Monthly Archives: July 2012

Finally!

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Forever ago, I had mentioned this vegetarian stuffed pepper dish I wanted to share with you! After noticing that peppers are dirt cheap (mine didn’t survive the surprise heat wave), I realized this would be a great opportunity to make them! Although this dish does require some oven time, the light, flavorful dish still makes a great summer meal!

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Notice the cheesiness! Ok when I said light, I meant light in flavor, but really I think calorie wise this dish is pretty fair too. Hear me out, in a sec.

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See my block of cheese? I’ve been using this type of cheese more and more (as opposed to the bagged stuff). Why? It melts. It has a more intense taste. Although it can be higher in calories, you can get away with using less because of the first two reasons I just mentioned! Also realistically, it is often comparable in price, you would be amazed how far a block goes when you shred it.
So what do you need?
3-4 bell peppers (I’d actually suggest 4 unless you don’t mind a little leftover rice mix)
2 cups of shredded provolone (I used smoked provolone)
1/2 zucchini, chopped thinly
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
packet of Knorr vegetable mix (optional)
1/2 cup frozenĀ corn
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cup brown rice (10 minute type)
2-2 1/2 cup water (could use veggie/chicken broth if you omitted Knorr vegetable mix) chicken broth is not vegetarian šŸ˜‰
1-2 tablespoon JalepeƱo, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts toasted

1. Preheat oven 400.
2. Cut peppers in half keeping stem intact. Clean out seeds. Mist cut peppers with oil and cook in baking dish for 20-25 minutes or until soft.
3. In a large deep skillet, spray with oil and bring up to medium heat.
4. Add garlic to oil and push around pan for about a minute (never burn your garlic or your dish will be bitter.)
5. Add onion, zucchini, jalapeno and cook until soft.
6. In tiny skillet, warn your pine nuts over low heat, toss occasionally. They will be fragrant when they are done.
7. Add 1 3/4 cup water/broth to skillet with onion mix in it. Add Knorr mix if you are using it. Bring up heat to a boil.
8. Add rice and corn. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stir occasionaly. Add additional water/broth if there is not enough to properly boil your rice.
9. When rice is soft, stir in parsley, provolone and toasted pine nuts.

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10. Removed cooked peppers from oven. Stuff with rice mixture.

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11. Cook for 10-15 more minutes just to allow everything to heat up well.
12. Serve!

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And the Winner is…

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First off, I want to thank everyone who participated in my giveaway sponsored by SlimKicker! You have all inspired me with great health and fitness ideas and I plan on incorporating many of them in the next few weeks!
SlimKickerĀ has chosen franchesca2008 as the winner!

franchesca2008 said:

“No complaining for 30 days challenge :)Ā  Itā€™s hard but do not mentally complain about anything, and always look on the bright side of life.”

Franchesca I will be emailing you with info on how to get your prize sent to you!

Now let’s move on to not only one of my new favorite dressings that is not only delicious but also low cal!
So one of my BFFs, had been carrying on about the salad dressings over at Skinny Taste. We both enjoy her recipes and are making them quite frequently. I’m not sure why, but I guess I had put off trying her dressing because I typically don’t plan salads ahead and use whatever I have on hand for dressing. I’ve decided today this dressing will now be a staple in our house!

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Zesty Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing
The great news is that this is a simple dressing to make!

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Here is what you’ll need:

1 clove of garlic
3/4 to 1 cup of low fat buttermilk (original recipe called for 3/4 but I thought it was pretty thick for dressing, if you want a dip, the 3/4 cup is perfect, if you want it thinner, add more buttermilk.)
1 small JalepeƱoĀ (seeded) apparently everyone wanted JalepeƱo the day I went to get one, I had to settle for a small can of diced. I added a little extra because I like the kick!
1/4 cup cilantro
1 avocado, pit and skin removed
2 tbsp chives
juice of a lime
1/8 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Throw all of your ingredients into a food processor and blend.
Serve!
This is so good! We were dipping everything into it! Next time (tonight) I will be making it with a Southwest salad! Ohhh it would be great with Southwest egg rolls too!!

Recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste.

Practice Run and a Promise

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Did I get your attention? šŸ™‚
I had promised some people I work with that if they helped me out with a project, I’d bake for our next meeting. They were wonderful, so now it is time to pay up!
Between you and I, it also gave me a chance to try out a cupcake idea for my daughter’s birthday!
I like to refer to these cupcakes as Strawberry Sundaes!
Want to know what the little something extra is in them?

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Berry Burst Ice Cream Oreos!
For the record, I only made enough for the team and the family to try one out, that way I don’t eat a batch of them in a night! I did have a taste however, and they were exactly how I had hoped.
Yes, I’ll confess, I totally cut corners with this recipe. I used a strawberry flavored cake mix and icing from a can (it’s Tuesday and I worked all day, cut me some slack). For my favorite homemade icing recipe, click here.

So what do you need to make these?
Vanilla icing
Strawberry cake mix (any water, oil, eggs indicated on box)
Berry Burst Ice Cream Oreos
Whoppers
Cupcake liners

Super simple!
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a cupcake tin, add cupcake liners and add an oreo to each cup.

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3. Combine ingredients for cake batter as directed on box and fill cups with mix.

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4. Bake for around 18-20 minutes or until cake is cooked through.
5. Once cupcakes are cooled completely, ice and add whopper.
6. Enjoy or resist! Whatever is your thing!!

Don’t forget, last entry for my giveaway is Thursday! Why wait till the first of the year to make one simple healthy change today!

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Have it Your Way!

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Cottage Cheese v. Ricotta
I think these are two products that either people prefer one or the other. Growing up, I think both my husband’s and my own family were more the cottage cheese type. I can still remember the very first time I had ricotta. It was back in the day when airlines still served meals to everyone on the plane. Just so happens they were serving lasagna. I was excited up untilĀ when IĀ bit into it and felt like the ricotta was more comparable to kitty litter and Elmer’s glue combined. Ok maybe not exactly, but you get the idea. Also remember, it was airplane food so it already had one strike against it!
I can safely say now that I do like ricotta, but it took so taste bud therapy to recover.
My husband is not a fan of ricotta. So when I made theseĀ stuffed shells, I went back to my youth and brokeĀ out the cottage cheese!

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Read On for Recipe and Giveaway

Ready to Go!

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Ever since we got home from vacation, I have been making a serious commute for a special work project. Although I enjoyed the project immensely, I’m glad today was the last day of that chaos!!
Since I’m so over fast food, I wanted to make sure we had something substantial that could be reheated when I finally made it home at night.

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Green Chicken Stew!! This dish was so worth the wait! Continue to Recipe!

A Keeper

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I’m proud to announce that tomorrow I’m hosting my first ever giveaway! Please check in for your chance to win! If you have a friend who either enjoys cooking, or is interest in weight loss, or they just like to try to win things, tell them to stop by! šŸ™‚
For today however, let’s talk about this yummy dish!!

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Cheesy PepperĀ Jack Polenta, Bacon and Egg! Continue for recipe!