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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers - with walnut taco "meat" and cilantro cauliflower "rice"


One of the most challenging parts of being on a Candida cleanse, is feeding the rest of your family.  Making special recipes that you can eat takes up a lot of time, and often times there is little time leftover to make a "normal" dinner that your spouse and kids will eat.  This is the perfect recipe for that problem.  You can make 1 or 2 of the peppers Candida safe, and in the same dish, the other peppers can be filled with beans and cheese.  Everyone is happy! 


Many holistic doctors recommend limiting animal protein while you are on your cleanse, simply because you are trying to reduce acid and give your overtaxed adrenals a break.  Walnuts make an incredible "meat" when combined with taco spices, even my kids and meat loving husband love this stuff!  Cauliflower stands in for starchy rice, another food that is off limits on the cleanse, and rounds out the dish.  And a spicy, creamy dressing made from coconut milk and jalapenos ties everything together. 

To me, this is spa food - clean, healthy, and delicious, but still packed with flavor.   Don't be fooled by the clean ingredients however, this is an extremely filling dish, thanks to the healthy fats in the walnuts, and the fiber in the cauliflower. 

INGREDIENTS:

Jalapeno Cream
1 14 oz. can unsweetened lite coconut milk
*1 fresh jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed) 
3 green onions, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 large or 1 small avocado
2 Tbsp cilantro (stems and all)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lime juice

* Start with 1/2 a jalapeno if you are not sure about the spice level, taste after combined and add the rest as necessary.  On a Candida cleanse, jarred jalapenos are not permitted, due to vinegar and citric acid that is added.

Stuffed Peppers
4 organic bell peppers
2 cups walnuts (raw)
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne
1 cup broccoli cuts (feel free to use celery, spinach, or any other veggie)
1/2 cup salsa verde
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Additional ingredients for the non-Candida safe peppers: 
2/3 cup black beans
2/3 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Cilantro Cauliflower "Rice"
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Juice from 1/2 lime
Butter (optional)
 
Directions~
Jalapeno Cream:
1.  Begin by making the jalapeno cream.  I like to do this either the day before, or in the morning to save time.  This makes a fairly large amount, so I just use the leftovers on the cauliflower rice the next day, or on wraps, salads, over grilled veggies, etc. 

2.  In a high powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Taste, and season with more salt, if desired.  Set aside, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Stuffed Peppers:
 
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and trim the peppers by removing a small circle around the stem.  Carefully pull the stem and seeds out.  If any seeds remain in the pepper, gently rinse under running water to remove.  Stand upside down to drain. 

2.  In the bowl of a food processor, add walnuts, and pulse until ground.  Add spices, and pulse again until combined.  Then add the broccoli cuts and salsa verde, and process until smooth.  Divide mixture evenly into 2 bowls. 

3.  Grease the bottom of a glass baking dish (8x8 works perfectly for this recipe).  Place the peppers in the dish.  Fill 2 of the peppers with the Candida friendly taco "meat."  Don't worry if it doesn't reach the top of the peppers.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, depending on the shape and size of your peppers.  Either way, this amount is the right ratio, due to the richness of the walnuts.  To the other bowl, add in the black beans and cheese, and mix to combine.  Fill the remaining peppers with this other mixture.  Carefully pour the 1/2 cup of vegetable broth around the peppers.

4.  Cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, remove foil and the Candida safe peppers.  The remaining peppers may need 15 more minutes in the oven, uncovered, if they are still runny. 

Cilantro Cauliflower "Rice"
1.  While the peppers are cooking, make the "rice."  Begin by placing 1/2 an onion, cut into chunks into the food processor, and pulsing until you reach a fine dice. 

2.  In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil over medium high heat.  Add the diced onion, and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent.  Add the minced garlic, and cook 1 more minutes. 

3.  Cut apart the cauliflower until you have medium sized chunks.  Wash thoroughly in a colander.  Place 1/2 of the cauliflower in the food processor, and process until you have a rice like consistency.  Add to the onions and garlic in the pan, and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.  Stir and season with salt and pepper (be generous with the salt!)  Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once at 5 minutes. 

4.  Remove pan from heat and stir in butter (if using) and cilantro.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper (cauliflower needs quite a bit of salt), and juice from 1/2 lime. 

5.  To serve, place the cauliflower "rice" and a pepper on each plate.  Drizzle generously with the jalapeno cream, and top with more cilantro and coarse ground sea salt.  Enjoy!





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