On My Plate: Game Changers

It’s been super rainy in St. Louis this week, making for a pretty wet garden and plants. But that’s ok! April showers bring May flowers, and plentiful harvests. A few weeks ago when it majorly snowed and everyone was mad, I was happy. That last, huge snow is actually good for vegetation. How do I know that? Because I called up Mother Nature and she TOLD me so! Recognize. As far as homestead reporting goes, we may have baby chicks as early as next week! We’re anxiously awaiting their arrival. In the meantime we’re getting their indoor home ready for their first six weeks, and still coming up with coop designs we might be interested in building. Um, let’s talk FOOD (obviously my favorite subject). I love quinoa (keen-wah). It’s technically a seed but most people think of it as a grain. Quinoa is healthy, gluten-free super-complete protein food - and so yummy the following recipe will knock your socks off. Like stuffed peppers? Try THIS game changer!

•    2/3 cup quinoa
•    1 and 1/3 cups vegetable stock (or broth)
•    4 bell peppers (I used two red and two yellow)
•    8 oz petite diced tomatoes (I used canned)
•    3 tbs chopped green chilies (I used canned)
•    1/4 Vidalia onion, chopped
•    about 3 garlic cloves, chopped
•    2 tbs Worcestershire sauce (THIS IS THE MAGIC INGREDIENT)
•    Fresh parsley, chopped (as much as you want, I used 1/8 cup)
•    Lime juice (as much as you want, I used 1 tbs)
•    1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
•    salt
•    pepper


1. Place the quinoa and veggie stock in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)

4. In a bowl, mix the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, chilies, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper, lime juice and parsley. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper.

5. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until the peppers are tender. Sprinkle cheese on top of peppers and put back in the oven until cheese is melted.

Food: I mentioned Farmers’ Markets in my first post. Do some research regarding what KIND of Farmers’ Market you’re looking for so that you’re not disappointed. If you want LOCAL produce and meat/dairy, make sure the markets you’re going to don’t ship in their tomatoes from Mexico. If you’re in St. Louis, this is an awesome tool to locate Farmers’ Markets and to find out what they carry and if it’s usually local or not.

Health: Ch-ch-ch-Chia seeds, everyone!

Yes, the seeds that make pottery grow. Chia seeds are powerhouses in the seed department and real game changers in a healthy lifestyle. High in Omega-3’s and super fibrous, these little ditties sure are swell. And they DO swell – especially in liquid (or yogurt/pudding/ice cream). Because they’re so fiber-y, they quadruple in size. I do a tbs every day, either with lunch or at dinner, and I find I get a boost of energy from them. They take on the taste of whatever you put them with. If you don’t want to put them in liquid, try them as a salad topping. Learn more about Chia seeds here. Oh, and keep in mind I’m not a doctor or nutritionist. I’m just telling you what I like and why. :)

Homestead: Here’s something neat. The Hubs and I try to have as little trash waste as possible. We recycle and compost as much as we can. Apparently our trash company started noticing that we didn’t put our trash can out every week like everyone else. To my surprise, they CALLED ME, and asked me if everything was “ok”. They also reminded me when trash day was each week. I simply explained that we just don’t have a lot of waste, and it felt so good to say that. Now that’s a game changer!

(Words and Photos By Becky. Want to see more? Visit her Daily Wild Series called On My Plate!)

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