In Charge of Dinner

Happy Weekend, everybody!!

I was sooo productive today and I’m feeling on the upswing already. Work is over for the summer so I celebrated by sleeping in. Then I did three loads of laundry laundry and two of dishes, walked the dog, made a healthy breakfast and lunch, bought and wrapped my brother’s birthday gift, and headed over to a favorite coffee place of mine to sit on the patio and knock some more things off the to-do list. One of those was learning to cook more healthy meals that go beyond assembling a sandwich or salad. I looked to one of my favorite sites, Daily Garnish, for vegetarian inspiration, and went on a grocery adventure. (I’m feeling very adult, by the way, with everything I did today. And yesterday I ran errands at the post office and bank, too! Haha.)

So here’s what I came up with: Stuffed Bell Peppers with a Corn and Avocado Salad. It was amazing and so satisfying for an all-vegetarian meal. Actually, come to think of it, the whole meal was vegan and the salad was completely raw. An excellent way to reorient myself to healthy eating. Here are the recipes, which I altered a tiny bit, and links to the original pages. If you make these at the same time, get the peppers in the oven and then assemble the corn salad. It will have the perfect amount of time to marinate in the fridge and you’ll have about 30 minutes to clean up the kitchen before dinner’s even ready! ;-)

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1 cup dry millet
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt to taste
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4-5 bell peppers

Instructions:

  • Millet is probably easiest to find a grocery that sells bulk food, like Whole Foods or Earth Fare. It is worth searching for, and truly unlike anything else.
  • Start with one cup of dry millet and toss into a pot.
  • Add water, garlic, and spices and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn it down to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  • In the meantime, cut the lids off your peppers and scoop out the insides and seeds. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • When the millet is ready and the liquid is absorbed, stir in the black beans and tomatoes.
  • I scooped about 1 cup of filling into each pepper, and set them on a foil-covered cookie sheet to bake.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes

Summer Corn and Avocado Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 4 ears yellow or white corn (uncooked)
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • salt, to taste

Instructions:

  • Cut all 4 ears of corn into a large mixing bowl.
  • Slice the grape tomatoes lengthwise, and add to the bowl with the corn.
  • For a little bit of an herby punch, chop 1/2 cup fresh cilantro and add to the salad.
  • Toss veggies with the juice of one lime and a few pinches of salt to taste.  Allow flavors to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Before serving, dice avocados and combine with the rest of the salad.  You won’t want to add these until you are close to meal time, or else the avocados will brown.
  • Mix it all and adjust seasoning to taste, then serve! It’s awesome scooped onto tortilla or corn chips.

Here was my plate:

Dad and I ate together and spent some quality father-daughter time watching James Bond movies all evening. :) He’s a major meat lover but thought this meal was fantastic.

Day 1 of no sugar has gone really well! I was tempted a couple times because I baked cookies for Dad and Dan but I managed to stay out of them! And I have felt great. No mood swings, no energy drops, and as I mentioned, it’s been the most productive day in as long as I can remember. Can’t wait to see what I can accomplish after a week of this!

Enjoy the eats– tell me how they turn out if you make them.

xo Jane

Share your stories: have you ever made a lifestyle change like removing sugar/caffeine/alcohol or started exercise/vitamins/veganism and noticed results immediately? What works for you to stay happy, sane, and balanced? I’d love to hear!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “In Charge of Dinner

  1. That corn salad looks amazing!

  2. Also, what font do you use? I love it!

  3. Yum, Yum! I will be trying these recipes for sure :-)

  4. Paula

    My question is, how did you get the boxwood in the background of these dishes, Jane? I am glad it was freshly trimmed–it looks quite impressive in photos!

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