Rice and bean stuffed pepper

120 sugar calories

~Shopping List~

  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black beans (canned is fine, rinsed and drained)
  • 1/4 cup cooked rice
  • 2 Tbsp pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, top and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

~To do~

Heat a skillet; drizzle with olive oil.  Add onion and celery, and sauté on medium-high for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Sauté garlic for a minute, then add spinach and continue cooing until just wilted, then remove from heat.  In a bowl, mix the veggies, beans, rice, cheese, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.  Fill the bell pepper with the mixture, lace in baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in center of oven for 1 hour.

~Alternatives~

You can cook these the night before and reheat the next day (2 minutes in the microwave).

Zucchini boats

0 sugar calories

~Shopping List~

  • 1/2 zucchini cut lengthwise
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • Pinch curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper

~To do~

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cook bacon in a skillet.  Remove and sautée onion (until soft).  In a small bowl crumble bacon and mis with onion, tomato and sour cream.  Top with thyme, curry powder, salt and pepper.

Scoop out the zucchini seeds and place mixture into zucchini.  Top with cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

~Alternatives~

Turn into a salad by serving on a bed of spinach.

Eggplant rollups

0 sugar calories

~Shopping List~

  • 3 slices of a large eggplant, 1/2″ thick (lengthwise)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1/4 chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce

~To do~

Preheat oven to 450F.  Brush eggplant with oil and place on oiled baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Sautée onion and zucchini until soft (around 5 minutes).  In a small bowl mix onion, zucchini, ricotta, parsley, basil, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper.  Place mixture on the eggplant and roll.  Place seam side down and top with marinara.  Bake for another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top with additional Parmesan to taste.

Sweet potato skins

79 sugar calories

~Shopping List~

  • 1/2 weet potato (sliced lengthwise)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 shallot minced
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper

~To do~

Preheat oven to 350F.  Wrap sweet potato loosely in foil and place in oven on baking sheet for 45-60 minutes.

Heat skillet on medium-high and add a drizzle of olive oil.  when oil is hot, sauté the shallot for a couple of minutes, then add spinach and cook until just wilted.  Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.  In a bowl, mix together the sautéed vegetables, chickpeas, cream cheese and sour cream.

When sweet potato is cooked and cooled enough to handle, scoop out most of the flesh (throw it out or save if for later).  Fill with cheese/veggie mixture and return to oven for 5 minutes.  Top with mozzarella and bake until cheese is melted (around 3 minutes).

~Alternative~

No time to bake the potato?  Turn it into an open faced sandwich with one slice of whole wheat toast.  You can also replace the mozzarella with feta or goat cheese.

Heirloom tomato toasts

160 sugar calories

~Shopping List~

  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 small slices whole graine baguette, lightly toasted
  • 3 Tbsp feta
  • 3 Tbsp goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts

~To do~

Preheat broiler;  Heat a small skillet and add a drizzle of olive oil.  When hot, add garlic, basil and tomatoes.  Sauté for a few minutes (until soft), Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together both cheeses with a fork, then mash and speed onto toasts.  Top with pine nuts and place under broiler for a minute, just until cheese is melted.  Top with tomato mixture.

~Alternatives~

No pine nuts available.  Substitute with any nut like walnut, almonds or macadamia nuts.

Summer pasta in white wine sauce

~ Shopping List ~

  • 1 pound dried fettuccine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced 1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • kosher salt
  • shredded Parmesan

~ What to do ~
peppers and onionsCook pasta according to package directions. Strain, but reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

While your pasta is cooking, in a skillet large enough to fit the cooked pasta, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, crushed red pepper (if using) and oregano. Cook 1 minute. Add green and red bell peppers. Cook until softened, 3 minutes. Pour white wine and reserved pasta water over the mixture. Cook for 5 minutes.  Add strained noodles to sausage mixture and toss to coat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5-7 minutes or until most of the sauce is absorbed. Toss once more. Season to taste with kosher salt (or cajun spice).

Serve hot along side some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.

~ Spice it up ~

Love the idea, but miss the meat, try adding sausage to the mix.  Cook the sausage before the vegetables to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of that flavour.

Serves perfectly with pickled eggplant and the leftover white wine.

Broccoli & Pepper Strata

broccoli_pepper_strata

~ Shopping List ~

  • 9 Lasagna noodles
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1.5 cups defatted chicken stock
  • 15 oz part-skim or nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 jar (15 ounces) roasted red peppers, well drained
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (2 tablespoons fresh)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons herbs de province
  • 10 ounces cooked spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cups steamed chopped broccoli
  • 203 tablespoons grate Parmesan cheese
  • Tomato sauce of your choice (*optional)

~ What to do ~

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles until tender (about 12 minutes).  Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and about 1/4 cup of stock until the cornstarch dissolves.  Stir in remaining stock.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, egg and spinach.  Set aside.
  5. Pat the peppers dry (and slice into strips if not already in strips)
  6. Warm oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and sauté until the release their moisture, about 5 minutes.  Add the parsley, garlic & herb de province.  Stir until the mushrooms have shrunk and are thoroughly dry, about 5 minutes more.
  7. Give he cornstarch mixture a stir and then add the frying pan.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid turns clear and thickens.  Remove from the heat and stir in ricotta mixture.
  8. Coat a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (with oil or no-stick spray or juice from drained peppers).  Place 3 noodles in a single layer in the dish.  Spread with 1/3 of this mushroom sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/2 of the peppers and 1/2 of the broccoli.
  9. Repeat with another layer of noodles (1/3 mushroom sauce, remaining peppers, remaining broccoli).  Finish with remaining noodles and mushroom sauce.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  10. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
  11. Top with tomato sauce (*optional)

~ Like the mushroom sauce but don’t want to bake?  Try this alternative… ~

Replace lasagna noodles with fettucini (omitting the egg) and toss with pasta.  Top with the peppers.  Use the broccoli as your side dish.