Friday, June 24, 2011

My baby steps: Staying positive and Katie's Stuffed Green Peppers

After going through this incredibly topsy turvy insane year, I finally have some time to sit and be a normal human for a bit.  I've decided that since I now have more time, that I'm going to begin to get back to healthy eating.  I like the idea of the Zone vs. Paleo for a few reasons.  One, I CANNOT be that strict with my eating.  I enjoy cooking, I enjoy food, and for me, Paleo is just too much.  I don't think this makes me a weak person, and I don't think it means there is anything wrong with me.  I think it's just not for me.  I don't have anything against it, I'm sure it is the healthiest option, but again, not my cup of tea.  Two, I like the structure of the Zone.  Yes it is weighing and measuring, but after you do it long enough, you can pretty much eyeball things and hit it on the nose.  So for me right now I'm just aiming to eat a balance of fats, carbs, and proteins with each meal. 

As I go through this obvious lifestyle change, I'm trying to keep perspective on what's prompting me to do this.  I want to feel better, I want to LOOK better, and more importantly, I just want to be healthy.  If my meals are not 100% spot on, I'm not going to ridicule myself and beat myself down.  I'm just going to make a conscious decision to try harder for the next meal.  I'm taking steps to eliminate as much pre-processed crap as possible, and honestly, I think I'm doing really well.  The end goal is to be healthier.... it's not to wind up at a shrink because I've given myself food anxiety.  In the past, I've gotten so caught up on, "Am I doing this right?" that I freak about food and forget that the idea is just to make better choices.  For me right now, I really just need to get there first.  There is always room for tweaking after the fact, but getting to the place where I make better choices is where i need to be.  I've stopped drinking my Starbucks lattes in the mornings and haven't had a regular soda in almost a week.  I've had some minor chocolate slips due to emotional eating, but aside from that, I think I've made a good start.  I've started brewing coffee at home and have saved myself a buttload of money doing that, and have found that some of the flavored creamers are a great substitute for my lattes.  Now, I know some of you will say that the creamer throws of my block count for breakfast and still has sugar... yes, yes it does.  But do the math, 56g carbs from sugar in a latte, or the 12 from the cream? Yeah, see, I call that a win. 

Anyway, this post wasn't originally supposed to be to rant about my eating... I actually was really excited about something I concocted the other night and wanted to share it.  I don't think that as a block count it is 100% on point, but it's a great meal (in my opinion anyway).  :)

To avoid the boredom that very often comes with a lifestyle change, I was trying to come up with new recipes that I could create that would taste good, but still be good for me.  I thought about stuffed green peppers because I used to LOVE these as a kid, but originally nixed it because of the rice.  Then I remembered a little substitute that I read about in Mark Sisson's book of Primal eating.  Cauliflower rice! Ingenius! So I took the rice out of the recipe and subbed in the cauliflower rice for a totally healthy alternative.  I'm still tweaking the seasoning in this recipe because the ground beef tasted a little bland to me, but other than that it was great! :)

Katie's Stuffed Green Peppers


6 large green Bell peppers
1 lb lean ground beef (Trader Jose makes a 96/4)
1 onion
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomotoes
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Garlic specified for your taste (I used 7 cloves... what?!?! I like, scratch that, LOVE garlic!)
1/3 head of cauliflower (enough to make roughly 1-1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice)
Cheddar or Mozarella cheese (optional)

1.  Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in food processor.  Chop until only small rice looking pieces of cauliflower remain.  (This only takes about 1 minute in a food processor) Set aside.

2.  Dice onion and garlic and place in sautee pan. Lightly sautee onions and garlic.  Then add ground beef. 

3.  Slightly brown ground beef with onions and garlic.  Then add tomatoes and roughly 1/2-3/4 cup spaghetti sauce.  (add more sauce if you prefer)

4.  Heat whole mixture on stove for about 1 minute.  Allow flavors to combine then add reserved cauliflower. 

5.  Lightly fold all ingredients together.    Remove from heat. 

6.  Cut tops off of green peppers and remove all membranes.  Place peppers upright in glass baking dish. 

7.  Preheat oven to 350.

8.  While oven is heating, use a spoon to stuff mixture into each green pepper.  If you would like, place additional spaghetti sauce in bottom of pepper prior to stuffing.  This may help keep the ground beef from drying out during baking. 

9.  Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until peppers become tender.  ***Optional- At 15 minutes remaining in the cooking time, spinkle cheddar or mozzarella cheese on top of each pepper. 

10.  Remove and serve hot.  ***Optional- When serving, spoon additional sauce on top of peppers. 

I thought that the ground beef was good, but lacked that UMPF! I might recommend playing with this recipe and adding some oregano or perhaps basil to give it a little extra added something.... I'm going to try this again and may make some modifications since this was only the first test run! Hope you enjoy! :)

If you make these, please let me know if they were good, and let me know if you make any modifications that I can try! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The stuffed peppers look fantastic! I'll definitely have to try that one out. One thing you might try for the meat seasoning is Tone's Italian Seasoning. It seems like an odd choice for ground beef but it tastes great!