Category Archives: gluten free

Enjoy the Winter Season With Chewy Vegan, Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

Most of the gingerbread we ate during the holidays tended to be kind of dry and stale. This is a shame, because gingerbread cookies, cooked properly, are simply awesome.

We recently discovered a recipe for a chewy variety. They’re crisp on the outside, but melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside. We added vegan chocolate chips for an additional flavor sensation. You can bake these cookies without chocolate chips if you desire. They taste great either way.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon flax seeds, soaked in 3 tablespoons water
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup gluten-free pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (not the iodized variety)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup softened coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (for rolling)
3/4 cup unsweetened dark chocolate chips (optional — check label and make sure there is no dairy)

INSTRUCTIONS

Stir flax seeds and water together in a small bowl and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes until the seeds swell and most of the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, mix the two flours, spices, baking soda and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.

In a separate, larger bowl, stir together the molasses, coconut sugar, flax mixture, vanilla extract, grated ginger, and chocolate chips. Ladle the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, a little bit at a time. Your batter should be moist but not runny.

Place the bowl into the refrigerator and chill for about half an hour. Remove from refrigerator. One at a time, using a large spoon, scoop out dough pieces from the bowl’s interior. They should be about 1 1/2 teaspoons in diameter. Form each one into a loose ball. Sprinkle a layer of turbinado sugar on cutting board. Roll the dough balls around in the sugar until each one is thoroughly coated. Position them a couple of inches apart on a cookie sheet, greased with coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance).

Place cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. The chilled dough will create a nice, crackly texture across the top of your cookies after you pop them into the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Your cookies won’t get much bigger, so they won’t take long. Be careful not to burn them!

Makes about two dozen. Try to eat dinner before you dig into these cookies, so you won’t eat so many. They keep well, securely covered, for 4-5 days, but will be gone way before then. Enjoy!

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Cauliflower/Celery Root Mash is Like Mashed Potatoes, Only Better

Winter is a wonderful time for this nourishing dish. It’s creamy and filling, like mashed potatoes, but much yummier and more nutritious! Brewer’s yeast, cauliflower, and celery root are packed with vitamins, and the flavor is slightly sweet, with a bit of a tang.

You’ll be scooping this mash out of your blender or food processor for little tastes before you can even pour it into a bowl. And it’s so simple and inexpensive to make, with only seven ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
1 celery root (celeriac) (about 1 pound), cut into one-inch chunks
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons nutritional (brewer’s) yeast

OPTIONAL GARNISHES

Drizzle of olive oi
chopped thyme

DIRECTIONS

Peel the celery root and either compost the skin or save it for stock. Chop into one-inch chunks and set aside. Mince 2-4 cloves of garlic, and chop the cauliflower head into bite-sized florets. Place these ingredients into a large frying pan with two tablespoons of olive oil. Fry on medium heat setting for approximately ten minutes.

Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water and turn down the heat. Cover the pan and simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes until the celery root and cauliflower are tender. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid. Add more if necessary. Remove pan from stovetop and allow its contents to cool for a few minutes.

Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste, nutritional yeast, and a tiny bit more vegetable broth or water. Blend until nice and creamy.

Transfer the contents into a large bowl. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and stir. Garnish with bits of chopped thyme. Eat this concoction warm, and you’ll be in heaven. You can add a bit more olive oil or Earth Balance to the top for additional richness. This mash is also great as a cold dip with gluten-free bread, crackers, carrot sticks, avocado slices, etc. It’s so versatile! Feel free to experiment.

Serves four people. Everyone will rave about this yummy side dish. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and tastes just as great reheated as it did on the first day. You’ll never go back to plain mashed potatoes or look at cauliflower in the same way again. Or celery root, for that matter. We just love this dish, and feel confident that you will, as well.

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Delectable Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos With Vegan Cream Cheese/Jalapeno/Avocado Topping

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to cook butternut squash. Sure, you can bake it, but what else can a person do? We recently discovered a butternut squash-based taco recipe that is so delicious we’re still salivating over our meal, hours later. The addition of whipped vegan cream cheese with avocado and fresh jalapeno makes this dish a total winner. And it’s so easy to make! The hardest part is cutting the skins off the squash. But persevere with the task, because the end result will be worth it.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized butternut squash, de-skinned and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
8 ounces vegan cream cheese (we’re wild about Kite Hill, due to its smooth, creamy texture. But you can use any kind).
1 small avocado, chopped into small chunks
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, chopped into bits
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
soft, gluten-free corn tortillas (check package to make sure there’s no wheat)
1 can or 2 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed
sliced scallions
chopped lettuce or arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

Chop the butternut squash into small chunks and cut off the skins. Place the chunks into a medium-sized-bowl with the spices and avocado oil, and toss until all pieces are completely coated with the mixture. Spread the chunks on a cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes. The pieces should be soft, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, prepare your topping. Pour the vegan cream cheese, lime juice, jalapeno bits, and avocado into a blender or food processor and combine until your mixture achieves a frothy, whipped texture. Add a little extra lime juice if it’s too stiff.

