baking, breakfast, dietitian, gluten free, nutrition, recipe, snack, training

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Three day weekends are the best! Especially when they fall on a holiday! This past weekend was filled with beach volleyball, friends, love, and absolutely gorgeous So Cal weather. I won’t go into too much detail (especially as I know the East Coast has been decimated by blizzard after blizzard..sorry New England friends!) BUT I thoroughly enjoyed summer weather and beach cruises this weekend.

Matt works a busy schedule so I try to keep granola bars (<10 g sugar, ❤ g fat, and 3 g fiber/serving- a lofty goal!) and other healthy snack options on hand. Today as he was packing his lunch, said healthy items were no where to be found. So to remedy that situation, I made use of some extra sunflower seed butter and decided to make my own granola bars!

Homemade granola bars are SUPER easy and you can control what ingredients you add. Want more protein? Add nuts or protein powder. Fiber? Chia seeds and oats can provide a soluble solution. They are so customizable that it makes you question why you spent $3.99 on that box of granola bars from TJ’s (which I did once I was done making these!) Plus, have you read the label on a protein bar from health food stores? Most have ingredients you can’t pronounce and aren’t the “clean eats” that most active individuals want to put into their body. Instead of spending the money on store bought granola/protein bars, control the ingredients and make your own! It’s healthier and YOU’RE in charge of the additives!

Everything I used in the bars today, I had on hand- that’s how easy they are! Add your favorite mix ins and experiment with what works for you! It literally took me 10 minutes start to finish to make these!

granola bars

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 c sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/2 c pepitas
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (any type, I used whey)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 2 TBS hemp seeds
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • drizzle of maple syrup
  • almond milk

Directions

  1. Add oats, sunflower seed butter, pepitas, protein powder, chia and hemp seeds, and cinnamon, stirring to combine. Mixture with be very thick.
  2. Add drizzle of maple syrup and a pour of almond milk. Combine mixture. It should begin to form together. If it is too thick to stir, add more almond milk.
  3. Combine until the mixture resembles cookie dough.
  4. Line a 9×9 baking dish with wax paper. Press granola bar mixture into dish. Fold over wax papper and remove from dish
  5. Place in the freezer to hardern for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cut into bars. Store in the freezer/refrigerator or airtight container.
blogging, dietitian, dinner, gluten free, running, training

Superfood Wild Rice

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Happy New Year and happy new domain! I took the plunge and went all in! I have made it my goal for 2015 to blog more and dedicate some time to learning about WordPress, developing my blog, and web design! I want to develop Kari On Nutrition into a forum for all things nutrition, dietetics, cooking, working out, with some of my life sprinkled in between. So, with that being said, let me know what you are looking to see!

Another goal for 2015…..drumroll…..

About to cross the finish line at the 2013 LA Marathon!
About to cross the finish line at the 2013 LA Marathon!

I want to run another marathon! If I keep it to myself, there is no one holding me accountable. However, if I share it on the internet there’s the world wide web holding me accountable, which if I do the math has the potential to be a lot of people! The last marathon I ran was the LA Marathon in 2013. I decided to run 26.2 miles for my 26th birthday and I had one of the best experiences! The course ran through my favorite city and the weather was the most perfect running day ever recorded. I also exceeded my expectations and kept on pace, running it in ~4:24 (chip time). After my lackluster Nike Women’s Half performance in October, I knew I wanted to run another race. What better way to ring in 2015 than with a marathon. I’m still deciding what race to run but am leaning towards staying in California. However, I can always be convinced to travel somewhere fun! 🙂 Any recommendations?

The second part of this goal is that I want to PR! More on that to come in another post though…

My very first marathon! Buzz Johnson Trail Run!
My very first marathon! Bizz Johnson Trail Run!

