spoon to pack the cheeseburger mixture into each pepper. Pat down the filling and top each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese.

Carefully pour a cup of water into the base of the baking dish. Sounds weird, but this will help steam the peppers so they’re nice and tender! Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.

Gently remove the baking dish from the oven and use tongs to serve. These taste amazing with beer-soaked oven fries, which can conveniently bake at the exact same time!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

I’m linking up with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands for #MeatlessMonday!

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins

4 Apr

I’ve been doing a lot more cooking that revolves around running nutrition. I have to consume more carbs, more protein and more fat…and I love it! I’m always hungry and always thinking about food. So I really have no problem working more food into my daily diet. As I train for my upcoming half marathon, I continue to eat as unprocessed as possible, eliminating chemicals and additives. But I’m always looking for ways to add carbs, protein, and fat. On those short run days, that’s pretty easy to accomplish. But on long run days, replenishing those calories can be challenging.

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

While I’m hungry all the time, I can only fill my stomach so much. Which is why nutrient-dense foods are a must-have. And thus, I present these apple cornbread protein muffins! They’re full of protein, healthy carbs, and plenty of fiber. They’re also vegan, gluten free, oil free, and free of refined sugars. So, kind of the perfect snack or breakfast. Oh, and they’re completely moist, with a bit of crunch to them thanks to the cornmeal. Naturally sweetened, these muffins will hit the spot any time of day.

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Make these scrumptious muffins for a week’s worth of breakfast, an easy snack pre- or post-workout, or just a healthy treat to enjoy when you want something on the sweeter side. Throw a few in the freezer to pull out when you need to refuel after a hard workout (just toss into a 350 degree oven for a couple minutes to warm up from a frozen state).

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 large apples, shredded
  • 1 C nondairy milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (to curdle)
  • 2 flax eggs (or two large eggs if not vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 C cornmeal, medium ground is best
  • 1/2 C oat flour (note: measure after grinding oats into flour!)
  • 1/2 C vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 12 walnut halves

Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spread the shredded apple in a single layer. Let dehydrate in the preheating oven for 5 minutes. This will help reduce some of their moisture.

In a large measuring cup, combine the milk and lemon juice. Let sit 5 minutes to curdle. Then add the flax or chicken eggs, vanilla and honey/maple syrup. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, oat flour, protein powder, baking powder & soda, tartar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and whisk again, making sure to combine well so as to hydrate the cornmeal and oat flour. Fold in the shredded apple.

Spray 2 silicone muffin molds with olive oil PAM; place molds on a large baking sheet. Scoop batter into the molds, filling to the top – these will not rise very much. Press a walnut half into the top of each muffin, if desired.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Then, turn off the oven and let sit inside another 2 minutes with the door closed. Remove from the oven, and transfer silicone molds to a cooling rack. Let sit 10-15 minutes and then carefully pop out the muffins to let cool completely on the rack. Enjoy warm, or store, cooled, in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. These can also be frozen for up to 3 months!

Apple Cornmeal Protein Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Linking up with Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama, and Confessions of a Mother Runner & A Whisk and Two Forks for #MeatlessMonday! Also linking up with Running in a Skirt for Best of the Blogs!

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake

5 Aug

Quinoa is clearly a big deal these days. So what do I do? Play into the hype, naturally! I was out of the healthy grain for quite some time, and then I went to my local Outpost store and stocked up, for cheap! And then I made this casserole – a perfect dish to either feed the entire family a healthy meal, or to make for yourself and roomie and then dine on leftovers for a couple days. Yay for being smart AND frugal!

Give this one a try, and let me know how it goes! If quinoa is still foreign to you, or your first time with it ended in disaster (mine did, that’s for sure!), read up on how to cook perfect quinoa the first time, and every time, thanks to The Kitchn.

Tip: Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you. I had all of these in my cupboard & fridge, after a week of not grocery shopping. Missing the black beans? Leave ’em out! Don’t have diced tomatoes? Sub in tomato sauce, or even jarred salsa! Like it spicier? Add some tabasco sauce. Bakes and casseroles are really about YOUR tastes, so make it yours! I promise it’ll turn out regardless. Go with your tummy and be rewarded 🙂

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake

Hot and cheesy, just like anything tasty is!

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake, adapted from The Iron You

Serves 6

  • 2 C cooked quinoa (which is about 1 cup uncooked – see above for instructions)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (or 2-3 plum tomatoes)
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese
Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake

Ingredients ready to go!

Prepare quinoa first, if you’re not cooking from leftovers. Follow the instructions on your package, or from The Kitchn. If you like, make more quinoa than this recipe requires – it stores well in the fridge, and can be used in breakfast dishes, cookies, salads whatever!

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake

Perfect, fluffy, tender quinoa.

Preheat oven to 375°F and spray an 8×8 baking dish with PAM.

In a skillet over medium heat add oil, garlic and onion. Saute for about 3 minutes, until onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant.

Add chopped tomato, canned tomato, black beans, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir and let simmer on low heat for 7 minutes.

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake

Mmmm, veggies (something I say often)

In a dry nonstick skillet over medium high heat, toss and toast cooked quinoa with paprika, chili powder and cumin for 2 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl – glass or stainless steel is best – and set aside.

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake

Seasoned, toasted quinoa!

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, place the diced peppers and let them get a little brown on the skins. Wait 2 to 3 minutes before stirring, then let them roast for another 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine tomato mixture, quinoa, bell peppers, and Greek yogurt.

Transfer quinoa mixture to greased baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Serve into bowls and devour!

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Bake

Quinoa close-up

Note: This version is an upgrade from the original because it: adds black beans (fiber & protein), Greek yogurt (protein), and reduces the cheese (less fat), making it overall an incredibly healthy, satisfying meal!

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