Spicy food is definitely an acquired taste. You either absolutely love it or you stay away from it completely. I tend to add a crazy amount of spice to just about everything that I eat. Of course I met and married a wonderful man who struggles with even the tiniest pinch of pepper, so I often find myself cooking two meals; one sands any heat for my husband and toddler and one incredibly spicy meal for me.
In addition to being simply delicious, here are a few reasons why everyone should eat more spicy foods:
1. They speed up your metabolism.
2. Spicy foods increase the blood flow in your body and aids in better blood pressure.
3. They help fight and eliminate bad cholesterol and inflammation.
While I have been enjoying the summer, I am eagerly anticipating autumn to show up. The fall means cozy sweaters, a gigantic pumpkin latte and sports. I am a huge football and basketball fan and sports are the perfect excuse to have family and friends over to watch a game and eat great food. Not only do I get to spend quality time with folks that I love but I also use these moments to experiment with new recipes and receive feedback from my guests. Last fall I tried out a vegan jalapeno popper recipe that was given huge thumbs up from even my non-vegan friends and family.
Gluten-free Vegan Jalapeno Poppers
12-15 jalapeno peppers
1 cup of cooked quinoa
5 grated mushrooms
1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
4 oz. of soy mozzarella cheese or another vegan cheese in block form
½ cup of flax seed meal
½ cup of vegan, gluten-free breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons of water
Latex gloves – *you want to make sure to wear gloves when dealing with any peppers. The spice remains on your skin for a while and can be harmful if you touch other parts of your body, especially your eyes.
1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
2. Clean jalapeno peppers and slice in half. Make sure to cut from the tip to the stem, as you actually want to keep the jalapeno whole.
3. Scrap the seeds from the inside and toss. Set the cleaned peppers to the side.
4. In a small bowl, combine quinoa, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well.
5. Place a spoonful of quinoa mixture onto one side of each jalapeno pepper.
6. Add a slice of cheese inside of each pepper on top of the quinoa mixture.
7. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil. On a small plate sprinkle the gluten-free breadcrumbs. Set to the side.
8. Mix the flax seed meal with the water.
9. Roll the stuffed jalapeno peppers into the flax seed meal (make sure to coat it), and then roll them in the breadcrumbs. Once coated, place on cookie sheet. Make sure that the peppers are not touching; you want a nice crunchy texture.
10. Place in oven and cook for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are toasted.
Wait 5 minutes to cool and enjoy!
More delicious GF vegan recipes by Sorina: Sweet and Salty Garbanzo Beans
Photo: Sorina Fant