Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers

Fall is around the corner so I have been testing more recipes in the oven lately. This stuffed bell pepper recipe isn't new though; I've been making it for years now. In fact, I got my mom hooked years ago and she make it all the time (see photos below). We love to play around with different ingredients. This time it was Cauliflower, raisins and toasted pine nuts. 

cauliflower and raisin stuffed bell peppers recipe [vegan] [gluten-free] #purekitchenblog #puremamas

Stuffed bell peppers are exciting because they are so versatile in what goes in them. My Cauliflower and Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe is exact but please feel free to use your favorite vegetables, nuts or seeds and herbs. 

You can even add cheese like feta (my mom's favorite) if you're not vegan or a Daiya or Kite Hill vegan style would be my choice. 

Simple & Versatile Stuffed Bell Peppers [vegan] [gluten-free] [plant-based] #purekitchenblog #puremamas
Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers | #purekitchenblog #puremamas #vegan #glutenfree

I try and eat low fat most of the time but I find roasting or pan sautéing without any oil is difficult, so I add as little as possible. Usually I use a little water first to steam and cook the veggies down and then add a touch of oil for the final sautéing. The other option is to dry sauté or use a tiny bit of oil first until the juice from the veggies seeps out and you can use that for the rest of the cooking process. 

When I use oils to cook I try not to use cheese or avocado. That way a least the fat content isn't too high. Don't get me wrong I love fat but I don't like too much oils. I like to get my fat from avocados, nuts coconut etc.

What's your favorite fat? Do you think low-fat is almost impossible and boring? I sometimes do, I have to admit. So I def splurge from time to time. 

Vegan Cauliflower & Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers #puremamas #purekitchen

Not to mention I have spent the past week on a low-fat raw vegan diet. Have you checked out my raw vegan cleanse? I created a meal plan and helpful shopping guide with loads of inspiration, motivation and 30+ recipes to have on hand. Click here to see more photos and pricing.  

So now just al little fat for flavor and texture because I reset my palate after that week. It helps to cleanse from time to time; the body really appreciates it. You'll be so glad you did it. 

[vegan] Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe | super simple! delicious!
vegan stuffed bell pepper recipe | via #purekitchenblog @

Cauliflower and Raisin Stuffed Bell Peppers

yields 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (or make your own)
  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice 
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted or dry roasted
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • fresh parsley, chopped (or other herbs like basil, cilantro, arugula, etc.)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • spices like pepper, cumin, red chili flakes, etc. 

DIRECTONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a large baking dish or cookie sheet, place the bell peppers that are cut in half already and seeded. Cook them for about 20 minutes, until soft. They might produce juice/water, so be careful when taking them out of the oven. 
  3. While the peppers are baking, put the olive oil or coconut oil into a frying pan or skillet on the stovetop. Press the garlic (or mince it) into the warm oil along with the chopped scallion. Cook until scallions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Don't let them burn. 
  4. For the cauliflower rice, I suggest just buying it pre-made to make your life easier. Even Costco and Target have it pre-made and I think Trader Joes as well. Same with the rice; just cook it ahead of time in a rice cooker or buy it frozen (pre cooked) at your local health food store. 
  5. Add the rice and cauliflower rice to the hot skillet. Add the chopped tomatoes, corn and pinch of salt. Add any spices you feel like adding. I only added pepper, salt this time and red chili flakes for spice. 
  6. Cook for about 4 minutes, tossing and coating. Cook on medium or medium/high until most of the water has evaporated (about 2 more minutes). 
  7. Turn off heat. Add raisins and mix well. Fill each bell pepper half with the mixture. Fill them full and well - pushing some into the corners of the bell peppers. 
  8. This is where you can add vegan cheese (or regular if you wish). Cook in the oven for another 10 minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven. Let cool. Then serve. 
  10. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and tons of fresh herbs. 
  11. Enjoy! 

Delectable Gluten-Free Banana Bread

There’s something wonderful about banana bread. The smell of it cooking fills the entire kitchen with a very comforting aroma. The sweetness of the ripe bananas with a little extra help from coconut sugar makes this recipe naturally sweet and with what seems almost like a hint of caramel. 

