Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pizza Stuffed Peppers


I absolutely love pizza, but it normally takes me several slices before I'm actually full. So I switched things up and decided to put some of my favorite pizza toppings inside peppers, making this dish low-carb, fiber-full and protein-packed! These would be so fun to make with kids (and you'll be happy they're eating their veggies). 

Feel free to get creative with the toppings - olives, hot peppers, banana peppers and pineapple would also be great toppers!



1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. 
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Cook until no longer pink; drain and transfer to a bowl. 


3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, then season with salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and fresh basil. Stir in pizza sauce and cooked beef, then remove pan from heat. 





4. Place the pepper halves on the prepared baking sheet and fill with the meat and veggie mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. 

5. Sprinkle cheese onto the peppers and top with pepperoni. Bake for 15 minutes longer. 


6. Let the peppers rest for 5 minutes, then top with fresh chopped basil and serve. 


Pizza Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4-6

All you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
1 pound lean ground beef
1 red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus a few more for garnish) 
16 oz. pizza sauce
1 red bell pepper, seeded and halved 
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and halved
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese 
12 slices turkey pepperoni, cut into quarters 

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. 
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Cook until no longer pink; drain and transfer to a bowl. 
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, then season with salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and fresh basil. Stir in pizza sauce and cooked beef, then remove pan from heat. 
4. Place the pepper halves on the prepared baking sheet and fill with the meat and veggie mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. 
5. Sprinkle cheese onto the peppers and top with pepperoni. Bake for 15 minutes longer. 
6. Let the peppers rest for 5 minutes, then top with fresh chopped basil and serve. 
 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hearty Vegetable and Lentil Soup


 A weekly fridge clean-up helps me keep things organized and fresh. By the end of the week I normally have a variety of veggies leftover, so I like to roast them all up with some garlic and balsamic or turn them into a soup. This soup is so comforting and it gets better the longer is sits, making it the perfect nutrition-packed meal to enjoy for lunch throughout the week.


1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, leeks, celery, carrot and peppers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.



2. Add lentils and cook for 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the Parmesan rind (if using). Reduce soup to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. 



3. Remove the Parmesan rind. Finish the soup with zucchini, spinach, parsley, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes longer, then ladle into bowls and top with cheese.   


 


Hearty Vegetable and Lentil Soup
Serves 6

All you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
3 leeks (light green and white part only), trimmed and thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced 
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 cup red or green lentils, rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock
1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted tomatoes, with juices
1 Parmesan rind (optional, but recommended)
1 zucchini, diced
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch sugar

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish 

All you do:
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, leeks, celery, carrot and peppers and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add lentils and cook for 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the Parmesan rind (if using). Reduce soup to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. 
3. Remove the Parmesan rind. Finish the soup with zucchini, spinach, parsley, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes longer, then ladle into bowls and top with cheese.   
        

Friday, February 24, 2017

Greek Yogurt Lemon Cake with Fresh Blueberry-Lime Compote


 You all know I wouldn't make dessert without it containing some fiber (ha!). I blame the dietitian in me. But thankfully this dessert tastes so good that you won't even know that it could be considered a "healthy" dessert. Let's just focus on the flavor - this cake tastes tropical and is light and airy with a cornbread-like texture. It's also super citrus-y, which I love!

If you don't have or can't find coconut flour, simply swap it for all-purpose flour (gluten free or regular).

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a round cake pan with olive oil and dust lightly with coconut flour; set aside. 


2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. 


3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs and lemon zest/juice. 


4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


5. Meanwhile, place the blueberry compote ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. 


6. Once the cake has cooled, slice and top with compote.



Greek Yogurt Lemon Cake with Fresh Blueberry-Lime Compote
Serves 8

All you need:
Cake
1 1/2 cups coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt 
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
Zest and juice of 2 large lemons 

Compote
2 cups fresh blueberries
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup sugar

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a round cake pan with olive oil and dust lightly with coconut flour; set aside. 
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs and lemon zest/juice. 
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
5. Meanwhile, place the blueberry compote ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. 
6. Once the cake has cooled, slice and top with compote. 
 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Chimichurri Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles


Chimichurri sauce is one of the simplest sauces to make (it's literally ready in 10 seconds), but it adds amazing flavor and color to meat, fish and roasted veggies. In this dish it's combined with meatballs, zoodles (a family favorite), salty feta cheese and toasty almonds. Serve this for dinner and pack any leftovers for a quick, protein-packed lunch the next day.



1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients. Form into equal size meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet; bake 25 minutes. 


3. Meanwhile, combine the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. 


4. Right before the meatballs are ready, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles and saute for 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper and remove pan from heat. 


5. Toss the meatballs gently with the chimichurri. Transfer the zucchini noodles to serving bowls and top with meatballs. Finish with feta cheese and almonds.


Chimichurri Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles
Serves 6

All you need:
Meatballs
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs 
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

Chimichurri
1 large bunch Italian parsley 
1 small bunch cilantro 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar 

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large zucchini, trimmed and spiralized  
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds, for garnish 

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients. Form into equal size meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet; bake 25 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, combine the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. 
4. Right before the meatballs are ready, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles and saute for 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper and remove pan from heat. 
5. Toss the meatballs gently with the chimichurri. Transfer the zucchini noodles to serving bowls and top with meatballs. Finish with feta cheese and almonds.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Baked Cod with Puttanesca Sauce


 You have to love a meal that's on the table in less than 15 minutes - especially one that's colorful, packs nutritional value and has tons of flavor. My husband and I are big olive fans, so puttanesca sauce hits the spot. Serve this meal by itself or with a side of brown basmati rice.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large oven proof skillet (or cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat and add garlic and anchovies. Cook for 30 seconds. 

2. Add tomatoes and crush them with the back of a wooden spoon. Add olives, raisins, capers and crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine. 
 
  
3. Place cod filets on top of the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

4. Finish cod with basil, walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil.



Baked Cod with Puttanesca Sauce 
Serves 3-4 

All you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon anchovy paste (or 3 anchovy filets)
1 (28 oz.) can San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup golden raisins 
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cod filets (6 oz. each)
5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 
1/4 cup toasted walnut halves 

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large oven proof skillet (or cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat and add garlic and anchovies. Cook for 30 seconds. 
2. Add tomatoes and crush them with the back of a wooden spoon. Add olives, raisins, capers and crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine. 
3. Place cod filets on top of the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. 
4. Finish cod with basil, walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil.