Chorizo Wild Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

Looking for a super easy weeknight recipe? I’ve got your back. Although, I am going to make you run to the grocery store first. Unless you’ve already got some fresh chorizo on your hands? And you happened to pick up a zucchini last time? In that case, you’re probably covered because everything else in these is pretty standard. And actually the zucchini probably isn’t 100% necessary, but unless you’re vegetarian or something, you’re gonna want to add that chorizo.

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Stuffed peppers are one of those things that seem a little fancy, but are actually like the easiest thing ever. Throw some rice and fillings together, stuff said peppers, top with cheese (another optional, but obviously amazing addition) and bake for a bit. Done. I really appreciate dishes that are a complete meal in one item (protein, vegetables, grains), so even though a side salad might be nice with these, it’s totally not necessary.

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Honestly, I made these a while ago, and I think I just convinced myself to make them again. Like tomorrow, perhaps.

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Chorizo Wild Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers 

Adapted from Thug Kitchen 

Makes 8 stuffed peppers

1 1/2 cups Wild Rice

1 large Tomato

1 large Carrot

1 Zucchini

1/2 a Yellow Onion

4 cloves Garlic

1 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp Dried Oregano

1 tsp Dried Thyme

1 tsp Paprika

2 cups Water

1 tbsp Sherry or Red Wine Vinegar

Juice of 1 Lemon

4 fresh Chorizo Sausages

Salt & Pepper, to taste

4 large Bell Peppers (red, yellow, or orange)

1/2 – 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

1. Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer. Put tomato in a food processor or blender and puree until completely liquid. Chop carrot, zucchini, and onion into small pieces.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Add carrot, zucchini, garlic, oregano, thyme, and paprika and cook for another minute. Add the rice, pureed tomato, and water. Add in a pinch of salt. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked and liquid is absorbed.

3. Meanwhile, remove chorizo from the casings and fry in a medium pan over medium heat (like ground beef) until cooked. Set aside.

4. When the rice is done, add the sherry/red wine vinegar and the lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir and taste, adding more seasoning as needed.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

6. Chop bell peppers in half and remove stems/seeds. Spoon mixture into pepper halves, filling a little over the top. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Place stuffed peppers in a greased baking dish, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until cheese is golden brown and peppers are starting to soften. Serve warm.

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Kale and Pomegranate Salad with Apple Cinnamon Vinaigrette

I’m usually one of those people who struggles to actually like eating salad. Or maybe it’s not that I don’t like salad, it’s just that I would rather be eating something else. In order to overcome this slight issue, I am constantly looking for salads that are easy, but also different and exciting. This salad is the  perfect example.

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I love kale, but it can be a little hard to base a whole salad on it, because it’s kind of on the bitter side. This sweeter dressing, along with the added fruit, balance out the bitterness and it’s perfect. This salad would be amazing for a festive meal, but it’s also a good one if you just want to switch up your daily lunch routine. Also, the pecan parmesan is kind of brilliant if you’re vegan, but it’s a yummy, salty, extra even if you’re not.

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Kale and Pomegranate Salad with Apple Cinnamon Vinaigrette 

Serves 4 to 6

Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook 

For the Pecan Parmesan:

1/2 cup Pecans, toasted

1 1/2 tsp Nutritional Yeast

2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

For the Dressing:

3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tbsp + 1 tsp Lemon Juice

2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp Unsweetened Applesauce

1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger, peeled & minced

To Assemble:

1 bunch Kale, destemmed & leaves torn to bite size pieces

1 Apple, Cored & finely chopped

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

1/2 cup Pomegranate Arils (about 1/2 a pomegranate)

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine the toasted pecans, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and salt and work into a crumble. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl or dressing container, whisk (or shake the container) the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, olive oil, applesauce, and ginger until well combined.

