Tag Archives: bell pepper

Easy Stuffed Peppers

 

Do you love meals that don’t take much work?  Do you want to eat healthier?  Do you want healthy meal ideas that don’t take much work?  You’ve come to the right place!

This is a super simple meal I had at work during my “track every thing I eat week“.  It took less than 10 minutes in the morning to put together, then I just let it cook in our small toaster oven at work for an hour.  By lunchtime it was hot and ready to go!  With no preservative, added fats or sugars, and all fresh produce from my or my neighbor’s garden, it doesn’t get much better.

You can of course use whatever produce you have available to you.  Other pepper colors can be sweeter (for example, red bell peppers) and you can stuff just about any vegetable in there.  You can also use other grains if you don’t like couscous, for example rice, barley, quinoa, or wheat germ.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small bell peppers
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 small eggplant
  • 6 tbsp couscous
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 tbsp hot water

Stuffed Bell Peppers Assembled

Step 1: Cut the tops off the peppers and pull out the seeds. Cut in half and lay in an oven-safe container.  Chop the eggplant and garlic, and cut the tomato into quarters.

Stuffed Bell Peppers With Couscous and Tomato

Step 2: Pour 1 1/2 tbsp couscous into the pepper, mix with chopped garlic, and top with eggplant pieces. Add 2 tbsp hot water to each half to get the couscous soaking. If you want to add some ground turkey, go for it. Cover with the tomato slices.

Baked Stuffed Bell Peppers With Couscous and Tomato

Step 3: In an oven or toaster oven, cook on high (350) for about 1 hour.  Add more water to each pepper half as needed.

This is a lovely, hands-off meal, just assemble and let it go.  It is light and healthy but packed with flavor.

Bean & Couscous Stuffed Peppers

 

So you might know I’ve been on a bit of a bean kick lately. I love how affordable (read: cheap!) dried beans are and so I’ve been trying to incorporate them more into my daily cooking.

I’ve already found that I can indeed can my own beans. For mere cents per jar this is a great savings over buying them at the store for 60-90 cents per can.

I had already made Red Beans & Rice, and I totally love beef & rice stuffed peppers, and couscous stuffed peppers. I figured beans are a natural option for stuffing, since they are high in fiber and protein, and are good at binding together other ingredients. This is another recipe that turned out accidentally vegan. I’m on a roll and I like it!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 bell peppers any color
  • 1 cup cooked couscous
  • 2/3 cup cooked beans, mashed
  • 1 can tomato sauce, or 1/2 cup pizza/pasta sauce
  • Handful torn kale
  • Garlic salt or other seasonings to taste

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Step 1: If you haven’t already, cook the couscous by covering with boiling water, then waiting 5-10 minutes to absorb. Fluff with a fork. I cooked the beans overnight in a crock pot, then mashed them.

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Step 2: Cut the tops off the peppers and discard seeds. In a bowl, mix the couscous, beans, sauce, seasonings, and kale. Stuff 1/3 of the mixture into each pepper. If you reserve a little sauce you can pour that on top.

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Step 3: Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until the outside of the peppers becomes soft to the touch and easily pierced with a fork.

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These are amazing hot out of the oven or reheated the next day. Recipe can easily be doubled for a big family or to make meals for the whole week.

 

 

Bean & Couscous Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 3 stuffed peppers

1 pepper

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers any color
  • 1 cup cooked couscous
  • 2/3 cup cooked beans, mashed
  • 1 can tomato sauce, or 1/2 cup pizza/pasta sauce
  • Handful torn kale
  • Garlic salt or other seasonings to taste

Instructions

  1. If you haven't already, cook the couscous by covering with boiling water, then waiting 5-10 minutes to absorb. Fluff with a fork. I cooked the beans overnight in a crock pot, then mashed them.
  2. Cut the tops off the peppers and discard seeds. In a bowl, mix the couscous, beans, sauce, seasonings, and kale. Stuff 1/3 of the mixture into each pepper. If you reserve a little sauce you can pour that on top.
  3. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until the outside of the peppers becomes soft to the touch and easily pierced with a fork.
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http://www.budgetepicurean.com/vegan/bean-couscous-stuffed-peppers/

Stuffed eggplant

So I’ve been reading lately about how healthy eggplant is for you. Then it went on sale at my favorite produce store, so I had to buy one. The only question was what to do with it. I had tried eggplant before and wasn’t particularly fond of it diced up in casserole-type dishes. So I decided to stuff it, because what isn’t made better by a meat mush and cheese baked inside?
 
Ingredients:
1 eggplant
olive oil
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
Italian seasonings
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
 

Step 1: Brown the ground turkey over medium heat and drain.

 Step 2: Dice the veggies and core the eggplant. Cook the veggies in the same pan as the turkey until tender, ~5 minutes.

 Step 3: Mix the cooked veggies, egg, turkey, and bread crumbs.

 Step 4: Divide the mix between the eggplant halves and stuff. Sprinkle italian seasonings over top and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, until nicely browned and eggplant is soft when poked with a fork.

 Also, to make it vegetarian you can just omit the ground turkey.

YUM!

Feta and Red Pepper hummus

 

As a spread, appetizer or snack, hummus is filling, satisfying and nutritious. You can eat it with fresh veggies or crackers, or spread it on a sandwich, wrap, burger, gyro and more. I love hummus, and had some chickpeas left over from an earlier curry recipe, so I decided to make a snack.

Most hummus recipes call for tahini, of which I had none, so I created my own recipe. I love garlic hummus, and red pepper hummus, and feta cheese hummus. So I figured, why not combine it all!? Turns out that was an excellent idea, and I hope you think so too.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup garbanzo beans/chickpeas
2 tbsp feta (~1 oz)
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, diced
2 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seed
Dash salt & pepper

Step 1: Blend the first 4 ingredients in the blender, scraping sides with a spoon. Add water until desired thickness.

Step 2: Add all spices, mix well and pour onto serving dish.

Step 3: It’s that easy, now enjoy! I cut up a carrot, a celery stick, a roma tomato and had some wheat thin crackers. Delicious!

Amount Per Serving (1/4 cup)
  Calories 215.4
  Total Fat 15.9 g
  Saturated Fat 3.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 10.5 g
  Cholesterol 6.3 mg
  Sodium 298.6 mg
  Potassium 140.7 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 14.9 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
  Sugars 0.2 g
  Protein 4.2 g

Easy side dish: Oven-Roasted Vegetables

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This is seriously one of the best side dishes ever! You can use literally any vegetable you have on hand, it takes only a few minutes, and it is super healthy AND tasty. I could eat oven-roasted veggies with every meal and not get tired of it.
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Ingredients:
1 baking potato, diced
1/2 onion, cut into strips
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 yellow squash, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
Nature’s Seasoning
Garlic salt
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Step 1: Dice up your veggies. This is the only work you have to do.
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Step 2: Coat your veggies in olive oil, put into an oven-safe pan.
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Step 3: Sprinkle with seasonings. Bake at 350 for ~20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
You could use any kind of potato here, add broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, parsnips, bok choi, kale, mushrooms, eggplant, the list goes on and on. Enjoy!

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Crock Pot salsa chicken tacos

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I have heard so many recipes raving about how easy and delicious Crock Pot salsa chicken is, it is on nearly every Crock Pot recipe list I’ve seen. So one day before leaving for school, I decided on a whim to try it. Turns out, all these people know what they’re talking about! It was amazing by itself over rice, and it is even better shredded on a taco!
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Ingredients:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups salsa
1 flour tortilla
2 tbsp refried beans
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cup diced bell peppers
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp sour cream
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Step 1: Put the chicken and the salsa in the crock pot. Cook on low at least 6 up to 10 hours. The chicken will be slightly browned, lightly salsa flavored, and fall-apart tender. It tastes amazing on its own, serve with a vegetable and a starch side dish.

Step 2: Put a tiny amount of olive oil or stock in a frying pan, and fry the onion and pepper until soft. Add the taco seasonings, cover and cook another 2 minutes.

Step 3: Smear refried beans on half the tortilla, heat in microwave 20 minutes. Add cheese so it melts, and about 3-4 oz of the chicken. Then pile on the veggies and smear the sour cream on the other half. Pour salsa on top, roll up and enjoy!

This is super filling, and all the flavors combine into a taste bud party in your mouth! Makes enough for several meals, probably 10 tacos depending on how much you stuff them. The meat could also be used for quesadillas or tamales.

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Salsa & egg breakfast burrito

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This is something I came up with when I realized I woke up 20 minutes earlier than I needed to for class. Since I had time to actually cook something, I decided on eggs. I looked in the fridge, and as I had been preparing for tacos this week, I had tortillas and salsa and a bag full of cut up bell peppers.
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So I figured why wait for these awesome Mexican-inspired flavors! I could make a protein and veggie packed breakfast that could even be portable.
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Ingredients:
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1 diced green onion
3-4 tbsp salsa
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 flour tortilla (10″)
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Step 1: Fry the peppers and onion in a skillet with a tiny bit of oil if needed.

Step 2: Whip the eggs in a small bowl or cup. You can add a splash of milk for a fluffier texture. Add to the pan and cook slowly over medium heat. Use a wooden or plastic spoon to continually push the egg around until it is all cooked through.

Step 3: Heat a tortilla in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Add egg and veggie mixture, then a handful of shredded cheese to melt on top. Top with as much salsa as you prefer.

Step 4: Roll up and enjoy!