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Vegan Recipe

It’s a simple allergen-free recipe (no gluten, dairy, eggs or nuts) and yet also very versatile. This particular recipe is nut-free but you can add walnuts or cranberries, extra spices or more vanilla. You can top it with butter or leave it plain; serve it warm or room temp. No matter which way you do it, you won’t be disappointed.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Yields: 1 loaf

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 6 Tbsp water)
  • 2 large bananas (very ripe)
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup vegan butter like melt or earth balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt

TOPPING INGREDIENTS (optional)

  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegan butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Make flax eggs and put in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. Put bananas, coconut sugar and vanilla into food processor. Process to blend, but don’t over mix.
  4. Add flax eggs, butter and mix again. Don’t over mix.
  5. Mix rest of ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to wet ingredients. Don’t over mix. 7. Bake in 8 ½ inch by 4 ½ inch loaf pan for about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove bread. Mix toppings in a little bowl and add toppings evenly over the bread.
  7. Put back in the oven and cook another 10-15 minutes.

Baking notes: If you choose not to add the pumpkin seed toppings, just bake the bread in the oven for 45-50 minutes.

The bread is best eaten right away. Any leftovers should be covered and left on the counter; do not store in refrigerator. Consume within a day or two.

Recipe idea inspired by Tia’s Kitchen

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If you love the recipe please share your images on social and tag me. Or even leave your comments with me below. 

 

 

Butternut Squash {vegan} Baked Pasta Dish

I have made this 3 times this week. Ha. Once for work and then again because it was so tasty and easy to make. 

The first dish I started with was a butternut squash lasagna and then ended up as just a simple baked pasta. I'm definitely tired of the same old tomato sauce pasta that I make almost every week. It's really really good but I wanted something more festive for the Fall. 

Butternut Squash (vegan) Baked Pasta Recipe | gluten-free | plant-based

The sauce is creamy and naturally sweet. Best of all it's so easy to make. The most difficult part of this recipe is the homemade cheese and even that is a) not hard to make and b) you don't even need it. Instead you can buy some vegan ricotta or you can use real ricotta if you're not vegan. 

Butternut Squash (vegan) Baked Pasta Recipe | gluten-free | plant-based

The amount of vegetables in this dish makes it really healthy. It's not just a bowl of cheese and noodles. You can play around with the veggies in the dish as well. I subbed the zucchini one time for frozen cauliflower. And it turned out awesome. 

Onion

Butternut squash 

Zucchini

Spinach

Corn 

Brown rice 

Cashews

That's a lot of produce and plants right there. 

I'm excited to share with you this video I created - demonstrating how to make this dish from start to finish. If you like it, subscribe to my channel and stay tuned for more of these tutorials. I am going to do a few a month.  

Butternut Squash Baked Pasta Recipe

Serves 4 main dishes or 6 side dishes

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups butternut squashed (skinned, seeded and cut into cubes)
  • 2 cups yellow onion (skin removed and cut into large chunks)
  • 2 Tbls vegan butter
  • 1/2-3/4 cup (8 oz) vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream 
  • 2 cloves raw garlic

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut open the butternut squash, cut off the thick skin and remove all the seeds. Cut remaining squash into large cubes. 
  3. Cut the onion in half. Remove the thin skin. Cut up into large chunks. 
  4. On a cookie sheet spread the butter around evenly. Place the raw chopped veggies on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. 
  5. Cook for 25 minutes. Check on the veggies from time to time because the onion can burn if you slice it to thin. Remember to keep the chunks large. 
  6. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients to a high speed blender. Add then add the cooked veggies. 
  7. Blend on high until completely smooth and looks like a thick creamy sauce. You might need to add a tad more liquid (veg broth) depending on the desired thickness of the sauce. Remove and set aside.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH BAKED PASTA INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 bag (8oz) of your favorite gluten-free pasta. I used Tinkyada shells
  • 1 cup frozen corn or fresh 
  • 1 zucchini thinly sliced or cut with a mandolin or peeler
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Butternut squash pasta sauce (recipe above)
  • 2 cups Vegan Queso sauce or fresh vegan ricotta (or even real ricotta cheese if you're not vegan)
  • fresh sage or thyme
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper for 
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if you just made the butternut squash sauce, keep the oven on after you bake the squash and onion).
  2. In a baking dish of choice, layer about 3/4 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish. Add pasta shells. 
  3. Top the shells with veggies. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. 
  4. Add your cheese or cheese sauce on top of that. And add more of your veggies. Keep repeating steps 2-4 until you're out of noodles and out of sauce.
  5. Pour 1/2 cup water or veggie broth on the top of the baking dish before you cook it. 
  6. The only important rule here is that you cover the noodles completely in sauce. Don't leave dry noodles exposed.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. The sides of the dish will start to brown when it is done baking. Test to be sure noodles are fully cooked before you let it cool and serve.  
Butternut Squash (vegan) Baked Pasta Recipe | gluten-free | plant-based

Flourless No-Bake Cookie Dough Balls

Holy cookie dough balls! These are flourless, vegan and gluten-free! What makes them even better is the they require NO BAKING! Woohoo! That's good news for me - the extremely pregnant mama over here. 

