Greek Gemista Stuffed Peppers

If you’ve ever been to Greece, you’ve probably tried some variation of today’s recipe for ‘Yemista’ – a classic Greek dish, consisting of stuffed vegetables such as ripe tomatoes, courgette, aubergine, or bell peppers like in this recipe.

The stuffing includes quinoa, pine nuts, onions and chopped tomatoes, as well as fresh herbs: parsley and mint. Try eating it at room temperature the following day (rather than steaming hot) as the flavours will have enhanced and it tastes even better! Feel free to play around with the veggies, and don’t forget to serve with a side of crusty bread – I enjoyed this with some gluten-free seeded sourdough!

This variation on Yemista is a recipe by Marialena, a London-based food blogger. Being Greek, she loves Mediterranean/Greek cuisine with a nutritious twist. Marialena’s blog, ‘My Nutri Calendar’, expresses her love for healthy food by sharing her homemade recipes, with an emphasis on Greek food! Find her on Instagram @mynutricalendar or visit her blog online at mynutricalendar.com and get inspired!

Greek Gemista Stuffed Peppers

Serves 2

Ingredients 

  • 4 peppers (2 red & 2 yellow)
  • 70 grams quinoa
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 handfuls parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful mint, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts 
  • 200 grams tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 250 ml water + 1 more cup of water
  • extra virginolive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • Optional: fresh bread to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°.
  2. Wash and dry peppers, remove the top of the peppers making little “caps”. Remove any seeds and put them into a baking tray. Leave the tray aside while you prepare the stuffing.
  3. Preheat a non-stick frying pan, add some olive oil and stir-fry chopped onion. Reduce the heat to medium to low and put a lid to the pan. Cook the onion for 4-5 minutes until soft.
  4. Remove the lid, add pine nuts and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Rinse and dry quinoa, add it to the pan and stir-fry for a few seconds (add more oil if needed).
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, water, salt and pepper and put the lid on the pan. Cook the stuffing for 20 minutes (low heat). Then remove the lid so most of the liquids (if any left) can evaporate.
  7. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the chopped parsley and mint.
  8. Add salt and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to each pepper. Stuff the peppers about 3/4 full. Add another drizzle of olive oil to each pepper. Place the pepper “caps” on top.
  9. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of tomato puree in a cup of water and pour over the vegetables.
  10. Season the peppers with salt, pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.
  11. Bake for about 60-80 minutes or until the vegetables have become tender and cooked through.

 

Greek Gemista Stuffed Peppers

Greek Gemista Stuffed Peppers

Greek Gemista Stuffed Peppers

 

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Magic Mushroom Hot ChocolateWith Autumn in full swing, the days are getting shorter, the hot water bottle has started to make an appearance (at least it has here in Nottingham), and all you want to do is snuggle up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and watch ‘just one more episode’ on Netflix… Sound familiar?

Unlike your traditional branded hot chocolate, which is loaded with sugars and heavily processed ingredients, I’ve created this Brain-Boosting Hot Chocolate with Magic Mushrooms – no, not the kind that give you a psychedelic experience! I used Indigo Herbs’ Super Mushroom Nutri-Complex, which is a blend of medicinal mushrooms with some incredible health benefits (more on that below).

This deliciously nourishing drink is both restorative and invigorating, as it’s loaded with superfoods such as raw cacao which boasts minerals and antioxidants. The almond butter enhances the velvety smooth texture, while the ratio of coconut milk to almond milk makes this even more indulgent.

The slightly earthy taste of the mushrooms is balanced out by warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and a tiny pinch of cayenne, adding so much depth to the flavours. There’s really no need for any refined sugar or artificial sweeteners – it’s low on the glycemic index, sweetened with just a spoonful of date syrup which adds some caramel undertones.

