It’s easy to go meatless on Mondays when you have a meal this good. We have posted a couple of stuffed bell pepper recipes in the past, but this is by far our favorite! It is easy to make, super satisfying, and healthy as can be. No meat, no dairy, but all the flavor. It’s packed with protein so don’t worry about incorporating any elaborate side dishes. Pair these peppers with a big green salad and you have the perfect dinner. Oh, and this recipe makes 8 peppers! So it is a great start to your meal prepping for the week ahead.

 Enjoy, friends!

•    1 tub Guidry’s Mix
•    2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
•    1 Fifteen oz can of diced tomatoes, drained, reserve the liquid
•    1 Fifteen oz can of tomato paste
•    2 Fifteen oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
•    4-5 ribs celery, finely chopped
•    Half bag of shredded carrots
•    1 Ten oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
•    1 1/2  cups quinoa  (should make 3 cups cooked)
•    1 package of slice mushroom, roughly chopped
•    8 large colored bell peppers, cut top off and remove seeds
•    Daiya dairy free grated pepperjack  cheese – 8 oz package
•    Sea Salt
•    Black Pepper
•    Cayenne Pepper
•    1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
•    2 tsp. oregano
•    ½ tsp. paprika
•    2 cloves of garlic, minced

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
•    Cook quinoa (easiest to put in rice cooker with 3 cups of water. 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water. Cook just like white rice)
•    Pour olive oil in saucepan over medium heat
•    Then add in onion mixture and garlic and cook until soft (about five-ten minutes). 
•    Add carrot, celery, mushrooms, oregano, paprika, and sauté 1-2  minutes.
•    Stir in drained tomatoes/paste. Cook for another five minutes. 
•    Stir in the chick peas, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium/low heat, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
•    Stir in spinach and cook 5 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa and package of daiya cheese. Season with salt and pepper
•    Fill each bell pepper with a heaping ¾ cup of the quinoa mixture and place in baking dish. Pour reserved liquid on bottom of dish. Cover with foil and bake between an hour to an hour and fifteen. Let sit for 5 minutes when finished. 


I've typed an intro to this post and deleted it about a hundred times now. So I guess the best way to start is with a question. Does anyone else feel like they have lost their rhythm? Like the song of their life is off beat. I don't know. Picture listening to your favorite song and half way through, the lyrics are different and a chord is off. The entire beat changes. That would throw you off, right? It would be hard to enjoy it like you normally would because the familiar rhythm is nowhere to be found.

That's the same “off” I am talking about. A big reason my thought process has gone this route is because of a favorite book that has creeped its way back in my life. It's the very book that got me thinking differently about the way I want to live. It's called, The Rhythm of Life, by Matthew Kelly. The  book begins with this intro: Everything is a choice. This is life’s greatest truth and hardest lesson. It is a hard lesson, because it causes us to realize that we have chosen the life we are living right now. It is perhaps frightening for us to think that we have chosen to live our life exactly as it is today. Frightening because we may not like what we find when we look at our lives. But also liberating, because we can now begin to choose what we will find when we look at our life in the tomorrows that lie unlived before us.

Makes total sense, right? We choose how our days will go. Yes, sometimes things happen to us that are out of our control,  but we still choose how we want to react to those things. It's scary to think how much power we really have. Every choice we make, every thought we have and every reaction we allow, paints the picture of our days. Those string of days form weeks and those weeks become months and before we know it, our lives become a direct reflection of the choices we make. No wonder it is difficult to stay in perfect rhythm. 

I used to think if I yearned for happiness, I would get it. Ask and you shall receive was my mantra. Live a good life and good things will follow. I still believe this to a certain extent, but come on, if it was that easy this world would be a whole lot happier. What I do believe is that deep down, every human heart is on a quest for happiness. The struggle is where to find it, and when we find it, how do we sustain it?  Like Matthew Kelly writes, “The great modern paradox is this: we know the things that make us happy; we just don't do them.”

The reason we don't do them isn't because we don't want to. That would be stupidity. I just think we simply can't find the time. We are all too busy. Too busy to exercise, too busy to sleep, too busy to meet a friend, too busy to read…we are just too busy being too busy. When is the last time you sat back, took a deep breath and said to yourself, “phewf…I am finally caught up.” If you are like me, the answer would be never! This begs my favorite question that Matthew Kelly asks: “What are we all busy doing? For the most part, we are too busy doing just about everything, that means just about nothing, to just about nobody, just about anywhere…and will mean even less to anyone a hundred years from now!”

So here is my motivation for you on this T.A.S.K Tuesday. Be kind to you. Don't neglect responsibilities(life doesn't stop so we can rejuvenate unfortunately) but prioritize better. Take a second to live in the moment…to realize where you are at this point in life. Is it where you want to be? This question eats at me. Give yourself permission to dream a little. And plan a little. Not a to do list kind of plan but a “where do I want to be in a year” type of plan.  If the proverb is true, “Be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life”, shouldn't we all be a little more cautious about where we allow our thoughts to go. And if our life is just a giant puzzle and all the individual pieces are the choices we make, we probably need to do a better job at choosing. The wrong choice is the wrong size puzzle piece, and I don’t know about you, but I don't want an incomplete picture.

So take time to listen to the melody of your life. If your rhythm is off, learn the right lyrics and fix the broken chords.