Stuffed To The Brim

I am absolutely STUFFED to the brim…

…with happiness and smiles…

…quiet calm and simple joy…

…peace and absolute contentment…

…veggies and quinoa.

Isn’t life delicious?

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers—tweaked from the original recipe as seen in Moosewood Cookbook

These rustic peppers are delicious as is, but feel free to top them with a bit of zingy salsa or creamy guacamole for that little something extra.  Any leftovers will freeze and reheat really well, making for an easy peazy weeknight meal.  Or you can simply toss them in a container and eat them with a side salad for lunch the next day.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed
  • 6 medium bell peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup canned black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 cup grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place quinoa  and 2 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and carefully seed them.  Place peppers cut side down on baking pan and roast for 15-20 minutes, until softened and lightly browned.  When bell peppers are roasted, reduce heat to 350.
  4. Meanwhile, in a skillet, place 1 Tbsp. olive oil in pan and place over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in cumin through beans.  Cover pan and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.
  5. Combine vegetables and quinoa and add salt to taste.  Turn over the roasted peppers and stuff each half.  Sprinkle each pepper with some of the cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

QUESTION: What are you *stuffed* to the brim with today?+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

a simple cranberry sauce

After about a week of eating leftovers, I’m officially turkeyed, stuffinged, and mashed potatoed out.  Because as much as I love a good turkey soup, stuffing on my salad, or a big ol’ bowl of peppered turnips, my tastebuds are about to have a revolt.

Well, for the most part.  They (the tastebuds, that is) are making one small exception.  While the rest of the leftovers must go, the cranberry sauce can stay for as long as it wishes.

I’ll always say that stuffing is my favorite side on Thanksgiving.  But deep down, we all know that I have a deep, deep love affair with cranberry sauce. 

It all started with a can of store bought cranberry sauce, served alongside my Memere’s famous turkey dinner. 

Originally it was sort of a family joke.  “Hide the cranberry sauce.  Sarah’s here.”  Or, “Grab some while you can before Sarah gets to it.”  Cranberry sauce smeared on my turkey.  Spread on a toasted roll.  Jimmied into a plate of stuffing.  It was the highlight of my meal.

And then—then!—I discovered how easy it was to make my own cranberry sauce.  Homemade. 

My tastebuds were thrilled. 

The sauce was tangy, zingy, and sweet all at the same time.  Little bites of plump berries burst in my mouth.  I found myself wondering how I ever could have eaten so much jellied (canned!) cranberry sauce in the first place.  *Sigh.*  To think what I had been missing out on.

Yes.  Cranberry sauce can stay.  For as long as it wishes.  I’ll always find something new to to use it with.  Oatmeal.  Overnight rice combos.  Yogurt.  Toast with butter. 

Mmm.  So many delicious possibilities. 😀

Cranberry Sauce

This is as simple as simple gets.  The result is a tangy, not overly sweet sauce (add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter.) 

Don’t be afraid to dress this up with orange peel, walnuts, apples, pears, blueberries, or whatever else might come to mind.  Have fun and enjoy! 😀

  • 1 12-oz. bag of cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil.
  3. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups.

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A trip to the dentist has left my mouth in a bit of a droop.

Two cavities.  One upper.  One lower.  Which is a shame, since I’m so meticulous about dental care.  Harumph.

Anyways, since the entire right side of my face was drooping and not at all in good functioning order, there wasn’t a whole lot of this going on today:

For a girl who loves to eat, this felt horribly, horribly wrong.

But—really—the worst part wasn’t simply that I couldn’t chew.  It was that I couldn’t smile.  Or talk.  At all.  So when I bumped into a woman at the mall, I didn’t quite know what to do.  And so I grunted.  Yes.  I grunted.  Which left me feeling completely rude, even though it felt like the only thing that made sense to do at the time.  It’s amazing what life is like when you just can’t talk.  Or smile.

Life without a smile.  Can you imagine? 

With me in mind, please smile as much as possible today.  And tell someone you care.  And never forget to say “excuse me” if you bump into a lady when walking through the mall.  Grunting really doesn’t work so well.

Question: Going to the dentist…love or hate?

lucky leftovers

(appropriate title for Friday the 13th?)

I opted to delay breakfast for an hour this morning, after deciding that a full meal at 5:30 would leave me starving by 8.  I don’t mind throwing in a snack here and there to tide me over, but I don’t want to be scarfing down lunch by 10. 😉

I snagged a date, guzzled some water, and carried on with every other morning ritual.  By the time I was finished, there was a good 30 minutes left for me to enjoy breakfast.  This worked out so perfect.  I’d much rather be eating breakfast at 6:30 vs. 5:30. 😉

Another beet green smoothie in a bowl!!  This time I added in 1/2 a frozen banana and topped it off with a sprinkle of Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola.  Delish. 😀

On the side, a whole wheat english muffin smeared with Teddy pb.

Natural lighting is so much nicer, but unfortunately, it was still pitch dark out this morning due to the cloudy overcast, so breakfast was eaten indoors. 😉

A packed morning snack: peach and almonds

Thank you all so much for all the great tips and advice for helping me become more green when it comes to packing my lunches!  I think I need to plan a shopping trip to Target soon, and stock up on some tupperware containers, in a variety of sizes.

