Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vegan Harvest Pancakes

makes enough to feed an army!

2 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat or spelt)
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup soymilk (we use hemp milk)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp sucanat, honey, agave or brown sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
2-3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Add 1/2 tsp vinegar to milk option and let stand for 5 minutes.  This allows it to curdle and works as a buttermilk substitute.

2. Mix together all ingredients, stirring just until combined.  You do not want to over beat it.  Let mixture stand for 5 minutes and you are good to go.

3.  Heat skillet over medium heat and grease it with either coconut oil or olive oil.  Wait until it is nice and warm before pour batter in.  Cook on one side until bubbles appear, then flip.  Cook another couple minutes and remove.

4.  For a sweet treat, drop in carob or chocolate chips after pouring batter into the skillet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lentil Sloppy Joes with Coleslaw and Avocado

serves 6-8

This meal has all the delicious flavors of a bbq pulled pork sandwich, but all the healthy goodness of lentils... you're welcome!

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups dry lentils
6 cups of water
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sweetener of your choice (molasses, agave, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar...)
1 Tbsp. mustard
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. cumin
2 bay leaves
s/p to taste
whole wheat buns
1 avocado, sliced


1 head of cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp cumin
2 limes, juiced
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp honey
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil

In a large dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium.  Add in garlic and onions.  Saute for 5-7 minutes.  Add in all the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until the lentil are tender and just beginning to break down, about 1- 11/2 hours.  Season with s/p.

To make the coleslaw, mix together lime juice, cumin, garlic, honey, s/p, and oil.  Pour over cabbage and cilantro.  Combine well.

The lentils freeze really well, so you can either double the batch or just freeze your leftovers for another time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fried Rice

serves 2-4

3-4 cups cooked brown rice (use a little less water than normal to cook your rice to ensure that it is dry and not mushy)

3 Tbsp canola oil
toasted sesame oil
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
1/2 bell pepper, chopped small
1 cup o broccoli, cut into small florets
1 cup frozen peas
2-3 stems of kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
soy sauce
dash of red chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp curry powder (optional)
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)

Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil and a few drops of sesame oil in a well oiled cast iron skillet, or wok.  Saute garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes.  Turn heat up a tad and add in veggies.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently so they don't burn.  Remove veggies and set aside.

Add a little more canola oil and a splash of sesame oil to hot skillet, then add in the rice.  If possible, try to spread the rice into an even layer and let it cook until crispy.  Pour desired amount of soy sauce over the rice and continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Add the cooked veggies back in and mix together.  If the rice is not crisping up enough, feel free to turn up the heat and let it be for a couple minutes.  Try as much as possible to resist the urge to stir it constantly, the longer you leave it alone, the crispier it will be.   Check for seasonings and add more if needed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vegetarian Enchiladas

These "cheese-less" enchiladas will make a believer out of you!  You do not need meat or cheese to make a satisfying and delicious meal.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 large, or 2 small zucchinis, chopped
2 cups, peeled, cubed and steamed or roasted butternut squash (optional, but really worth the effort)
2 cans of black beans
1-2 ears of corn, cut off the cob (if out of season, you can use frozen, just thaw before cooking)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1-2 Tbsp cumin
2-3 tsp corriander
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
20 oz salsa verde ( I use 1 1/2 small jars from Trader Joes)
tortillas (spelt or whole wheat are good options)
skim milk mexican cheese blend (optional, I left it out completely, and it was delish)
salsa of your choice (fresh is best!)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large (cast iron) skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Add in onions, garlic and jalapeno.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the veggies, spices and s/p and cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Check for seasoning and add more if needed.

Pour enough salsa verde just to cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Layer tortillas in the dish and top with 1/3 of the veggie mixture.  Drizzle more salsa verde over that layer, top with more tortillas.  Continue to layer; tortillas, veggies, salsa verde until you are out.  If you are using cheese, sprinkle a little  on top of each veggie layer and finish with cheese on top.  If you are omitting it, just end with veggies on top and pour remaining salsa verde and make sure to cover any bits of tortilla that are showing... otherwise they will get crispy.

