Category Archives: Main dish

Stuffed Peppers – Halloween Style!

I love stuffed peppers! They are filling, relatively easy to put together and they freeze well (a must in my house!)

AS many of you know I am a coach with Team Beachbody and they are always testing and coming up with great recipes that follow a variety of food/clean eating plans.  The following recipe takes stuffed peppers up a notch by adding a halloween twist!

Here’s an excerpt from the blog post at TeamBeachbody.com

“What I love about this jack-o’-lantern stuffed peppers recipe is that it’s a festive twist on a savory dish that lets my family enjoy the holiday with a little less sugar. They’re a fun Halloween treat to prepare for your kids and something you can feel great about them digging into! The fun part is in carving the bell peppers, which act as edible jack-o’-lanterns. You’ll want a sharp knife for this, and ideally one that’s small enough to make tiny cuts (a paring knife works well). Then you’ll simply carve out little eyes, a nose, and a smile. And ta-da, the hard part is over!”

Jack-o_-Lantern_Stuffed_Bell_Peppers_in_post

Here is a link to the full article 

The original recipe contains meat, If you are looking for a lighter version or vegan version this Quinoa Stuffing is a great option.  It has a Tex Mex flavor to it and is basically a chop it, dump it, mix it recipe.  I also have another vegan stuffing recipe that has a balsamic base to it you can find that here.

Quinoa Stuffing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 16 servings, ⅔ cup each

Ingredients
2 Tbsp . olive oil
1 medium onion , chopped
2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
8 medium celery stalks , chopped (about 4 cups)
2 medium green apples , with peel (about 2 cups)
4 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth
2 cups dry quinoa , rinsed
1 tsp . sea salt
1 tsp . ground cumin
½ tsp . ground black pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup pine nuts

Instructions
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add celery and apple; cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
Add broth, quinoa, salt, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
Add cranberries. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add cilantro and pine nuts; fluff with fork and serve.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 156
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 196 mg
Carbohydrates: 22 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 6 g
Protein: 4 g

If you follow any of the Team Beachbody workouts with meals plans here is a breakdown of how the quinoa recipe will fit into your day.

P90X/P90X2 Portions
½ Carb
½ Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
½ Protein
1 Carb
½ Fat

Body Beast Portions
½ Protein
1 Starch
½ Fat

21 Day Fix/Extreme/Fixate Containers
1 Yellow
½ Blue

 

Photo Credit goes to Photographs by Anguel Dimov Who photographed for the original blog post

AS always, I’ll see you on the other side!!

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Crock-Pot Wonders!! Pulled Pork

I don’t know about you but this time of the year kills me!!!

With what seems to be every field trip, party, concert, performance, practice, game all falling between now and Christmas.  I am toast. ( and not this 🍻 kind!). The last thing I want to do is cook.  Even throwing a salad together seems daunting some days.

Well, I have been getting back to my meal prepping roots, and trying to make my life easier on the days where we have a little downtime.  For me, meal prepping includes a heavy use of my crock-pot.

This week we are going to a multi-meal staple, Pulled Pork.  I make enough to get at least 3 meals for my family of 4.  If we have friends over then one meal is all this meat sees!! 😉

The List: Pork

  • 2 1/2 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder
  • 1 large onion, rough thin chop
  • 2 Dried Bay Leaves
  • 1 Can Crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced, reserve the extra adobo sauce
  • 1 Can Dr. Pepper (WHAT! 😲 I’ll explain later)
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to Taste

Slaw

  • 1 small head of green cabbage
  • 1 small head of red cabbage
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Mayo (the real stuff not that Miracle whip crap!)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar ( I use apple cider, but what you have on hand will work)
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Bunch of Cilantro, roughly chopped

*A couple of notes*

  • Adobo sauce is spicy, like spicy-spicy 🌶 use it sparingly if you don’t like spice, but the flavor is Ah-mazing
  • The Dr. Pepper is obviously NOT healthy, but the acid helps tenderize the meat and adds a sweet kick to the spicy adobo (I mentioned adobo is spicy right?!?)
  • For the Slaw dressing, I like more cabbage than dressing.  My veggies don’t need to swim.  If you like a bit more dressing on yours just make a bigger batch, it keeps well in a mason jar in the fridge if you have extra.

Instructions:

Pork:

  1. Place the chopped onion in the bottom of your crockpot, set the pork shoulder on top
  1. Pour the crushed tomatoes over the meat, folowed by the chopped chipotle and adobo sauce
  2. Pour the Dr. Pepper over everything and season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
  3. Drop the bay leaves on either side of the meat and cover tightly.
  4. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.  If you can go low-and-slow with this the flavors are so much better!!
  5. Remove the pork and shred it.
  6. Skim the fat from the juice left over in the crockpot and use as-is, or you can add it to a sauce pan and let it reduce some while you are shredding the meat.  Put everything back in the crockpot and keep warm until time to serve.

Slaw:

  1. Finely slice the cabbage, I mean shave it.  The thinner the better.  Dump it into a large bowl
  1. In a separate bowl mix the milk, mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and cayenne together
  2. Pour the mix over the cabbage and add half the cilantro.  Toss well.
  3. Garnish with the rest of the cilantro, cover and place in the fridge.  These flavors also get better with time, so you could make this the night before.

Assembly:

We use Kaiser Rolls or Hoagie Rolls.  They can withstand the meat and sauce.  Hoagies are also good for kids, easier to hold. When I’m reducing my refined carbs, I skip the bun all together and just pile it in a bowl.

Layer the pork and slaw and enjoy!

As you can see this is one of those meals that can be personalized.  Play around with the ingredients to you and your family’s tastes.  Let me know what you come up with below!!

As always, leave your comments and questions below or on Facebook and Instagram

See you on the other side!

Roasted Bell Peppers

So I promised this recipe yesterday, failing to remember the schedule that I keep 🙄!  So here goes, and this is one of those recipes where substitutions are completely acceptable and almost a must!😉 So do what you want with with the ingredient list, add and subtract as your families needs require, also if you make extra filing I’ll give you a couple tips at the end on other ways you can use them!

So here’s what I use in mine:

6-10 Large Bell Peppers – tops removed and finely chopped, seeded

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa

1 – 15oz Can of Rinsed and Drained Black Beans

4 celery Stalks, finely chopped

1 Cup Corn Kernels, can be frozen or canned – I prefer frozen

1/2 Cup chopped Cilantro

1/3 Cup chopped Green Onions

2 cloves Garlic minced

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbsp Sea Salt

2 tsp Black Pepper

Coconut oil for greasing the baking dish

That is where I stop, but you can add some extras!

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/8-1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon juice

2-3 seeded and Chopped Tomatoes 

Also if you would prefer stuffed tomatoes, just switch the Bell Pepper and Tomato quantities. This is how I originally found the recipe from Vegan Celebrity Chef Jason Wrobel.

1. Preheat you oven to 375, I have a gas stove that tends to run hot, if yours runs true crank it to 400!

2. Grease a baking dish (or 2) depending on how many peppers you are filling and stand your de-topped peppers in them.  I like to fit them in tightly, this keeps them from falling over in the oven once they are filled

3. In a large mixing bowl combine all other ingredients and mix well.

4. Stuff those Peppers! Don’t over fill though, the filling just dribbles out of the peppers and burns in the pan.  Don’t worry if you have extra filling, we’ll get to that!😉 

  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top edges of the peppers start to wilt and the top of the filling starts to brown. 

Don’t mind my dirty stove in the background! I’m Human😉

The best thing about this meal is it is completely vegan, but contains a ton of protein with the black beans and quinoa and lots of nutrients with all the vegetables.  This is a great meal for athletes who need to get food in, but don’t want anything heavy sitting in their stomachs while they train.

So now for that left over filling!  Here are a few ways you could use them:

  1. Mix it with rotini noodles, could be served hot or cold
  2. Top some salad greens
  3. Mix it with a couple tablespoons of your favorite salsa and use it as a dip for corn chips
  4. Just eat it as is, hot or cold! Always an “in a hurry” option.

Chicken soup (The Easy Way!)

I love Chicken soup especially this time of year.  It’s great to have around for the inevitable sicknesses that come with having young kids in school and everyone being trapped inside with little to no natural light most of the day.

I also LOVE making stock fresh at home and I have found a couple ways to make it easier.  Homemade bone broth and stock is one of the healthiest things you can get into your body, but it can take time to make so I always try to have some on had in the deep freeze.  I will link to one of my favorite bone broth recipes below.

On to easy home made chicken soup!

I start with home made broth and a store bought rotisserie chicken (that’s right, I cheat!) Having a whole chicken already cooked to perfection halps the process some much especially on those busy nights.  Now the trick is sourcing your chicken well.  I go to our local health food grocer, where I do spend a little more, but the chickens haven’t been pumped full of crap I don’t want, and they have a full deli and rotisserie where the cooking is done for me!  Having the chicken without a bunch of chemicals in it allows me to use the bones to make my next pot of stock.  It’s a beautiful cycle!

The nice thing about soups is you can ad lib at will.  Add what you do like and leave out what you don’t!

Here’s mine! 

 6-8 Cups Homemade Chicken stock

1 whole chicken cooked, meat removed and chopped or shredded

4-6 whole carrots scrubbed well, peeled, chopped

4-6 stocks of celery, washed, trimmed, chopped

1 medium onion – peeled, chopped

1 leek – sliced into rings, green and white parts, then washed thoroughly

3-4 cloves garlic – minced

1 Tbsp dried Parsley

1 Tbsp dried Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

***Remember to save the bones, fat and skin from your chicken and the discards from your produce to make stock*** 

 Here’s the really hard part….

Throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower temp and let simmer until the carrots are tender!
From here there are many options:

Prepare noodles to pour the soup over

Add ginger to add a little spice and a health boost

Chipotle spice is a great addition

Wilt Spinach or Kale to give it an additional greens boost 

I love The Paleo Mom – Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD – she has done some much research on eating healthy and how and WHY our bodies need certain foods and the best ways to get them.  Here is her Chicken bone broth recipe.  Remember to add your produce wastes to this to get more bang for your buck from higher priced but better grown, non-GMO, non-round-up ready food!

Spinach Veggie Wraps

1 1/2C Brown Rice – cooked

3 Tbsp – Ranch dressing (My Dairy Free Recipe Here)

3 Tbsp Hummus

2 Tortillas (I use Gluten Free Tortillas OR use dinosaur kale!)

1/2C Baby Spinach – Cleaned and stemmed

1/2C Carrots – shredded – I use my peeler

1/2C Cucumber – seeded & cut into sticks

1 Green Onion – chopped Read the rest of this entry