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Salsa-Stuffed Bell Peppers (Vegan)

This recipe comes from our intern, Delaney. She loves creating affordable, plant-based meals for herself and is excited to share her creations for you to enjoy!

These stuffed peppers rely on tomato-based salsa to add a punch of flavor into this classic dish. Using your favorite salsa, you can make these peppers pack a spicy punch or a mild heat.

This dish uses lentils as a protein. Ground beef, or a vegan ground beef substitute, would also taste great as the protein in these peppers. For those using meat in this dish, add your cooked meat into the pan in place of lentils. I also use vegan mozzarella-style cheese to top these peppers, but regular cheese would work perfectly in this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

6 green bell peppers
2 cups cooked lentils
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups salsa
1 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 T salt (or as desired)
1 T black pepper (or as desired)
½ cup vegan mozzarella-style shredded cheese
4 T neutral oil

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut the tops off of your green peppers, removing the stem. Scoop out the seeds from the pepper and brush them with 3 T oil.

Dice your onion and mince your garlic.

On medium-high heat, add your onion into a pan. Drizzle with a T of oil and cook until tender.

Add your minced garlic or 2 T pre-minced garlic to the pan, allowing it to cook for 2 minutes and stir occasionally.

Add your salsa, salt and pepper to the pan, stirring until incorporated. Allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add your lentils and rice to the pan, stirring until incorporated. Allow it to cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove it from the stove.

Spoon the mixture into the peppers, filling them until there is ½ an inch of space in the top of the pepper.

Place the peppers in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the peppers and top them with shredded mozzarella-style vegan cheese.

Place the peppers back in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the peppers from the oven and allow them to cool for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Crispy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas (Vegan)

This recipe comes from our intern, Delaney Blomstrom. She loves creating affordable, plant-based meals for herself and is excited to share her creations for you to enjoy!

Do you have a can of chickpeas, but aren’t sure what to make with them? These oven-roasted chickpeas are perfect for anyone in a pantry rut. Using ingredients I had in my spice cabinet, I whipped up these three delicious flavors. I hope you enjoy these flavors, and that this inspires you to make your own flavor combinations using this recipe.

 

Cuban-Inspired Chickpeas:
1 T cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 T onion powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 can of chickpeas (drained)
2 tsp oil of your choice (optional)

 

Cheesy Vegan Chickpeas:
2 T Nutritional Yeast
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 can chickpeas (drained)
2 tsp oil of your choice (optional)

 

Tangy Ranch Chickpeas:
1 T dill
1 T parsley
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp oil of your choice (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 ℉
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Your chickpeas should not stick to the parchment paper, even if you don’t use oil for this recipe.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, add your drained chickpeas, all the seasonings and oil if desired. Stir the chickpeas until they are evenly coated in the seasonings and oil.  If the chickpeas still have moisture from their canning liquid, they will still crisp up in the oven. If they have had time to dry or if you’d like them to be very crispy, a little oil will be necessary to keep them from burning.
  4. Pour them onto the lined baking sheet, spreading them evenly across the sheet. 
  5. Roast for 40 to 55 minutes, turning the chickpeas over every 15 minutes to ensure an even roast on all sides.
  6. Remove chickpeas from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve as a snack, side, salad topping or with your favorite grains!

 

 

Creamy Mushroom Pasta (Vegan)

Makes 2 servings

This creamy mushroom pasta combines shiitake and white button mushrooms with a simple cream sauce to make one delicious dish. The Co-op carries a variety of fresh mushrooms and I was eager to create a recipe with them. Shiitake mushrooms have a smoky, earthy flavor, which pairs well with the mild flavor of the button mushrooms. I love cooking with mushrooms because they are versatile, hearty, and have a savory umami flavor. The cream sauce for this pasta is so simple to make and is made out of vegan butter, whole wheat flour, and soymilk. The silky sauce pairs perfectly with the savory mushrooms and tender pasta. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy mushrooms, I recommend giving this recipe a try!

