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! 

PURE Flexitarianism

 image via gourmet.com

Somewhere in this chatoic small yet world-wide cyberspace I came across a term I had never heard before: Flexitarian(ism). What a great(?) term. I mean, it's a little silly all these food related isms {i.e. veganism, rawfoodism, octo-ovo vegism, and the list goes on} but that aside, I think this might be a favorite and not because I like the definition per se but it sort of encompasses my whole purpose here at PUREmamas.  That is to help those people who want to be healthier and eat less meat and more veg but are afraid to really change their ways...change their ways! If that makes any sense.

Flexitarianism:is a semi-vegetarian diet focusing on vegetarian food with occasional meat consumption. A self-described flexitarian seeks to decrease meat consumption without eliminating it entirely from his or her diet. There are no guidelines for how much or how little meat one must eat before being classified a flexitarian.

Despite the fact that I HATE labels and I hate guidelines {a terrible flaw of mine}, I like the idea of this one. Not because I eat meat or because I want to encourage meat eating, but the "flexible" idea behind it is good!

So now let's change the definition a bit and then call it PURE Flexitarian {I think I will submit this to Wikipedia}: a semi-rawfood diet focusing on live superfoods with occasional meat-eating and/or vegetarian cooked food consumption. A self-described PURE Flexitarian seeks to decrease meat and cooked food consumption without eliminating it entirely from his or her diet but wants to include more raw foods and green drinks.

PUREmamas meets Flexitarianism!

Love it. Let's use it! {note: I'm obviously sort-of joking}

F.O.O.D. & Fear & Health

I had a great night last night in bed thinking about PUREmamas and what my/our goal is with it for 2010. I honestly want it to be a place where pregnant woman and parents alike can come to for inspiration and motivation as well as recipe and modern product ideas. 

My goal is to question society's pre-existing ideas about food, diet and nutrition. Even though I did not quite finish my degree in holistic nutrition {due to my decision to start Kookie Karma instead - thinking, like a dummy, that I could somehow do both} I have life experience. My knowledge comes less from my scholastic studies and more from my own drive and passion for food and nutrition. I can't say I have finished all my REQUIRED reading per se, but I can say I have read and read book after book, magazine after magazine about nutrition, diets, food, cooking and optimal health! And the more I read and experiment with my family the less excited I am about the Food Guide Pyramid and FDA's very strange unwillingness to share crucial information that might help people prevent and/or cure disease. 

As I say in our About Me page, good intentions and an open-mind are all we ask for here on PUREmamas. It's true. We want everybody to feel like they can be a total food novice and still comment on the discussion boards. But I also want everybody to feel empowered as an "expert" as well. No fear! No judegment. We're all both experts and also forever students of life! 

Anyways...

So last night in bed...

I was thinking about FOOD and thought, hmmmm, again, I want PUREmamas to be a place where people can feel motivated, not a place where they feel like "bad" parents who don't feed their children a good as say somebody else. I want it to be a place where people can learn some simple health tips and tools. Or, get inspired to go completely VEGAN at home and feel good about their decision. Feel empowered.

I came up with this acronym F.O.O.D. = Fear Of Other Diets. In order to even try new stuff we all must be open to new ways of eating and parenting. I think a weakness we ALL have to some degree is FEAR!! It's all part of the human psyche; we need constant reassurance and constant reminders to LET GO of fear!!! It's so empowering each time we have that reminder! Am I wrong?

Don't question your gut! If it tells you that meat is something your children need, or something your body craves, THEN it probably is right. If you are just afraid of not eating it anymore, or afraid of the lack of protein, then maybe take a look at that - read more about it and experiment with it. There is a difference between our GUT talking to us and our FEARFUL mindset creating doubt and worry. 

I see a therapist a few times a month for my own personal growth and that of my family. I absolutely LOVE her and the constant "reminders" she gives me. She has helped me immensely in my own life to deal better with people {family, work, strangers, etc.}, FEAR, worry, doubt and LOVE! She has given me important tools that allow me to stop making excuses for my actions, others' actions, and especially my feelings. I always take the blame for everybody and everything; I constantly am feeling "bad" for people; I take on way too much in hopes of making others happy! It's a continual ongoing battle to take care of others and although it's "kind" of me at times, in the long run, it can be quite crippling! 

One important thing that my therapist always says to me is "what is your gut saying?" Sometimes it honestly says nothing. But most of the time, I "know" what I need to do! and I "know" what is right and wrong. I just don't trust myself! I'm sure many of you reading this feel the same way. 

So we need to stop making excuses, take charge of our lives and start doing what it is we've been wanting to do but are too afraid to actually do it {for reasons such as "others might think I'm strange" or "I'm not an expert at blank, so I can't start a company doing it", etc.} It's time you BELIEVE in yourself! Afterall, books are only written by people and then the students read their books and become 'experts?' themselves? Well, who says the original writer of that book is a true "expert". OK, so maybe they ARE experts in the field, but then if so, what makes them so much smarter than YOU?

So there you have it!

Print out this little FOOD drawing I created and post it on the wall. Use it as a reminder that we often are afraid of listening to our gut just because EVERYBODY ELSE says otherwise! And most of the time our one GUT knows better than all those peoples' fearful minds combined! Even if those people are the government or even doctors or teachers! {did I just say that?}

Thanks for listening!

DOWNLOAD IMAGE HERE