Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Three: Rainbow Week

Welcome to rainbow week, where the focus is on colorful foods that span the spectrum! Though today’s recipe would be equally at home during international week: tender roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a Thai curry-inspired quinoa filling. But once I assembled these little beauties and saw how vibrant and colorful they were, I knew they’d fit perfectly during Rainbow Week. Just look at them, pre-oven:

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Gorgeous, no? And not so difficult to make, either. You’ll cook up some quinoa in a mix of water and coconut milk, adding more coconut milk towards the end to keep the filling nice and creamy — and to help it stay together. Think of it as more of a risotto than your traditional light and fluffy quinoa preparation. Mix in some sauteed ginger, garlic, and jewel-bright orange peppers, stuff everything into halved poblanos, and roast to perfection.

In the meantime, you’ll whip up a dead-easy sauce with just three ingredients: coconut milk, peanut buttery, and Thai curry paste (plus salt if you’d like). Drizzle it on just before serving and call it a day.

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Peanut-Coconut Sauce

Serves 2-3 as a main

For the peppers
  • 1 C quinoa
  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 1 C + 1/2 C coconut milk, separated
  • 1 T Thai red curry paste (more if you like extra heat)
  • 1/2 T coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T ginger, grated
  • 1 orange or red pepper, diced
  • 4 poblano peppers
For the sauce
  • Scant 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 T Thai red curry paste
  • Dash salt (to taste)

First, start preparing the quinoa. Add the quinoa, water, 1 cup coconut milk, and Thai curry paste to a medium saucepot and heat on medium-high. Stir to incorporate the paste. Heat until boiling, cover, then turn down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes or until all liquid is soaked in, stirring occasionally.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a small pan on low and add the garlic. Sauté for a minute, watching closely so it doesn’t burn, then add the ginger. Stir to combine and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the diced pepper and turn the heat up to medium-low. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the pepper is soft. Turn off stove and remove from heat.

When all the liquid is soaked in to the quinoa, remove cover, turn heat to low, and stir in the extra 1/2 cup coconut milk, adding a few tablespoons at a time and stirring when you add it, until just absorbed. Turn off heat.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚F, grab a 9″ x 9″ baking pan,  and prepare the poblanos for stuffing. Slice them in half, shake out seeds, and remove any pith.

To stuff the peppers, it’s easiest to squeeze them in one hand while using your other hand to spoon in the filling. Press down with the spoon to spread it throughout the pepper. Fill just to the top. (Reserve any extra quinoa for spooning over the cooked poblanos later.)

Place stuffed poblanos in a baking dish (see photo), cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

While baking, make the sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, salting to taste, and set aside.

When the peppers are tender, remove from the oven and let sit for a minute or two. Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Notes
  • For a less spicy version, use four green bell peppers instead. Slice the tops off, remove seeds and pith, and stuff.
  • Feel free to add additional veggies to the quinoa mixture; just be sure to chop them small.

PIN IT!

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

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Kale, Sweet Potato, & Quinoa Bowl with Ginger-Peanut Sauce (and, I’m going to New Zealand!)

If it’s not clear yet, I’m all about bowls. Gimme a grain + a green + a delicious sauce and I’m a happy camper. One of my favorite veggie combos is kale and sweet potatoes — they make such a great pair, both flavor-wise and texture-wise. Today’s bowl gives kale + sweet potatoes the chance to team up with quinoa and a gingery peanut sauce for a nutritious, flavorful meal. A drizzle of fresh lime juice is the perfect finishing touch!

Kale, Sweet Potato, & Quinoa Bowl

Sorry for the subpar photo!

Kale, Sweet Potato, & Quinoa Bowl with Ginger-Peanut Sauce
Serves 3-4

For the Bowl

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1.5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 large bunch kale, roughly chopped (I used lacinato kale, but curly kale would be great too)
  • 1/2 lime for serving
  • Chopped peanuts or hemp seeds for serving (optional)

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • Scant 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • Water to thin the sauce

Using your favorite steaming method, steam the sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes or until they’re fork-tender. While they’re steaming, you can chop the kale or prepare the sauce. To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients and add enough water to emulsify the mixture. You can add more or less water depending on how thin or thick you like your sauce. Set the prepared sauce aside.

When the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, remove them from the steamer and set them aside. Add the chopped kale and steam it for about 5 minutes or until it’s tender enough for your tastes. (I leave the stems on, so I like to make sure they’re tender too.)

To assemble the bowls, add the quinoa, top with kale, and then top with sweet potatoes. Add the sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and toppings, if using. Enjoy!

~~~

In news that’s tangentially related to food, I’m going to New Zealand! I’m leaving this Thursday and staying with a friend who’s working there currently. She’s based in Auckland, but we have lots of adventures planned on both islands. I’ve been researching lots of tasty Auckland dining options, but let me know if you have recommendations! I’ll also be in the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Christchurch, and somewhere else on the South Island yet to be determined (probably near Arthur’s Pass).

Finally, as promised… I shaved my head! I raised nearly $700 for childhood cancer research thanks to the generosity of my friends, family, and coworkers. And you know what? Having a shaved head is awesome. I feel so bad-ass! (Not to mention that my showers are now so, so quick!) I’m excited to explore New Zealand with my new look. :)

Kelly After

Lemon-Dijon Broccoli & Quinoa Bowl

“I could eat this for lunch seven days a week,” said Steven, after tasting a forkful of last night’s dinner. High praise? Well, coming from a guy who is actually notorious for eating the same lunch every workday for nearly a month… maybe not. But I’ll take it.

On any given day, I’ve got a couple recipe ideas buzzing around my brain. I toy with them, mull them over, research similar recipes. Sometimes I actually make them. Every so often, though, a wholly unplanned meal idea just pops, fully-formed, into my head. I don’t ignore impulses like those—I head straight to the kitchen to cook. Thus was born Monday night’s dinner.

Lemon-Dijon Broccoli & Quinoa Bowl

Tangy and abundantly flavorful, this dish is a winner. A zesty, creamy lemon-Dijon sauce is the perfect accompaniment for the more subdued flavors of broccoli and quinoa. This bowl is a surprisingly filling, fun-to-eat side dish that probably tastes just as good cold from the fridge as it did warm from the pot. You could add some baked tofu for some extra protein and to kick this into entree territory.

Lemon-Dijon Broccoli & Quinoa Bowl
Serves six (as a side dish); four (as an entree)

For the Bowl

  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I used a salt-free homemade broth)
  • 3 heads broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional; for topping)

For the Lemon-Dijon Sauce

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 T Vegenaise
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the quinoa and vegetable broth in a small saucepan on high heat. Once the broth boils, reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has soaked up all the water and is light and fluffy.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Vigorously whisk the wet ingredients together until emulsified, then add the spices to taste. (You could use a food processor or immersion blender, but this is such a small portion that you can easily whisk it by hand.) Place the finished sauce in the fridge.

As the quinoa finishes cooking, chop the broccoli into small florets (if you haven’t already) and steam it lightly, for about five minutes. You want it to be not-quite fork tender; it should still have a little bite. I used a steamer pot, but you can use your favorite steaming method.

When the quinoa and broccoli are both done, mix them together in a large bowl. Remove the lemon-Dijon sauce from the fridge, shake it, and pour it over the quinoa-broccoli mixture. Let it sit for at least five minutes to absorb the flavors, top with pine nuts, and eat!

Lemon-Dijon Broccoli & Quinoa Bowl

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

Ah, weekends. I truly enjoy my job, but I still relish the no-obligations charm of the weekend. With a few exceptions, this Saturday morning was top of the charts. Reading, coffee, toast, cool autumn air, yesterday’s Diane Rehm show, the scent of pumpkin muffins in the oven… what’s not to love? (Cleaning Luna’s mucus-puke off the sofa, but let’s not get into that.)

I don’t know about you, but when I cook a pot of grains, I always make extra. Brown rice, quinoa, whatever—it’s a sure thing that we’ll use it up, whether it’s in a lazy lunch like a burrito bowl or a slightly more time-consuming meal like Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup. So when I prepped the quinoa for last week’s Nutty Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash, I made extra. Instead of incorporating it into a savory dinner dish, though, I decided to try putting quinoa into muffins. And I’m really glad I did. I love the slightly nutty taste and the not-quite-crunchy texture it adds, not to mention the nutrition boost!

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ (or more flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash cloves
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • Heaping 1/3 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (or more regular sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or vegetable/canola oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

Preheat the oven to 350˚ and prepare a dozen-muffin tin using liners or a light spray of oil.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir in the wheat germ, if using.

In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (not including the quinoa) and the sugar(s) until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet. Using a plastic spatula or a wooden spoon, stir gently to combine, but don’t over-mix. Fold in the quinoa, then add the batter to the prepared muffin tin with a spoon. Fill each well about 3/4 full. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before eating.

~~~

Fair warning: If you have a major sweet tooth, you might want to add more coconut or brown sugar to these babies. Although my younger self would probably recoil in disgust at this development, I find myself less drawn to sugary-sweet baked goods these days. (With a few notable exceptions!) Especially when those baked goods might well constitute my breakfast. So these muffins, which are spicy and quinoa-y and not so sweet, are my perfect fall breakfast snack. I think they could only be more perfect if I’d used spelt or whole-wheat pastry flour, but alas—we have neither in the house right now, and S took the car this morning, and I was too lazy to walk over to the grocery store. Ah, Saturday.

What’s your ideal Saturday breakfast? What else should I put quinoa in?!

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Nutty Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash

LVV MoFo 2014 main

On the drive home from work this evening, S asked me what I was planning to make for the last day of Vegan MoFo.

“Something with that Delicata squash that’s been sitting around for a week,” I said. “Maybe stuffed squash. Any ideas?”

He barely had to think about the question before answering.

“Nuts! And dried cranberries!”

Nuts and dried cranberries it is. For the last day of September, I put together a dinner that’s pretty to look at and fun to eat. Quinoa gets an autumnal makeover as the filling for the melt-in-your-mouth Delicata squash, and the spice combo evokes all the best fall flavors. A hint of cinnamon and maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness, and the toasted nuts provide a little crunch. The filling would make an excellent gluten-free Thanksgiving stuffing alternative on its own! As written, though, this recipe is a surprisingly satisfying and filling dinner.

Nutty Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash

Nutty Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash
Serves two

  • 1/2-1 tablespoon Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A couple grinds of fresh pepper
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (I used a mix of hazelnuts and walnuts)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Delicata squash, split lengthwise, with the seeds and stringy bits scooped out
  • A little extra Earth Balance or coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 425˚ and fill an 8″ x 8″ (or 9″ x 9″, depending on the size of your squash) baking pan with a thin layer of water.

Melt the Earth Balance in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the spices and maple syrup and stir so that the onion and celery are coated. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, then remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, toasted nuts, dried cranberries, and the onion and celery mixture. Scoop into the cored Delicata squash and pack tightly. The filling can come up over the edge a little bit, but not too far. You’ll have extra, but that’s okay. Dot the filling with a little coconut oil or Earth Balance. Place the squash halves in the prepared pan, add the remaining filling to a small baking dish, and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the Delicata squash is browned on top and is pierced easily with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before eating. Drizzle with a little extra maple syrup if you’re feeling indulgent!

Nutty Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash

Besides being my favorite squash for its ease of preparation (you can eat the skin, so no need to remove it!) and its creamy texture, Delicata is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Quinoa, of course, is a phenomenally healthy little seed, and it’s really what gives this dish its nutritional punch. One serving (one filled half squash) provides 24 grams of protein, 41% of your RDV of iron, and 11% of your RDV of calcium. That’s a pretty darn strong finish to my “Where do you get your protein?!” month, wouldn’t you say?

And what a month it’s been! I’ve really enjoyed myself. Sure, I had a few lazy days, but overall I’m proud of the recipes I created and the consistency with which I was able to put them together. And, for the first time in a while, I’m feeling inspired to keep creating recipes and to continue blogging. Hold me to it if I don’t!

And with that, I bid this year’s Vegan Month of Food a truly fond farewell.

What’s your favorite squash? If you participated in Vegan MoFo, how did it go?

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup

LVV MoFo 2014 main

11 days into Vegan MoFo and I’ve yet to feature a soup. Shocking! That oversight gets remedied today with a hearty tomato-y red lentil soup that couldn’t be easier to throw together. This ain’t your typical red lentil soup, though—the addition of quinoa not only boosts the nutritional profile, but adds a textural counterpoint to the softer lentils.

This soup is versatile, too. Yellow potatoes could easily stand in for the sweet potatoes, and diced carrots would make a fine addition. If you don’t have quinoa, I suppoooose you could leave it out. And if you prefer a creamier, richer soup, just add some full-fat coconut milk towards the end of cooking. That kiss of lemon juice added at the end is non-negotiable, though. Trust me, you’ll want to keep it.

Sweet Potato & Red Lentil Soup

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup
Serves six

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2″ knob ginger, minced
  • 1-2 T your favorite curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 3 C water
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce (or puree)
  • 2 C red lentils
  • 1/2 C quinoa
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Diced scallions or chopped cilantro for serving

In a large stockpot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds or so. Add onion and ginger and sauté for another 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add spices and sweet potatoes and stir until the sweet potatoes are well-coated. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red lentils, quinoa, and two cups of the water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and the lentils are soft. Check every 10 minutes and add extra water in half cupfuls if necessary.

When the sweet potatoes and lentils are fully cooked, turn off the heat and add salt and pepper as desired. Stir in most of the lemon juice, reserving some for serving. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the leftover lemon juice, freshly ground pepper, and diced scallions or chopped cilantro.

Sweet Potato & Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils boast an impressive nutritional makeup, and this soup adds a few other key ingredients to nourish you. One serving offers 24% of your daily value of iron and 17 grams of protein… but you might not want to have just one serving.

What’s your go-to soup recipe?