Probiotic Stuffed Peppers

img_4746
Optimizing health begins with the gut so eating probiotic foods regularly is key. Tempeh is one such probiotic food derived from fermented soybeans. It originates from Indonesia but can be substituted for tofu and meats in many dishes. Here I took a traditional stuffed pepper recipe and swapped beef for tempeh and white rice for brown. Healthy recipe makeovers are simple!
Makes 6 servings
2 12 oz packs of tempeh, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup cooked brown rice*
1/2 T grass-fed butter or coconut oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
6 green bell peppers
25 oz tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh italian herbs (basil, partly, oregano) or 1 T dry Italian seasoning
olive oil, 1/2 T per half pepper
*Much rice these days is contaminated with arsenic. Certain brands such as Lundberg have been found to be the purest. To minimize risk, rinse rice prior to cooking and cook rice via “pasta method”. This means to cook the rice in a lot of water and drain once cooked.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic in butter until translucent. Add the tempeh and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward.
  4. In a bowl, mix the tempeh, garlic and onion mixture, cooked rice, 1/2 of the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and herbs or Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.
  5. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven until the peppers are tender.
  6. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving for oleic acid!
Advertisements

Drew’s Basil Pesto (Dairy-Free)

20110313-142091-basil-pesto-step-1

This is my husband’s brilliant recipe. There is no need for cheese but 2 tbsp of parmesan can be added if preferred.  Simply blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor:

2 cups fresh basil

2 cloves garlic (garlic lovers, add more!)

1/4 cup walnuts

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt to taste

Ideas for using pesto:

Smear on grilled fish before or after cooking.

Smear on a thin slice of whole grain bread and top with chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper.

For a simple, balanced meal: Toss with just a little cooked brown rice pasta, lots of steamed or sautéed veggies (such as zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash, bell pepper, tomato) and a moderate amount of beans (drained & rinsed) or canned salmon (drained).

Indian Chicken Coconut Curry

curry

Adapted from: foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/spicy-chicken-coconut-curry-recipe.html?oc=linkback. I made just a few adjustments to enhance the nutritional quality. Organic ingredients are always recommended.

Serves 6-8. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour.

Ingredient:

3 tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter

2-3 medium onions, chopped

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp garam masala

1 cinnamon stick

1 to 3 dried red chiles or 1 jalapeño

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 (15-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

6 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

4 pasture-raised, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips

extra virgin olive oil to garnish

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, plus plenty more for garnish

1 lemon, juiced

Mint leaves, for garnish

Heat the ghee or butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic and cook until the onions are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garam masala, cinnamon stick, and chiles or jalapeño and stir. Mix in salt and pepper. Pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock and bring back to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken, cilantro, and half the lemon juice. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Add additional lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into serving bowls, allow to cool slightly and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves. May be served over brown, wild or red rice. Bon appétit!

Delicious Indian Cabbage & Lentil Recipe – Cabbage Upkari

cabbage-chana-dal-recipe

I found this delicious recipe from vegrecipesofindia.com. I made a few changes here and there to enhance the nutritional quality. I also substituted some ingredients for others that are easier to find in the US. It is advised to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredients:

½ large cabbage

¾ cup lentils

¾ cup grated, unsweetened coconut

1 medium onion, chopped

4-­5 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

1 tbsp garam masala (on amazon.com or may be at your local health food store)

1 jalapeño, chopped

2 tsp cumin seeds – or use powder and add with the cabbage

2 tsp mustard seeds – or use powder and add with the cabbage

2 tsp turmeric powder

3 tbsp coconut oil or grass-fed ghee

plain, unsweetened, grass-fed yogurt (optional)

chopped mango for garnish (optional)

cilantro for garnish

salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Soak the lentils in water for 1 hour.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds and fry the cumin seeds.
  3. Add the onions and sauté them till they become transparent.
  4. Now add the garlic and curry leaves and fry for a minute or two.
  5. Add the cabbage, lentils, jalapeños. spice powders and salt.
  6. Mix everything and cover and cook the cabbage.
  7. After 10­-15 minutes, when the cabbage is half cooked, add the coconut.
  8. Cover and cook for 15-­20 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve over brown, wild or red rice. Top with a dollop of yogurt and a little chopped fresh mango if desired.

Sesame Noodles, Greens and Tofu

Swiss-chard-leaves-POST

This is my absolute favorite homemade fast-food recipe. Feel free to use any dark leafy vegetable and any type of whole grain noodles or pasta.  This dish, by itself, makes a complete, balanced meal and is unarguably DELICIOUS!

Ingredients:

1 box brown rice pasta

2 bunches of chopped swiss chard

6 tablespoons of each: low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds

1 lb. extra firm tofu, cubed

Fill a large pot half-way with water, add a splash of oil and a pinch of salt, cover, and bring to a boil.  Separately, in a large skillet, sauté tofu in 2 tbsp sesame oil until golden brown, set aside.  Once the pot of water comes to a boil, add pasta and cover.  Five minutes before the pasta is cooked (this will depend on the type of pasta; refer to cooking instructions on pasta packaging) mix in the swiss chard. Cook for five minutes and then strain pasta and greens.  Return pasta and chard to pot and mix in tofu, soy sauce, 4 tbsp sesame oil and sesame seeds. Bon appétit!