Super Stuffed Peppers {Almost Vegan, Perfectly Delish}

Tempeh Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sammies (4)

When life gets insane in the membrane, meals that are simple to put together and extra nourishing really make everything that much better.

I’m not going to lie, the last few weeks have been challenging for me. I’m adjusting to a new work schedule and I think I’ve spread myself pretty thin (just picture this: I work three jobs- not complaining, I love what I do- I’m planning a wedding that’s 2 months away, I still need to have the time to eat, sleep, cook, get mani pedis and enjoy summer).

Being human is a challenge sometimes.

Some days we sleep less.

Some days we eat less or more.

Balance is such an illusion. It’s not real. We can truly have it all but we don’t need to sacrifice it all in order to have it. I’m not a delusional holistic health guru. I exist in this real world. Sometimes there is no time to slave away in the kitchen and it is too damn hot to turn on the mother flippin’ oven or even stand near a stove and pizza sounds like the best option.

This recipe was born on a day it wasn’t too hot to put on the oven and I just didn’t want a ton of pots going at the same time. I just wanted to take what I already had in my fridge, put it together in a semi-cohesive, orgasmic, healthy dinner.

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I’ve done this a handful of times over the last month or so and to be honest, it only gets more and more delicious (and random af).

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From Sunday Funday Dinner to Super Leftover Meatless Monday

After a beautiful Sunday service at Unity of New York I began to crave something new. Yes, this is possible. I wanted to create something I haven’t created before (and add my own spin of course). After much contemplation I decided to make a veggie paella. Traditionally paella is made with seafood and poultry or other meat products but it is chock full of veggies and made with smoked paprika, short grained rice and saffron. I found a fabulous recipe on which I ultimately revamped and made my own to cater to the picky-ness of my household. Here is this delectable recipe:

What you need:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced (a lot of garlic but I LOVE GARLIC)
1 large yellow bell pepper (or any other color)
2 tablespoons of smoked paprika (or regular if you can’t find smoked)
2 zucchini, cubed
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped (I didn’t seed or peel, I love the liquid)
1 cup chopped Tuscan kale
2 cups frozen peas
3 cups of vegetable broth/stock (keep warm)
1 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of one lemon
5-10 strands of saffron
1 1/2 cups of short grained rice (you can use arborio, bomba, brown, or calaspara rice)
Salt and pepper to taste

How you make it:
1. In a large pan (if you have a rice pan, use that) heat the oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until translucent (or tender). Add smoked paprika, saffron, zucchini and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes (raise heat to medium for this).

2. Stir in rice and stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat back to medium low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

3. Once most of the liquid is absorbed toss in the kale, peas, half of the cilantro and stir.

4. The paella is ready when the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. If you like the crunchy rice at the bottom, turn up the heat to high for just about a minute. Once you smell the toasting of the rice, shut the heat, add the lemon juice and serve.

I ate this for dinner last night and tonight! I served it with fresh tomatoes and avocado today. Delish!

This is the perfect meal for Meatless Mondays!

That’s all for now lovers!

Peace, love and veggie paella,