stuffed peppers

Peppers and Puppy Dog Tails

I’m so glad this recipe turned out. I’d had a rough week and was feeling rather “fragile” when I was making this dinner and had it ended up in the garbage I feel like there would have been tears, just one more thing to go wrong. To be perfectly honest, these most recent weeks at work have been a challenge. There hasn’t been a single day where I wasn’t tempted to just walk out; but I am responsible and no matter how bad it gets I won’t leave until I find something else. I am aggressively looking and applying to other things. It’s time for a change.

But back to dinner. Thank the Goddess this dinner was delicious.

Turkey and Feta Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Category: calories, Dinner, food, Food update, Low Calorie Recipes, Pixie Project, Portland, recipes, sunny day, vodka, volunteering, walking, waterfront, Weekend Update

Servings: 4 servings

From: http://www.eatliverun.com/turkey-and-feta-stuffed-peppers/

Ingredients

  • 4 large green bell peppers, tops sliced off and seeds removed
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, small diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, small diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet on the stove. Once hot, add the onion and celery, and saute for 5 minutes until soft. Add the minced garlic and continue sauteing for another minute.
  3. Turn the heat to high. Add the tomato paste to the skillet and mash the onions, celery and garlic together with the paste. Cook for three minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Add the ground turkey and brown with the veggies. This should take about six minutes.
  5. Then, add the diced tomatoes, salt, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until sauce reduces and isn’t as runny. Remove pan from heat and stir in the feta cheese.
  6. Place the green bell peppers on a tin foil-lined sheet tray. Fill each pepper with turkey and feta mixture. Once all peppers have been filled, cover peppers with a large piece of tin foil and seal.
  7. Bake peppers for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Turkey and Feta Stuffed Peppers

Serves 1 pepper

Amount Per Serving
Calories About 639
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=37551

You know what else helped my mood? The “skinny” Pina Colada I made for myself while it was cooking! For around 150 calories, I was able to enjoy a pina colada that was truly awesome and hit the spot. I suppose I was craving some island beverage; sadly, I didn’t have any umbrellas to put in my drink.

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It’s hard to screw up stuffed peppers. I’ve tried about half a dozen different kinds of stuffed pepper recipes (Stuffed PeppersSouthwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash) and they were all good in their own way. My absolute favorite was definitely the Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash I made. Not exactly a stuffed pepper but stuffed nonetheless. I LOVED the flavors of the wild rice and the crunch of the nuts.

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And this is the part of the post where I tell you how I changed the recipe. 🙂 First, I used red and yellow peppers because they are my favorites. Second, I added some of the Costco Organic Non-Salt Seasoning, dried rosemary and extra red pepper flakes. I’m glad I did, it turned out great! It smelled so good while it was simmering on the stove. Michael commented that we just eat that instead of stuffing the peppers with it. But no, we were having peppers. I love peppers.

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I used my cupcake tin to cook the peppers in because they kept trying to fall over in all my other dishes. It worked great!

I baked the peppers at 350 for about 20 minutes or so. I could have left them in another 10 minutes I think because my pepper was still a bit “crunchy.” But it wasn’t bad. I loved this recipe. It was so tasty and it felt healthy, not like a gut bomb of food.

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The verdict from Michael was that it was a winner. We’ll definitely be eating this again in the near future. I loved the flavors–there was a sweetness to it, that I suppose is from the tomatoes and tomato paste, and there was also a nice bite of spice. I added more red pepper flakes than the recipe called for and I was glad I did. It balanced out the sweetness nicely. And of course, the cheese was perfect. 🙂

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One thing I did notice was that the stuffing part was a tad runny. I had cooked it in the skillet for the required time to reduce the liquid but there was still a lot left. I’m not sure if maybe I needed to add more paste or what. The next day I ate the leftover stuffing mixture for lunch after the gym. It was even better the next day. I measured out a serving of whole wheat pasta and added the turkey mixture then topped it with some feta.

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After lunch, Michael and I went to the Pixie Project for an afternoon of dog walking. It was such a gorgeous day. I’d been expecting rain but it was sunny and warm. The skies were perfectly blue and everything was in bloom. It would be impossible to be in a bad mood with weather like this.

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The first dog we took out was Dublin. He was a high energy dog. Michael walked him because I think Dublin would have been dragging me down the street.

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He was a while and yellow colored dog, maybe some kind of lab pit bull mix? He had a little pit bull in his face and he was STRONG. He was also a jumper and a runner. Hahaha! Look at how excited Dublin is!

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We took him around the Convention Center and let him run around in the grassy area but then he seemed to have some tummy troubles so we took him back to the shelter. I guess they got him recently, so there probably isn’t a profile for Dublin yet on their website. But most of the dogs I post pictures of are waiting for adoption–if anyone in the Portland area is interested.

