To wrap up Black History Month, here are a few things I’ve cooked recently; 3 new food inspirations! Some vegan soul food + a couple remixes of my favorite Mexican dish.
Each meal is super filling and relatively easy to make. The veggie stuffing took the longest because all of the prep steps involved but I promise the end result is worth the wait! The other 2 recipes feature the “super food” quinoa. One of my favorite foods not only for taste but nutritional value. Find out more below.
Veggie Stuffing w/ BEP & Collard Greens
This stuffing is super easy to make! I normally make “dressing” out of cornbread but wanted to try something different and without eggs. Around the holidays, I kept seeing stuffing recipes so I had to make my own. I toasted a loaf of vegan bread and the veggies that I added: veggie broth, carrots, onions, celery, sun dried tomatoes & herbs. The tomatoes were def the highlight of this dish! To make this, I literally just ripped up the bread and poured in the broth and veggies little by little. I was surprised at how much liquid I had to add, but I did not want to risk getting a dry stuffing. I paired this with some spicy BEP and greens because this is one of my favorite soul food meals, but feel free to remix this however you like. The gravy I made from scratch.
Happy Black History Month, my people! Ase!
Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers
I have to thank my co-worker, for inspiring me to create this dish. This dish was an accident. I planned to make stuffed bell peppers. However, when I made the quinoa and other stuffing ingredients, I made way too much. So after I had laid all my peppers in the pan, I decided to turn this into a casserole type dish by covering them all with sauce, cheese and more quinoa, beans and corn. Honestly, this was so good and filling- I was pleasantly surprised! Even my mom (who is not vegan) had one and was satisfied! I prefer to cook my peppers in halves so they are easier to stuff and eat. I made this with ingredients that were already in my cupboard, sans the peppers. Prep is super simple, just cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. For the filling part, I cooked my quinoa with cumin (my go to “meat replacement” seasoning) and some other herbs before adding in 2 types of beans and sweet corn. Luckily I had some vegan cheese on hand, I used cheddar and pepper jack. I also had some enchilada sauce base that I added with tomato paste, nutritional yeast and spices to make my sauce. I ate mine with tortilla chips and it was honestly so good.
Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
I live alone, so I have learned to remix ingredients to create different meals. Above, I shared stuffed bell peppers, most of those same ingredients were used to create this. The bell peppers were so delicious I did not want to change much. I had more quinoa, beans, corn, sauce, chips and cheese that I needed to make something of. That led me to create this awesome casserole dish. In the winter, I love cooking 1 dish meals that are filling. The quinoa only takes about 25 minutes and I baked the casserole for about 15-20 minutes, to make sure everything was the same temp and melted together. The create this dish, I started by layering the bottom of the pan with tortilla chips, then I added my mixture of quinoa, beans, corn. After the first layer, I added sauce and cheese. Then I added another layer of the quinoa mixture which I topped with roasted tomatoes, then the remaining sauce and cheese. Feel free to add whatever your favorite beans or veggies are.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa is often called a “super food” and I wanted to know why. Personally, I eat a lot of quinoa because I prefer the texture of this grain to others like rice. However, I was surprised to learn about all of the health benefits that come packed in those tiny grains. There are 3 main types of quinoa: red, white and black. Technically, quinoa is a grain, however we eat its edible seeds.
1 cup of cooked quinoa is nutrient dense and contains: 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 58% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of manganese, 30% of your RDA magnesium, 28% of your RDA phosphorus, 19% of your RDA folate, 18% of your RDA copper, 15% of your RDA iron, 13% of your RDA zinc, 9% of your RDA potassium.
Magnesium is important and useful to your body for multiple functions such as: muscle movements, gene maintenance, energy production, protein creation and even nervous system regulation. magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood regulation. This also means that magnesium also helps fight depression, and has been proven to be as effective an antidepressants in improving daily mood. If you suffer from migraines, like I do, magnesium has been found to prevent or treat migraines. In one study, magnesium was found to alleviate migraine headaches faster than medication.
Quinoa is naturally gluten free for all my honies out there with a gluten allergy or sensitivity! This is a great alternative to the usual GF processed options made from tapioca or rice flour, with much more nutritional value.
Quinoa is super high in protein! This is one of the main reasons it is so filling. I love when people ask me “where do you get your protein?” as if all protein doesn’t come from plants…if you didn’t know that-all protein comes from plants. Quinoa contains all essential amino acids ie it contains lysine which is not commonly found in other foods.
Be sure to soak your quinoa before you eat it, to ensure you reduce phytic acid. Phytic acid is found in plant-derived foods: seeds, grains, legumes & nuts. Phytic acid can be harmful because it blocks mineral absorption of iron and zinc. To be clear, the applies to individual meals and not absorption all day. By soaking quinoa, you can decrease the phytic acid content by 98%!
Other benefits of quinoa include: repair insulin and regulating blood sugar in Type 2 Diabetes, lowering blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, reduces insulin resistance and improving/easing PMS symptoms (improve mood, reduce water retention, ease cramps, tiredness and irritability.
Bottom line, eat some quinoa beloved. It’s easy to prepare and packed with nutrients.
Let me know if you try any of the food inspo in the comments!