Magic Mushroom Hot Chocolate

Now on to the ‘shrooms… Certain mushrooms are known as adaptogens, meaning they help the body adapt to stress, fight inflammation, boost the immune system, counteract fatigue, regulate hormones, and basically bring it all back into balance! There are several different kinds of medicinal mushrooms and each one offers a huge spectrum of health benefits. The powder I used contains four: Reishi, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Chaga. 

Reishi

  • Most scientificallystudied medicinal herb in the world
  • Liver protection & detoxification
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Decreases excessive fat storage and lowers blood sugar in diabetics
  • Slows down ageing process
  • Balances overactive hormones and lowers cortisol levels

Cordyceps

  • Hormone balancer to help increase energy and endurance
  • Provides consistent lasting energy by increasing maximum oxygen intake
  • Improves liver function in people with hepatitis B
  • Research shows anti-aging properties
  • Used to treat adrenal fatigue, respiratory disorders, high cholesterol, kidney and liver problems…

Lion’s Mane

  • Stimulates Nerve Growth Factor production in the body, which can protect brain tissue.
  • This means it fights brain fog and helps with memory, concentration and creativity
  • Used to slow the progression of Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Research indicates it is an effective treatment for anxiety and depression

Chaga

  • Known as the ‘anti’ mushroom – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-aging!
  • While the anti-cancer statement may seem crazy, but it has been proven to neutralise damage caused by free radicals
  • Balances the immune system

Magic Mushroom Hot Chocolate

MAGIC MUSHROOM HOT CHOCOLATE

Time required: 5 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Indigo Herbs Super Mushroom Nutri-Complex
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/10 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond butter
  • 1 heaped tablespoon date syrup
  • 1 heaped teaspoon lucuma powder

Method

  1. Simmer the coconut milk and almond milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until warm.
  2. Pour the hot milk into a blender with all remaining ingredients and blend for 30 seconds until smooth and frothy.
  3. Transfer to a mug, sprinkle with a pinch of cacao and serve immediately.

Have you ever tried medicinal mushrooms? If you give this a go make sure to tag me on Instagram @cerealandpeanutbutter so I can see your creations!

Magic Mushroom Hot Chocolate

 

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Popcorn Almond Butter Pancakes
Full disclaimer: I’m so excited to have recently become an ambassador for Propercorn so I’ve been developing delicious popcorn-based recipes and social media content!
There’s something really special and nostalgic about munching on popcorn all way through a film at the cinema and it’s definitely become a ritual I can’t go without! But there’s so much more to popcorn than than just a sweet or salty movie snack…
Playing around in the kitchen, I realised how versatile it can be – who would have thought I’d be stuffing them into everyone’s favourite brunch staple: pancakes! Each fluffy chocolatey pancake is studded with little bits of Peanut Almond Propercorn for a crunchy surprise in every bite.
I love serving these smothered in almond butter, sliced banana, a dollop of my Raspberry Chia Jam and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Makes 6 small pancakes

Ingredients:

1 egg
1/2 ripe banana
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used MissFits Nutrition and you can get £5 off with my code CPB5 )
1 teaspoon cacao powder
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon almond butter
1 teaspoon date nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup popcorn – I used Propercorn peanut & almond flavour
1 tablespoon coconut oil, for frying
1/4 cup fresh berries

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and food processor or blend until smooth, then leave the mixture to thicken in the fridge for 10 minutes.
2. Heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and transfer two level tablespoons of mixture into the pan. Break up 2 pieces of popcorn into the centre of the pancake, then place another 1 teaspoon on top of the popcorn and use the back of the spoon to ensure the popcorn is covered. Fry for about 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the top of the pancake.
3. Flip and cook the other side for 1 minute. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
4. Serve hot with fresh berries, more popcorn and an extra drizzle of date nectar.
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @cerealandpeanutbutter if you make these – I’d love to see!
Popcorn Almond Butter Pancakes
Popcorn Almond Butter Pancakes 
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The amount of unnecessary sugar and preservatives jam-packed (get it?) into a jar of shop-bought jam is beyond shocking. Instead of loading it with sugar, this recipe is sweetened naturally with just a little honey. The protein-packed chia seeds expand and give the jam thick texture, while adding a boost of fibre and omega 3, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice helps balance the flavours whilst offering a generous dose of Vitamin C.