 

Ingredients:

2 ½ tbsp. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Original)
12 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
4 oz. shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 ½ tbsp. whole wheat flour
2 cups unsweetened soymilk
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz. dried spaghetti
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, sauté sliced mushrooms in 1 tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until mushrooms become golden brown
  2. Season the mushrooms with dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Transfer sautéed mushrooms to a bowl.
  3. To the same pan, melt 1½ tbsp. butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in whole wheat flour
  4. Whisk the flour and butter mixture for one minute. Add in soymilk and turn heat to high. Continue to whisk the cream sauce. Once boiled, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Whisk occasionally.
  5. While the cream sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water is boiled, add in spaghetti. Cook spaghetti for 12 minutes until noodles are tender.
  6. Add the mushrooms to the cream sauce and mix. Next, add in the spaghetti and mix. Transfer the pasta to bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

 

 

By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a graduate of JMU, and majored in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

 

 

 

Golden Beet and Lentil Curry

Beautifully colored and even better tasting vegetables are the star of this delightful soup. This is the perfect dish to cozy up to on a cold evening. It is full of flavor and will fill up your home with the warm and savory aroma. Serve it over rice, with bread, or all alone, either way you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients

  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 cups rainbow chard (chopped into 1 in. pieces)
  • 3 beets (approximately 1 cup, diced into ½ in. pieces)
  • 2 cups multi-colored carrots (approximately 7, diced into ½ in. pieces)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 ½ tsp green curry paste
  • 2 ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp harissa puree
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sriracha
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint (cut in thin ribbons)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large stock pot.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, curry paste, salt, and pepper to the pot and sauté for 3 minutes until the onions are slightly translucent.
  3. Add the lentils, beets, and carrots to the pot and sauté for 3 minutes.
  4. To the pot, add the broth, coconut milk, harissa puree, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the chard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sriracha. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, top with fresh mint, season with salt and pepper then enjoy!

 

Guest Blogger: James Madison Dietetics
Emily Salvaggio

No Tricks, Just Treats!

We love Halloween here at the Co-op. The changing leaves, beautiful fall weather, costumes, and plenty of candy. What we don’t love? Artificial sweeteners and coloring, high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils . . . all common ingredients in popular Halloween candies. Now that’s spooky. But it wouldn’t be Halloween without candy, so stop by and check out the endcap stocked with these all-natural gummies, candy corn, chocolates and more (including plenty of vegan and gluten free options). 

 

 

Enjoy Life Variety Pack
These mini chocolate bars are made with ricemilk, making them vegan-friendly, and they contain no soy lecithin. This pack comes with a regular and dark chocolates, as well as a crunchy bar made with crispy rice.

YumEarth Organic Gummy Fruits
These creepy crawly-shaped treats include three flavors and are vegan, gluten free, and nut free. They get their colors from organic fruit & vegetable concentrates.

YumEarth Organic Candy Corn
No Halloween candy list would be complete without candy corn. Some love it, some can’t stand it, but there’s no denying it’s a staple. And any staple should be made from the best stuff around, right? These contain no corn syrup, artificial dyes, dairy, gluten, or nuts.

Wholesome Organic Lollipops
These ghost and skull shaped lollipops are fair trade certified and made with only five all natural ingredients. Sometimes, less is more.

Wholesome Surf Sweets Organic Spooky Shapes
When it comes to gummies, we like options. There are four fruit flavors, all vegan and free from the top ten allergens.

Made Good Chocolate Chip Granola Mini Bars
If you want to go a healthier route this Halloween (without giving your household a bad reputation among local trick-or-treaters), this is a great option. These bars are certified organic, are made with gluten-free oats, and don’t contain nuts.

OCHO Organic Minis Variety Pack
This variety pack includes three chocolate covered, bite size candies: caramel in milk chocolate, peanut butter in milk chocolate, and coconut in vegan dark chocolate. Can’t beat the classics, right?

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola Bars (Vegan)

Pumpkin season is officially here! These fall-inspired granola bars are easy to make and are packed with pumpkin and dried cranberries. Canned pumpkin puree is a convenient alternative to fresh pumpkin and is rich in vitamin A and fiber. Enjoy these soft and chewy granola bars for a healthy breakfast or snack.

 

 

 

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups rolled oats
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ cup almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. In a large bowl, mix oats, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix well to combine all ingredients.
3. Line a 9 by 9 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Spoon and firmly press granola mixture into baking pan.
4. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!

 

By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.