In thinking about marathons and blogging and New Years resolutions and goals comes a pretty amazing and versatile recipe that’s can make any goal seem just a little be easier to accomplish! I was inspired by a recipe I found on Chow and modified to include some superfoods for extra nutrition power! Full of Vitamin E rich pumpkin seeds, cruciferous power house brussels sprouts, and dried tart cherries rich in anthocyanins (anti-inflammatory properties that can help with muscle recovery and improved sleep, among others) this versatile whole grain/fiber friendly dish goes great stuffed in acorn squash, topped on a salad, or eaten as a post workout recovery snack! Plus, you can custimize it with whatever tickles your fancy!

Superfood Wild Rice

Ingredients

  • 8 oz wild rice, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cup roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and brussels sprouts (Toss in olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes-great second meal use for leftover roasted veggies!)
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 TBS roasted (unsalted) pumpkin seeds
  • 2 medium zuchinni, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 TBS Herbs de provence (I’m obsessed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook wild rice according to directions on the package. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook until golden brown and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Throw in zuchinni and herbs de provence and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add cooked wild rice, roasted vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries. Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Eat and enjoy!
Acorn squash roasted and stuffed with superfood wild rice! Topped with goat cheese of course!
Acorn squash roasted and stuffed with superfood wild rice! Topped with goat cheese of course!

#karionnutrition

dinner, instagram, recipe, side dish, vegetables

Best Damn Green Beans

Green beans pre-roasting
Green beans pre-roasting

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I had a relaxing holiday, filled with some indulgences (I made Hershey’s Kisses Christmas blossoms…..) and great time spent with family.

My parents just purchased a house in Chico, California. Chico is a cool, college town an hour and a half north of Sacramento. When I moved to New Hampshire for my internship last year, I envisioned Keene being very similar to Chico. It wasn’t anything like Chico (probably due to the fact that Chico was Los Angeles compared to Keene) but living in Keene has made me appreciate Chico much more. If you are every visiting Northern California, it is definitely worth a stop. Bidwell Park has something for everyone – biking, hiking, swimming, nature and the town has great shopping and dining. Some of my personal favorites are Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe and Three Sixty Ecotique.

My meal from Tea Bar! Tofu bowl with Chipotle Sundried Tomato Hummus!
My meal from Tea Bar! Tofu bowl with Chipotle Sundried Tomato Hummus!

Why do I bring up Chico? Well while in Chico I happened upon an AMAZING farmer’s market. I love going to the farmer’s market and checking out the different stands, discovering new produce and striking up conversation with the farmers. It is one of the BEST ways to support your local economy and the small farms. My dietetic internship at Keene State College had an emphasis on food systems and sustainable agriculture. I was fortunate to work with some very passionate local foodies/RD2Be’s who were very knowledgeable about food systems and I was really able to learn and be more conscious of what I was eating and where it was coming from.

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Anyway, at the Chico farmer’s market I blacked out and spent all the cash I brought with me. My senses were overloaded with so many of my favorite things. There were stands of pickled vegetables, homemade lavender almond milk, walnuts that had been picked and shelled FIVE days ago, tons of winter squash, I really could go on. However, the one thing I bought that brings me to some damn good green beans is a small jar of crushed tomatillo peppers. I love all things spicy and stumbled upon a stand where the guy was selling homemade pepper blends. Talk about my kind of place. He had every kind of pepper spice blend a pepper lover like myself could want. I bought one without even sampling and am regretting that I didn’t buy more!

The pepper stand!
The pepper stand!

The spice blend is called the Zing Mix and it is a blend of dried tomatillo and peppers. It is perfect on just about anything. I have a batch of Zing Mix spiced tempeh marinating (recipe on the blog soon!) in the fridge and my green beans were pretty much amazing.

Zing Mix pepper blend
Zing Mix pepper blend

BTW this recipe is my favorite for green beans. Once you make them this way, I guarantee you won’t want to steam, sauté, microwave, etc again! The key is the squeeze of fresh lemon when they come out of the oven!

