I’m not asking you to become a vegetarian or vegan.
I will never ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do.
I’m not, nor will I ever be a vegetarian. I need wayyy more protein than I could ever eat as a vegetarian.
However, I am an avid reducer, properly reusing and recycling everything I can. I put my best foot forward trying not impact Mother Earth as much as possible.
I’m only asking you to consider not eating meat for one day. Or at least go beef-less for a day.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame.
Methane has a global warming potential 86 times that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame.
Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years. (Cowspiracy available on Netflix)
All of this coming from the cow industry.
A lot of the time we don’t make changes in our habits because we don’t know how to do anything differently.
Much of the time we are willing, we just need someone to give us a starting point.
So here it is…
A recipe I think tastes great, has no meat still packed full of protein and vitamins, and looks yummy. And, it’s easy to make, doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare, and can be made up a day or so in advance. Just pop it in the oven when you’re ready for it.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1 cup traditional Quiona
2 cups water
4 large green peppers
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. butter
1-28 oz. can tomatoes, diced drained (reserve the juice)
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1-12oz. jar Mexican salsa
2 tbsp. Sherry
10 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
Pre-heat oven to 325.
Start cooking the quinoa first. Bring to a boil then simmer on low till all the liquid has been absorbed. 10-15 minutes. Stirring frequently
Steam green peppers until soft but not limp.
In a large skillet add butter and saute onion and mushrooms till soft. Add the diced garlic and salsa. Cover over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the sherry and simmer 10 minutes more. Fold in quinoa. Cut the top off the pepper and clean out insides. Place peppers in baking dish and fill with quinoa mixture. This will take about half the mixture. Thin remaining mixture with reserved tomato liquid and pour around peppers. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes.
NOW here’s how you can make it “beef be gone” friendly and better nutritionally-
How do you get kids to eat a green pepper? Green peppers are traditionally a little spicy tasting. Very unlikely if they’ve been raised with lots of sugar and very little fresh veggies. I have a hard time getting my adult clients to try them.
Substitute red, yellow or orange. They are much sweeter especially when cooked or roasted. Peppers of any color are excellent sources of the antioxidant vitamins A and C. Even more vitamin C than oranges. Reds, yellow and orange contain 11 times more cancer-fighting beta carotene over greens. You also get a healthy dose of vitamin E from sweet red peppers, a phytonutrient scientifically proven to be protective against macular degeneration.
Quinoa itself is bland. The very reason why newcomers usually turn their nose up to it after trying it. Add chicken stock instead of plain water.
Quinoa is a complete protein. The very reason why it’s in this recipe for a Meatless Monday meal. Meaning it has all 9 required amino acids the body is after just like meat.
In order for the bodies structure and bones to stay strong they need the complete amino acids the body needs daily. There are 22 total, however the body is always after these nine for sure.
Methionine + Cystine
All meats have all nine. Most foods only have a few making it very important to know which are supplied to mix and match foods properly getting the all important nine and any of the others that are available. More on mixing foods later.
By adding chicken broth you up your intake of daily protein. On average a woman’s body needs at least 65 to 85 grams of (complete protein daily.) Men, even more. Even though chicken broth only supplies about 2 grams per cup, you can’t go wrong adding it. And it makes quinoa taste better.
Instead of white button mushrooms which have a mild flavor and are sometimes tasteless, go for the darker brown crimini or another name, baby portabella. Supplying more of an earthy flavor. While both contain vitamin C, crimini’s contain a bit more beneficial minerals such as calcium, potassium and selenium.
Skip the temptation to buy already peeled and minced garlic. While it’s a time saver, it lacks enzymes. Anything fresh needs to be worked with fresh in order to keep the beneficial enzymes in tact. When you take the peel off placing it in oil or water or even stored in air tight glass or plastic, the enzymes go to work immediately breaking down the nutrients. Not to mention your body won’t get the benefits of the enzymes themselves. Enzymes are important and beneficial helping to break down the food in the stomach so it can be easily absorbed. Stick with fresh whole garlic cloves. It’s worth it in the end.
I admit I use canned tomatoes. Unless it’s summer where fresh tomatoes are plentiful or you can your own, this is the only option during winter months. However, there are better alternatives. Organic is best overall, but there are tomatoes stored in BPA free (meaning no harmful plastic) lined cans. And hot steamed to remove the outer skin rather than using chemicals.
To spice things up you could use Fire Roasted tomatoes.
Salsa is one of those canned items. If you make your own good for you. I usually just go for one I like. I use Organic Muir Glen Garlic Cilantro stored in glass. I try to purchase most of my foods in glass rather than plastic. Plastic has harmful chemicals that do a lot of damage to the body, especially the liver. By reducing plastics you save your body a lot of trouble trying to get rid of the toxins they create.
You don’t have to go out and by Sherry. If you’ve got a bottle of any type of red wine, that will do to. Red wine has Gamma in it. Gaba- Gamma is a calming agent to the body. The very reason why a glass of wine seems to bring on those “feel good” moments.
Even though we are not using beef in this recipe it does call for butter and also cheese. Both byproducts of the beef industry. There are alternatives.
Instead of butter use a GOOD olive oil. Not stored in clear plastic. Purchase extra virgin cold pressed stored in dark glass containers. Extra virgin means it has more nutrients. Extra-virgin olive oil is an unrefined oil. The highest-quality olive oil you can buy. There are very specific standards to meet to receive the label “extra-virgin.” Because of the way it’s made it retains more of the olive taste, and has a lower level of oleic acid than other varieties. It also contains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives. Cold pressed means there’s no heat used to make it. By adding heat you destroy vitamins, minerals and disrupt the taste of foods.
Instead of dairy cheeses you could opt for goat which gives more of a tangy flavor easily digestible since it’s molecular structure is very similar to mothers milk. Cow milk products are so large in structure it takes many hours and a strong constitution to digest it properly.
Or, you could use alternative cheeses made from Almonds or vegan choices made of soy.
The photo I have here is used with cow dairy.
There is an alternative to using cheeses.
Don’t! This recipe is good even without the cheese.