4. Place the kale, chopped apples, dried cranberries, and pomegranate arils in a large salad bowl and top with dressing. Alternatively, you can portion out the ingredients to make smaller salads. Sprinkle pecan parmesan over salad before serving.

Gift Guide: Valentine’s Gifts for Him

Gift Guide: Valentine's Gifts for Him
As a follow up to my post on Valentine’s Gifts for Her, I decided to put together a little gift guide for the men in our lives. While I admittedly did not consult any men in the making of this, for whatever reason I feel like I have a good idea of the things they like to receive. Most guys that I know don’t tend to treat themselves very often, so Valentine’s Day is a good time to do it for them. You want to make them feel stylish, pampered, and loved.
You can’t go wrong with a comfy flannel, and if your guy has a record player, a record can be a really thoughtful gift that he’ll appreciate. This body wash smells amazing – I bought it once at a local beauty boutique, but it keeps selling out!
ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE / SIX / SEVEN / EIGHT / NINE

Gift Guide: Valentine’s Gifts for Her

Valentine's Gifts: For Her
Do you feel like you either have to love or hate Valentine’s Day? I have a date this year, but I’ve been single for a few years before this one and I’ve honestly never disliked the holiday. It’s a good excuse to eat food in the shape of hearts and wear pink and to treat your loved ones (or yourself!) Valentine’s Day gifts are usually pretty cheesy (maybe even kind of lame) so I rounded up a few cute things that girls would actually like.
This Chloe perfume is my ultimate favourite – it’s a light and feminine, but the scent lasts, and the bottle is just so pretty. I’ve been thinking about buying a few lacy things, and this Free People bralette looks comfortable and sexy. I’m obsessed with David’s Tea, and this blend of Earl Grey Tea with chocolate and rose petal sounds perfect for Valentine’s Day and I’m going to go and buy it for myself immediately.
ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR / FIVE / SIX / SEVEN / EIGHT / NINE

Sweet Corn and Green Chile Baked Flautas

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I keep craving Mexican lately! Seriously, I’ve been eating an avocado a day for like two weeks,  I’m always in the mood for tacos, and I found myself daydreaming about a margarita today. Maybe I’m subconsciously needing a vacation? I don’t have any plans to head to Mexico any time soon, but I am going to Hawaii (to visit family) in a few weeks, and I honestly can barely wait. I know I was on vacation for like two months in the summer, but I really feel in need of a beach to sit on, ya know?

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Have you ever heard of a flauta? I hadn’t, before these, but they’re basically the same thing as a taquito. My mom used to buy boxes of taquitos in high school, which were delicious, but also probably terrible for me. These guys are much more healthy, but equally yummy. They would be a perfect appetizer if you’re having some friends over, or you could have them as an entree, perhaps with a little salad.

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Sweet Corn and Green Chile Baked Flautas

Makes 12 Flautas, using Standard Flour Tortillas

Adapted from Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A F*ck

1 tsp Olive Oil

1 cup Yellow Onion, diced (about 1/2 an onion)

2 tsp Chili Powder

3/4 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Salt

4 – 5 cloves Garlic, minced

3 cups Pinto Beans, canned or cooked

1 4 oz can Mild Green Chiles

Juice of 1/2 a Lime

1 cup Sweet Corn Kernels

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

12 Flour Tortillas (I used whole wheat)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a large cooking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Add in the chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic, stir to combine, and cook for about another minute. Remove from heat.

3. Throw the beans, green chiles, and lime juice into a large mixing bowl. Mash together using a potato masher of the back of a fork. It’s okay if there are some whole beans left – texture is good! Fold in the sautéed onion mixture, the corn, and the grated cheese, combining well.

4. Warm the tortillas in your microwave. Spoon about 2 heaping tbsp of the bean filling and spread in a nice line on the left side of the tortilla from top to bottom. Roll the tortilla up from left to right, then place seam-side-down on the baking sheet, keeping about an inch between each flauta. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beans.