Best Damn Green Beans 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound trimmed and washed green beans
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp Zing Mix (or any mix of dried spices- I love no salt seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne, ground chipotle, don’t be afraid to experiment!)
  • 1/2 of fresh lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spread green beans in an even layer on a baking sheet
  3. Drizzle olive oil over green beans
  4. Sprinkle generously with fresh cracked black pepper and add a pinch of sea salt. Sprinkle spice on top
  5. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing green beans half way through. I like my green beans slightly more crispy so I will cook them a bit longer.
  6. Remove from the oven and squeeze half a lemon over green beans
dietitian, recipe, salad, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

Easy 5 Ingredient Pickled Japanese Cucumbers

Over the weekend, I went to one of the best burger places in the South Bay, The Standing Room. Instead of getting a delicious burger I got Korean marinated pickles.  I’m weird, but the pickles were delicious and instead of feeling full from a big burger, my gut microbiome was happily singing its way to digestion.

So when I was making my lunch last night, TSR’s Korean pickles were still on my mind. Fermented and pickled vegetables pack a hefty probiotic punch and I thought I’d amp up my gut health another notch with a homemade version.

The salty/sweet/crisp/tart combinations of pickled vegetables are mainstays in cuisines from around the world. Some of my personal favorites are tsukemono (a Japanese variety that I’ve eaten since I was a kid), curtido (Hispanic cultures), and kim chi (Korean)

Pickled and fermented vegetables have a history that dates back to the 7000 BC. Cultures from around the world have used this preservation technique and it has lasted the test of time.  Fermentation works by transforming organic substances into simpler compounds via enzymes. These enzymes release bubbly super powers that turn the flavor train up ten notches while building healthy probiotics along with it. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

This pickled Japanese style cucumbers are a tribute to my Japanese ancestry. My mom makes her own variation and my grandma makes a mean takuan (pickled daikon radish). I also like to add Furikake to my cucumbers. Furikake is a blend of sesame seeds, seaweed, salt and sugar. It is typically used as a topping on rice, but I love to add it to musubi, salads, marinades, salad dressings, etc! You can typically find it on the Asian aisle of most major grocery store chains.

Pickled Japanese Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Persian cucumbers (any variety of cucumbers will do), cut into spears and then diced
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Furikake
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions

  1. This recipe is one that I typically don’t measure anything. I add vinegar (~1/4 c) than oil (a TBS or so) and then will add furikake and salt to taste.
  2. To add some spice, I will add a Japanese chili pepper blend called Nanami Togarashi. If you can’t find it in stores you can add red pepper flakes.
  3. Let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Great as a snack, topping for salads, or a side dish. My favorite way to eat it is with my fingers straight from the tupperware! 😉  

#karionnutrition

 

dietetic intern, dietetic internship, dietitian, grad school, rd exam, RD2Be, studying

Studying for the RD Exam

Studying for the RD exam = the most stressful, annoying, terrifying, semi-fun (barely!) thing you get to do AFTER you have just spent 10 months as a dietetic intern/slave/student/professional handout creator. Especially when all you want to do is go outside and play beach volleyball!

I’ve never been one to love to study. I’m a procrastinator by trade and typically put things off to the last minute. However, based on everything I’ve read and advice from friends and preceptors, this was one of those circumstances where that mentality wasn’t going to work for me. So I buckled in for a long summer hanging out with Jean Inman.

I was fortunate that one of my preceptors gave me her copy of Jean Inman. It’s expensive BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT. I briefly looked online and found one on Craigslist, so older versions or used copies are available if you are looking to save some money. Girls in my internship split the cost and made copies of the materials. No matter which way you do it, I would recommend utilizing her guide.

However, I couldn’t listen to the CDs. They put me to sleep and I knew there was no way I could sit and pay attention. Instead, I focused on reading the material and creating notes and flashcards of the material I didn’t know. I think this helped me to streamline the material and organize what I knew vs. what I didn’t know.

The best way to prepare yourself is via practice tests. The practice tests were invaluable when it came to preparing me for the actual exam. I used a combination of the Inman tests and the StEp practice tests from the Academy. Fortunately, our internship paid for us to have access to the SteP guide. I liked the StEp guide because it provided feedback and cited sources for the questions. As a researched based profession, I found this especially helpful.

The final step to studying for the exam was mental toughness. This past summer, I was fortunate to watch a lot of professional beach volleyball. Watching these tournaments and athletes up close, you can tell which players have the mental edge. It’s what separates the Kobe Bryants and Kerri Walshs of the world. Those players with mental toughness, close out games and make their serve when it counts. The extreme focus and dedication are what have led them to greatness. This is the mentality I used to approach the exam.

I focused on my strengths and didn’t spend too much time studying information I already knew. I kept my cool, trying to think about what would an entry-level RD be expected to know? Most entry-level clinical RDs would not be thrown into an advanced field of dietetics practice without any resources to refer to. I used this thinking throughout most of my RD exam preparation. I did not spend my time memorizing specific lab values or medications but instead focused on understanding nutrition concepts and how to apply them in situations to problem solve.

On the day of the exam, I was nervous (who wouldn’t be????) but I knew that there was no amount of morning cramming that’s going to help you pass. I remained calm and knew that if I got to 125 questions and the screen went blank I passed. There weren’t very many surprise questions. I did get asked a few questions about steroid medications that I wasn’t as prepared for, but I think they may have been test questions. I passed and was grateful that I did not over study. After taking the exam, I realized that for me and my test taking skills, I studied the ideal amount of time.

The time frame for my studying wasn’t too long. I felt that with the amount of schooling, work experience, and the internship, I was either prepared or not. I intensely studied the exam for 1 week. The month prior, I spent a couple of hours a week reading over Inman and taking the StEp practice exams. I’m the most frustrated about how intensely I studied the first domain (my weakest area) only to discover that I got asked zero memorable/hard questions.

The best advice I can give is to know your study habits and what works best for you. Focus on the areas that you are weakest in and be open to different study material options. Don’t stress out about memorizing the material! To me, the exam was very conceptual. Focus on problem solving skills and read every question thoroughly!

Lastly, here is a round-up of blog posts from other RDs that I found helpful when studying. These helped me to formulate my study plan and also what resources are out there!

All Access Internships

Ancestralize Me

The Lean Green Bean

Hope that helps! Best of luck to any future RDs 🙂

#karionnutrition

dietitian, running, training

Nike Women’s Half Marathon #WeRunSF

In honor of the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series, I thought this post was very fitting! I was rooting for the Royals because my boyfriend’s brother-in-law is a scout for them. They made a great run but unfortunately the Royals couldn’t outlast Bumgarner. In the end I was glad the Giants won, especially for my CRM family.

#WERUNSF! Conquered. The. HILLS.

It’s been awhile since I have done a long distance race. Between my internship, studying, job hunting, and life in general, running took a back seat, something that should have never happened. I’m not very fast or a very efficient runner but I can get out and log some serious miles (when I feel like it). As a runner, I had already tackled a Tough Mudder, 2 full marathons, 2 half marathons, and one extremely brutal, uphill 22 mile trail race. The Nike Women’s Marathon has been on my running bucket list for as long as I can remember. I’ve had friends run it over the years and read various blog posts about others who had run it and knew that at some point I would run it.

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The runners lining up to start

WELL…that chance came this year! Since I was back in school completing my internship I was able to use the student entry and was on my way to San Francisco. After receiving word that I was accepted to run the race, I convinced my boyfriend to join in on the fun! We spent the summer training and going for runs, though were definitely not running as much we should have been.

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My name on the Nike store wall

Come the weekend of the race, I knew I wasn’t prepared but I set my goal to less than 2.5 hours (my half PR is 1:55 and that was when I was running and training A LOT). Arrival at the expo was unreal! There were tons of people in Union Square and some amazing sponsor samples. I especially loved the Suja Juice and Vega Protein powder combo for a post race re-fuel.

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My gear all laid out the night before the race!

The race day weather was absolutely perfect! Foggy and cool, perfect for PRs (or in my case no PRs!). The course was well planned with only one major hurdle – a half mile steep hill climb at mile 10. Once you made it up that hill it was easy peasy! I finished under my goal of 2.5 hours but ran the slowest half marathon I’ve ever run. It’s perfect motivation for my next half marathon and what I need to do to improve!

Matt and I at the starting line
Matt and I at the starting line
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Tiffany’s Finishers Necklace
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A foggy SF morning with my Tiffany’s blue box!

Have you run in the Nike Women’s Running series? Let me know in the comments, I’d love your thoughts! I’m looking forward to my next Nike Women’s Race! I’m also deciding in the next couple days whether to run the LA marathon again…

Uncategorized

Parchment Paper Salmon

It’s been HOT, HOT, HOT in LA lately. Like sweat pooling behind your knees and through your shirt hot. Never thought I would say it but I wish it was a a bit cooler. It’s October and I love sweatshirt weather and cuddling under blankets at night and you definitely can’t do either of those right now. Despite my complaints about the warm weather, you really can’t beat views like this:

Sunsets in Santa Monica
Sunsets in Santa Monica

And what made yesterday even better? The San Diego Chargers running train on the Jets!! I will admit that I’m a newly converted Charger fan. Since LA does not have a football team, I naturally rooted for whoever the Patriots were playing because I have a strong dislike for any Boston professional sports teams. (As a side note- this stems from my love for the Lakers and their bitter rivalry with the Celtics. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I bleed purple and gold for #24 and the LOS ANGELES LAKERS.) My boyfriend in from San Diego and by default I have become a Chargers fan. SO excited to see them doing well and even more excited that we’re going to see them play the Patriots in December at Qualcomm! #boltup

#BoltUp
#BoltUp

With the Chargers win, it was only fitting to have a winning dinner. Whole Foods was having a sale on wild caught salmon (GO SUSTAINABLE FISHING PRACTICES!) and so we had to buy some. I will admit that I don’t eat it as much as I should but maybe if I make parchment paper salmon every night for dinner, I might just get all my Omega 3’s in!

Parchment Paper Salmon with Greek Yogurt Mustard Sauce

Parchment paper salmon packets!
Parchment paper salmon packets!

Ingredients

  • 3 salmon fillets (about the size of your hand)
  • 1 small yellow zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small green zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon sliced, 1 lemon halved
  • 1/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • Whole Foods all-purpose seasoning (or similar- I also like Trader Joe’s salt free 21 Seasoning Salute)
  • 1 TBS whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Tear off 3 medium sized sheets of parchment paper. In the middle of the parchment paper, arrange the sliced zucchini as a base for the salmon.
  2. Place the salmon fillet on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Top with 1 TBS minced onion and lemon slices.
  3. Fold the parchment paper into packets. I folded the parchment paper how I had seen on a cooking show (see photo) but the folks at Cooking Light have a great method that further hammers home the heart health benefits of eating fish!
  4. Put the packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets.
  5. While the fish is cooking, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mustard, garlic salt, all-purpose seasoning, fresh cracked black pepper, rosemary, thyme, and fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 TBS).
  6. Remove fish from oven and carefully open the packets. Serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle (or more!) of the yogurt sauce!
Uncategorized

Maple Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Since I’ve passed my RD exam I’ve had every intention of blogging regularly and posting really awesome pictures of all the cool stuff I’ve been up to. However, that did not happen. As much as I would love to be the dietitian that blogs on a regular basis, I decided, or rather realized that I’m better suited to post when I am feeling most inspired. And maybe if I have a really amazing recipe to share!

After I tackled the hurdle of passing my RD exam, I joined the league of Americans searching for a job. It was definitely a long and arduous process. I obsessively searched Indeed every day, upgraded my LinkedIn to premium and utilized my networking skills to see what I could find. During the internship I couldn’t wait to not have work to do but once I was jobless, I quickly realized I missed the work. I guess it’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

Thankfully, my hard work and obsessive job searching led to two great opportunities! I am working in a hospital one day a week and will work full-time as an outpatient RD for a medical group in LA (my same job from before my internship)!

I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate fall and new jobs than pumpkin muffins! These paleo pumpkin muffins were created 2 years ago when I was doing CrossFit and first heard about paleo. While I’m not a die-hard paleo-eater, I do love the way many paleo bloggers create some amazing grain free recipes! While the recipe is not completely paleo (oat topping) you can certainly change some ingredients around to make it paleo!

