Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Smokey Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Sauce

Peppers created by Plated Perfection
Avocado Sauce by Minimalist Baker (

It's been a while since I've posted any recipes, but I wanted to get this one up here since a few folks showed some interest. We were overseas traveling for a couple of weeks and then I was sick for about a week, so I apologize for the big gap! These stuffed peppers I tried to make on the healthier side and they were delicious. I think I could eat the filling alone and be a happy girl! They make great leftovers as well. Definitely give these a go. You could even make these vegetarian if desired and just leave out the ground turkey/add more vegetables. The spices were also eyeballed - use more of what you like (personally, I loved the smoked paprika). Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers Ingredients:
4 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded (I use a variety of colors)
1 lb ground turkey (lean)
~ 1 cup cooked & drained brown rice (eyeball how much rice you want in the filling)
1/4 cup chicken broth (I used the bone broth for more flavor) - you'll use this in batches
~3/4 cup tomato sauce (unsalted)
~1 tsp cumin
~2 tsp smoked paprika
~1 tsp garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
shredded cheddar cheese, for the topping
1 tb olive oil
dash of salt

Avocado Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 small avocado, cut into chunks
1 cup cilantro, stems removed (personal preference)
3 small limes, juiced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tb agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice)
water to thin

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the rice, strain and set aside. I used the boil-in-the-bag kind since I had it on hand. Wash, cut and seed your peppers and place in a greased baking dish (I used 13 x 9). Set aside. In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey with a tb of olive oil. Toss in the spices (cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper). Add a dash of salt as well. Stir in the tomato sauce (use as much as desired) and a bit of the chicken broth. Simmer together until browned. Stir in the black beans and rice and incorporate all of the ingredients together. Fill the peppers to the top so that the mix isn't falling out. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the foil, top each pepper with a spoonful of chicken broth that is left over and a dash of cheddar cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes. Top with the avocado sauce before serving.

For the avocado sauce, a food processor/blender will make this much easier on you. Toss in all ingredients except for the water. Puree together. Add the water and remove the avocado from the sides of the food processor/blender. Puree a bit more and serve.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lightened Up Shepherd's Pie

Courtesy of Plated Perfection

Since we will be out of the country for St. Patrick's Day, I figured we'd get in the spirit and make Shepherd's Pie a little early. We are also trying to be healthy, so I made a few modifications to your normal shepherd's pie to make it lighter. The only thing I'd change is that next go around, I think I'll stick to lean ground beef instead of using lean ground turkey - it got a little dry in my opinion and was a bit crumbly. Still tasty, but just my lessons learned!

Cauliflower + Potato Topping
·      1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
·      1-2 yukon gold potatoes (you can also omit this and just use cauliflower - I just figured I'd throw a few in for creaminess)
·      1 tablespoon butter
·      1/4 cup low fat sour cream (optional)
·      dash of salt and pepper
·      splash of skim milk

·      2 tb olive oil
·      1 small onion, diced 
·      2 celery ribs, diced (approx.)
·      1 cup peas (approx.)
·      2 carrots, diced (approx.)
·      2 cloves garlic, minced
·      1 pound ground turkey (or you can use lean ground beef)
·      1/4 cup homemade beef broth
·      splash of worcestershire sauce
·      1 tb tomato paste (or ketchup would do)
·      1-2 tb chopped fresh rosemary
·      1-2 tb chopped fresh thyme
·      salt and pepper to taste
·      shredded cheese to top the cauliflower (use one that melts well)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish and set aside. You can use 3 quart, but it will be pretty thin. In a large pot, steam or boil the potatoes and cauliflower until tender. I steamed them separately and set aside. Heat 2 tb of olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and cook until beginning to soften, around 5 minutes. Add the peas once they've softened. Add the ground meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, rosemary, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer while you prepare the topping.

Add 2 tb of butter, the sour cream and skim milk. Season with salt and pepper. Mash the potato and cauliflower mixture until smooth. To assemble, spread the filling on the bottom of the dish. Top with the cauliflower and potato mixture and smooth with a spoon. Cover with shredded cheese, if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Poached Halibut in Hot & Sour Broth

Courtesy of Cook Fresh Magazine

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope the holidays were enjoyed by all, but now it's back to reality! It's the time of year where you have a chance to hit the reset button and I'm doing just that. Nick and I are vowing to consistently work out and stay in and cook healthy on a MUCH more normal basis. Tonight I kicked this off with some fresh halibut. This recipe serves 4, so I have two more servings left over. I thought this was a tasty dish, and unique. I'd definitely give it a try. Don't be put off by the word "hot" in the title -- for me, it was sweeter than I expected. Next go around, I think I'd kick up the heat with additional hot sauce. I think I'd also add a dash of lime. I served this with a side of veggies, but next time, I think I'd toss in some zucchini noodles or a small mound of rice into the broth.