Heat your tortillas in the oven and your beans on the stovetop. When both are warm, pile the tortillas on plates. Ladle on the beans first, and then follow with the spicy butternut squash chunks, the cream cheese/jalapeno/avocado mixture, and finally the chopped scallions and lettuce bits. Have a seat at the table and dig in!

This incredible meal serves about four people. If you use a larger squash, maybe 6. But be careful — no one will be able to stop eating these tacos! They pair well with gluten-free beer or wine, or any other beverage of your choice. Leftovers keep in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. We’re already fantasizing about the lunch we’re going to have tomorrow. You’ll never look at butternut squash in the same way again.

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Warm Your Insides With Vegan, Gluten-Free Cream of Potato and Broccoli Soup

We don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it’s cold and gloomy here. The skies are pitch-black by 5:00 PM, and we do whatever we can to stay warm. Nothing soothes you more on a cold December evening than a bowl of creamy potato/broccoli soup.

The texture is like manna for the throat, and the robust, yet delicate flavor comforts as it fills you up. Invite some friends over for a soup party! Everyone will rave about this delicious meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 russet potatoes, chopped (You can leave skins on or take them off. Personally, we like to leave them on).
4 cups vegetable broth (check labels for gluten)
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
Sea salt to taste

OPTIONAL TOPPING INGREDIENTS

chopped scallions
chopped chives
fresh ground pepper
sriracha sauce
broccoli croutons

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pan and pour in the celery, garlic, onion, and broccoli pieces. Fry at medium heat setting until the ingredients are just beginning to turn brown. Add the chopped potatoes, sea salt, and vegetable broth. Stir, and then cover the pan. Simmer the mixture for approximately half an hour until all the vegetables are soft. You should be able to stick a fork in the potato slices with no problem, but don’t overcook them.

[INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS: Saute the celery, garlic, onion, and broccoli pieces in your Instant Pot until they start to brown, add potatoes, salt and vegetable broth, and cook manual, high pressure, 5 minutes. Let natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then quick release.]

Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You will have a large amount of soup, so you’ll need to do 2-3 separate batches. When you’re done with one batch, pour it into a large bowl and start another. The soup’s texture should be thick and creamy.

But wait, you’re not done! Here comes the best part: pour a cup of full-fat coconut milk into the bowl with the soup and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the soup into separate bowls and garnish with sriracha, chopped chives, chopped scallions, and/or fresh black pepper. If you’d like to make broccoli croutons, just fry a few chopped broccoli florets in olive oil and sea salt until they’re nice and crispy. Remove florets from the pan, let them drain and cool, and toss them on top of your soup!

Serves 4-6 delighted guests. This soup can be served on its own, or with a side salad and/or a loaf of gluten-free bread. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and tastes even better reheated. Yum! Now you’re ready to bundle up and face the cold winds.

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Gluten-Free, Apple Cupcakes Taste Divine With Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

You’re going to flip your lid when you bite into one of these moist, tasty apple cupcakes. They contain both applesauce and grated apples, so they’re ultra-dense and rich. Grocery stores carry a variety of different vegan cream cheese products, but our go-to favorite is Kite Hill. It’s a bit spendy compared to other brands, but worth every penny. These muffins are perfect for the holidays, since they contain cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Heavenly!

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS
2 cups gluten-free pastry flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup avocado oil
1 cup grated apple, lightly packed

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

8 ounces vegan cream cheese (such as Kite Hill)
3/4 cup organic powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger (try it fresh for a flavor kick!)
1/3 teaspoon powdered nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Stir them together thoroughly and set the bowl aside. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate, smaller bowl. Slowly pour them into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients, stirring until you’ve formed a nice batter. The texture should be smooth but not runny. Add the grated apple and stir for a little while longer.

Pour batter into cupcake tins. You can either place paper liners in the tin, or grease them with vegan butter or extra avocado oil. If you choose the latter option, don’t use too much oil, because these cupcakes will be dense and moist. Place the tin in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and allow them to cool for approximately 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whip up the frosting by combining all ingredients and whisking them until they’re smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting along the top of each cupcake, swirling until the surface is smooth. If you can restrain yourself, allow the frosting to set for a few more minutes before you dig in.

Makes twelve cupcakes. Try to avoid eating them all at once. The cupcakes won’t rise much while baking, so they’ll be small. Yet they pack a wallop, so be careful! Needless to say, the addition of so much sugar means that these cupcakes are not a great diet food. But it’s the holiday season, so who cares? You can make your resolutions next year.

