This weeks recipe is: Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

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I love this recipe because it is so versatile. You can use ground turkey or ground beef, cheddar cheese or reduced fat cheese, quinoa or rice, and you can even add more veggies! Let your imagination run wild! If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can put them in any pan that you have. This recipe makes 6 stuffed peppers, so if you have leftovers, they make for a great lunch the next day!

Ingredients:

  • 6 large bell peppers, any color
  • 2 cups wild rice, cooked
  • 1 lb. 93% Lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 16 oz. jar crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

  1. Cut off the tops of the peppers, remove the seeds, trim the bottoms to help them sit flat in the skillet, and rinse thoroughly. In a large pan boil the peppers for 5 minutes, remove from water, and turn upside down onto a paper towel to dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large skillet add the olive oil, garlic and onion, saute until tender. Add the turkey and brown until thoroughly cooked.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, rice, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and stir until blended.
  5. Fill the peppers evenly with the mixture, place in a lightly greased 10 inch cast iron skillet. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and add the remaining cheese to the top of peppers and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Comfort Food with Healthy Ingredients

The recipe of the week is: Tomato Basil Artichoke Baked Chicken.

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This delicious dish is light and lean, yet flavorful, and satisfying. The Mediterranean style chicken is made with healthy ingredients and easy to make. With the warmer weather, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a lighter meal.

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts (1.8 to 2 lb total), if chicken breasts are large, use 2 and half them horizontally
Salt
Italian seasoning (herbal)
1 tablespoon butter
7 large artichokes hearts (one 14 oz can), drained
7 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 large roma tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 375 F.
-Grease the bottom of the baking pan (I used 2.5 quart oval casserole dish) with butter. Season chicken breasts with salt and Italian seasoning on both sides. (Use 4 small chicken breasts or 2 large chicken breasts and half them horizontally to make 4 – that’s what I did). Place chicken breasts into the greased baking dish and bake for 15 minutes at 375 F, uncovered.
-Remove from the oven (the chicken will not be completely cooked through – you’ll continue baking it later).
-Combine chopped artichoke hearts, chopped basil, chopped tomato, minced garlic cloves and Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl.
-Place this mixture on top of chicken in the baking dish. Top with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese.
-Continue baking the chicken for 15-20 more minutes at 375 F, uncovered. Broil in the end, if desired.
-Serve as is, or over cooked spinach or rice. You can use juices from the pan to pour over the chicken and the cooked spinach or rice.

It’s Grill Season

It’s grill season! In my opinion, I think everything tastes better on the grill and I love being able to cook outside in the beautiful weather!
This all-in-one dinner bowl is easy, flavorful, and veggie packed!
Today’s recipe is BBQ Ranch Grilled Chicken and Veggie Bowl:

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Ingredients
For the chicken and veggies:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) bottle Hidden Valley® Honey BBQ Ranch® Dressing
1 zucchini, washed and sliced into 1/4” thick rounds
1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded and sliced
4 ears of grilled corn on the cob (or substitute 1 1/2 cups cooked corn) 
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
Fresh cilantro, for garnish, if desired

For the rice:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups chicken broth
1 can black beans, washed and drained

Directions
For the rice:
-Add oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and rice and saute, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until rice begins to get golden brown. Add cumin, chicken broth and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff gently with a fork.
-Set aside.

For the chicken and veggies.
-Meanwhile, place chicken in a shallow dish and baste with 1 heaping cup of Hidden Valley Honey BBQ Ranch Dressing. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. 
-To grill the zucchini and bell peppers you can use a grill basket and cook them over medium heat on the grill, or use a grill pan on the stove. You can also cook the ears of corn on the grill, or on the grill pan on the stove.  
-After the veggies are cooked, add the marinated chicken to the grill over medium heat. Cook for several minutes, flipping once, until cooked through. Remove to a plate to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
-Spoon cooked rice into bowls. Top with chopped, cooked chicken, grilled zucchini, bell peppers, corn and sliced avocado. Drizzle Honey BBQ Ranch Sauce on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Delicious Detox Salad

Who doesn’t love a detox salad that is bright and flavorful?

This salad is layered with baby kale, strawberries and watermelon, grapefruit, pomegranate arils, walnuts,  feta and its finished off with a sweet and creamy pomegranate Greek yogurt dressing. 

Today’s recipe is Pink Detox Salad:

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Ingredients
Dressing:
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp Stevia (or substitute with 2 Tbsp honey)
1/8 tsp salt

Salad:
1 pink grapefruit, peeled, segmented and seeded
1/2 tsp Stevia (optional)
6 cups baby kale (or substitute with a blend of spinach, baby kale and, chard)
1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups (1-inch-cubed) seedless watermelon
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Directions
For the dressing:
In a small mixing bowl stir together yogurt, pomegranate juice, vinegar, lemon zest, Stevia (or honey), and salt until well combined. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

For the salad:
Sprinkle grapefruit with Stevia and set aside. Divide kale among four salad bowls. Top each serving with strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit, pomegranate arils, walnuts, and feta cheese. Drizzle each salad with dressing.

One Bowl, Simple Ingredients, & 100% Whole Grain

Are you looking for a healthy snack that has simple ingredients and 100% whole grain? Made with oatmeal and whole wheat flour, these healthy oatmeal bars are wholesome enough for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Try one warmed up with a dollop of Greek yogurt!

Today’s recipe is Strawberry Oatmeal Bars:

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Strawberry Bars:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or substitute all-purpose flour or 1:1 baking flour to make gluten free)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or substitute melted coconut oil to make vegan/dairy free)
2 cups small-diced strawberries (about 10 ounces), divided
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2 small lemon)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

Vanilla Glaze (Optional):
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk (any kind you like)

Directions:

Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.

Scatter half of the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.

Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).

While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Using the parchment-paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.

*Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Easy, Healthy, & Ready in 20 Minutes

Who doesn’t love a meal that is healthy and ready in 20 minutes?

Stir-fries are fast and hit every food group from veggies to lean protein. Start to finish, this simple dish can be ready in 20 minutes. This particular recipe is lighter and healthier than a traditional stir-fry recipe. It’s packed with veggies, sweetened with honey, and served over whole-grain brown rice or quinoa.

Today’s recipe is Thai Cashew Chicken:

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Ingredients:

Cashew Chicken:

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or substitute arrowroot powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 6 medium), thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup dry roasted, unsalted cashews
  • Cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus additional to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. Once the oil is hot and shiny, add the chicken mixture and sauté for 4 minutes, just until lightly browned. Add the bell pepper, broccoli, and green onions. Continue sautéing until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 additional minutes. Stir in the cashews and cook for 30 additional seconds.
  3. While the chicken and vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Taste and add additional honey and/or red pepper flakes as desired (I added an additional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes). Pour the sauce over the skillet and toss to coat. Enjoy immediately with brown rice.

Happy Spring!

Can you believe it’s Spring, already?  

This delicious salad is perfect to make in a large batch. It will hold in the fridge for about a week without the dressing. Or, if you like to prep your meals for the week, you can also store the salad in individual containers and pack your dressing on the side. 

Today’s recipe is:
Spring Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

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Ingredients:

Salad:
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and shaved
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds
1/2 cup crumbled Goat Cheese 

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about juice of 2 large lemons)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/16 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions:

Salad: In a large bowl, combine the Brussels Sprouts, dried cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese.

Dressing: Combine the lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, oil, vinegar, onion powder, and salt in a blender. Mix until smooth. Add the poppy seeds and process just until combined. Place in a container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

When ready to serve, top salad with dressing and serve.