Well Being: Healthy & Wholesome Red Pepper Recipes
I grew up with wonderful Italian cooking so I naturally love anything with a red sauce, especially this time of year as the temperatures drop. One of my favorite options to have an Italian meal that’s more protein based (and low fat) than a typical carbohydrate-laden pasta meal is stuffed peppers. They also store well for left overs and are arguably better the next day. As a yogi, I struggle with eating meat but don’t intend to be a vegetarian so I’ve made the commitment to buying my meat from Whole Foods where their grading system indicates the humane treatment of the animal. I only buy grade 4 and above. You can read more about it here. I was recently the lucky recipient of a Vitamix for my birthday from my mother (best. gift. ever.) and am including another red pepper-based recipe for a healthy soup I made with this amazing machine.
Annie’s Organic Stuffed Peppers (serves 4-6)
- 4 large organic green and/or red bell peppers (try to get four that have a flat bottom so they will sit upright in the pan and not tip over – so a wider vs. taller pepper)
- 1 lb. grade 4, grass fed, organic 90% lean ground beef (ground turkey or chicken are an option as well)
- 1/2 cup (cooked) organic short grain brown rice (long-grain is fine too, or any whole grain rice, quinoa, etc. – or leave the grains out entirely if you want less carbohydrates)
- 2/3 cup diced organic green and red pepper (mix of both)
- 3/4 cup diced organic onion
- 2 organic garlic cloves minced
- 1 32 oz can of Rao’s Marinara sauce (or any basic tomato sauce)
- 2 dashes each of organic dried parsley, basil and oregano
- 3-4 dashes red pepper flakes (if you like a little spice)
- 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
Prepare the peppers by washing, chopping off the tops and removing insides of peppers. Place all 4 in a large pot and cover water (enough so that all 4 peppers are submersed in water). Cover the pot and heat on high until the peppers are no longer crisp (they should have a more dull color but not be completely limp – still a little crispness to them but softened – so keep an eye on them as they’re cooking). While the peppers are cooking, drizzle approx. 1 tablespoon EVOO in large saucepan and add the onion, green and red pepper, and garlic over medium heat until browned, approx. 5 minutes. Set aside. Add the beef, using spatula to separate and chop into little pieces as it cooks. Once cooked, use the pan lid on top to drain the excess oil/fat into a disposable can. Add the onions, peppers and garlic back in with the beef and mix together. Pour approximately 3/4 of the can of sauce into the beef mixture and stir to combine (enough sauce to cover the meat), then add the brown rice and stir all together. Add the parsley, oregano, basil, salt and peppers and mix together. Let the mixture simmer over low heat while the peppers are cooking in the pot. Using a baking pan large enough for all 4, add 1-2″ of water to the pan. Once the peppers are done, remove from the water and fill each of them with the beef mixture. Place the peppers in the baking pan, sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese on top (optional). Bake uncovered at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Chicken and Lentils (serves 4-6)
- 8-10 oz organic roasted red peppers
- 1 can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons whole grain amaranth flour
- 1/3 cup chopped organic onion
- 1 large minced organic garlic clove
- 1 cup organic low sodium free range chicken broth
- 1/3 cup organic whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups organic cooked lentils
- 1 cup organic fresh spinach or kale
- 2 organic free range cooked chicken breasts (approx. 6 oz each), chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 dashes cayenne pepper
- 2 dashes red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
In a saucepan brown the onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil, approximately 5 minutes. Add the amaranth flour and stir, cooking 1-2 minutes. In a Vitamix, combine the peppers, tomatoes, chicken broth, milk, salt, pepper, and cooked onion mixture. Turn to hot soup setting and press start. Once complete, add the chicken, spinach/kale and lentils. Turn Vitamix to low setting and pulse for 15 seconds (enough to chop the chicken up and mix evenly).
Thank you for reading!
Be well xo