Bell Pepper Nachos

I love to cook fun, creative, fancy things for dinner.  However, when it comes to lunch I am usually like “meh…let’s make a salad or eat leftovers.”  My inspiration is usually more for evening dinners.  That was always the one meal that was a big deal at my house growing up.  Everybody had their own thing going on during the day, some of us were in school or had jobs, others were sleeping in and wouldn’t even come upstairs till after noon…so ma would just make us a sammich or warm up some of last nights left overs.  However, dinner was different.  Mamma would slave away in the kitchen, sometimes for hours, and as soon as dad got home from working hard all day, she’d wrap it up, dad would stick his pinkies in his mouth and whistle so loud you could hear it no matter where you were and we would all come running to the dinner table.  Everything else stopped when it was dinner time, and we would all be together and enjoy a HUGE tasty meal.  That attitude has kind of carried on through me!!!  However, every now and then I find myself being bothered

Needless to say, when I do create a lunch that is fantastic…something more fun and creative than a roast beef sammich on Ezekiel bread or a grilled Chicken salad…I get SO excited!  That is what this recipe was!!  Pure excitement!!  Something fun for lunch, or snacks, or even a healthier party alternative!!!  YAAAAAY!!!  You could even make it for dinner too!  I just adored not only the flavors, but the colors!  I love making things with a taco-y flavor that are decently healthy, because my husband is in love with tacos but doesn’t get them often any more  because of our new lifestyle goals.  This made him happy, as you will see in the pictures below!  🙂  The only reason I do not feel like I can claim that these are perfectly healthy is because I used refried beans to hold all the ingredients together.  Apparently they have lard in them, haha.  Funny thing is…we don’t really mind animal fat…but just the fact that they are called reFRIED beans tells me something.  If you want to be better you can skip them, your ingredients may just fall out of your bell pepper “chips” easier.  🙂  Read on!!

Inspired by tasteofhome.com.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • A Bell Pepper of each color (Red, Yellow, Orange, Green)
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1-2 C Cheddar, Shredded
  • 1 Recipe Taco Seasoning
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Can Refried Beans (If anyone has a good home made recipe, please share!!)
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Toppings (Optional…we didn’t use any but I can imagine salsa, guacamole, and sour cream would be tasty!)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Mix together your taco seasoning mix.  Alternately, you can use a packet.  It is a little easier, but less healthy I do believe.  And you can’t adjust it to your own tastes.  I like it that when you make your own you can make it as spicy or mild as you want, and I always add extra cumin.  🙂
  3. Brown your beef and drain excess fat.  Return to burner and season with taco seasoning.  I would start with 2-3 Tbsp, and adjust to your tastes after that.  Add a small amount of water, stir, and let simmer.  (Do not add as much water as you would for a packet, unless you plan to add flour or something to thicken it.)  Set aside until the rest of your prep is done.  You can keep it on low on the burner if you want.  🙂
  4. Cut your bell pepper into 1-2 inch chunks.  I will show you how I did this in my pictures, mine turned out kind of like scoops!  I cut my peppers into halves, then 1/4, then cut each 1/4 in half short ways, then trimmed off the ribs and seeds. It will make more sense with the pictures. 😉
  5. Chop your jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro.
  6. Place your bell pepper “chips” out on a foil lined cookie sheet.
  7. Spread a layer of refried beans in the bottom of each bell pepper piece.
  8. Place a small spoonful of taco meat on top of refried beans and gently press it into the beans.
  9. Top with tomatoes, jalapeno, and cheddar.
  10. Place under broiler until cheese has melted, and everything is heated through.
  11. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
  12. Serve, and enjoy!!  Super fun, super tasty…feels like you are eating naughty junk food…but really, you aren’t doing too bad! 😉

Let me know what you think.  What would you put on bell pepper chips?!

 

Peectures!!

Bell Pepper NachosFirst, mix up your taco seasoning!  Feel free to adjust the heat, this recipe is a little more spicy than the packet so if you like it more mild, either omit the red pepper flakes or cut out part of the chili powder.  You can always add heat later!!

Bell Pepper Nachos 6

Put your beef in a pan and get it browning!!  Drain the excess fat…

Bell Pepper Nachos 8

 

Season with taco seasoning to your own tastes, start with a couple Tablespoons, then taste and adjust 🙂  Add a small amount of water and let it cook down.  Don’t add tons of water because it won’t thicken quite like a taco seasoning packet, unless you add flour of course.  Set aside until you are ready to use!

Bell Pepper Nachos 1

 

Now start your veggie prep!  Isn’t that a pretty picture?!

Bell Pepper Nachos 2You don’t have to cut your bell pepper “chips” exactly how I did…but this is one way to do it if you feel lost! First, cut it in half…

Bell Pepper Nachos 3Then into fourths…

Bell Pepper Nachos 4Then cut each fourth into half short ways…aka across the width.

Bell Pepper Nachos 5Now remove the ribs and seeds and look!  You have scoops!!  Yaaaaaay scoops!!

Bell Pepper Nachos 9Now for the layer of refried beans!! Lookin tasty already!

Bell Pepper Nachos 11

 

Add a small spoonful of beef to each, and smoosh it down into the beans a bit.  Top with tomatoes, jalapenos, and cheddar!

Bell Pepper Nachos 10

 

Bell Pepper Nachos 12

 

Now slide it into your oven and broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through!!  Now you have bell pepper nachos, yaaaaaay!!

Bell Pepper Nachos 13

 

Sooooo tasty!  Make sure to sprinkle with cilantro….I forgot until we had already eaten 3/4 of them and I was so upset!

Bell Pepper Nachos 14

 

Now go serve them nachos to a cutie like this!!

Bell Pepper Nachos 15

 

Hahhahaaaa…..I just love that man!!  He loves nachos!!!  He gives this recipe two thumbs up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers!

Say whaaaaaat?!

Yes.  It’s true.  Low carb.  Diet friendly.  And I bet if you watched your ingredients closely, it could be gluten free as well 🙂  I made this at my boss’s house, then sent a picture to her before I ate it.  She is a nutrition nut so I love sharing my adventures with her.  She came home to the smell still in her house…and by lunch time the next day, she had texted me asking if “those pepper things” I made tasted good…and when I passionately responded “yes!” she asked if I could take the bell peppers and sausage in her fridge and experiment with them because mine “looked so good.”  Haha!!  That’s a good sign.  So OBVIOUSLY this is a recipe that you can play with.  And apparently it works just as well with sausage instead of roast beef.  Cause when I asked her how it was…her words were, and I quote “freaking amazing.”  So exciting 🙂  Try whichever variation you desire!

This was perfect for a healthy lunch!!!  And a nice change for something new and creative 🙂  We love Arby’s in this house, but we know there is plenty of processed poo added there.  This had the same, satisfying, “you are biting into a huge chunk of layers and layers of beef” effect as an Arby’s sammich.  But if you pay attention, it’s gonna be A LOT healthier.  Yeaaaaaaaaaah!!!

This was adapted from peaceloveandlowcarb.blogspot.com

So, here’s what you need:

  • 4 Large Green Bell Peppers
  • About 1 lb Deli Roast Beef. (I had about 14 oz) Make sure it doesn’t have sugar, artificial sweeteners, and preferably no NITRITES.
  • 2 Medium Onions
  • 8 oz Mushrooms (Or more.  We aren’t crazy about mushrooms, so add more if you so desire)
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 7 Garlic Cloves (I know.  It seems excessive.  My cloves were small, okay!!!)
  • 8 Slices Provolone or other cheese (Apparently Provolone is one of the worst cheeses you can eat.  Oops. I didn’t know!  If that matters to you, switch it up with some better cheese!  I’ll probably play with goat cheese and raw cheddar next time.)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 Tbsp Wine
  • Pickled Jalapenos, optional
  • Salt

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut your onions in half and slice into strips.  Slice mushrooms.  Mince Garlic.
  2. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Toss in your onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.  I like lots of pepper!!
  4. Caramelize the onions and mushrooms.  This should take about 25 minutes, stirring often.
  5. While your stuffing is caramelizing, cut your bell peppers in half, and remove the ribs and seeds.
  6. Slice the roast beef into strips.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  8. When onion mixture is caramelized, add your roast beef and stir.  Let cook for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add Worcestershire and wine to the pan to deglaze the pan.  Stir and cook just a couple more minutes.
  10. Scoop the filling evenly into your bell pepper halves, and top with a slice of cheese.
  11. Plop into the oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melty and browned 🙂

Pictures?  Yes!  Go!

Cheesesteak Peppers 1

Gather what you need, and slice your onions and mushrooms, and mince your garlic!

Cheesesteak Peppers 2Melt the butter in a large pan, and start your mushrooms and onions a-caramelizing!  Don’t forget to stir now and then!

Cheesesteak Peppers 3This should take about 25 minutes.  While you are waiting, this is a good chance to prepare your bell peppers and slice the roast beef!

Cut the peppers in half, and remove ribs and seeds.  A small, sharp knife worked well for me, and when that didn’t work I actually used a spoon to scoop out any unwanted stubborn spots 🙂

Cheesesteak Peppers 4Slice da beef!

Cheeseteak Peppers 5Don’t forget to keep an eye on the veggies on the stove!!  And stir them now and then!  When they are looking good, add in your beef.

Cheesesteak Peppers 7Stir it in and cook about 5 more minutes.

Cheesesteak Peppers 8

Deglaze your pan with Worcestershire and wine! Now scoop your filling into the pepper halves!

Cheesesteak Peppers 9Top with cheese and jalapeno slices if you want a spicy kick.

Cheesesteak Peppers 10Place in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  You are looking for the cheese to be melty and browned!

Cheesesteak Peppers 11Yummy!!

Cheesesteak Peppers 12.5Gorgoeus!  And oh, so tasty!!

Cheesesteak Peppers 14Look at all those layers!!!  See what I mean about it being such a satisfyingly meaty bite, like an Arby’s sammich?!  Yum!!!!!

Confetti Asparagus

My husband loves my cooking.   Especially when I make big, meaty things.  He’ll brag on me to his friends 🙂  However….it’s very rare that the thing he is talking about at the end of the day is the vegetable SIDE DISH!  Yeah.  That just happened.  And the next day…he mentioned “that asparagus,” followed by a manly “that was delicious” growl in his throat.  That….is how you know an asparagus recipe is freaking amazing.  I couldn’t change a thing about this recipe.  It is definitely going to be a staple in our house.  Cause we love asparagus, and its so super special 🙂  Plus…it’s just so cute.  How often does your food have “confetti?!”

Recipe from spoonful.com. 🙂  Thank you, Pinterest, for helping me stumble upon this beauty 😀

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 lbs asparagus, ends snapped off (bend them, and they’ll break naturally at just the right spot)
  • 1/2 Red Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Yellow Pepper, diced
  • 1/3 C Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (unless you are like me, and are offended at the discrimination against black pepper…I usually add the same amount of pepper as salt. Haha!)

Note:  This is a dish that you can serve hot or cold!  Mr. Rodgers and I have officially decided that we like our veggies hot versus cold, so that is the slant I will take on this one.  BUT, if you want this to be a cold salad…have a bowl of ice water ready when you cook your asparagus, and throw it in the bowl when its done 🙂  It will stop the cooking process and cool them down so you can have a nice cool dish 🙂

 

So, here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep your veggies.  Pop off the ends of the asparagus, and dice your bell peppers real small.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, dijon, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Make sure there is enough water to cover the asparagus.
  4. Toss in your asparagus, return to  a simmer, and cook until tender crisp…about 2-4 minutes.
  5. Remove and immediately drain well.
  6. Fan your asparagus out on a platter, drizzle with your dressing, and sprinkle with the bell pepper confetti!  Yay!!  Fun!!  Yummy!!

 

Now you can see how pretty it is 🙂

Prep your veggies 🙂  I definitely think that is more than 2 cloves garlic.  Oops haha 🙂

Confetti Asparagus 2

 

Boil your asparagus 2-4 minutes and drain.  Mix together your dressing ingredients.  Stick the asparagus on your serving platter, drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with “confetti,” and serve!  SO GOOD!
Confetti Asparagus 3

 

Cute 🙂  Confetti!!!

Confetti Asparagus 4What a beautiful compliment to a light fish entree!!!  Perfection!

Confetti Asparagus 5

 

Layered Pepper Steak

So…to my faithful followers…do you remember my Steak Roll Ups post?!  If you do…you’ll remember me saying that it was born out of the fact that I was planning on making one recipe, but ended up with the wrong kind of steak.  Well…this is that recipe, how it was supposed to be.  Or…at least close to it.  😉  It was a very fun idea and easy process, I liked it!!  And it’s a good base to play with as well, so have fun with it and let me know how it goes.  I wanna start hearing about you guys’ food adventures!!! 🙂

Photo (13)

Ohhh yum, eh?  I wish I would have taken a picture of one of the steaks that had a bigger slab of pepper! Don’t worry…I accounted for that in my adjustments for the recipe I’m giving you 🙂  All of yours should have a perfect slab of pepper 🙂

Here’s what you need, you need, you need, here’s what you need for the recipeeeeeeeeee!

(In case you are wondering…yes, yes I was singing that as a song in my head.  To the tune of the “let’s name the zones” song that school teacher sings on Finding Nemo.  I may be a good cook, but I’m also kiiiiind of a child :D)

  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 Bell Peppers of your favorite color (green was good but I think a sweeter one would be even better), sliced into at least 6 large chunks, as flat as possible
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced into 6 discs.
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • About 1/4 C Amino Acids or Tamari GF Soy Sauce
  • 32 oz steak

And here is what you dooooo, here is what you doooooooo….

(Yeah…that one was to Bethel’s “This is what you do”)

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Put the steak pieces into a bowl, and squirt enough Amino Acids (or soy sauce) to give them a good coating.  You’re gonna do a sort of quick marinating.  Add the garlic, a small amount of salt and some pepper.  Toss and let sit while you do the rest of your prep.  Another good option is to plan ahead and do this a couple of hours before!
  3. Coat a baking dish with the butter.  I find it works well to use a basting brush 🙂
  4. When you are satisfied with how long your steaks have marinated, place them in the dish.  Top each with an onion disc and a bell pepper slab.
  5. Broil until it reaches your desired amount of doneness, flipping at least once (replace the onion and pepper on top when you do).  The original said 3-4 minutes per side…that was definitely not enough for ours!  I’d say start with about 7 minutes per side, depending on how thick your steaks are.  Then check the doneness…I know everybody likes theirs different!!  Feel free to adjust accordingly 🙂
  6. See, wasn’t that easy?  Serve with some veggies, and enjoy!!!!  There’s so many different ways you could tweak this, who’s got a good idea? 😀

See how the peppers get a nice roast?  And the onions cook just enough to not be overwhelmingly “loud,” but to add a nice flavor to the dish.  It’s great to get a little bite of onion and pepper with each bit of steak…it’s like a super protein-y stir fry or something, haha!

Photo (15)

Mmmmmm!

Photo (12)Adapted from perfectweightamerica.com

Mixed Roasted Veggies

I loooooove me some roasted veggies.  It works with pretty much any vegetable, and I do believe it is one of the tastiest ways to eat them.  All you need is to know how hot to heat your oven, and inspiration on what veggies to try.  I loved this recipe because it was a whole bunch of different veggies, and things I wouldn’t have thought to try roasted in the oven!  Like tomatoes…who woulda thought I’d actually kind of like them roasted, haha?!  So please…when you don’t know what to serve along side your main course, and you wanna get some good nutrients in your kiddos…try this bad boy!!!  I could eat warm, comforting, and tasty roasted veggies with every meal 🙂  Plus, there are so many benefits to using the mixed veggie route…all the different colors are pretty…all the yummy flavors compliment each other…and I’m no nutrition genius, but I’m guessing that each veggie has its own vitamins and nutrients so you are getting a menagerie of health 🙂 Yay!!!

