Thursday, March 11, 2010

Season of Change

I got home from work today and opened up my mail. Nothing exciting...except for a calendar that informed me that daylight savings time begins March 14th. Can I express to you how happy I am? Do you have any idea how much I miss the sunshine?? The days of 8pm sunsets are my favorites. It reminds me of being a kid- riding my bike after dinner and only coming in to bathe and go to bed.

Exciting news #2: I got a letter today from my very best German friend. I miss her terribly and it's tempting to move to Europe in hopes that everyone there is as awesome as she is. Naturally, she packed me some delicious chocolate from the Alps. I'll keep her ;)
Exciting news #3: I got a new job, and today was my last day at the office I despised. No more office work for me!! Woohoo!
Exciting news #4: It looks like I will be moving back to my home town with this new job. At first I was a little hesitant about that (since I felt like I was moving backward, instead of forward), but now I'm thinking it's all part of my path. Everything seems to be lining up well, and I'm gettting a breath of fresh air. I will miss my beloved apartment, but it seems to be time to move on.
In the midst of all of this, I've been a little worried that the crazy schedule/ stress is going to ruin my immune system. I joke that I'm going to get a stomach virus, sinus infection, and strep throat all at once. But seriously. I've been making it a special point to be very cautious about what I'm eating and making sure I stay healthy during this crazy time. Therefore, I've been pre-making alot of dishes. A few nights ago I made a double batch of stir fry and make a few togo containers, and tonight I made a massive batch of these delicious stuffed peppers. I derived this recipe from Vegetarian Times.


Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
(A Great source of protein and very delicious!)


You Will Need:
1 onion finely chopped
2 ribs of celery finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1- 10oz bag of frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry.
                      (You could certainly used fresh also)
1 tbs cumin
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
3 large carrots grated
4 large red bell peppers sliced long ways seeded and ribs removed
3/4 cups quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups pepper jack. (I used a mix of pepper jack, swiss, and parmesan and it was great!)

1). Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sautee onions, celery and garlic in a little olive oil until they start to turn soft. Add the spinach.
2). Drain the tomatoes and retain the juice in a seperate cup. Rinse the black beans and quinoa.
3). Add carrots, tomatoes, cumin, black beans and quinoa and cover with about 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Add a handful of cheese to the mixture
4). Pour remaining tomato juice into the bottom of your baking pan. I used a mixture of red, green, and yellow bellpeppers and alignd them into my pan. When the bean mixture was ready, I spooned it into the bell peppers and covered with foil. Bake for about an hour.
5). After an hour remove the foil and top with remaining cheese. Heat until the cheese is bubbly and brown.

Very Delicious, very healthy. It's important to rinse the canned beans well. This will remove the brine like substance that makes them full of sodium. You can buy canned tomatoes that do not have any sodium added to them. Vegetarian Times says that the stats on this meal are something like this:
Calories 279

Protein 14g
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 3g
Carbs 36g
Choelsterol 15mg
Sodium 518mg
Fiber 10g
Sugar 9g


If any of you have great quinoa recipes you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!  I hope you guys are getting to enjoy some beautiful weather or at least will be soon...
In good health,
Lauren

5 comments:

  1. Yum, I haven't tried stuffing peppers with quinoa yet. I like to use couscous, but I think this would be even better!

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  2. Yay for finding each other, I am following you too! Those peppers look SO good, can't wait to try them! Congratulations on all your happy news!

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  3. p.s. linking my Monday post to your site tomorrow! :) :) :)

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  4. Congratulations on the new job! Is your hometown still in Louisiana?

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  5. Yep, still in Louisiana! It's actually not very far from where I am now- it's just the idea of moving "home". Ya know?

    Lori, these peppers are very yummy. I didn't mix any cheese into them, I only put it on top, but I definately think a little more cheese would be awesome. Highly recommend this recipe!

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