This recipe has become a staple for me – it’s cheap, can be whizzed up in 20 minutes and makes the perfect partner to crunchy peanut butter over a slice of sourdough toast to satisfy those PB&J cravings. I love it as a filling in my Chocolate PB&J Cups, spread over a slice of freshly baked Banana Bread or dolloped over Quinoa PorridgeIt works well with other berries too, so get experimenting and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @cerealandpeanutbutter if you try it – I’d love to see!

 

Alright, let’s get jammin’…

Peanut Butter Jam Porridge

Ingredients

320g (1 and 1/4 cups) organic raspberries

2 -3 tablespoons of honey

1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Small pinch sea salt

Method

  1. Combine the raspberries, honey and water in a pan and bring to a boil, gently mashing with the back of a wooden spoon and stirring consistently.
  2. Reduce to a low heat, add the lemon juice, chia seeds, vanilla and salt and simmer for 15 minutes, continuing to stir frequently to avoid the jam sticking to the pot as it thickens.
  3. Remove from heat, allow to cool and then store in an sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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I love any kind of culinary experience, from baking Homemade Granola to be drenched in my own Nut Milk, to sourcing the freshest produce from local markets; from exploring the latest restaurants on the healthy scene to attending workshops and learning new skills.

I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to try out a cookery class at the UK’s most popular cooking school, L’Atelier des Chefs, so I went along to the vegetarian Moroccan class. I thought this would be the perfect fit for me since, growing up in a family with Middle-Eastern origins, I’ve acquired a serious taste for food from this part of the world – have you seen my Israeli Shakshuka recipe and my super quick Hummus?!

I was slightly sceptical about how much I could actually learning in just an hour and a half, but the class turned out to be completely hands-on and interactive, helping me to remember each step by preparing the menu myself from scratch.

Upon arrival at the class, located in the heart of London’s St. Paul’s, I was greeted with a warm welcome and a glass of wine (every cook’s favourite partner right?) There were no more than 12 of us in the class and the atmosphere was relaxed and informal.

The chef teaching the class (Thomas) was extremely knowledgeable, and his thick French accent made him seem even more professional! He had an impressive number of tricks of the trade up his sleeve, from expert knife skills to tips on the most efficient way to crush garlic without a garlic crusher! Before leaving it to us to create the recipes, Thomas ran us through a demonstration of each stage involved in the recipes we would make:

Babaghanoush (spiced aubergine dip with tahini)

Moroccan Flatbread (pita bread spiced with cumin and coriander)

Hummus (chickpea dip flavoured with lemon and garlic)

Vegetable Tagine with Saffron Couscous (based on butternut squash and courgette)

To my relief (as a recipe developer and food blogger), every ingredient had already been weighed out, the initial preparation had been done and the equipment was ready to be used. What’s more, there was no washing up at the end! We were just left with the fun part – cooking and of course eating at the end! After class we all sat down to enjoy the delicious meal, and it brought such satisfaction knowing we had prepared it all ourselves!

The following morning, I was emailed all the recipes from the class so I feel confident that I can reproduce them at home for my family. I came away with some really useful techniques, and found it so interesting to learn about a cuisine which I have always loved. I would genuinely recommend this course to everyone, but L’Atelier des Chefs offers a wide range of other classes too, including Seasonal & Healthy Eating, Macaroons, French Pasta and even Sushi!

Aubergines about to become Babaghanoush

Aubergines about to become Babaghanoush

Babaghanoush (aubergine dip)

Babaghanoush (aubergine dip)

Tagine with butternut squash & courgette

Tagine with butternut squash & courgette

Cooking up a storm

Cooking up a storm

 

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