Successful Vegan Fail

Say what? How can a vegan success be a failure?

I’ll tell you.

You see, I want to be a more conscious eater. I’m not going full vegetarian or vegan, but I’d like to cut my meat and animal consumption back significantly. Ideally I’d like to eat meat 2-3 times a week. I’ve been reading a lot about healthy eating and as my darling friend, Runner Girl, put it yesterday, her and I probably eat a lot better than most people out there. Despite our differences in what we are able to eat (she can eat anything, I’m restricted), at least 4 times a week we text back and forth about what we’re eating. Full ingredient lists are disclosed. Drooling has ensued. And ultimately, I think we make each other better cooks. Runner Girl inspired me to buy siwss chard. I helped inspire her when her and my brother went gluten free for a time. It’s a mutually beneficial food exchange. We live 2000km (1250 miles) apart, and yet I talk about food with her more than anyone else.

So both of us have decided to go more conscientious. We’re reading books, doing research, and putting into our bodies what our bodies NEED as opposed to what they want (because I’m not going to lie, my body wants a LOT of Doritos).

Last night I decided I was going to make stuffed peppers for the first time ever. I can’t even remember ever eating a stuffed pepper. I also decided I was going to make it vegan. I’d eaten meat at lunch, and I’m limiting myself to one meat consumption per day right now (I was a 2-3 time a day meat eater previously).

So I got out all my ingredients.

*red peppers
*carrots
*onions
*celery
*quinoa
*swiss chard
*broth
*black beans

I diced the carrots, onions and celery (if you don’t own a Pampered Chef Food Chopper, you should get one. They save so much time! And they are also a really good stress reliever as you slam down to chop those veg..).

I tossed some olive oil into a big pan and fried up the chopped vegetables. I added the swiss chard (about a cup chopped) and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. Also add a can of black beans, drained and rinse. Then, add about 1/2 cup of dry quinoa. A lot of people will cook their quinoa first and then add it. I prefer to add it dry and cook it all together. It really makes the quinoa absorb so much more flavour.

Add 1 cup of  broth to start and make sure that the quinoa is at least touch ing the broth. Turn to low (or 2-3) and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then check it. If the quinoa is still teeny and most the broth is gone, add a bit more. Overall you want to let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Cut your peppers. You can either cut the tops off and clean them out, or you can do like I did and cut them in half and clean them out. I tried to stand my peppers up before I cut them and they fell over. The were some seriously weird shaped peppers. Anyway, I cut them in half and shoved in as much of the stuffing as I could. Then I threw on a big heap of salsa, put them in a baking dish, added a bit of water on the bottom (to help the peppers cook through steam and also make sure they didn’t get burnt or wilty), and tossed them in the oven at 375 for about 25-30 minutes.

When I took them out I was hesitant. I’ve never really even wanted to taste a stuffed pepper. But these? WOW! They were AMAZING!! (Hence the Successful part). They were moist and flavourful and downright outstanding. Chef Husband even loved them despite their lack of meat. We each at a full pepper, and I have almost 2 cups of stuffing left which I fully plan on consuming part of for lunch.

So where’s the fail you ask? Well, when I went to return the leftover ingredients to the fridge I looked at the stock. The giant words “CHICKEN stock” glared back at me. Chicken stock. In my first vegan dish. Sigh.

Well, you live and learn right?

Finished, delicious stuffed red peppers.

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