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal (ground up almonds)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe’s Organic pumpkin puree)
¼ cup real maple syrup (Vermont Trader Joe’s Maple syrup, you can also substitute honey)
2 eggs
¼ cup crunchy almond butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup roasted pecans
¾ cup roasted walnuts

Topping

¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup oats
1 TBS coconut oil, non-hydrogenated margarine (Smart Balance), or butter

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine all muffin ingredients and mix in a stand mixer.  Be careful not to overmix!

3) Toast walnuts and pecans in a frying pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and coarsely chop.

4) Add ¾ of chopped nuts to muffin batter.

5) Drop by batter by large spoonfuls into lined muffin cups. Recipe will make approximately 12 muffins.

6) To make topping, combine apple sauce, pumpkin, oats, and remaining nuts.  If using non-hydrogenated margarine or butter melt in microwave and then add to topping mixture.  Spoon a dollop of topping mixture on top of each muffin.

7) Bake in oven on middle rack for 30-35 minutes.  Muffins are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

8) While muffins are cooling, drizzle real maple syrup over each muffin.

dietitian, dinner, instagram, main dish, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, vegetable

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Greek Yogurt Dressings, and Other Musings

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Since moving back to LA and with more time on my hands (thank the lord!), I’ve been able to work out more and COOK more! Both the cooking and working out are helping me build back the good habits and back to my previous not-constantly-stressed-out-about-the-internship-life (post about the internship coming soon!). In between studying for the RD exam and job hunting, I have been able to focus on myself and my passions- running, working out and cooking.

With a little less than 3 months until the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, I have been trying to run, tone up, and eat healthy to lose a couple extra pounds that I gained during my dietetic internship (oh, the impact of stress!). While I like to focus on progress not perfection, I know that over the last month of my internship and the road trip back to LA, I did not make any sort of progress. So with that here I am, half marathon training and making stuffed peppers and Greek yogurt salad dressings!

Stuffed peppers are an easy go-to meal, incorporating all the food groups. I first made them while working at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake as a food service intern. Then while living in New Hampshire, fellow my fellow intern (and roommate!) would make them for our house! Since being back  in LA my boyfriend has been the gracious recipient of my recipe experimentation and on the menu was stuffed bell peppers and salad with creamy green chile dressing! This recipe was also a use-up-all-the-leftovers-in-the-fridge kinda meal too!

I love using Greek yogurt as a dressing. Its creamy and tart texture imitate sour cream and the added dose of protein ain’t too bad either. I will add it to everything- tacos, tuna, watermelon (see my previous post!) and will make salad dressing out of it too! I’ll typically add an acid (think lemon juice/apple cider vinegar) and then spices and seasonings depending on the theme I am going with (cumin and cayenne pepper for Mexican, basil and garlic for Italian, etc). I love experimenting to create something new that will tantalize the taste buds and you typically can’t go wrong with doing it yourself! Much cheaper and healthier than buying a bottle of salad dressing!

Without further ado (thank you for reading this far!) here is the Stuffed Peppers recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 green bell peppers, tops sliced and seeds taken out (dice the tops to use with the meat)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (this was leftover quinoa pilaf that had carrots, celery, and mushrooms in it)
  • 1/2 pound grass fed ground beef (8o % lean)*
  • 1/2 c green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 c shredded cheese
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Hit a pan over medium heat. Add a swirl of olive and bring to temp.
  3. Add onions and let them saute until fragrant then add the garlic.
  4. Add the cumin, pepper tops, and tomatoes and  cook down, allowing some of the juices to release and the vegetables to release some of their water and cook down (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Throw in the quinoa and enchilada sauce and heat through.
  6. Remove from heat. Spray a baking dish and the outside of the peppers with nonstick spray. Fill the hollowed peppers with the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese.
  7. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.
  8. Serve with a side salad and avocado! Yum!

* You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken, or crumbled tofu for the stuffed peppers. This truly is a super versatile dish!