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Our Vegan, Gluten-Free Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie is a Winter Feast

Brrrrrr! It’s getting cold outside, and we’re craving comfort food! Shepherd’s Pie is an excellent meal for these chilly nights. It’s packed full of lentils and potatoes, combined with mushrooms and spinach, and served on top of gluten-free breadcrumbs. We made this hearty offering as a main dish for our recent Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s also perfect for the December holidays. You’ll feel pleasantly full in no time, ready to brave the cold winds.

INGREDIENTS

8 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine, such as Earth Balance
1/2 cup rice milk
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
3 1/2 cups cooked lentils with a bit of leftover liquid
2 tablespoons dry red wine (optional)
1-2 tablespoons tamari (Don’t use soy sauce, as it contains wheat)
2 tablespoons seasoning blend (We used Bragg, with great results)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup spinach or arugula leaves
1 cup fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs
Dried oregano for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil the potatoes until soft and remove the skins. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl with the rice milk and vegan butter or margarine. Cover your mixture and set aside.

Sauté the onions in olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Cast iron is best. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic and mushrooms and continue sautéing until they are golden and the mushrooms are cooked through, but not mushy.

Add the lentils and their liquid and simmer. Stir in the optional wine, tamari, seasoning blend, thyme, and pepper. Cook for about five minutes on medium heat, then add cornstarch. Toss in spinach and cook until the leaves are just beginning to wilt. Continue stirring until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Scatter the breadcrumbs across the bottom of a two-quart baking dish. Ladle the lentil mixture inside, smoothing it to make sure the surface is even and free from lumps. Spread the potato mixture across the top and sprinkle with a bit of additional thyme and/or oregano.

Bake in a pre-heated, 400-degree oven for 30-35 minutes. The edges of the potato mixture should be browned and slightly crispy. Cut into wedges and serve! This dish is great with a salad or a variety of other holiday or non-holiday sides. Serves about 8 hungry guests. You can refrigerate any leftovers in a secure container for up to three days. Happy winter, and be sure to stay warm out there!

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip/Hazelnut Cookies Are a Holiday Treat

Thanksgiving is barely behind us, and we’re already thinking about all the cookies we’re going to eat in December. Really, is it even the holiday season without cookies? It’s the time of year when you’re most tempted to stray from a vegan, gluten-free diet, because most of the offered desserts are packed with dairy and wheat. Still, there is no reason why you should miss out on the fun, just because you’re trying hard to be healthy. These cookies aren’t exactly a diet food, but they are vegan, gluten-free, and delicious!

INGREDIENTS

1 2/3 cups raw hazelnuts
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour (we swear by Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
t teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup real maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as almond or coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cups dark, unsweetened chocolate chips (check label to make sure they don’t contain dairy products)

INSTRUCTIONS

Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan on your stovetop for about five minutes. Push them around a bit to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from burner and set aside to cool. Roll hazelnuts in your hands to remove as much of the skin as possible. It’s okay if some of the skin still remains.

Place the hazelnuts in a blender or food processor and pulse until the nuts become a fine meal. Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring until they’re blended. Pour the dry ingredients into the blender or food processor and pulse together. Add the wet ingredients and continue blending.

The mixture will be quite thick, so add a bit more plant milk if necessary. When you’re finished blending, transfer the batter into a mixing bowl and add the chocolate chips. Chill the dough in your refrigerator for at least half an hour, grease a cookie sheet with some coconut oil, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and scoop dough with tablespoon, one mound at a time, onto the cookie sheet. These cookies don’t spread much, so don’t worry if they are close together. You can press down their surfaces with a fork to make a nice, textured effect. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Your kitchen will smell divine.

Makes about two dozen cookies. You can invite the whole gang over for a holiday treat, and they won’t have any trouble devouring every bite! Cookies keep well, covered, for 2-3 days, but are unlikely to last that long. Enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cranberries and Hazelnuts For Your Holiday Feast

Many of us have unpleasant childhood memories of being forced to eat Brussels sprouts. Such a mindset is unfortunate because, cooked properly, this cruciferous vegetable is both tasty and nutritious. Many chefs are beginning to appreciate the flavor of the oft-maligned Brussels sprout, so the tide is slowly turning in its favor. Our delicious vegan, gluten-free recipe utilizes dried cranberries, orange zest and toasted hazelnuts to create a taste sensation. You’ll be proud to showcase this offering on your Thanksgiving table. It’s crunchy yet tender, with a hint of sweetness, and packed full of vitamins. The hazelnuts add a bit of protein to our elegant side dish. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, with excess peels and stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted, chopped hazelnuts
zest of one orange

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly, then cut them in half and chop off the stems. Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a cookie sheet or large rectangular pan and toss them with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Place the cookie sheet or pan in oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Flip the Brussels sprouts periodically with a spatula, then return the pan to the oven. They should achieve a lovely brown color.

Meanwhile, either roast the hazelnuts in your oven in a separate pan, or fry them on your stovetop in a small amount of olive oil. Do not burn them! Remove the hazelnuts from pan and crush them into coarse chunks. Grate the skin of one orange into a bowl to make zest. Toss the hazelnuts, orange zest, and dried cranberries in with the Brussels sprouts and combine everything thoroughly.

Return the pan to your oven and roast for another 5-10 minutes. The Brussels sprouts will achieve a dark brown hue and be slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Remove your concoction from the oven and place the contents into a festive bowl. Give them another toss or two and serve!

This dish pairs well with just about anything you’d like to serve for a holiday meal — squash, pumpkin pie, lentil loaf, sweet potatoes, etc. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. It serves 4-6 guests, depending on everyone’s hunger level, and keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days. Happy feasting, and enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate.

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Gluten-Free Vegan Vichyssoise for National Vichyssoise Day (Includes Instant Pot Directions)

This vegan vichyssoise is naturally gluten-free, and just in time for National Vichyssoise Day! Of course, vichyssoise is also known as potato leek soup, because, well, it’s primarily made with potatoes and leeks! But it is also often made with butter and cream, which are decidedly not vegan. This vegan version is just as full flavored, and easy to make!

This soup can be served either hot, or, as is more traditional, chilled.

Gluten-Free Vegan Vichyssoise for National Vichyssoise Day

Note that these measurements are guidelines; people’s vichyssoise tastes vary – some like it more potatoey, some like it more leeky, some thicker, some thinner, some creamier, some less creamy. Play around with this until you have it just the way you like it.

2 to 3 leeks, thinly sliced (only the white and palest green part)
4 potatoes – we use 2 russet and 2 yukon gold to give it a buttery flavor
4 cups vegetable broth or vegan “no chicken” chicken broth
1 cup unsweetened vegan creamer such as Nut Pods or Ripple OR full-fat coconut milk
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons vegan butter such as Earth Balance (optional)
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and saute the leeks until they are tender. Add in all of the rest of the ingredients except the cream, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are very soft, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and with a stick blender puree everything (this is where you would add the vegan butter if you are using it), slowly pouring in the cream until the desired consistency and level of creaminess. If you don’t have a stick blender, let the mixture cool a bit and then put it in a blender or food processor.

If you are going to serve it warm, serve immediately, topped with chopped chives (optional). Otherwise chill, covered, in the refrigerator, until cold.

Instant Pot Directions

Heat olive oil in Instant Pot using Saute – Low. Add leeks and saute until tender. Turn Instant Pot off, and add in all of the rest of the ingredients except the cream. Lock on lid, and cook on Manual 5 minutes. Quick release, open the Instant pot, and puree the contents with a stick blender (add in the vegan butter here if you are using it), slowly pouring in the cream until it achieves the desired consistency. If you don’t have a stick blender, let the mixture cool a bit and then put it in a blender or food processor.

This makes a yummy lunch served with a salad and a gluten-free baguette. It also makes a lovely first course for dinner.

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Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi: A Simple But Elegant Meal With an Indian Flair

You’re faced with a dilemma: you want to eat an elegant international meal, but you don’t have much time and/or cash on hand. What’s a hungry gourmet to do? The answer is simple — whip up a platter of our vegan, gluten-free Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi! Though it looks deceptively like a simple, stir-fried dish of potatoes and peppers, once you experienced your first bite, you’ll know there is something special going on. The exotic flavor comes from the addition of cumin and fennel seeds, spices that are popular staples in Indian cuisine. The peanuts add protein, and the potatoes are hearty and filling. Just perfect for these chilly autumn nights!

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large russet potato, chopped
2 medium-sized bell peppers, chopped (red is best, but you can also use yellow, orange, or a combination)
1 teaspoon sea salt (NOT iodized!)
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about half a lime)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

chopped cilantro
hot sauce
extra lime juice
tortillas
cooked basmati rice

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat setting (cast iron is best). Add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute or so until they start to turn brown. Stir in the fennel seeds and onion and continue cooking for about 4-6 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently!

Stir in potato and distribute evenly across the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften. It’s okay if they’re a bit browned in spots. Stir in the sea salt and bell pepper. Cover the pot again and cook until peppers are cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). Ideally, the peppers should be lightly charred on the bottom, but not burned. You can peek occasionally to make sure.

Stir in the peanuts and lime juice and cook, uncovered, for another couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the burner, and ladle the contents onto several plates. That’s all there is to it! You can garnish with hot sauce, cilantro, extra lime juice, or whatever your heart desires. Also, this mixture can be served over basmati rice or corn tortillas if you want to get really fancy. But it’s perfect all on its own!

Serves 3-4 guests. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and taste great reheated. We guarantee that you’ll love this inexpensive but exotic and delicious meal.

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