Monday, June 6, 2016

Stuffed Bell Peppers

So I have made some drastic diet and lifestyle changes in effort to be a little more healthy, lose some weight and just feel better overall. I have cut back on red meat and alcohol. I've cut out refined sugar as much as I possibly can. I have quit all carbonate drinks and eliminated as much processed food as I can. I've also tried to up the amount of lean protein I eat every day. So far it's worked very well. I'm down quite a bit in weight, dropped a couple of pant sizes, I sleep better and feel better overall.  I still have the occasional steak and I do enjoy my favorite Texas foods but on a very limited basis. I have to say I have not missed any of it and I don't really crave anything.

So here is a recipe that I have been making and I take it for lunch often. Once everything is cooked and cooled I wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze it.  Then each night I put one into the fridge for lunch the next day. By the time noon rolls around all it needs is about 2 minutes in the microwave and its ready to go.  I like to have some additional protein with it this like a roasted chicken breast.

This recipe does rely on a Trader Joe's product.  You can substitute your own quinoa & butternut squash blend if you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby. This one just makes it very easy and its pretty healthy.

Stuffed peppers (I snuck in a little corn for fun)


8 medium or 6 largre bell peppers, any color, tops and seeds removed
1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
1 can fire roasted chopped tomatoes, drained
1 package Quinoa & Butternut Squash Duo (Trader Joe's), defrosted
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp course ground pepper
2 tbsp ancho powder (standard chile powder will work as well)


Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan over medium high heat
Add the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until it starts to get tender.
Add garlic and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper,
Cook the until zucchini just starts to brown and get tender, tossing and stirring often.
Add tomatoes and stir to incorporate. 
Reduce the heat to medium
Now add the entire bag of quinoa mix. Stir until incorporated and heated throughout.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl

In the same skillet add the remaining oil.
Add turkey to the pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper and ancho powder.
Break into small pieces and cook until done.

Combine the turkey with the quinoa/vegetable mixture in the mixing bowl.
Mix in the parmesan cheese
Spoon this mixture into the bell peppers, packing tightly but don't break the pepper.

Cook on a foil lined sheet pan for 30 minutes at 375 (350 in convection oven).
Serve hot or cool, wrap and freeze for later use.

I totaled everything up and its approximately 200 calories per serving (1 pepper).

You can add spinach, carrot, corn, celery, nuts, dried berries...
You can sub out turkey for chicken, beef, veal, pork or leave it out all together for a vegetarian dish.
You can also use this filling to stuff poblanos.

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