Bake covered with foil for 30-40 minutes, then bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.  Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Top with chopped cilantro and fresh salsa!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feel Better - Vegetable Barley Soup

This soup is great for a couple reasons.  One is that it is comforting and nourishing when you are not feeling well.  It is also an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of soup.  You can add or leave out anything and it still turns out great!  You can throw everything in a crock pot in the morning and set it on low, or whip it together for a spontaneous lunch or dinner.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
s/p (healthy dose)
2 small bay leaves
2 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water (you can use more stock and less water, thats just all that I had on hand)
1 cup of barely
3 sprigs of thyme
3 large kale leaves, stem removed and coarsely chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 can of kidney beans
handful of green beans, chopped into bite size
couple dashes of red chili pepper flakes

Heat oil in a large dutch oven, or stock pot, over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic and carrots and saute for 5 minutes.  Season with s/p.  Add liquid, bay leaves, thyme and barley. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or so.  Add in veggies and chili flakes and simmer until tender. Check seasonings before serving and add more s/p if needed, and remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Vegan Banana Bread Waffles

These are so yummy and filling... kid tested, mother approved!

serves 2-4

1 3/4 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat flour, or gluten-free mix of your choice)
1-2 Tbsp sucanat (coconut sugar crystals or brown sugar)
1/2-1 cup hemp milk (or soy)
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup olive oil (or coconut)
1 tsp vanilla
a drop of almond extract (optional)
3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp baking powder
1-2 Tbsp protein powder

Heat waffle iron on a medium setting.

Mash banana in a medium sized bowl.  Add to it the sucanat, hemp milk, olive oil, vanilla, almond extract and applesauce.  Mix well.  Next, stir in flour and baking soda.  Mix until combined.  If it looks too thick, add in splashes of milk at a time until desired consistency.

Spray iron and pour 1/4- 1/3 cup of batter and cook.  Serve immediately.

These waffles are on the sweeter side and delicious by themselves or with a little drizzle if maple syrup or honey!  Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Curry & Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 large yellow onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups dry, red lentils (rinsed and drained)
3 cups butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
5+ cups of water (plus more if needed)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
2-3 sprigs of thyme

In a large dutch oven/ stock pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute onions, ginger and garlic, for about 5 minutes.  Stir frequently, so the garlic doesn't burn.

Add in lentils, squash, water, spices, thmye sprigs and s/p.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 45 minutes.  Add extra water if soup is looking too thick.  Remove sprigs before serving.  If you want a smooth, creamy soup, you can blend with an immersion blender or just mash pieces of squash with the back of a wooden spoon. Make sure to check seasoning at this point and add s/p or extra spices, if needed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This is how we eat oatmeal in our house.  Being vegetarians, we need to be creative in how we consume good fats and protein.  Oatmeal and "smoothies" are great ways to pack in tons of nutrients.

1 cup of cooked oatmeal
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1/4+ tsp flax oil (contains omega 3 fatty acids)
1/4+ tsp hemp oil (contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids)
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp chia seeds (high in fiber, antioxidants and protein)
1/2+ tsp hemp seeds (high in protein, and omega 3 and 6)
-/+ 1 Tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
splash of hemp milk
handful of walnuts

Octoberfest Potato Salad

recipe courtesy of my Aunt Anne!

this is a party portion size.

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar- or lemon juice
4+ garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large shallot, or 2 small, finely chopped
5 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp canola oil
3 lbs baby new poatoes
3 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

To make the aioli:
Put egg yolk, vinegar, garlic, shallot, s/p to taste, in a bowl and whisk together.  Slowly whisk in oils to thicken.

Boil potatoes, until slightly under done.  Pour dressing over potatoes while still warm.  Garnish with parsley.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata

serves 8

12 eggs
3 Tbsp water/ or milk, or milk substitute
3 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups cooked broccoli, chopped
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese, or part skim, or just a sprinkle

Separate 4 of the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl and discarding the yolks.  Add the other 8 whole eggs and 3 Tbsp of water/milk to the whites and whisk well.

In an ovenproof, medium to large sized non-stick skillet, or a well greased cast iron pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add in the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes.  Season with s/p.  Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, covering them evenly, season with s/p again.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the egg mixture has set around the edges, but still liquid in the middle, about 8 minutes.  Sprinkle on the cheese.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.  Place the skillet about 2 inches under the top broiler.  Cook until set and golden brown, about 2 minutes.

adapted from

Friday, October 15, 2010

Healthy Cornbread

1 cup Cornmeal
1 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp sucanat (or sugar, or you can omit it altogether)
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup melted coconut oil, or butter

1. preheat oven to 425.
2. mix dry ingredients together. add egg, milk and coconut oil/butter and mix until smooth. DON'T over mix it.
3. grease an 8x8 baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Naan Pizzas

Serves 4-6, as an appetizer or 2-4 for a main course

6 whole wheat pieces of naan
1/2 cup marinara sauce
mozzarella cheese
1 yellow squash, cut thinly lengthwise
2 Tbsp thyme, just the leaves, finely chopped
a sprinkle of parmesean cheese

Spread marinara sauce over naan and add desired amount of mozzarella cheese.  Cut thin strips of squash in thirds and place on top of cheese.  Sprinkle on thyme, parmesean and s/p.

Bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and beautiful.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

We eat these suckers like french fries!

Heat oven to 425.  Cut little stump end off of the brussel sprouts and slice in half.  Toss them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until dark golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Seriously Good Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Don't let the "vegan" scare you, these are some tasty black bean burgers!

makes 6 medium sized patties or 4 large.

1 (15 oz) can of organic black beans, drained
2 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seed, mixed with 3 Tbsp water*
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin (or more if you like it spicy!)
2 tsp corriander
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for the pan
whatever garnishes tickle your fancy

1.  Mash black beans in a large bowl.  Add in flax mixture, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, spices, s/p and olive oil, and mix until well combined.

2.  Form mixture into patties and place in fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill.

3.  Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Arrange patties in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown and cooked through.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and serve with whatever fixins you want.

*If you do not have flax seed and are not worried about it being vegan, you can use 1 egg as the binder.

Baked Soaked Oatmeal

This healthy and easy breakfast is sure to become a favorite! You start by soaking the oats the night before, which helps you better absorb all the good nutrients from the oats, and bake it off in the morning.


4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, or butter (coconut oil not only tastes amazing, it is soo good for you!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk or yogurt.
        Or for a dairy free option: hemp milk, almond milk, soy milk with 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar added to it.


4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
frozen berries or nuts

The night before mix together oats, cinnamon, coconut oil and either buttermilk, yogurt, or hemp milk.  Remember, if you use hemp milk or some other milk alternative you need to add 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to help break down the nutrients.  Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and leave it on the counter overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350. To the oat mixture, add the eggs, vanilla, baking soda, cream of tartar and any nuts or berries.  If the mixture is really dry feel free to add in a splash more milk of your choice.  Grease a 9 x 13 dish and pour oat mixture in and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

We top ours with honey or agave nectar, shredded coconut, and hemp milk, but feel free to add whatever your heart desires!

Vegan Berry Scones

2 cups Spelt flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, plus more for brushing
1/3 cup agave, plus more for brushing
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (I used frozen ollaberries and they turned out great).

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in the oil, agave and vanilla and mix together with a wooden spoon. Pour in hot water and mix until coconut oil is dissolved.  Now, gently stir in berries with a rubber spatula, just until incorporated.

3. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter onto the lined sheet.  Make sure to keep at least 1 inch between scones. Lightly brush the tops with oil.  Bake them on the center rack for 14 minutes, rotating the sheet half way through.  They are done when they turn golden brown and slightly firm.  Remove them and brush with agave nectar.  Let the scones rest for 15 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

* adapted from Erin Mckenna's cookbook, babycakes

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Butternut Squash, Sage and Ricotta Lasagna

This recipe is perfect for a cool autumnal dinner, or as a side dish for Thanksgiving! It also goes great with the avacado, orange and walnut salad!

3 1/2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes*
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used low fat milk with great results)
2 egg yolks
1 1/2- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (again, i used skim)
pinch of nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 loosely  packed  fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups veggie stock
Lasagna noodles (i prefer the no boil...less work)
1 1/4 cups parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425.  Place the cubed butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil and season with s/p.  Bake it until tender and edges turn golden brown.  Remove and let it cool.

2.  Reduce the oven to 375.  Mix together ricotta, milk, egg yolks, mozzarella and nutmeg. Season with s/p.

3. Melt butter in a small pan over medium high heat.  Wait until the butter starts bubbling and add the chopped sage.  Stir frequently.  Cook until sage crisps up, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Place roasted squash in a bowl and mash it with a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon.  Feel free to adjust the texture.  If you want a smoother consistency, keep on mashing.  If you prefer more texture, leave some chunks.  Stir in sage/butter mixture and stock.  Season with s/p.

5. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Spread 3/4 cup of ricotta mixture in bottom of the dish.  Top that with a layer of noodles.  Spread 1/2 of the butternut squash mixture over the noodles and top with another layer of noodles.  Spread 1 cup of ricotta over noodles.  Repeat layering one more time (noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta).  Sprinkle parmesan over ricotta.  Don't worry if you end with squash on the will still turn out!  Just make sure that top layer of noodles are covered with some mixture, otherwise it will dry out.

6. Bake until cheese is bubbling and golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.  Let it stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

*Trader Joes has butternut squash already chopped and in a bag, super easy!  However, nothing quite beats the taste of fresh squash...

