In this weather, we are all craving delicious, heart warming dinners! But the problem is that most of those recipes take hours to make, plus have hundreds of calories that we just don’t need when trying to stay in shape! Use these following recipes to stay warm, stay satisfied, and stay on your diet!
Submitted by Gary Meyers, Membership Consultant, O2 Fitness Fuquay
Most people love stuffed peppers and they are very easy to make. There are many variations you can try. This version for stuffed peppers is a beef, tomato and brown rice version but you can use the basic steps and substitute in other ingredients as you prefer. Try ground turkey, chicken or pork, any kind of bean, quinoa, orzo, or couscous–the options are endless!
- canned diced tomatoes
- tomato paste
- red and green bell peppers
- brown basmati rice
- ground sirloin
- parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2 .While the water is heating up you can core and de-seed your peppers.
3. Once the water is boiling you place your peppers in the water for 3-minutes or until they begin to soften
4. After 3-minutes carefully remove the pepper from the water (drain the water out) and place them cut-side up on a few layers of paper towels.
5. Return the pot of water to a boil and add your rice to it. Cook the rice for about 13-15 minutes then drain it in a strainer.
6. Chop 1 large white onion, mushrooms (about 7-8 baby portobello) and garlic (3-7 cloves depending on your preference for garlic).
7. Heat some oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the onions and mushrooms to it. Cook them down until they are softened and beginning to brown
8. Add 1-pound of ground sirloin beef or turkey and cook that until it is just browned.
9. Add the chopped garlic and 3/4 a small can of tomato paste. Stir to incorporate and cook for about 1-minute.
10. Add 1 can (15 ounces) of diced tomatoes – stir to incorporate and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the juice from the tomatoes has thickened slightly. Turn off the heat when the juice is thick.
11. Add the cooked rice, 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese to the meat mixture. Stir to combine all ingredients
12. Place the softened peppers in a baking dish and fill each with the meat and rice mixture. Top each with some ketchup or the rest of the tomato paste mixed with hot water.
13. Bake the peppers in a 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes.
14. Enjoy a healthy meal full of protein, fiber and nutrients!
Low-Fat Turkey Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 stick of celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 pound 99% fat-free ground turkey
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce, no salt added
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 tbsp fat-free sour cream or yogurt
- 4 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, chopped pepper and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Crumble the turkey into the pan, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano. Add in tomatoes and tomato sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, mix well and cook on low heat for a further 5-10 minutes.
Ladle into bowls. Add a dollop of fat-free sour cream or yogurt on top, plus some fresh chopped cilantro if you have it.
Low Fat Lentil and Black Bean Soup
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
- 1 large celery stalk, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 2 15-ounce cans reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Sauté onions, celery, and garlic until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle cumin and chili powder, cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add lentils, black beans, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender.