Stuffed Peppers with Goat Cheese & Corn

roastedpeppers1This week’s recipe mimics the change in season; as bright sunshine and gorgeous red flowers become more frequent, so does our desire for fresh, delicious veggies! With bright red peppers, yummy sweet corn, goat cheese and a pinch of cilantro, this recipe is absolutely jam-packed with flavor and veggie-derived nutrition.

We’ve also been inspired this week by our Taos gift with purchase… when you buy any Taos shoe, you can grab this New Mexican-inspired cookbook for free! Filled with awesome recipes inspired by the rich, creative culture of the American Southwest, this cookbook is a must-have for delicious summery goodness. From the Fiesta Frittata to the Sautéed Shrimp with Ancho Chile, there’s a great recipe for everyone in this cookbook.

STUFFED PEPPERS WITH GOAT CHEESE & CORN

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced in half with the seeds removed
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped

First, we must roast the peppers! You can either do this over a gas grill if you have one handy or in the oven under the broiler setting. I opted to do the broiler setting and just put them under the broiler on each side for about 5 minutes (but check often because broilers are tricky things and we don’t want your peppers burning to a crisp just because my broiler doesn’t get as hot as yours!). You want them to have blackened spots on both sides. Remove from heat and stick in a plastic bag until they cool. Once cooled, remove and peel the burnt outer skin. Set aside.

roastedpeppers2

While waiting for the peppers to cool, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add the butter, corn, salt, and pepper. Sauté for another 5 minutes or until the corn is cooked all the way through. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice.

Divide the goat cheese evenly between the 4 pieces and spread along the inside. Top with the corn mixture and garnish with cilantro.

About Vegetarian Ventures
Vegetarian Ventures is a vegetarian food blog that shares vegetarian and vegan recipes with a twist of adventure and inspiration. Shelly is a 20-something year old, fresh out of college who lives in the heart (if you’d like to call it something of that kind) of the Midwest. She works with indie-rock music by day and blogs by night.

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What’s Your Ideal Nutrition Label?

oldnutritionlabel

The current Nutrition Facts label was introduced over 20 years ago as a means to help consumers understand what was in their food. However, as time has gone on and food science has developed, our thoughts and passions regarding food have shifted. With needs and desires for local, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free and a plethora of other sought-after consumer information, it’s difficult for this old nutrition label to do our food the justice it deserves.

The FDA recently proposed a new nutrition label, one that would highlight calories and serving size while making it easier to see percent daily values for consumers to quickly determine key information on the item they’re looking to purchase. Serving sizes would reflect how much people realistically eat in one sitting. In addition, “Added Sugars” would be a subcategory of sugar, to differentiate natural versus added sweeteners. It looks something like this:

Proposed_Standard_NFL_2.13.14

As you can see, the FDA is certainly making steps to offer additional information about what is in our food. Of course, as with any change, many other food scientists, politicians and consumers themselves have intriguing and useful ideas for what the new food label should look like.

The “Rethink the Food Label” project held a competition to see what consumers would come up with for the new nutrition label, focusing on what each designer believed was most important to highlight. All of the winning labels utilized color as a means to emphasize certain key aspects of the food itself, as seen in this example below.

nutritionlabel2nutritionlabel22

Those items that aren’t the best for you, like sugars and salt, are in red, while fiber is green to signify its helpful nature. The color at the top, spanning from red to yellow to green, gives an overall summary of how healthy the item is.

Mark Bittman takes an interesting, wholesome approach, focusing on Nutrition, “Foodness” and Welfare and therefore expanding the current nutrition label into the environmental and social sectors. He utilizes five-star ratings for each category, adding them up and color-coding accordingly.

bittman

What’s most important to you in the food you consume? Of these three labels, which is your favorite?

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Celebrate Earth Month with Us!

ecoshop1We absolutely love celebrating Earth Month here at PlanetShoes. It’s one of our favorite months of the year, one that reminds us to be mindful and conscious of our everyday decisions and how they affect the world that surrounds us.

That’s why we provide our Eco Shop, a one-stop-shop where you can find a wide selection of shoes that help you tread gently on the planet. With a wide variety of unique materials, this shop proves that shoes can be made sustainably… and continue to look and feel great.

Recycled Rubber
Derived primarily from repurposed car tires, this type of rubber works wonderfully for waterproof and durable shoe soles.
rubber_artrubber_elnatrubber_jamburubber_patagonia

Hemp
This useful, durable material is super easy to grow and requires little to no pesticides in the process. It also provides 250% more fiber than cotton typically does, making it an incredibly functional plant.
hemp_reneuhemp_pur1hemp_patagoniahemp_reneu2

Veg Tanned Leather
Tanning leathers with vegetables rather than synthetic dyes keeps this material in its most natural state. It also makes for beautiful, interesting hues!
veg_bornveg_olukaiveg_pikolinosveg_think

Cork
While we all know cork makes for some super comfortable shoes, it’s also a truly sustainable material. Coming straight from the cork oak tree, it’s a natural substance that’s completely recyclable.
cork_antelopecork_birkcork_bionatcork_choco

Jute
This natural fiber needs no pesticides or fertilizer to grow, ensuring that it’s gentle on the land that nourishes it. It’s also easily woven into strong, biodegradable material perfect for unique shoes.
jute_earthiesjute_poeticjute_sebagojute_sperry

 

 

 

What’s your favorite eco style? 

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How Will You Upcycle During Spring Cleaning?

springcleaningquiteWith the beginning of springtime comes everyone’s dreaded household chore… spring cleaning! How exciting. Honestly, though, cleaning out your living space in spring can be incredibly freeing and rejuvenating. Clearing out those thick winter sweaters and boots to make way for skirts, cleaning off that thin layer of salt and sand on the car, and doing a good hour of dusting and vacuuming can help welcome spring with open (clean) arms!

As you clear out those winter woes, however, it’s important to be mindful of all you’re throwing away. So many things you clean out can be recycled, upcycled or reused… especially considering it’s Earth Month! Grab a few tips here, and share your DIY masterpieces in the comments below J

mopYour Treasure Trove of Old T-Shirts
As you clean out your drawers and find old clothing you simply don’t wear anymore, chances are you’ll find a bunch of collected t-shirts in there. T-shirts can be upcycled into rags, or better yet… a mop! This will save plastic/waste from your conventional Swiffer, while repurposing some never-worn clothing.

Dish Soap Bottles
This is an interesting one, but dish soap bottles (if cleaned out very well) can be wonderfully reused as no-spill pancake dispensers! You can also use them to hold your DIY cleaning solutions, if need be.

Shoeboxes
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably racked up quite the collection of shoeboxes in the last year. Instead of throwing them out or recycling them, use them for under-bed storage. The perfect solution to store all that stuff you find during your cleaning, yet aren’t ready to throw away!

froggietowelFaded Bath Towels
Don’t throw away those faded, old bath towels… reuse them as dish rags or to continue dusting the house. Or better yet, with a little creativity, you could make this adorable bath robe for the little ones in your life…

Almost-Empty Pantry Jars
Your pantry and fridge are probably filled with jars containing small remnants that need to be used up. Finish them off with a couple weekend recipes, then clean out the jars to store dried grains, as a vase for beautiful springtime flowers, or to plant some awesome herbs. The upcycling uses for mason jars are endless, as you can see here.

How will you upcycle the junk you find around the house during spring cleaning? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Celebrate Spring with Outdoor Exercise!

We’re finding any excuse to get outdoors recently here in Boston… the sun is finally shining down, warming our faces and our dispositions. The temperatures have gotten steadily more comfortable… we’ve even reached the upper 50’s over here! Brilliant.

With warmer weather also means it’s finally time to get off the treadmill and get our hearts pumping in the great outdoors. Springtime opens up a whole new world of workouts, from the water to the trail. Welcome spring in your own way with some of these awesome calorie-torching ideas!

Hiking
Depending on the length and difficulty of your hike, this outdoor activity can burn up to 500 calories or more. Not only that, climbing those tough hills helps build incredibly strong legs. And what’s paddleboard1better than surrounding yourself with a gorgeous outdoor landscape and some great friends?

Kayaking/Paddle-Boarding
It’s finally getting warm enough to get out on the water… so get out there! While kayaking targets arm strength, paddle-boarding forces you to constantly utilize your core. Both allow for some awesome sunshine and a perfect lakeside breeze.

Giving back
There are many ways to volunteer that end up being good for your body and others at the same time! Lending a hand cleaning up a local park, volunteering at a community farm nearby, or playing with kids in need all can help you feel good both inside and out.

Body Strength in the Park
There are strength workouts to be found all over the internet that simply use a park bench and your natural body movement to build muscle outdoors without any equipment. We love this Scientific 7-Minute Workout, which targets a large range of muscle groups while helping you break trailrunning1a serious sweat!  

Trail Running
If you’ve gotten sick of the treadmill this winter, trail running may be the ultimate way to start out your springtime outdoor training. This type of running is quite challenging, but the beautiful, natural surroundings make it all worth it. Just make sure you have the right trail running shoes to avoid injury!

What are your favorite outdoor exercises for spring?  

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