gluten free

Chickpea + Tomato Stuffed Peppers

rena williams wellness

Coming up with new (and exciting) ideas to get more veggies on your plate can feel a little, well, boring


One of the biggest worries is will I feel full without meat?


In a word, yes.


You’ll feel lighter too.


Digesting meat, (especially red) is more work for your body than veggies. You’ll feel energized after dinner with this lighter, plant rich meal. 


So give your body a bit of a breather. 


This recipe is filling. Serve it with a side salad, your favourite grain or steamed veggies and you have a complete meal. 


It’s also protein rich with the chickpeas, walnuts and feta.


And the best part?! The stuffing can be made ahead of time, so it's ready to go when you get home from work. #tooeasy 


Chickpea + Tomato Stuffed Peppers
serves 3 to 4 as a main


4 bell peppers, halved with seeds removed

300 grams (or a 19 oz can) cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

110 grams (1 cup) crimini mushrooms, chopped

260 grams (2 cups) grape tomatoes, diced

1/3 of medium sized onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

3/4 tsp Spanish paprika

1/2 tsp coriander, ground

1/4 tsp cumin, ground

1/4 tsp fennel seeds, ground

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt, ground

generous grinding of black pepper

2 oz (1/2 cup) crumbled goat or sheep feta cheese (optional)

1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)


How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • With a sharp knife, roughly chop chickpeas, breaking them down a bit. (You can also use a food processor, pulsing about 3 or 4 times.) Transfer to a mixing bowl. 
  • In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add in mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in paprika, fennel, cumin and coriander. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, stir in tomatoes, onion, garlic, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to chickpeas. Add in seasoned mushrooms. Stir until it all comes together well. 
  • Place peppers on a baking sheet. Brush the remaining 1/2 Tbsp olive oil on the bottoms of each cavity to keep them from sticking to the pan. 
  • Fill each cavity with chickpea stuffing, pressing down gently.
  • Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until stuffing starts to brown and the skin of the peppers looks softened. 
  • Let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with feta cheese and walnuts. 

Tip: To make this nut-free, use chopped pumpkin seeds in place of walnuts. 


Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s one of your favourite meatless dishes? Share with me in the comments below.  

Spiced Tempeh

rena williams wellness

I remember when I first decided to cook with tempeh. I ran out to the grocery store. And. Could. Not. Find. It. 'Why is this so difficult to find?' I thought. Because I can be a bit A type, I took finding it as a challenge. I wasn't going to feel defeated by a grocery store shop. ;)


Finally, feeling as though my gosh have I forgotten how to grocery shop? I asked the store clerk (novel idea, I know) where can I find tempeh?


Oh it’s right here, in the frozen food aisle, right next to the strawberries. He said. Right. Of course...


So to save you some time at the grocery store (and so you feel pro) you’ll most likely find tempeh in the freezer section. It’ll be right next to the strawberries. ;)


I don’t typically eat soy but tempeh is something I make an exception for. I talk about why I choose not to eat the majority of soy products over here.  


But today, let’s chat about the goodness of tempeh. I appreciate it for a few reasons. It's minimally processed in that the entire soybean is being used instead of a fraction or isolated component. This means a lot of its nutritional goodness stays intact. Tempeh is a great source of plant based protein. There’s over 20 grams of protein in a standard serving. It’s also high in iron, calcium and zinc, which we need for healthy oxygenated blood, bones and gorgeous skin.


Tempeh goes through a fermentation and culturing process. Just like you use a starter or culture to begin making kombucha, turning soy into tempeh begins with a culture as well.


This process makes soy much more digestible, which means absorbing all its nutritional value is a lot easier on your digestive system. When you open a package of tempeh it looks like a flattened pancake and often you’ll see black or grey flecks in it. This is part of the fermentation process and is totally normal. 


Tempeh also has a high amount of fibre, which is fantastic for stabilizing blood sugar levels, helping you feel full for longer periods of time. 


I do find it to have a slight nutty flavour so I like to marinate it. And the beauty is it takes on whatever flavour you marinate it with, so its natural nutty flavour fades away.


I’ll leave you with one of my favourite tempeh recipes. This recipe is super flexible. You can make the marinade in the morning and then dinner is pretty close to being ready when you get home from work.


You can serve this dish with rice, quinoa, salad, add it to a wrap, etc. The options are endless. I hope you enjoy. Share with me in the comments below one of your favourite ways to enjoy tempeh. 

spiced tempeh

Spiced Tempeh

serves 2 as mains or 4 sides


240g (8 oz) package of organic, non-gmo tempeh

3 tbsp coconut aminos or gluten free tamari

3 tbsp finely chopped shallots

2 large garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp grated ginger, skin removed

1 tsp honey

1/4 - 1 tsp finely chopped chili pepper (use according to your heat tolerance)

1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground

2 green onions, roughly chopped


How to:

  • Chop tempeh into 1 inch cubes or slices. Set aside
  • In a small bowl, mix coconut aminos, shallots, 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, ginger, honey, chili pepper, salt and peppercorns together, creating a marinade
  • Add in chopped tempeh, stirring well
  • Cover and let rest for minimum 15 minutes, up to a few hours
  • When ready to cook tempeh, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat 
  • Add in marinated tempeh and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so it browns evenly
  • Remove from heat and stir in green onion
  • Serve warm with steamed rice, quinoa or over a green salad