Monthly Archives: February 2016

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Red Pepper Puree and Veggie Republic

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One of my favorite accessories is my bracelet from The Veggie Republic.  For every bracelet sold, The Veggie Republic donates 5 pounds of fresh produce to families in need!  Every bracelet has 12 veggies on them and to help promote more veggie awareness and consumption, I’m part of their “12 Days of Veggielicious”.  Today I am celebrating the red bell pepper and all of it’s glory.  To celebrate the pepper, I am going to share a few bits of information about it and also share a super Red Pepper Puree recipe to help you add more red bell peppers into your life!

This red pepper puree is packed with protein and potential health benefits.

Red bell peppers contain about 300 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which makes them loaded with antioxidants and helps with iron absorption.  The vitamin B6 and magnesium in red bell peppers decrease anxiety and reduce bloating and hypertension.  The vitamin A in these peppers  is also good for eye health, and since they contain lycopene (which is what makes tomatoes and these peppers red), they may help in the prevention of prostate and lung cancers.  Recent research shows that sweet red bell peppers also increase our metabolic rate by activating thermogenesis.

Hemp seeds are an incredible source of vegan, biologically available and easily digestible protein.  Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 11 grams of protein.  They are also loaded with fiber, Omega-3, and Omega-6 fatty acids, making them conducive to digestive, brain, and bone health.

Since this red pepper puree is packed with protein, this puree actually helps to satiate the appetite.  Best served with the pistachio pesto, I use this puree as the base sauce.  By that I mean I place a circle of it in the center of the plate, then add my noodles or ravioli on the plate that are dressed with pesto.  Eaten together, the pistachio pesto and red pepper puree is a real treat.

Although the red pepper puree won’t have as much pizzazz without its partner, the pistachio pesto, it is still good served alone as a salad dressing, a pasta or pizza sauce, or even as a dip, thickened by pureeing in more hemp seeds.

For a super quick and easy lunch, I have added this puree to zoodles with quinoa, raw shredded cabbage, and sometimes I add pieces of red peppercorn “cheese” to it.  It is wonderful!  Even better served with some pistachio pesto, which can be found in the My Eclectic Kitchen cookbook app!

I hope you try and enjoy it!  Thank you to The Veggie Republic for my beautiful bracelet and for promoting Veggie Love and nourishment around the world.

 

Red Pepper Puree

Servings:  4

Time:  10 minutes

Brief:  This nutritious red pepper puree is rich in protein and perfectly complements the pistachio pesto.  It can also be used as a dressing in salads, as a sauce in pasta dishes and pizza, and even as a dip.

Diet:  V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, R

Ingredients:

1 ½ red bell peppers, seeds and pith removed

½ tbsp lemon juice

½ green onion, white part only

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tbsp cold pressed olive oil

¼ cup hemp seeds

½ garlic clove

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

1.  Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.  Taste and season accordingly.

2.  Strain and transfer to a bowl or jar.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.

 

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries (and other fruit)

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When you want to do something thoughtful and delightful for your sweetheart or for yourself any time of the year, try this super easy treat.  You can use this recipe to dip any fruit you wish, from strawberries, mandarin oranges, to kiwi, and pineapple!

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To add a little more excitement, sprinkle on some hemp seeds, chopped pistachios, walnuts, goji berries, or a combination of them all.  You probably already have all of these ingredients in your kitchen, so whipping these up should be a snap.

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Have fun with it!!  Dip other fruits in this chocolate magic shell!  My chocolate-dipped mandarin oranges were so delicious.  By the way, I decided to dip oranges, too, because I found both the strawberries and these delicious mandarin oranges at my local Farmers Market.  If I saw a pineapple or kiwi, I would have dipped them in chocolate, too!  If you try it, please let me know how they turn out!

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This recipe was inspired by ingredients that Nutiva brand and Vitacost kindly sent to me.  At Vitacost, you can find a variety of Nutiva products, from hemp seeds, chia seeds, to hemp proteins and coconut oil.  Click here for a full list of Nutiva brand products at Vitacost.  Also, click on the ingredients links to purchase the same ingredients I used to make my Chocolate-dipped fruit.  

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Chocolate-dipped Strawberries (and other fruit)

Ingredients

2 cups strawberries, rinsed and dried (mandarin orange segments, pineapple, kiwi)

Optional Toppings:

Nutiva hemp seeds

pumpkin seeds, chopped

walnuts, chopped

pistachios, chopped

goji berries, chopped

Chocolate:

4 Tbsp Nutiva Coconut oil, melted

4 Tbsp cacao powder

1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or maple syrup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

4-5 drops stevia liquid

Directions

1.  Rinse strawberries in water then wipe dry.  Alternatively, peel a mandarin orange and peel it so you get segments.  Chill in the refrigerator.

2.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.

3.  If you choose to coat your chocolate-covered fruit with toppings, prepare your desired toppings, about ¾ cups worth.  Mix the toppings and place them onto a plate.  Set aside.

4.  Prepare the chocolate in a small bowl.  Combine all of the ingredients, whisking them together with a fork.  Sweeten to taste.  Put a large spoon in the bowl and place the plate with the toppings next to the bowl.

5.  Retrieve the fruit from the refrigerator.  You will need to move swiftly as you coat the fruit and dip or sprinkle them with toppings.  Please read the following instructions before coating and dipping the fruit.  With one hand, hold the fruit over the bowl of chocolate.  Using the spoon, pour the chocolate very quickly over the fruit, turning it to coat completely with chocolate.  Before the chocolate freezes, dip the fruit in the topping, rolling it to cover the chocolate with as much topping as you can.    As you roll it, use your empty hand to sprinkle more crunchy topping onto the chocolate.  Alternatively, just sprinkle the toppings on.

6.  Place the finished dipped fruit onto the half sheet pan and place them in the refrigerator immediately until set and ready to eat.

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