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The next dog we took out was Jasmine. She was a cocker spaniel mix of some sort. She was such a sweetheart! She knew “sit” but would only sit when Michael told her to. And of course she’d get a treat if she sat. She was really well-behaved (especially compared to the very active Dublin) but she was also active in her own way. She wanted to be the leader and as volunteer dog walkers we’re not supposed to try and train or “correct behavior” but if it were my dog, I’d probably train it not to pull the leash.

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Jasmine was really sweet and super soft. She also loved her reflection in windows. She would stop and stare at herself, I suppose wondering who the other dog was. Too funny.

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Jasmine and I had a grand old time walking in the sunshine. As always, I was kinda sad to drop the dogs back off at the shelter and go. If I could I’d probably spend all day there playing with puppies. I mean how awesome does that sounds? Also, The Pixie Project has cats, too. As we were leaving I gazed into the window at all the sleepy kitties sunny themselves in the window. Adorable. When I got home, Fat Kitty was sniffing all over me. Yep, that’s dog you smell baby! Sorry…. 🙂

QUESTION: What’s your favorite “stuffed” recipe?

Stuffed Pepper Delight

One night after work I headed to the gym to do a sort-of quick run on the treadmill (I am so ready for nicer weather so I can run outside again) and a really good strength training session. It was a nice day, cooler than the summer-streak we’d been having, but sunny and clear. I was almost tempted to go home and just run outside and skip the gym. Biking to work a few times already this month has reminded me just how much I prefer outdoor activities. That being said, I am still focused on the strength training and not ready to sideline that for the summer yet.

My run was pretty good. My body felt nice, I stayed at a steady pace the entire time and did 3 miles. I’ve decided that I won’t be doing any MORE miles on the treadmill. Anything above the 3 will have to be outside. I mean really, who wants to do 4 or 5 miles on a treadmill? Unless it’s the dead of winter, not me!

I spent a decent amount of time doing the body weight exercises I like to do (side lunges, walking lunges, squats, step ups, pushups, Russian twists, to just name a few) and then went over to the machines to do that for the rest of the session. I felt strong and stable and had to increase the weight on one machine. Oh, and doing bicep curls I’m now up to 45 pounds!

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:22
Calories Burned: 655
Distance: 3 miles 

I hurried home because I was starving and Michael was making something really tasty for dinner. The day before I had picked up a few good-looking peppers with the idea of grilling them. I then got the idea in my head that I really wanted stuffed peppers. I sent Michael a few recipes I thought sounded good and he picked one to try. I was really grateful that he put in so much time and work to make something I was craving. Here is that recipe:

Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Category: broccoli, calories, cardio, Dinner, fitness, food, Food update, Free Weights, Low Calorie Recipes, recipes, running, treadmill, weight training

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 medium green bell peppers
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Cut tops off peppers and discard; remove seeds.
  2. Blanch peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine beef, 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, rice, 2 tablespoons of cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and egg; mix well.
  4. Stuff the peppers; place in an ungreased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish.
  5. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over peppers.
  6. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and peppers are tender.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Notes

From: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/stuffed-peppers-for-two/detail.aspx

Nutrition Facts

Stuffed Peppers

Serves 1 pepper each

Amount Per Serving
Calories 406
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=31366

Unfortunately, I wasn’t at home for most the dinner creation so I’m not sure how closely he followed the recipe. He said he kind of “winged it” off the above recipe. He did leave out the egg and used leftover pizza sauce from a can instead of the tomato sauce (which is basically the same thing just with Italian seasoning I think). He also used lean ground turkey meat instead of beef and added chopped green onions. I think he also said he used regular white rice, not instant, and cooked it ahead of time.

Dinner was fantastic! I devoured mine because it tasted so damn good. I wasn’t sure if one stuffed pepper would be enough after a hard gym session so I added some raw broccoli to my plate. I used some Roka Blue cheese dressing as a dip. The combination turned out to be the perfect amount of food for me.

The stuffed peppers were a bit messy to eat, but worth the mess. I ate mine by cutting sections of the pepper off and eating bites of pepper with the stuffing mixture. Michael used his pepper as a bowl and just ate the stuffing mixture. 😉 To each it’s own. I ended up nibbling on some of his leftover pepper.

It was filling and it felt really healthy. I calculated the calories according to the recipe, minus the egg, and it actually wasn’t that bad. Of course factor in more calories for extra cheese topping!

I would most definitely have this recipe again. I’d probably try it with the egg included next time. I think perhaps the egg was kind of the “glue” to hold everything together inside the pepper. My friend Star introduced me to stuffed peppers about 4 years ago and I fell in love with the concept then. Hers were stuffed with brown rice or quinoa, lots of veggies and sauce. They were so damn good, I need to ask her what she did to them. I’m already getting more ideas on what I can stuff peppers with for next time!

QUESTION: What do you stuff your peppers with? And how do you eat stuffed peppers?