Roasted Veggies 5Gooooooorgeous!!!

Sooooo, here’s what you need!!!

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 red onion, sliced into large chunks
  • 2 large bell peppers, your favorite color, sliced into chunks
  • 2 zucchini, quartered then sliced in half
  • 2 yellow squash, quartered then sliced in half
  • 3-5 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

And here’s how you do it 🙂

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  2. As soon as your veggies are sliced and chunked…..place them on a large cookie sheet.   Drizzle with the olive oil and toss so all the veggies are coated.
  3. Season generously with salt (or herbamare seasoning) and pepper.
  4. Place in the oven and roast until the veggies have reached your desired degree of tenderness…about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve along some protein, and en-freaking-joy

Everything peeled, chopped, chunked, and sliced…awaiting seasoning and roasting.  But already so colorful and inviting!

Roasted Veggies 2

Salted, Peppered…

Roasted Veggies 4

Place on a plate to complete a yummy meal!!!
Roasted Veggies 6

Two Pepper Fritatta

This was something new for me!  It’s a recipe that was on our meal plan, but I had never even heard of a fritatta!!!  Well…I still can’t tell you exactly what it is…somewhere between a quiche, an omelet, and my mother’s “German Pancakes”…but I can tell you that I have tried multiple recipes for fritattas, and I LIKE ‘EM!!  At least made a certain way, and with certain recipes!  I’ve been tweaking my technique since this one, and do believe I have it closer to perfect, so I will apply those techniques to this recipe too so you can have the wonderful, golden-brown, crispy crusted, super fluffy results that I have gotten recently.  Yummmmyyyyy protein-y tasty delicious breakfast!!!  I hope you enjoy!

Photo (11)

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Small Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 1 Small Yellow Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (limit to 2 oz if you are making for dieting purposes)
  • Chopped Parsley (optional)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet, medium heat.
  3. Saute the bell peppers and onions until tender crisp! Probably about 5 minutes.  Mine still had a little crunch and I liked it in contrast to the fluffy eggs 🙂  Set them aside in a bowl.
  4. In a different, medium sized bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream with some salt and pepper.  Add the peppers and onions and give it another stir.
  5. Melt the butter in your cast iron skillet over medium heat.   It really needs to be a cast iron skillet to get just the right crispy, crust-like effect that I loved so much!!! But it will work with any oven safe pan, just not as wonderful texture wise 🙂
  6. Once the butter is heated, pour in the egg/pepper mixture.  Cook for about 5 minutes on the stove top.
  7. Sprinkle the eggs with cheddar, then slide into your hot oven.  Bake until it raises and gets fluffy.  The original said it should only take about 4 minutes.  I usually leave mine longer…until it doesn’t jiggle in the middle any more, the cheese is melty and the sides are getting golden brown.  Probably ended up being more like 7 minutes, perhaps even up to 10.
  8. Take it out, cut into wedges, and top as you please!  We used parsley and hot sauce.  I can imagine sour cream would be good (if you don’t mind that you are already ingesting a lot of sour cream), or sliced avocados!  Perhaps even a fresh salsa!  Yum!

I hope you enjoy this new breakfast idea, adapted from perfectweightamerica.com 🙂

Don’t use the kind of pan in this picture, go for cast iron as mentioned above!!   It will be thicker (cause this pan was large so it thinned out), crispier, fluffier, golden-browner…all around delicious-er haha 🙂  But even as-is…isn’t it pretty? 😀

Photo (10)

The wonderfully, creamy-fluffy texture with the contrast of the slight veggie crunch…with my favorite classic flavors!   I tend to believe every good meal starts with an onion and some bell pepper!!  And the parsley wasn’t planned, it was left over from a previous recipe…but it added a wonderful flavor AND it looked nice!!  Two for one, can’t get better than that, right?  🙂   I hope you all like it, I will have more fritatta recipes for you later!
Photo (9)Tell me, what is a fritatta recipe you have tried and loved?  Or if you haven’t had one…what kind of flavors can you imagine going well?  Thoughts on what I should try next?  Or make your own adventure and let me know how it goes 😀