Today, I didn’t use one plastic bag for packing lunch, and I was pretty proud of that fact.  I’m well on my way to becoming an earth friendly lunch-packer. :mrgreen:

Salads are my favorite go-to lunch choice.  They always taste so fresh, crunchy, delicious.  Very refreshing.  Today’s combo included all the basics (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms) plus some garbanzo beans, a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of sea salt.  On the side I had some kashis, which fit perfectly in my little canning jar. 😀

Dessert!!

Notice anything missing?

Yes, that would be a fork.  I completely forgot to pack along a fork for my salad, which resulted in my running to a local cafe to ask (or…beg) if they would please let me have a fork.  I think the girl felt sorry for me, and she was kind enough to send me away with two. 😉

Last day of orientation today!!

These three days have absolutely flown by.  The preclinical training begins on Monday, and I have a massive amount of organizing and homework to do over the weekend.  I’m actually really excited for it all.  It feels good to be back into a routine, and I love filling in a new planner and organizer. 

On the way home, I decided to make a pit stop at Starbucks for a grande iced soy misto.  For money purposes, I can’t let this starbucks thing become a habit, by the way.  But it was definitely a fabulous treat for the 2 hr. drive home. 😀

Leftover pizza should never be microwaved.  Ever. 

If you think that’s a bold statement or happen to feel offended, don’t be.  I’ve been known to throw leftover pizza into the microwave too.  Or eat it cold, which is a pleasure in and of itself.  But, really, if you want to experience leftover pizza as if it was just freshly made that night, you need to heat it on a pan.

Like so:

I simply place the slices on a nonstick pan at medium heat, cover it, and let it heat up for a good 5-10 minutes. 

Crispy.  The crust is so, so, so crispy.  And the cheese melts right into the dough.  It’s perfect.  And that is why it’s the only way that leftover pizza should ever be reheated. 

I added some spinach to my pizza for some extra flavor and veggies.  Simply dethaw the spinach in the microwave, drain the liquid and chop it up a bit with a knife.  Then—voila!  Spinach pizza. 

I followed my dinner with a brisk 2.5 mile walk and 20 minutes of yoga.  After sitting down all day, it felt absolutely delicious to s-t-r-e-t-c-h and walk.  Delicious!

So excited for the upcoming weekend!  Tomorrow I’m going over Nicole’s house for a cookout/bbq with friends, and I offered to make a dessert and bring some hummus & veggies.  Any brilliant dessert recipes?? 😀

Question: What is your favorite way to eat leftover pizza? 

It’s Wednesday

Honestly, I’m kind of embarrassed to let you in on today’s eats.  There is no explanation for my odd choices, the strange combinations and the obvious lack of aesthetics.  But if I was allowed to use one word—just one—to give you an excuse, this would be it: Wednesday.

I don’t know what it’s like at your house, but over here, Wednesday is the day when the refrigerator begins to closely resemble an old ghost town.  If you’re lucky,  you might find a lonely raisin sitting at the bottom of its container in the pantry.  And maybe—maybe—there’s a slice of cheese or two still left in the deli drawer of the refrigerator.  But I won’t even mention the vacant veggie drawer.  Or the freezer for that matter (I think my dad is more then ready for a restock of meat in this house!)

So there you go.  That is my excuse.  It’s Wednesday.

At least I managed to find this sitting way back in the closet:

Who knows how long it’s been there, but desparate times call for desparate measures. 

  • 1/3 c. Hodgson Mill Multi Grain hot cereal
  • 2 T. wheat bran
  • 1 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • toppings: banana slices, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 T. Galaxy Granola and a scoop of chunky Teddy Peanut Butter

This reminded me a lot of oat bran and was absolutely delicious.  I don’t know why I haven’t used this up before now!

Morning Snack: the very last grapefruit and the very last of the almonds

I scrambled through the fridge in search of the last remaining vegetables and managed to put together a green salad for lunch.  Even when the fridge is seeing the worse of days, there always seems to be a carrot and a bit of red onion way down at the bottom somewhere.  It’s something I can pretty much count on. So on top of the mixed greens, I sliced a carrot, diced some red onion and threw on a sprinkle of sunflower seeds for good measure.  Along with 1/2 c. garbanzo beans and the last two end slices of a German dark wheat bread, this became a decent lunch.  Not pretty.  But decent. 😉

Pink Lady!

And this final picture?  This is literally the last of everything.  The last fruit (i.e., a mango split with dad.)  The last vegetable (i.e., roasted broccoli.)  The last slice of Trader Joe’s whole wheat sourdough bread with a bit of butter.  The last two eggs with a bit of sliced mushrooms and more red onion.

Now that the fridge is completely emptied and the last raisin has been eaten, I can refill with new grocery items.  Wednesdays may be frightening, but Thursdays (aka, shopping day) offer that bit of light at the end of the tunnel. 😉

post dinner sweetness: slice of homemade whole wheat chocolate chip banana bread (same picture as yesterday but consumed before a new pic could be snapped…oops!)

And there you have it.  A peak into another one of my typical Wednesdays, when my economical, waste-not-want-not trait comes into full swing.  It’s not always pretty (and sometimes it’s scary), but I find a great satisfaction with clearing out the fridge from top to bottom. :mrgreen: 

Question: Do you enjoy using up the very last of any remaining leftovers?  Are there any foods in your house that you refuse to run out of?  I refuse to run out of peanut butter.  This would warrant an emergency run to the grocery store. 😉