Avacado, Orange and Walnut Salad

1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup walnuts
Lettuce of choice; spinach, mixed baby greens,etc


1 clove of garlic, through a garlic press or finely chopped
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup white basalmic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix garlic, honey and vinegar together. Then drizzle in olive oil and season with s/p to taste. If it's too tart for your liking simply add more honey or oil. You really can't mess it up.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Veggie Biryani

1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or olive oil)
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large red onion,  cut into small wedges
1 (2 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted cashews, divided
1/2 nonfat plain yogurt (plus more for garnish)
1 Tbsp. curry powder
5 cups of fresh veggies, cut to bite sized pieces ( i used, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes)
2/3 cup of water
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of rice (I used a brown rice blend from Trader Joes)
tomatoes, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat oil in a large oven proof  pot, like a dutch oven, over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, onion wedges, ginger, and 1/2 of the cashews and s/p.  Make sure to stir often and keep an eye on it, so it doesn't burn or stick.  If you need to, add a splash of water to keep it from sticking.  Do this until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.  Next add the yogurt and curry powder.  Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.  Add in the veggies, water and a dash more s/p.  Cover it and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a medium sized pot to boil, and add rice and simmer for about 7 minutes.  Don't worry, the rice will continue to cook in the oven.  Drain the rice really well, and arrange it over the veggies in the dutch oven.  Cover the entire pot with foil as well as the lid.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until rice and veggies are tender.

Garnish with extra cashews, cilantro, tomato wedges and drizzle with yogurt.

Asian Noodle Salad

serves 6

8oz whole wheat spaghetti (thats half a package)
4 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. fresh grated or minced ginger
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 of red bell pepper, chopped
small handful of shredded carrots
1-2 green onion chopped
bunch of cilantro chopped
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional

1. cook spaghetti according to package.  reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid when you are draining it, it will be used to thin out the sauce later.

2.  sauce:
there are two ways to do this, in a blender or food processor or by hand in a bowl.

Place peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, and agave or honey in a blender or bowl. Add reserved cooking liquid until desired consistency.

3. Toss the noodles with the sauce and gently fold in veggies and red pepper flakes.

4. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro

Thursday, October 7, 2010


3/4 cup brown sugar ( I use Sucanat)
3 Tbsp. honey
1 (15oz) can of pumpkin
3/4 cup oil (I use melted virgin coconut oil, or substitute with unsweetened applesauce)
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour (I use spelt flour, or you could use whole wheat, or any combination)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger (if you have pumpkin pie spice on hand you can use that instead)
1 to 1 1/2  cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

Beat until blended sugar, honey, pumpkin, oil and vanilla.

In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and mix well.

By hand, stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greases cookie sheets.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until they slightly firm up and bounce back after being touched.

Cool on wire racks.

*They taste even better the next day, but don't blame me if they don't make it that long!
**Be prepared to share this recipe... it is THAT good!

Split Pea (and Red Lentil) Soup

*Serve with Spelt Cornbread!

2 Tbsp oil ( Coconut, grapeseed, olive, etc)
1 onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
2-3 carrots chopped
s/p (to taste)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry red lentils
1 1/2 cups split peas (or 2 cups if not using red lentils)
4-6 cups of veggie stock (boxed or homemade)
2-4 cups of water (depending on how thick or thin you want the soup)

Heat oil in large dutch oven, or stock pot.
Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes.
Add lentils, peas, stock, water, bay leaves and s/p.  Reserve some of the water to add later, if the soup is too thick.
Simmer until lentils have broken down and most the peas are as well.  This may take up to an hour.
Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Remove bay leaves before serving.

Sneaky Pesto

4 oz container of basil
2 leaves of kale or swiss chard
1 cup of spinach
2-3 cloves of garlic
handful of pinenuts or walnuts
+/- 1/2 cup of olive oil

Blend until smooth.  Add more olive oil if needed.  Season with s/p.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

serves 6-8

2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 ribs of celery chopped
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 (15 oz) cans of diced tomatoes (save the liquid)
1 can of black beans
3/4 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 carrots
4 large red bell peppers
optional- shredded pepper jack cheese)

1. Heat oil in saucepan.  Add onion, garlic, celery and cook for 5 minutes.  Add cumin, coriander, spinach, and drained tomatoes.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer on low for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. season with s/p.

3. Preheat oven to 350.  Pour reserved tomato juice in bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

4. Fill each half of a bell pepper with quinoa mixture and place in the dish with tomato sauce.  Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Uncover, and sprinkle a little cheese, if desired.  Bake 15 more minutes, uncovered, or until golden brown.