Stuffed Peppers — a healthier version!

 Stuffed Peppers – a healthier version

 A healthier version of a classic entree

We enjoy stuffed peppers but we wanted to find a way to make them a little more diet friendly.  I searched a variety of different recipes and added a little of this and removed a little of that and finally came up with one that really works for us.This version uses ground turkey instead of the standard ground beef and white rice has been replaced with the more healthful brown rice.

You can easily make this in large batch quantity and freeze some for later because the ground turkey is cooked prior to stuffing into the peppers so the possibility of spoilage from raw meat has been reduced.

Cook once / eat twice!

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Ingredients

  1. 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 4 bell peppers, any color
  4. 16-20 oz lean ground turkey
  5. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  6. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  8. salt & pepper to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  10. 2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
  11. 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

  1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Brown the ground turkey until even browned.
  3. Drain, if necessary.BB_healthified stuffed peppers
  4. Cut each bell pepper in half.BB_Healthified stuffed peppers.2
  5. Remove all the insides so each half pepper is hollowed out to hold the meat mixture.

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           6. In a bowl, mix the cooked turkey, brown rice, one can of the tomato sauce, the Worcestershire, and all the spices.

   7.    Mix thoroughly then spoon the mixture into each pepper half distributing evenly.

BB_Healthified stuffed peppers.4          8.   Blend one can of the tomato sauce with the brown sugar in a small bowl.

          9.     Spoon the blended sauce over each pepper, evenly dividing, until it is gone.

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10. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Healthified stuffed peppers
Yummy, yummy!

Number of servings (yield): 8

Calories: 180

Fat: 5.6

Protein: 16.2

★★★★★ 1 review(s)

FREEZE ME – Place the desired quantity of peppers into a freezer container, label and enjoy later.  This one freezes and reheats very well.

ECONOMY – You will find this one is already an economical value, but you can hold down the cost by using high quality store labels – and watch for sales!

HEALTHY – I have already geared this toward the health conscious, but you could skip the brown sugar in the sauce topping.  Or as an alternative you could use Splenda Brown Sugar or drizzle with pure honey.

Recipe by www.acupofwhimsy.com

Very pepperly yours…...DebraJ

NOTE:  I have not received any compensation or free gifts to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

With Soup the Heart Grows Fonder – Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Hubby

I think the men have it a lot easier when it comes to gifts for Valentine’s Day because, let’s face it, the female recipients are a LOT easier to buy for when it comes to a simple little “pretend” holiday like V-Day.

Valentine’s Day is a little tricky when it comes to buying gifts for men.  They aren’t usually quite as touched by flowers or chocolate, or something that smells good.  So what’s a girl to do to show her affection for that special guy?

This year I decided to go with true practicality.  Dear Hubby loves soup, and if we have it around the house he will eat every can, every day, until it is gone.  For that reason, I don’t buy it very much to avoid all the negative things that come  with eating canned food every day.

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So this year, I bought him soup.  Yes, that’s right,  soup.  You’ll notice that I did select one of the healthier varieties – Progresso LIGHT.

I also hopped into Dollar Tree to pick up some snazzy decorations to make a pretty presentation.

So, with something in my imagination (which doesn’t always work!), I proceed.

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I chose a transparent red bag type wrap (the kind you use to wrap gift baskets) and a heart-shaped mini-balloon and some pretty curly bows.  Okay – the bows are more for me than him since he won’t even notice, but they make me happy.

I realized that I couldn’t just place the cans of soup into the bag as they were or it would look like a sack of soup.  So, I used a piece of cardboard cut a size large enough so that I could sit the four cans of soup in a square.

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After that I just bunched up the bag, inserted the balloon on a stick and wrapped the twisty tie around the top.  Oh — and I placed the beautiful bows on, too.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear!

DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I don’t know why, but Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays.  I love all the red and the pink and the hearts!  Yes, I love the sappy hearts.

I realize it is basically a “made up” holiday without any real significance, but who can be upset with a day where you make a point to tell someone you love them.  I know you can say “I love you” any other day of the year, but this is the “SPECIAL” day.

So as you sip your coffee or tea or Diet Coke in the morning, allow yourself to be drawn into the festivity and enjoy the experience. 

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  ….from DebraJ

Vegetable & Mixed Rice Pilaf

You can hardly imagine my shock when Dear Hubby brought a recipe to me and said “I would like to make this”.  He loves to eat and can cook the basics, but he has rarely plotted a culinary experience of his own (intentionally).

I encouraged him to go for it and after a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a few missing ingredients, he was ready to load the crockpot.

Vegetable  Mixed-Rice Pilaf in the Crockpot

He cleaned and chopped the vegetables and placed them into the crockpot and added the olive oil.

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Chopped veggies

 

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Add the olive oil.

 

Add Olive oil to the vegetable mixture.

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Then he gave the vegetables a stir to coat them evenly with the olive oil.  Looks good!

 Now it is time to add the vegetable broth and the brown and wild rice.

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All of the delicious spices for this recipe get added next.
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After the spices have been added, give the entire mixture a good stir and you are ready to let the crockpot do it’s magic.

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 This cooked for about 3-1/2 hours.  See recipe below.
 Vegetable & Mixed-Rice Pilaf

 

A healthy side dish in the crockpot
  1. 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  2. 1 cup fresh asparagus spears trimmed into 2 inches pieces
  3. 2 medium carrots, sliced
  4. 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  6. 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  7. 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed & drained
  8. 1-3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
  9. 1 cup water
  10. 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  11. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  12. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  13. 1/2 teaspoon salt-free all-purpose seasoning blend (Mrs. Dash)
  14. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  15. 1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian parsley
  16. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  1. In the slow cooker stir together the vegetables. Add the oil, stirring to coat. Stir in the brown and wild rice. Stir in the broth, water, and seasoning.
  2. Cook, covered, on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle with pilaf with the parsley. Drizzle with the lemon juice. Using a fork, stir to combine the ingredients and fluff the rice.

We did add salt to this on our plate, so I guess that defeated the low-sodium properties of the dish.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 4 minute(s)

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 8

Calories: 105

Fat: 1

Protein: 4

  ★★☆☆☆ 1 review(s)

Recipe by Answers at Walgreens — tested by www.acupofwhimsy.com

 Huh….I wonder what other magazines I should leave around for Dear Hubby to stumble upon?……..DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.

Saved by the Thunder

I got up early this morning and slipped into my tennis shoes and grabbed the beautiful walking stick Dear Hubby gave me for Christmas last year.  I planned to get in a mile before starting the activities of the day.  Charge!!!!

Walking Stick
Braznos Walking Stick

I slipped out the front door and noticed a few sprinkles of rain, but hey – I’m not made of sugar, I can forge ahead, right? 

Right. 

It took me a few minutes to catch a rhythm with the walking stick, but eventually I was in the groove.  Light sprinkles, but not really wet.

Look – it is so beautiful outdoors in the early morning, even with the overcast sky, and I don’t see  another human anywhere.  No dogs were barking, no birds were singing – and that’s when I heard it.  Yep, you guessed it — THUNDER! 

Oh no!  I am about one-half block from the house, so do I head back or try to tough it out?  Another clap of thunder – okay, let’s go back.

Plans don’t always work out as you intend, but that makes life interesting.

See you on the sidewalk later.DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.

Juice of the Day – Beet, Pineapple, Orange

We have always been curious about juicers but we didn’t know a lot about them.  Because they are so expensive, we hesitated to invest in one only to find later that this was another “whim” that we would tire of quickly.

Luckily (I guess you could look at it that way…) we found one at Aldi after the holidays for a very reasonable price — so the experiment began.

Saturday mornings are prime time for the juice experiment, and we proudly text a photo of the juice du jour to our kids and kids-in-laws to show them our creation.  Their responses are respectful, but I think they are worried about us.  Cool

Today I decided on a simple blend.  See recipe below.

Copy of BB_Beet_orange_Pineapple

 Beet-Orange-Pineapple Juice
  1. 1 large beet
  2. 3 oranges
  3. 1/2 fresh pineapple
  1. Wash the beet and slice into large chunks. If the beet has the greens attached, wash the greens and include them in the juice.
  2. Cut the pineapple into chunks
  3. Peel the oranges
  4. Place the beet into the shoot of the juicer along with the pineapple and orange so the juicier items are blended along with the harder vegetable.

Notes:

Give it a stir and pour into two large juice glasses or rocks glasses.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

  ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)

Recipe by www.acupofwhimsy.com

More juice later……..DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.

Now this is the way to see a movie!

We love it when the Oscars roll around every year, and we try to see as many of the movies as possible before the event.  Usually we don’t meet that lofty goal, and this year is no different, but we thought we’d take in one this past Friday night so we could at least see half of them (okay, really only 3).  One of our local theaters recently converted to a Dine-In Theatre, so we decided to give it a try. 

ARGO has been at the top of our list so we decided to see the movie and the new dining set-up all at the same time.  I purchased the ticket through the website and was excited to see that we could select our seats in advance.  When we arrived at the theater we skipped the ticket line and went directly to the area where kiosks were set up for advance purchases.  There were a lot of them so it was very convenient.  One swipe of the credit card that purchased the tickets led to the immediate production of the tickets.  No questions to answer and now buttons to push!  Easy!

We were greeted by very friendly staff and shown to our seats.   WOW!   Now this is the way to see a movie!  (I hope I don’t fall asleep in this cozy comfy chair).  We sat in plush and roomy recliner style chairs with a pull over table.  The chair reclined in various stages so everyone can find that sweet spot where perfection is achieved.

The waiter came to us immediatly and explained how things would work and offered us some water while we perused the menu.  Yes!  I was thirsty after all this excitement.

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After looking at the menu several times and playing with all the buttons on the chair, we finally ordered.  As frequently happens, even with about 50 items on the menu, we ordered the same thing.  Exactly. the. same. thing.  The Thai Bang Shrimp Tacos and a Woodchuck Cider.  Everything on the menu looked good, but I would like to see a few more healthful choices added (hint, hint).

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Yummy, yummy and  a lot of crunching while violating our low-calorie, low-fat diet.

The movie was great and I loved the suspense.  I had recall of many of the events surrounding this time period, but the movie did a great job of putting the viewer in the shoes of those people who took some courageous risks.  I was shaking at the end.  Ben Affleck has certainly evolved from an actor into other roles now that show he has talent.  Plus he still has that frown that tends to melt every female in the room.  I looked around the theater to see if it had the same effect on everyone, and I think it did, but it was hard to tell with everyone sitting in recliners with their feet up (I think a couple of people had dozed off, and I was just glad it wasn’t me).

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We love going to the movies, and this is definitely flying first class.

Until Later — DebraJ

NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.