Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Is Your New Year's Resolution Real?

First off, Happy New Year's! I hope you all had a safe and wonderful holiday season and that you have kicked off the new year on a positive note. I wanted to do this post because most all of you know that in January of 2012 I started my lifestyle change. I started it at the beginning of the year, not because it was a New Year's resolution, but because I simply knew and felt that it was time to make a change. Although, this time of year definitely makes way for resolutions that are empty promises to those who make them. Gym memberships and attendance are at an all-time high for the year and healthy foods are OUT OF STOCK at, what seems like, all grocery stores!

Yes, you read that right. Nick and I have went to purchase veggies and some greens, especially kale, only to find that the shelves have been wiped clean! I might blame it on the fact that kale recipes are really popular right now, but I choose to blame it on the fact that the resolution-makers have wiped the shelves clean because they've promised themselves that they're going to eat healthier. This is wonderful and I deeply, truly hope that each and every soul who has made this resolution sticks to it all year and beyond but honestly how many of us actually stick to our resolutions the entire year?

I challenge you to actually turn that resolution into a true lifestyle change. For those who made a resolution to eat healthier this year and really, honestly want to stick to it and not only just frustrate me by clearing the shelves of food I already eat on a daily basis, then check out my recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers! It is delicious and brown bear (Nick) approved!

4 Peppers (variety)
3/4 Cup Quinoa
1.5 Cups Water
1 Yellow Squash
1 Onion
1 Garlic Clove
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)
1/3 Cup of Feta Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Marinara or Spaghetti Sauce (I use Vodka sauce)
Seasonings of your choice (I use cumin, poultry and chili powder)

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Boil water in a medium saucepan and rinse quinoa in a strainer then add quinoa to water. Lower heat to medium and cover. Let the quinoa soak the water and cook until plump. This usually takes 15 minutes. Stir occasionally so that it doesn't stick or burn.
2. Slice garlic, onion and squash and sauté with olive oil over medium heat.
3. While quinoa and veggies are cooking prepare your peppers by cutting the tops of each pepper off and de-seeding each one. Once that is complete you can stick each pepper in the microwave for a few minutes to soften. I simply steamed the peppers for about five minutes and that worked perfect!
4. Dump quinoa and veggies into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the can of diced tomatoes along with any other spices you prefer. Mix together.
5. Prepare a pan for the peppers by filling the bottom, about an inch-or-two, with water and then place each pepper (cut side up) in the pan.
6. Stuff the peppers with the quinoa and veggie mixture. You can top each pepper with additional spices at this point.
7. Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
8. Top each pepper with marinara or spaghetti sauce and then sprinkle some feta cheese on top.
9. Enjoy!

I really enjoyed this recipe and so did Nick. He is definitely the meat eater in the family, but this meatless yet hearty meal satisfied us both! I added a garlic toast and some corn on the side but this is an all-encompassing meal if need be!

Servings: 4

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 
Calories: 178  |   Fat: 6.8g   |   Cholesterol: 8.4mg   |   Sodium: 358mg   |   Carbs: 26.4g   |   Fiber: 5g   |   Sugar: 8g   |   Protein: 5.4g

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