It's been a long long 40 weeks for me! I can't tell you how ready I am to be a mom of 3 little ones. I have patiently been waiting almost a month {I swear that's how long I've been in early labor} now to get this little girl out into the world! She is already testing my patience but I want her to come when she is absolutely ready! NOT when I decide. But, in order to do that, I must wait and wait and wait some more. And it's actually driving me bananas! 

What better to do than bake? Or no-bake in this case (hehe). 

I love this recipe because there are times when I just can't wait for the oven to preheat and the cookies to cook fast enough; I'm not in the mood for a ton of dishes or a hot kitchen. So, these cookies are perfect for this pregnant mama craving. 

No-bake Cookie Dough Balls are also perfect for a spontaneous play date when you want to impress the kids without any fuss! These are also the perfect go-to snack. 

Vegan, gluten-free cookie dough balls that taste anything but healthy! So what are you waiting for?

NO BAKE COOKIE DOUGH BALLS RECIPE {gluten-free / vegan}

vegan gluten-free no-bake cookie dough balls recipe!

yields 1 dozen

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heaping TBLS Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped {skin discarded}
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste {I like the salty flavor}

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine everything in a food processor. Blend/chop and pulse until everything mixes up and forms a ball. You'll want to pulse for a bit and then mix and then pulse. Keep going until mixture should be somewhat chunky but chocolate chips should not hold original shape. 

  2. Form small bit sized balls. Recipe should yield a dozen.

  3. Refrigerate for an hour or two before eating - OR eat the dough right out of the bowl. {wink}

  4. They should last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge. 

{No Bake} Ginger Cherry Bars

I woke up yesterday in the mood for a fancy homemade breakfast. I wanted something that was more on the sweet side than the savory side. I rummaged through the pantry looking for baking flour; I thought muffins sounded good. Not sure which kind but something exciting.  

I was all out of flour though! So I grabbed almonds, gluten-free oats, GO RAW sprouted buckwheat groats {your pantry should always have this item stocked on hand} and dried cherries. 

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I processed all of these ingredients in the food processor to make a healthy no-bake breakfast bar.  And wow, what a great combo it was...healthy, hearty and sweet! These Ginger Cherry Breakfast Bars were born! The best part of it all - I didn't even have to even bake them! 

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Unfortunately, I didn't plan to blog about this recipe which resulted in not so wonderful photos. But at least you can get an idea. Right?  

These Ginger Cherry No-bake bars were devoured by the husband and kids (I only got one, darn it). 

Just to make things even more wonderful - I smothered some of them in chocolate. 

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I mean why not?

I wish I had a su-chef here to help me with the dishes, but other than that, It was the perfect way to spend my morning. In fact, I was thinking "man, I could sell these bad boys"! But then I remembered I have already been-there-done-that! {wink} 

I highly recommend you try these bars. They are so wonderful to have around - just a quick snack or meal to grab on the go! BEWARE - in addition to being healthy, they are tasty and addicting. 

REMEMBER - the chocolate coating is optional. My kids thought it was the "best thing I've ever made" but I prefer it without the chocolate. 

No-Bake Ginger Cherry Bars Recipe {with chocolate coating}

yields 10-12 bars

DRY INGREDIENTS

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup liquid sweetener {agave, honey, maple syrup - I used ginger syrup again}
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter {room temp}
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • pinch sea salt

CHOCOLATE COATING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dark chocolate bar
  • anything else you might want to see on top - coconut, seeds, nuts, goji berries, etc. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor combine the nuts and oats. Pulse for about 30 seconds on and off. Add cherries and repeat. Add the buckwheat groats and repeat.  
  2. Go ahead and add the wet ingredients. Be sure butter is at room temp. You don't want it to be cold. Pulse again for a bit longer until everything is well mixed up. See my photo above to get an idea of how chunky it should be. 
  3. Empty mixture onto a glass Pyrex style deep dish pan. Press it down until pan is covered. Lay wax paper over the mixture and press the mixture down using a flat, firm spatula until evenly spread. Remove the paper. 
  4. Refrigerate mixture for at least and hour.  
  5. Meanwhile melt the chocolate in the oven (about 250 degrees F) and while you're waiting for the bars to firm and chocolate to melt, maybe do all the dishes.  
  6. When ready, evenly pour the chocolate over the top of the refrigerated dough {and sprinkle whatever toppings you'd like at this time. I used coconut.}
  7. Refrigerate again for about an hour.
  8. Bars can be cut into squares or long bars or even circles. 
  9. Store any leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Should last about 1 week. 
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