Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Here is the recipe that I mentioned yesterday: Spicy Stuffed Peppers!

Paleo Gluten-Free Stuffed Bell Peppers

I wanted something inexpensive, simple, and tasty that could be a one-dish oven meal and these peppers did not disappoint. The subtle kick from a sriracha-laced glaze and crushed red pepper-spiked filling gave these peppers a dose of flavor. Shredded raw cauliflower takes the place of rice and cheese, while sneaking in extra nutrients. Nobody would ever guess that cauliflower is inside!

RECIPE

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

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and paleo-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers (any color, I used half green and half red)
  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (I like Muir Glen)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, shredded (see note below)
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce*

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut tops off bell peppers, discarding membranes and seeds. Place peppers cut-side up in a 11″ x 7″ baking dish. Save tops for another use.
  3. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onions over medium heat until meat is cooked throughout and no longer pink, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes through shredded cauliflower, stirring until combined and most of liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Turn off heat.
  4. Fill prepared peppers with ground beef mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, sriracha, and worcestershire. Spread tomato sauce mixture over the tops of the peppers, completely covering the beef filling.
  6. Bake uncovered, in a 350 degree oven, for 1 hour.

Serves 6.

Notes:

*Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is gluten-free and was reformulated a few years ago to also be soy-free, but check label if soy is a concern to you, or simply omit.

I use 93% lean ground beef so there is little fat leftover in the skillet. If you find that you have a lot of grease after browning, feel free to drain it before adding the garlic and other ingredients.

How to Shred Cauliflower: Wash and cut cauliflower into small chunks. Attach the shredding disc and stem to your food processor. Drop cauliflower chunks into food processor shoot, pressing down with the tamper. Alternatively, you could also use a cheese grater held over a large bowl. I prefer the food processor because it shreds in perfect small pieces quick and easy. You want the cauliflower to look something like this.

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

Gluten-Free Peppers

Step 3: Fill Prepared Peppers with Beef Mixture

Healthy Stuffed Bell Peppers

Step 4: Top with Sriracha-Tomato Sauce

My beautiful friend Dana inspired this recipe, when she recently mentioned that she wanted to make stuffed peppers. Her family has gluten, soy, and dairy restrictions, which is why I wanted to make something that fit that profile. Coupling that with recent concerns of arsenic in rice products, some are also limiting their consumption of rice, while others omit it for the Paleo diet. I decided that cauliflower was a good, healthy substitute to alleviate concerns from all of the above.

Advertisements
Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday in the Kitchen

Today was our town’s big 10k. I’ve run this race every year since I’ve been a runner (3 years) and this was the first year that I had to gracefully bow out. I’m still struggling with running injury-free, and while things are definitely a lot better than they were a year ago, I have to practice patience and learn not to push myself. I could have run, but I didn’t want to end up not being able to run the rest of fall, and then I’d miss out on all these windy, chilly, fabulous fall days.

Instead, today I stayed in and spent most of the day in the kitchen.

Mr. Nine took care of breakfast, delivering a warm heaping plate of scrambled eggs, toasted Ezekiel bread, bacon (!), apple-maple chicken sausage, and coffee to my warm place on the couch. I love having breakfast underneath a big blanket sitting in our living room. It is the only meal I’ll eat away from the table. For some reason eating lunch and dinner on the couch is a big no-no to me, but breakfast is okay. Probably because I am too lazy to move to the dining room that early in the morning.

After breakfast we walked down to the 10k race with cow bell in hand to cheer on some of our friends. Seeing those lead runners trailing the pace car was amazing!

Seeing the race actually made me relieved that I wasn’t running. I could just walk back home, not worry about splits, and instead spend the day at home being domestic. Hey, I did run a 5k yesterday so I’m not being totally lazy. 🙂

I started off by baking up a batch of Gluten-Free Banana Blueberry Muffins.

Gluten-Free Banana Blueberry Muffins in Pan

Gluten-Free Banana Blueberry Muffins Close-Up

These were good, although a little eggy, but since they lacked sweetener they were very mild. I secretly wanted to sprinkle on a bit of Truvia to make it a little sweet. 🙂

Next up was a throw-it-together pasta.

Gluten-Free Pasta Toss

I didn’t follow a recipe, but here is what I did:

  • Cooked a box of Ancient Grains Quinoa Pasta (Rotelle).
  • Removed the casings from a package of  Smart Chicken Sweet Italian Sausage, crumbled and browned.
  • Removed the cooked chicken and set aside, and in the same pan, cooked up a container of mushrooms.
  • Stirred in a few handfuls of fresh spinach until wilted.
  • Added a handful of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, sliced in half.
  • Seasoned with some spices (crushed red pepper, oregano, salt)
  • Added the chicken back to the pan.
  • Added the cooked, drained pasta to pan.
  • Poured in 1/4 jar of Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce.

That’s it! Super easy, yet healthy and tasty. This batch will last us for a few work lunches this week.

Next up were the Paleo Pumpkin Bars.

Paleo Pumpkin Bars

Paleo Pumpkin Bars Detail View

This is the second time I’ve made these in a week, they are so good! A note on these: I found that these need to be cooked approximately twice as long as the recipe states. I bake mine for 45 minutes, which could be that I use canned pumpkin. These definitely have a coconut flavor from both the coconut flour and oil, but I really like that.

I also experimented with dinner and made stuffed bell peppers with cauliflower “rice”. We really liked them, and I wrote down the recipe because I am planning on keeping this one around. I’ll post the recipe for that tomorrow.

No workouts today, but a lot of running… the dishwasher. 😉 We did have a last-minute trip to visit family due to an unexpected circumstance, so our day was full as it was. Dinner for tomorrow is already planned out, so I should have time to get a workout in after work.

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homemade Pumpkin Cream Cheese

The last few days have been a tease with temps in the upper 70’s with abundant sunshine, a rare treat for an Upper Midwest late October. All good things come to an end, and this morning I woke up to a damp and chilly house, with outside temperatures back in the 30’s.

After pulling on a fleece and filling my mug with hot coffee, I toasted a bagel for breakfast. We were in Madison last weekend and rode our bikes to Bagels Forever and purchased a half-dozen. I don’t eat bagels often because I try to limit that sort of thing, but when I do, they have to be Bagels Forever!  These are the best bagels, with a nice chewy texture. At 240 calories they are not horrible, and the ingredient list is simple.

I usually top my bagels with almond butter, but when I opened the fridge, I spotted a tub of 1/3 less fat cream cheese sitting right next to a container of leftover pumpkin puree. Coincidence? I think not!

On a chilly fall morning, what would be better than a creamy pumpkin topping on a warm toasted bagel? I grabbed a few ingredients and mixed them together and was pleased with the outcome.

Homemade Pumpkin Cream Cheese

RECIPE

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

Simple Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

DIY pumpkin cream cheese made with pantry staples. Recipe yields just enough for topping two bagels.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Stir together all of the ingredients until blended and light and fluffy.

Serves 1-2.

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

The pumpkin really changes the texture of the normally firm cream cheese, making it soft and dreamy.

After breakfast, I wanted to get in a quick trip to the market for groceries. I got in my car and pulled out of the driveway, only to turn around a block later when I realized that I was driving on the rim. Flat tire. Mr. Nine got out the air compressor and inflated it enough to be able to drive a mile to the tire shop. To patch a flat is $15.50, however my tire was deemed unrepairable, costing a cool $135.

I was walking around the house feeling a little bummed, when a friend stopped by and dropped off a package.

Fingerless Mitts Wrapped Up

About a month ago, I had given her a bag of yarn and knitting needles that I wasn’t going to use. While I admire those who knit and think it is a charming, splendid hobby, I could just never get into it and only produced in a few scarves. I knew that she knitted and is a creative soul, so I figured that maybe she could get some use out of it.

When I opened up the package that she brought over, I saw that it was a pair of fingerless mitts that she created with some of the yarn! 🙂

Fingerless Mitts Top

Aren’t they beautiful?

Fingerless Mitts Bottom

This kind gesture definitely turned my day around, making the flat tire seem not as bad. She had no idea that I was having tire issues or feeling bummed, but her timing was just right.  We don’t always realize it, but kind acts like this go far in bringing a smile to others, often when they need it most.

Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.