As always, the add-ins are optional, put whatever veggies you like in it. You could even add beans, potato, sausage, bacon or tofu if you have a big appetite in the morning. You could wrap these in plastic or aluminum foil and carry them with you for a healthy, filling breakfast on the go. Much better for you waist and wallet than a fast food drive through breakfast burrito!

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Crock Pot Veggie Stew

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I recently moved across America to the great state of Colorado! That explains my lack of posts for a while. However, since my new place has an oven, my repertoire has quadrupled, and thus I intend to make up for it!
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So this post was inspired by a trip to a local farmer’s market. There was so much delicious produce, to be had super cheaply! Then a few days later, I needed to do something with the veggies I hadn’t eaten yet. As many cooks know, fresh is best but it also spoils quickest.
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Another complication I will be dealing with this year is my first year of doctoral classes and research, so I will be gone the majority of the day, 6am – 6pm most days. So you will likely see a lot of make-ahead or Crock Pot meals!
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Ingredients:
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1/3 of a red, orange & yellow bell pepper (or 1 of any color) diced
2 small heads broccoli, cut into small florets
4-5 green onions, diced
3 cups chicken stock or 3 bouillon cubes + water
Turmeric, chipotle chili pepper, paprika, black pepper, garlic, salt
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I don’t add amounts for the spices because it depends on how hot you like it. I found out after the fact that I added a *bit* too much chipotle pepper, because man did this soup clear the sinuses! I need to make it again mid-winter…

Step 1: This is the only work-intensive step. Dice all the veggies and layer in the Crock Pot.

Step 2: Add spices and broth. If you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan, use vegetable broth or plain water instead of the chicken stock.

Step 3: Cook on low at least 4 hours up to 12 hours. The longer it cooks the softer the vegetables will get, but the more flavors will come out and mingle.

You can add really any vegetable you have on hand that you need to use up. If you don’t want to take the time to dice everything, you can buy pre-cut from a salad bar or use frozen vegetables and just throw them in! Couldn’t be easier. Plus it makes quite a bit, so you have several meals for very cheap, and likely enough to freeze for later meals.

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The versatility of stir-fry

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Especially during the summer, when fresh produce is cheap and plentiful, a veggie stir fry is always an awesome option. Cheap, easy, very filling and excellent for you. It is also very versatile, as my many meals from the stir-fry will show!
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Ingredients:
1/2 red, orange, and yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 large radish, diced
2 turnips, diced
1 med carrot, diced
1 can black beans
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup cous cous
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Extras:
Torn romaine lettuce, tomato chunks, sour cream, salsa, diced avocado

Step 1: Saute all the veggies in order of hardness, until all are tender. Add the black beans and heat until warmed through. Season if you want with garlic and other spices.

Meal 1: Add the stir fry and all extras into a flour or corn tortilla, eat as a burrito.

Meal 2: Put the hot stir-fry over some freshly cooked cous cous. You can top with hummus, salsa or a dressing if too dry.

Meal 3: Cover a large plate with torn romaine, add cooked cous cous, and veggies and extras on top, eat as a salad.

These meals were all eaten on different days, because the stir fry makes a ton and keeps well in the fridge. This is easy, cheap and very versatile. Add whatever veggies you like and have on hand. These 3 meal types will work well with any kind of stir fry, so go crazy!

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Chicken Tacos

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So yet again I’m moving soon, and need to clean out my freezer and pantry. I had some chicken quarters I had gotten cheap a while back , and was sick of ground beef tacos. So I decided to make some chicken tacos. It helps that Meijer had a great sale this week, $1 bell peppers and avocados.
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Ingredients:
2 chicken leg quarters
Taco seasoning
Chili powder
1/4 red, orange and yellow bell pepper
1/4 red onion
1 tortilla
1/4 avocado
2 tbsp salsa
1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup black beans

Step 1: Put the chicken in a sprayed crock pot, sprinkle with taco seasoning and chili powder. Add 1/4 cup water to keep moist. Cook on high 4 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.

Step 2: Remove chicken meat from the bones and skin, throw it away. Add more seasoning if you like.

Step 3: Cut the peppers and onion into thin strips. I steamed the peppers for about 10 minutes first.

Step 4: In a tbsp of butter or oil, saute the peppers and onion until soft and translucent. Add some taco seasoning.

Step 5: Warm the beans and tortilla. Layer the chicken, peppers & onion, beans, avocado in chunks, salsa and sour cream.

The combination of flavors is amazing: the creamy avocado, the spiced chicken, the crunchy-soft peppers and sweet onions, tangy salsa, milky sour cream…. just mmmmmmmm! And so much protein and veggie goodness! Obviously you can omit the chicken and just use veggies for vegetarian, and add as much or whatever spices you like.

Jealous? You should be.