5. Lightly coat flautas with some cooking spray (or brush with a little olive oil) and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the flautas over, then return to oven and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes under both sides are crispy and golden brown. Serve warm, preferably with some delicious homemade guac.

100 Posts + Some Questions.

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Did you guys see this NY Times Article? I read a lot of random articles online and get pretty much nothing from them, but I was really intrigued by this one. While I was obviously tempted to force my boyfriend into a super long, awkward, lets-tell-eachother-everything conversation, I decided it was probably best to let things play out naturally.

A few of my favourite bloggers decided to answer some of the questions themselves, though, and I thought I would do the same. It just so happened that this is officially the 100th post on Sweet Mayberry (and more than 100 of you are now following along), so sharing a little more about myself here seemed appropriate. If you have your own blog, I’d love to see you answer these questions too – comment with a link!

Would you like to be famous? In what way?

It would be cool to be mildly recognizable, I think. There would definitely be perks, but I’m not the type of person who enjoys being the centre of attention, and I don’t think I would like going out in public and having people watching what I do/say/wear 100% of the time.

Before making a telephone call, do you rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

No… Most people who I talk to on the phone, I know pretty well (family or good friends) so I would really have no reason to.

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

Okay, I’m going to get a little cheesy here… The thing is I could probably think of 100 examples of different perfect days in as many different countries doing crazy, fun things – but I’m also ridiculously happy with where I am in life right now, so this is the perfect kind of day that isn’t actually that unrealistic. It would include cuddling with my boyfriend, brunch with the girls, playing with my nieces and nephews, and maybe getting a pedicure or something. I would get to spend time with everyone I love, I would eat delicious food, and it would be un-rushed and lovely.

If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or the body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want??

I think this question is weird, and maybe I’m reading into it too much, but I’m not under the impression that all 90 year olds have lost their minds. I mean, they’re probably all a bit forgetful, but I know plenty of old people who are perfectly sane. So assuming that I’ll be (mostly) sane at 90, I’ll take the body. And not just for looks – a 30 year old body is a lot less painful and much more mobile than a 90 year old one. Plus, if I get to keep all my organs the same too, I would be 100% healthy at 90. Okay, I’m probably thinking about this too much.

For what in your life do you feel the most grateful?

I feel pretty lucky in all areas of my life, honestly. I have a supportive family, siblings that I can call friends, the best girlfriends I could possibly imagine, a boyfriend who I adore, a dream job that I love, and a nice apartment in a great city. I’m young, and I kind of feel like life is an open road and I can take it wherever I want. It’s a pretty good feeling.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

A natural athletic ability. I’m embarrassingly awkward and uncoordinated, and it would be so nice to be able to just be good at whatever sport/activity I tried to do.

Is there something you have dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

So many things… I want to backpack around India and Nepal. I want to go scuba diving. I want to volunteer my nursing skills to help babies in a third world country. I want to own a dog. I want to learn to make pottery. I want to ride a hot air balloon. I want to learn a second language (and a third/fourth). I want to hike the Inca trail. I want to get married and buy a house and have a bunch of babies. The timing just hasn’t been right yet – but it will be.

What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship means a lot of things… but the biggest one for me is loyalty. It’s having someone there who you can call/text about anything, who you can be both 100% ridiculous with and 100% serious with, depending on the situation, someone who understands you and accepts your flaws. It’s also being honest with each-other (even if it’s not what the other person wants to hear).

Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

Funny, intelligent, kind, trust-worthy, and tall.

How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

We’re pretty close. My family had it’s issues while I was growing up, but I had a very happy childhood. Now, I wish I saw my parents and siblings more often, but I talk to most of them very often and holidays are always warm and lovely.

Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

This question makes me realize how few things I own with actual value… Assuming my vehicle doesn’t count (even though it would, because it’s parked under my building), probably my laptop. It would be a serious pain to lose, and it’s the most expensive thing I could grab… (my poor new couch).