Saturday, August 18, 2012


In my novis approach to be vegan, I am still learning all the wonderful protein alternatives I can add to my diet.  Today, I learned about tempeh from my friend Val at WARNING: Thoughts Might Wander. I found a great review from Kirksville Vegan that has a recipe for a vegan, gluten-free chicken salad that I can't wait to try! Apparently this superfood is packed full of nutrients and protein.

This post is my promise for some future recipes and good eats involving tempeh!

Till then...

Stuffed Bell Peppers - Vegan or Turkey

Prior to changing to a vegan diet, my husband and I still had a vegetarian dinner 2-3 nights a week.  On the other nights, we usually ate organic turkey or chicken.  Ground turkey was so versatile and allowed us to create different dishes with the same protein without becoming bored with a meal.  Turkey lettuce wraps, homemade turkey burgers, my famous meatloaf (I'll have to share that recipe another day), and of course stuffed bell peppers.

On Fridays, our friend Chris usually comes by for dinner, and of course we were not going to force him to eat vegan, so we decided to make stuffed bell peppers, two ways!  One used organic sprouted tofu and the other had the organic turkey meat.  It was such a successful and easy meal, that I decided to post the recipe.  What's great is, the recipe is easy for both meat eaters as well as vegans.

*Disclaimer, I am not a professional chef.  My measurements typically consist of a pinch or shake of this, and about a cup of that.  I go by taste, so bare in mind I do not have exact ingredients.


4-5 bell peppers (orange and yellow are mild and sweet)
1 large onion (I had red on hand, but white or yellow are great too)
precut mini portabella mushrooms
olive oil
garlic salt
black pepper
cayenne pepper

- aged white cheddar, shredded
- Daiya jack style wedge

Daiya Jack Wedge

* Protein
- Organic ground turkey
- Wildwood Sprouted super firm Tofu

Wildwood Sprouted Tofu
Prepping the bell peppers:

Start by preheating your oven to 350°.  Prepare your bell peppers by cutting off the tops and removing the seeds.  I also give the bottom nubs a small trim so that they will stand up straight.  Careful not to cut through the bell pepper though.  Once the oven is preheated, place the bell peppers in a cupcake pan UPSIDE down!  Placing them upside down keeps the bell peppers from collecting the extra water that cooks out.  The cupcake pan is great for later so they wont topple over while they are baking with the goodies inside.  Roast the peppers for 10-20 minutes, depending on how al dente you like your veggies, then remove from oven to wait for filling.

Empty peppers clear


Caramelize the onions with the olive oil in a pan.  I could have caramelized my onions together and separated them when I added my protein, but I wanted that good flavor from the caramelizing process on the meat as well as the tofu, so I suggest using two pans.  Add mushrooms to onions and brown for a few minutes.

Then I add the protein, about half a pound of ground turkey to one of the pans.  I broke up the turkey and browned thoroughly.  This should make about 2-3 bell peppers.   In the other pan I added half a 14oz package of super firm tofu.  This cooked down and ended up making only 1 overflowing bell pepper.  If you are feeding more than yourself, I would suggest using the entire package.

While the tofu/meat is browning, add the garlic powder, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  When the tofu/meat is browned thoroughly, add a small amount of the shredded white cheddar (or Daiya) and the spinach.  Once the spinach is cooked down, fill the pre cooked bell peppers.  Sprinkle some more cheese (or alternative) on the top of the filling.  Cook in oven for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned.

cooked peppers with vegan

*Note: In the picture above, I had used a slice of soy cheddar alternative that obviously did not melt at all.  Matter of fact it was one of the worst cheese alternatives I have tried and I removed it from my dish before eating!

one yummy turkey pepper
Here is a close-up.  Hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Becoming an overnight Vegan

A few months back I developed a dark "stain" on my hand that my doctor said was merely dry skin. I did every homeopathic remedy and even opted for a steroid ointment since nothing seemed to be working. If you know anything about me, taking a prescription medication is a last ditch effort. I was desperate. He said referring me to a dermatologist wasn't necessary, but I just wasn't immediately convinced. Honestly I was a little worried that maybe I had developed skin cancer and my doctor wasn't really diagnosing me correctly, but I'm not normally a "glass-half-empty" girl, so I knew the answer had to be simple.
Hello I\'m Vegan
My doctor never did give me a referral, but a few of my friends suggested eliminating gluten from my diet. Seemed pretty silly to me, but after googling some information, I realized I had some minor symptoms of a gluten allergy. So this is about the time I started a CA-Razy diet. Initially is started as gluten free, but somehow I became vegan as well. Don't ask, I really can't explain my decision, other than the fact that I have always been curious about going vegan. It has been well over five weeks at this point and I feel GREAT. Much more natural energy, clearer skin, and if you're curious... YES, my skin condition has completely vanished.

The journey has been difficult at times. If you don't already know, we own two delis, which I am at 6 days a week. Delis... as in meat and cheese. As in the best sliced bread and rolls. All non vegan with an extra side of gluten (lol, Amie). Difficult does not quite describe my journey. It has been a constant challenge. ...but, so far, it has not only been worth it, but life changing.

My goal is to post as many of my recipes as possible. Hopefully even have some food samples and giveaways if time permits, but mostly it is a journal for those that understand my struggles. If I'm lucky, some of my followers will even post some of their own struggles, pieces of advice, quick tips and fabulous recipes.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A mind full of crunchy ideas!

Like most the other mamas in the blogging and facebook scene, I have become quite the Pinterest Addict. I have found many projects, from organizing tips, to kids crafts, to halloween costume ideas. I have even found a few great recipes, including a vegan spinach dip that I have put my own spin on and will get around to posting soon. In my search for all things fabulous via Pinterest, I realized it was time to start blogging again and posting all the fun projects I have done or am planning to do with my kids. This post is a down payment to my followers for future posts and goodies. Just letting you know I am alive, full of ideas and living my life as crunchy as ever!