Over the weekend, I made the decision to put away my portable air conditioner for the fall and winter.
Earlier this summer, I caved and decided I absolutely NEEEEEEEDED an air conditioning unit because I was waking up in the middle of the night, sweating like I’d just run a marathon. The kind I bought is the kind that needs to vent out the window, so there are two accordion-like tubes on it that connect to a panel, which stands in the window frame. It was a bit finnicky to assemble, but when I finally switched it on for the first time I felt like a DIY master. Then I stood in front for a few minutes with a big smile on my face and enjoyed the breeze with my eyes closed. To those watching from the street below, I’m sure I looked like a lunatic.
On Saturday morning I left the gym and stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a few things on my way home. Walking to my car I realized it was really chilly, so during my weekend cleaning spree I detached the whole air conditioning apparatus from the window and packed it away in the storage room.
That afternoon, recipe creation was on the agenda. I’d been dreaming up some dynamite stuffed peppers the night before, and with all the ingredients sprawled out across my kitchen counter, I started bringing them to life. I switched on some podcasts, preheated the oven, and started chopping veggies like a boss.
The sun had been beaming into my little apartment all day, which at <500 square feet heats up faster than said oven, even in October. Meanwhile, I was boiling quinoa on the stove, climbing up on chairs to take photos (#bloggerproblems), and carrying a hot Pyrex dish with dish towels. Eventually the recipe was cooked, photographed, and packed away in the fridge for leftovers this week. And I was tooooooaaasty.
I sat down with a big glass of cold water, put my feet up and started scrolling through Pinterest for a wee break. Still feeling quite warm, went to switch on the air co- oh….. wait.
Never mind. Putting the AC together again was definitely not an option I was willing to consider, but sweatiness aside, let’s just say I crushed my hydration goal for the day.
In other news, this weekend is Thanksgiving up here in Canada, and that means a lot of folks will be either making or buying stuffing for their turkeys. Personally, stuffing has never been the main draw for me when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. I’m far more about the roasted Brussels sprouts and root veggies, and creating meals after Thanksgiving weekend like the Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Salad Ever (seriously, it is the best.) But back to stuffing.
Rather than stuffing turkeys, let’s stuff some vegetables, shall we? I know some of you might be trying to eat more veggies on a daily basis, so why not cook your whole meal INSIDE a pepper? You can’t argue with a bowl that you can eat, and one that also happens to be loaded with vitamin C, right?
Fillings-wise, I’ve jammed a mixture of quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapenos and some nice zesty seasonings into these bad boys because stuffed peppers should be stuffed with flavour too.
This Southwestern Stuffed Peppers recipe is vegan-friendly and gluten free, loaded with fibre and plant-based protein. Buuuuuut…. if you or the people you’re cooking for prefer a little meat in the mix, it can totally be done. Ground turkey or chicken would be delish, and if you go that route I’d recommend swapping in 1 cup of cooked ground meat of choice for 1/2 cup of each of the corn and beans. (ie. the recipe would become 1 cup of each beans, corn and meat).
When you’re prepping your fillings, budget about 1 cup per medium-sized pepper and you should have plenty. I made 5 cups worth because that’s how many peppers fit in my Pyrex dish, and can you guess what I’m taking to work for lunch this week?
PS. For my Canadian friends, I know this is not the most Thanksgiving-y. However, if you’re making your menu for the weekend I highly recommend these things:
- Roasted Root Salad with Maple-Orange Balsamic Glaze
- Balsamic Roasted Beets and Squash
- Roasted Apple and Squash Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
- Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Hash
- Turkey and Mushroom-Stuffed Buttercup Squash
- Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Velvet Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Now it’s over to you. Tell me…
- Stuffing avec your turkey at Thanksgiving: yay or nay?
- What’s your favourite stuffed pepper filling?