2 Tbs. soy sauce
4 halibut fillets, 1/2 lb. each (about 1-inch thick)
1 qt. homemade or low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2-1/2 Tbs. cider vinegar (I was out, so used white wine vinegar - I'd definitely recommend the cider vinegar)
12 quarter-size slices fresh ginger, cut into thin strips
1/4 tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce
1/4 cup sliced scallions (greens included)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Drizzle the soy sauce over both sides of the halibut fillets. Cover and refrigerate.
In a 12-inch sauté pan, combine the chicken broth, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, ginger, and Tabasco. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook gently for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming foam as necessary. Add the fillets, cover, and poach gently at a bare simmer over medium-low heat until the flllets are slightly firm to the touch and the centers are almost opaque (make a small slit with a knife to check), 6 to 8 minutes; the fish should be slightly undercooked at this point. Turn off the heat and let sit covered for another 2 minutes.
Divide the halibut and broth evenly among four shallow bowls. Sprinkle generously with the scallions and cilantro and serve with a spoon for the broth.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blackened Rockfish with Avocado Crema

Adapted from Delightful Mom Food (

I was fortunate to find some local, fresh rockfish and man was it delicious! I just did a simple blackening season and then made some avocado crema on the side. I based this off of a recipe from the aforementioned blog, but made some changes. Below is my version! I just served this with Whole Foods prepared sides because 1) I love them and 2) I was tired and didn't feel like preparing all courses! Give this a go -- definitely had a kick, but not too crazy :)

fresh rockfish filets, about a pound total (this worked for 2 for me)
Blackening Seasoning:
1 tb smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Avocado Crema Sauce:
1 cup guacamole (or avocado if you have it)
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 lime, juiced
dash of salt
1 tb of water to thin it out

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the fish with the blackening season. Place in dish and bake for approximately 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. They may need 20 minutes if they're on the thicker side. In the meantime, puree the avocado crema sauce in a mini food processor - set aside until ready. Serve the fish with a side of the crema, or on top with some veggies! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Baked Chicken with Dijon & Lime with Sautéed Spanish Corn

Baked Chicken Adapted from Skinnytaste
Sautéed Corn Courtesy of Plated Perfection

It's been ages since I bought or cooked chicken drumsticks, but last night was the night to change that! I love so many of the recipes on the Skinnytaste blog, and this was one I hadn't tried. It came out very tasty and I'd definitely recommend. Next time, I may try it with chicken breasts instead. The corn is something I came up with and it was delicious. It's my play on the corn we get from one of our favorite DC restaurants - Estadio. Definitely give it a go!

Baked Chicken with Dijon & Lime
6 chicken drumsticks (the original called for 8, with skin removed)
3 tb dijon mustard
1 tb lite sour cream (the original called for light mayo)
1 clove garlic, diced (the original called for this crushed)
1 lime, juiced and zested
3/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste
dried parsley
spray of Pam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place in a large bowl and season with salt. In a small bowl, combine the dijon, sour cream, garlic, lime juice and zest, and pepper. Stir and pour over the chicken to coat well. Spray a large baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and place chicken in a single layer. Top the chicken with dried parsley. Baked until cooked through, around 35 minutes. Finish it off by placing under the broiler for 2 minutes.

Sauteed Spanish Corn
4 ears of corn, cleaned and cut off the cob
1/2 lime, juiced
chopped cilantro, for garnish
shredded manchego or monterey jack (for topping)
Pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika) for topping - dash on each serving
2 olive oil
1 tb butter

Heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Once it has a shine, toss in the corn and stir with a spatula or spoon. Cook 3-5 minutes until caramelized, stirring as necessary to not stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the corn appears a bit browned, add the lime juice. Remove from the heat and serve topped with cheese, cilantro and pimenton.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Courtesy of Skinnytaste

We are on a mission to eat healthy this week (as we usually try to start each week). This recipe caught my eye and it was quite good! It also makes 6 halves of bell peppers, so this could easily make leftovers as well. The only thing I would add to this recipe is more seasoning - even if just salt and pepper. I also added a little more tomato sauce than what was called for, and it turned out great. This is a great weeknight meal that isn't full of guilt! Enjoy!

1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 onion, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 large sweet red bell peppers, washed
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
Olive oil spray
6 tbsp part skim shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray olive oil spray in a medium nonstick skillet and heat on a medium heat. Add onion, garlic and cilantro and saute about 2 minutes, add ground turkey, salt, garlic powder, cumin and cook meat for 4 to 5 minutes until meat is completely cooked through. Add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, mix well and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Combine cooked rice and meat together. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove all seeds. Spoon 2/3 cup meat mixture into each pepper half and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top each with 1 tbsp cheese. Pour the remainder of the chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and serve right away.