Stuffing Peppers: Highly recommended


I have been meaning to try making stuffed peppers for a while now and it wasn’t until I saw a post in our free Metro newspaper that I decided to give it a go.  Instead of using the recipe in the paper that called for beef, I did a search online for stuffed pepper recipes that used ground chicken since that’s what I had on hand.  I found a recipe here at SOS Cuisine but I altered it a bit to make it suitable for two peppers instead of four.

Click here for the altered recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

 

They turned out pretty darn good!
I’ve been looking for recipes that are low in carbs and this recipe delivered.  Mainly vegetables and meat with just a bit of rice thrown in there.

I only had two peppers on hand so I cut the recipe in two.
IMG_2735

*************
The one problem I had was that my chicken was past the “best before” date and I wondered if I should be cooking it or not.  It smelled fine and looked fine so I went ahead.  And here I am, healthy and feeling good, so I think it was the right decision!

I am generally not all that overly concerned about the best before dates on food products. I do heed them to a certain extent and consider something more carefully if the date has passed, but more often than not I have found that those dates are more a caution than a black and white rule.

**************

Sadly, my four peppers didn’t fit into the same dish so I had to use a second one.

IMG_2736

My peppers took about 40 minutes to cook thoroughly, keep an eye on them and add 5 minute increments if you don’t feel as though they have finished in the time mentioned in the recipe.

The peppers were simple to make, delicious and filling!

IMG_2737

And, in addition to that, I reheated one for lunch today and ….yep, still yummy!  So make a couple extra halves and keep them for future meals!

Stuffed Peppers

IMG_2738

  • 3 tbsp long grain rice
  • 2 peppers of any colour
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1-1.5 tsp olive oil
  • 300g ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • pinch of garlic powder (or fresh garlic, which I didn’t have at the time)
  • parmesan cheese

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.
  2. Cook rice
  3. While rice is cooking, cut the peppers in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds; finely chop the onion; cut the celery into small pieces.
  4. Heat half of the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly coloured and soft, paying attention not to let it burn.
  5. Add the celery and sauté 2 more min, then remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
  6. Add the remaining butter and oil to the skillet, then add the ground chicken meat. Cook until the meat looses its red colour. When the meat is golden-coloured, put the cooked onion and celery back into the pan. Pour in the broth, then add the paprika and cayenne. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the cooked rice and mix well.
  8. Fill the pepper halves with the meat-rice mixture, dividing and slightly mounding it equally among the halves. Arrange the stuffed peppers in a baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the stuffed peppers. Put in an oven safe dish and add a bit of water (1/4-1/2 cup depending on the dish) to maintain the moisture.
  9. Bake the peppers, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until the tops are browned, about 35 min.
  10. Serve

Remarks from the website:

  1. The peppers may be stuffed 1 day ahead, then covered and chilled in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, sprinkle them with the cheese, pour water in the dish, then bake.
  2. The prepared, stuffed peppers may also be baked ahead of time, then warmed up 15 min in the oven at 120°C/250°F before serving.

Struggling with Breakfast


I have always had to struggle with eating in the morning.

I recognize that it’s healthy and that we shouldn’t skip breakfast but here’s what I find difficult:

a) how to find time when you’re running out the door
b) what to make that is a healthy choice
c) how to not eat said healthy breakfast *every.single.day*
d) make a breakfast that fills you up but doesn’t sit like a rock in your stomach all morning, especially when you’re having a particularly early start

My typical breakfast? A smoothie typically made with banana, some type of frozen fruit/berries, almond milk, hemp seeds/wheat germ/whey/bee pollen/etc (sometimes a number of these, sometimes one).  At times I add spinach or a dollop of peanut butter.

Typical morning smoothie in process

Typical morning smoothie in process

But effectively, the smoothie is the same every day…see difficulty ( C ) above.  Boring!

(Also can I add COLD!  On a cold winter’s morning, do I really want to be sipping at a frozen beverage? Not so much :P)

I love my smoothies, but I eventually lose interest and either then skip breakfast because “Meh” or end up eat something that doesn’t really fall into the healthy category.

So, my point? Breakfast needs an overhaul, a new perspective and a new approach.

This article: 31 Delicious Low-Carb Breakfasts For A Healthy New Year has some brilliant ideas and is what kickstarted this train of thought.

Many of the options on this website call for actually cooking ingredients, which I admit does not happen on a regular basis.

Somehow the idea of cooking breakfast equals weekend mornings, when you are relaxing after a long week and have time to cook a luxurious breakfast.  Perhaps this is a perspective that needs to change.

I have more investigating and reading to do, so for now I’ll ask, what do YOU do for breakfast?

Fast, healthy, yummy…all in one.  Possible?  Would love some suggestions!

Mmmm, breakfast smoothie!

Mmmm, breakfast smoothie!


Curried Apple Parsnip Soup


Sweet creamy and yet tart…delicious soup!

Sweet creamy and yet tart…delicious soup!

Apple Parsnip Curry Soup

A few days ago, while reading the newspaper, I came across a recipe for curried apple parsnip soup.  Initially I wrinkled my nose and turned the page.

Granny Smith apples and parsnips? Um…yeah, no.

But as I flipped through the rest of the paper, skimming over stories of our mayor and his drug usage….oh pardon me, alleged drug usage….a part of my mind continued to consider that soup and how it would taste.

I’m a person who tends to like a lot of the vegetables that others hate with a passion…brussel sprouts, rutabaga, parsnips.
(You want me to turn up my nose? Throw in some olives.  Bleh.) So, Granny Smith apples…love ‘em.  With dip, with cheese, in a salad, on their own.  Parsnips…again with the enjoyment. They have a strong autumn-y earthy flavour.  They are root vegetables and you know it when you eat them! In stews, soups, yep, I like them too.

Add the curry, the cider and the cream….

The more I thought about it, the more curious I was to attempt this sweet earthy soup. Before getting off the subway, I did the rip-and-tear, pocketing the recipe while others looked over curiously to see what part of the paper had caught my eye.  Recipes usually get a quick blink of acknowledgement and then the masses go back to ignoring you.  It’s when you’re saving the odd articles that people give you a second look.

So last night, I attempted the soup and I’m glad I did!  My only regret is that it only made a small pot.  Our leftover soup was minimal, equivalent to one bowl so we’re going to have to rock-paper-scissors over it or something.

It is an amazing soup!
The sweetness/tartness of the apples remains, but yet the actual apple flavour is minimal.  The parsnips ground the flavours making it robust and filling.

Definitely a perfect soup for a cool crisp autumn evening!

Apple Parsnip Curry Soup

  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter
  • 1 large cooking onion, peeled and diced
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) curry powder (I used more like 15ml)
  • 4 parsnips, trimmed and cut into 1-cm (1/2-inch) pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 l (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) cider (approx)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) 18% cream
  • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  1. In stock pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Add curry, parsnips, carrot and apples and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add stock. Bring to a simmer and cook at a low simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables and apples are tender.
  3. Purée soup. I used a hand blender and pureed until almost completely smooth.
  4. Add cider and milk or cream. If soup is too thick, add more cider, 125 ml (1/2 cup) at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with pepper and salt.
  5. Consider adding some cheese on top before serving if you wish.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 648 other followers

%d bloggers like this: