Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Peppers

Veggie Lasagna Stuffed Peppers

3 bell peppers
2 tsp olive oil
8 oz mushrooms
1 cup chopped kale
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp parsley

2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 zucchini, sliced

1/2 cup cottage cheese or ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
extra parmesan for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds and white skin from the inside. Set aside.

Saute the carrots and onion in the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until softened. Add the salt, pepper, oregano and parsley and cook a few more minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until they begin to give up a bit of their moisture. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix the cottage cheese with the parmesan and spices in a small bowl.

Assemble the stuffed peppers by spooning the mushroom mixture in first, following by a tomato slice and a zucchini slice (zucchinis serve as the noodles). Next, add a layer of the cottage cheese mixture. Repeat until the peppers are full. Top with extra parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes.


Chicken & Stuffing

I get so excited for fall food this time of year. Technically, I made this before the autumn solstice... but I just couldn't wait any longer. Poultry and stuffing is one of those classic dishes I associate with fall holidays, like Thanksgiving, but why save the best foods for only once a year? It is with that sentiment that I submit to The Second Breakfast: Chicken & Stuffing.

Any bread will do for the stuffing, and ideally old bread is best. I used baguettes.

Chop them up...

 ...and bake them for 7 minutes at 350

Truth: I hate celery. Raw celery is what everything tastes like in hell. But cooked celery adds a distinctive flavor to stuffing that can't be replicated. So I deal.

Cooking the mirepoix

Add the mirepoix to the toasted bread when it's done...

...then add chicken stock and butter

Here's the very best recipe I've found for preparing a whole chicken in the oven

It looks like a lot of butter because it is.

The extra stuffing that won't fit in the bird goes into a casserole dish and gets baked as well.

C'est fini!

Chicken & Stuffing
adapted from recipes by Stacy and Robin

5 lb chicken, giblets removed
2 tsp salt
3 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 cup butter
10 cloves garlic, mashed

5 cups bread, cut into cubes
3/4 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup carrots, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup diced fruit of choice (I used a peach)
1 cup chicken stock
2 1/2 tsp sage
1 1/2 rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
fresh basil for garnish
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Bake the cubed bread in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, until slightly golden and toasted. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

Saute onions, carrots and celery with oil of choice (I used olive oil) in a skillet until softened. Add sage, rosemary and thyme, stir to combine, the pour over the toasted bread and mix together. Add fruit and stir to combine. Next, pour in the chicken broth and melted butter. Stir and set aside. You can also put it into a casserole and bake it by itself at this point, for about 30 minutes at 350.
Preheat the oven to 425, Rinse the chicken and dry it, then place it into a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and onion powder all over the inside and outside of the bird. Add the stuffing to the inside of the bird. Make 10 small cuts into the chicken skin and place a garlic clove inside of each one. Next, stick the butter to the outside of the bird in dollops. Truss the chicken and place it into the 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and continue baking for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or 20 minutes per pound. Chicken is done when internal temperature reads 180 degrees.


Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad

1 handful cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 slices chopped cooked bacon
3 slices chopped prosciutto
bowtie pasta
1/4 cup pesto (recipe below)

Boil pasta until al dente, then drain. Add thawed peas to the pasta and stir to combine. Add chopped bacon, prosciutto and cherry tomatoes to each serving. Finish with a dollop of pesto.

1/2 cup walnuts (toasted)
11/2 cups fresh basil
1 tsp garlic powder (or 3 cloves fresh)
1 green onion
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c parmesan cheese
the juice from one lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Add toasted walnuts to a food processor and blend until they look like breadcrumbs. Add half of the olive oil, cheese and lemon juice, then blend again. Finally, add the garlic powder, fresh basil and green onion. Add the rest of the olive oil and blend until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper amounts to taste.


Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower Curry Soup

This recipe was adapted from one by Vaishali at Holy Cow Vegan.

I chopped up brussels sprouts and added cauliflower to a mix of spices sauteeing in onion and olive oil. Lemongrass, ginger, garlic and curry spices made this soup delicious and flavorful. I also added a few cups of chicken stock to make it more of a soup and less of a stew. 

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
7 cloves garlic, mashed and chopped
3 Tablespoons grated ginger
2 stalks lemongrass
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tomatoes, diced
1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
1 head cauliflower, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
1/2 can coconut cream
1 lime or lemon
1/2 cup spicy peanuts for garnish

Add olive oil to a large stockpot over medium heat. Saute the onion and bell pepper until translucent, then add the garlic and cook until just fragrant before adding the rest of the spices. Cook for ten minutes, stirring often. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine and heat through. Next, add the brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Stir to combine and heat through again. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender- about ten minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and cream, heat through. Serve immediately and garnish with lime wedge and spicy peanuts. 


Apple Crisp

Fall is here and so are the apples! I used apples from my mom's backyard to make this festive dessert. The recipe is simple (only seven ingredients) and took an hour from start to finish.