Category Archives: Recipes

Tonight’s Dinner: Healthy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Standard

Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you’re sure to love these peppers.  If you are cooking for yourself, feel free to half the recipe, or you can just make all 6 peppers like I do for an easy reheated meal later in the week.  Goes great with a fresh spring side salad, or side of green beans! If you feel like you just need to get some meat in there…you can substitute the meatless spaghetti sauce for a sauce that has meat in it. Try ’em out and let me know what you think! Happy eating!

Ingredients:

  • 6 large sweet peppers
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup canned red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup cubed Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:

  • Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the rice, tomatoes, corn, onion and beans. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese, olives, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon into peppers.
  • Combine spaghetti sauce and water; pour half into an oval 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the stuffed peppers. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Facts:

CALORIES 383.5 CAL
FAT 16.5 G
SATURATED FAT 9.4 G
SODIUM 1119.5 MG
CARBOHYDRATES 43.7 G
TOTAL SUGARS 11.3 G
DIETARY FIBER 8.2 G
PROTEIN 16.6 G
Healthy Cooking
Advertisements

Homemade Pumpkin Seeds

Standard

Red Robin seasoning, Cinnamon/ Sugar, and Garlic/salt/pepper/paprika!

You all probably saw this one coming after the pumpkin carving how-to! Toasting up the pumpkin seeds is the best part about carving pumpkins, aside of course from the awesome jack-o-lanterns you get to enjoy when the sun goes down. But these toasted pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack you can enjoy all day long!

What you’ll need:

  • Non-stick cookie sheets
  • Cooking Spray
  • You’re favorite spices

Just take the pumpkin seeds that you saved from your pumpkin carving and clean them off. Don’t rinse them, because you don’t want to completely rid them of their delicious pumpkin flavor. Just make sure you pick out all the pumpkin chunks and pulp because these parts have the tendency to burn and stick to your cookie sheets in the oven. Spray your cookie sheets with the cooking spray, but not too much, we don’t want to affect the flavor of the seeds! After you’ve sprayed your cookie sheets, spread the pumpkin seeds out evenly. Now comes the time to get creative! I made a couple different batches so I could try out some different flavors. I made cinnamon/sugar, garlic/salt/pepper/paprika, and Red Robin seasoning…all were delicious! After you’ve seasoned your pumpkin seeds, pop them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. I like to bake the different flavors separately so that strong flavors, like my garlic ones, didn’t affect the flavor of the cinnamon sugar seeds. Have fun crunching away! What new flavors have you come up with?

Yumm!

 

Skewers for Caramel Apples!

Standard

For everyone who was having a hard time finding the sticks for the Caramel apples, here is a wholesale candy website that sells them for cheap! Only $1.29 for 24 skewers! And we all know lots of caramel apples = lots of fun! Billy Boy Candies is a retailer from my hometown and they have a great selection of other treats too. Great products and great service!

Have no fear! Wooden Sticks are here!

You can check out Billy Boy Candies here for contact information to order

the wooden sticks and also to see all their other tasty Halloween treats!

Caramel Apples

Standard

If these apples don't say "Happy Halloween", then I don't know what does!

Halloween is almost here! What better way to celebrate the Halloween festivities than with some yummy caramel apples? Well, I sure couldn’t think of any better way, so let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 2 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 Cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 apples (any kind works but I prefer Granny Smith or Cortland)
  • 10 wooden sticks
  • 3 Quart saucepan
  • Candy thermometer

Alrighty, here we go! Start out by first completely melting the butter and brown sugar in your saucepan. After butter and sugar are completely melted, add the corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk while continuing to stir constantly. It may seem like we’re just dumping all of the ingredients in there, but be sure not to put the vanilla in yet! Putting the vanilla in now will make your caramel come to temperature too fast and it is important that you let it come to temperature on its own to ensure a nice creamy texture.  Another side note: you MUST use a candy thermometer for this! A regular thermometer won’t be able to read up to the proper temperature and just trying to wing it and guess won’t work because you need to be precise about the temperature you heat the caramel to. Anyways…back to the good stuff…keep on stirring until the temperature reaches 230 degrees. This should take about thirty minutes. Make sure you stir THE ENTIRE TIME or the caramel will stick! We’re working off some calories so that we can eat the apples remember! Once the caramel has reached 230 degrees, it is now safe to stir in the vanilla. Remove your caramel from the heat and insert the wooden sticks into your apples.  Popsicle sticks are not idle for this since they don’t pierce the apples too easily, but you can use them in a pinch.  I prefer to use skewers or sharpened dowels (you can by a long thin one from your local craft store, cut to size, and sharpen using a pencil sharpener). Dip apples into warm caramel and set on a baking tray lined with wax paper to cool. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Add M&M’s, nuts, or cocoanut to your apples for a little extra zing! I find if you wait about 1-2 minutes for the apples to cool before rolling them in toppings it works best, since the caramel has a little time to set, but it is still sticky enough for the toppings to adhere. Have fun, and let me know how your apples turn out!

Happy Halloween!

Killer Banana Bread

Standard

Guaranteed to rock your world...and your mouth!

Love banana bread as much as me? Well this one’s for you! Super moist and delicious!…I swear it’s the yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Extra butter for pan greasing

And here we go…

First thing’s first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another large bowl (one with room for your first bowl’s ingredients as well) mix sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed for about a minute. Next, add the eggs, one by one. Make sure you separate your eggs in a smaller bowl before hand to make sure you get any bloody ones…you may think, “this never happens!” but when it happens to you, and you have to start your recipe all over, you will not be happy! Anyways…add the eggs and then add the bananas, yogurt, walnuts, and vanilla. Make sure you thoroughly mix before slowly adding in your flour/baking soda mixture. Once you mix in the flour, you’re ready to butter that pan baby! You can use cooking spray, but eh…I like butter better! This recipe can fit in an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan, but I prefer to use a bundt pan because it makes it look so pretty and professional! Bake about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until you can poke it with a toothpick and have the toothpick come out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then flip and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.  Now, while that’s cooling, let’s make some yummy cream cheese icing to top it all off!

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar

Make sure you soften the cream cheese before you start…but that doesn’t mean put it in the microwave! Mix cream cheese, vanilla extract, and milk in a bowl.  Whisk in powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Drizzle over banana bread, and ENJOY!