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Delicious Stuffed Pepper

Delicious Stuffed Pepper

These peppers are a little labor-intensive, but worth the effort! So delicious and good-for-you, filled with so many healthy ingredients: brown rice, fresh corn, black beans and tomatoes. Not to mention the peppers themselves. Also, you can make them the night before if you are having friends over for dinner. They also make great leftovers.

Stuffed Peppers, Southwestern-style

3 large bell peppers (your choice of color), stems and seeds removed, and cut in half
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can whole tomatoes
1 10 oz can Rotel brand diced tomatoes
2 ears corn
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cilantro
½ tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ cup low-fat cheddar cheese or Daiya vegan cheese
Olive oil

1)      Prepare peppers. Place halves in large casserole dish greased with olive oil, with smooth side facing down.

2)      Cook corn in the microwave (each ear should be microwaved about 1 minute 15 seconds). When cool, scrape from cob. A serrated knife works well for this.

3)      In large sauce pan, add a couple tbsp. of olive oil. Heat oil on medium high heat and add chopped onions. Saute until tender. Then add minced garlic, ciliantro, cumin and chili powder.

4)      Add corn and black beans and stir. Remove tomatoes from can and set juice aside. Chop tomatoes and add to the sauce pan. Add 2 tbsp. of the Rotel tomatoes.

5)      Stir in two cups of cooked brown rice and ½ cup cheese or vegan cheese.

6)      Spoon rice mixture into the pepper halves. Mound it up, as needed.

7)      For sauce: Add tomato juice from canned tomatoes, remaining Rotel tomatoes, garlic powder and 1 tbsp. oil oil to medium-sized bowl. Stir together. Pour over peppers.

8)      Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for another 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. Great leftovers.

Peppers before baking

Peppers before baking

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Easter comes at a different time each year, and this year it’s early in the calendar. But it’s not too late to plan a lovely brunch. All the recipes below are healthful and vegan.

Easter Brunch Menu

Oatmeal Pancakes
Berry Sauce
Veggie sausage or veggie bacon
Fresh juice and coffee

Oatmeal Pancakces

2 cups oatmeal (quick cooking is fine, but don’t use instant oatmeal)
3 cups vanilla, unsweetened or regular almond milk
3 tbsp. ground flax seed whisked with 8 tbsp. water (substitute for 2 eggs)
½ cup oat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. Canola oil
1 tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Ginger
¼ tsp. Allspice

Oatmeal Pancakes

1) Mix oats and almond milk together in bowl until blended. Place in refrigerator overnight.

2) The morning of your breakfast, add all ingredients together with oat mixture and blend. You may need to add a splash or two of almond milk if it is a little thick.

3) Grease a flat skillet and make the pancakes just like you make regular pancakes. If you like silver dollar, make those. If you like one great big pancake, have at it. Generally I used about ½ cup of batter per pancake.

4) Flip pancake and cook other side. Both sides should be golden brown.

Serve with maple syrup or berry sauce.

Berry Sauce

BerrySauce
This sauce is packed full of antioxidants and contains very little sugar. It’s good for you and tastes great!

1 pint of blackberries
½ pint of blueberries
1 tbsp. sugar (optional)(maple syrup is a good sugar substitute here)
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
1/2 cup waterGoldendoodle dog in bunny ears.

1) Wash berries and mix together with sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Let set about 10-15 minutes so berries macerate.
2) Place berry mix in a medium-sized kettle. Add honey and spices and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a low boil.
3) Boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
5) Berries will burst and you will have a delicious sauce.

Happy Easter!

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My Food Plate

My Food Plate

After twenty years, the USDA has replaced the sometimes maligned Food Pyramid with the “Food Plate.” Dubbed “My Food Plate,” the image shows a plate with half of its content made up of fruits and vegetables. Michele Obama introduced the new guidelines and image this week.

Other recommendations include:

  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains
  • Reduce sodium
  • Reduce fat
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks

For more info: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

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Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

The other day I noticed a banana in my fruit bowl and I knew in a day it would be too soft to eat, so I decided to make Banana Bread.

I had seen a recipe in an old Cooking Light magazine that looked pretty good, and pretty light. But I decided to make the recipe even lighter–less fat and less sugar, one egg instead of two, oat and wheat flour instead of white. Plus I added nuts and a few more spices. I have to tell you, it turned out fabulous. I think it was the best banana bread I’ve ever eaten. And healthy too! I think it would freeze well, but I didn’t need to freeze it because it didn’t last. Great for breakfast, afternoons, midnight snacks, etc.

Nutty Glazed Banana Bread

1 ripe banana
½ cup chopped toasted pecans (or your favorite nut) (optional)
½ cup applesauce or apple butter
4 tbsp. Smart Balance, melted
1 tbsp. Canola oil
1 tbsp. ground flax seed plus 3 tbsp. water, beaten together (this is an egg substitute)
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour (your choice)
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves

For glaze:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp. almond milk

1) Mix all wet ingredients together.
2) Mix all dry ingredients together, except nuts.
3) Gradually add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add in nuts.
4) Pour into bread pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Knife inserted in middle of bread should come out clean.
5) Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Mix together glaze ingredients and pour onto bread.

Note: If you don’t feel like making the glaze, sprinkling a little sugar on top before you bake works well.

Also: If you don’t have all of the spices listed, it will still be good without them.

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Do you live in a healthy city or a city ranked as unhealthy?

Running in the city

Running in the city

Sperling’s Best Places and Centrum (vitamins) recently ranked the 10 healthiest and the 10 least healthy cities in America. To make the classification, they looked at statitiscs on obesity and heart disease, as well as other factors that promote a healthy lifestyle. The five major categories studied were: Physical Activity, Health Status, Nutrition, Lifestyle Pursuits, and Mental Wellness.

Here is the ranking:

Top 10 Cities with Highest Healthiest Cities Scores Top 10 Cities with Lowest Healthiest Cities Scores
1) San Jose, CA 1) New Orleans, LA
2) Washington, DC 2) San Antonio, TX
3) San Francisco, CA 3) Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
4) Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA 4) Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria, OH
5) Salt Lake City-Ogden, UT 5) Orlando, FL
6) Oakland, CA 6) Columbus, OH
7) Sacramento, CA 7) Detroit, MI
8) Orange County, CA 8) New York, NY
9) Denver, CO 9) Las Vegas, NV-AZ
10) Austin-San Marcos, TX 10) Indianapolis, IN

Washington, D.C. is the closest city to where I live and it is #2 on the list. D.C. offers a lot of great vegetarian restaurants, and I’m sure this helps to make it a healthier place to live!

For more info: http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/healthy.aspx

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