Protein-packed stuffed bell peppers

Made these today and they turned out deliciously! After a few requests for the recipe, I’m posting it here!

 
Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (I used the red kind, but any kind will work!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can stewed diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cheese for garnish (I used goat cheese, but you can use any kind!)

Directions:

  1. First, get the quinoa cooking. Combine the quinoa and water in a small pot and turn on to medium heat until it boils, then simmer until all the water is soaked up.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, brown the ground turkey. I like to rinse it in very hot water after I cook it to get rid of the remaining fat, but this step is optional, especially if you’re using lean ground turkey.
  3. While the turkey is cooking, begin on the rest of the filling. Combine the black beans, stewed tomatoes, olives, cumin, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Chop the cilantro and add that in too.
  4. Next, cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. (You can also just cut the tops off if you want a bigger cup to fill!) save a small piece of one pepper to chop and add into the filling mix.
  5. Once quinoa and turkey are cooked, combine them in the bowl with the rest of the filling mix.
  6. Next, line a baking sheet with foil and lay the pepper halves out. Spoon the mixture into the pepper halves and sprinkle the tops with cheese.
  7. Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes

Enjoy!!

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Super Easy Lemon Butter Salmon with Green Beans

Super Easy Lemon Butter Salmon with Green Beans

Super Easy Lemon Butter Salmon with Green Beans

Need a quick and easy, HEALTHY meal? Take five minutes and put together this salmon dinner! Your tastebuds will thank you.

This is one of my favorite recipes for any time of year because it is FAST, HEALTHY and seriously DELICOUS! Oh, and I forgot to mention, SO EASY (and husband approved)! Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients: 

1 salmon fillet per person (I get the bag of frozen Atlantic salmon from Costco)

1 handful of frozen green beans per person

1 lemon

1/2 tbsp butter (straight from the refrigerator)

Rosemary

Salt

Pepper

Tin Foil

 

Instructions:

  1. Tear off a 12 inch piece of tin foil, lay it on the counter.
  2. Arrange a handful of frozen green beans to one side of the foil and place the frozen salmon fillet on top of the beans.
  3. Add your preferred spices to the salmon. I like to season it with rosemary, a little salt and pepper and a little bit of garlic powder, but it doesn’t need a whole lot!
  4. Slice up the lemon and lay the slices on top of the salmon, and add about a 1/2 tbsp. slice of butter on top.

    Layer 1: green beans, Layer 2: salmon, Layer 3: spices, Layer 4: lemon, Layer 5: butter

    Layer 1: green beans, Layer 2: salmon, Layer 3: spices, Layer 4: lemon, Layer 5: butter

  5. Fold the foil over the top to make a packet, and fold over the edges as shown below. Sometimes I add an extra layer of foil if it is thinner foil.Salmon wrapped in foil
  6. Time to cook! I have done this in two different ways. You can bake it in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes or so, OR you can stick it on your grill on low for about 20-25 minutes. I like to cook it on the grill in the summertime so I don’t have to heat up my oven.
  7. Enjoy! Each packet serves 1-2 people depending on the size of your appetite and the size of the salmon fillet. YUM!

IMG_3796

Enjoy!

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Delicious Chicken and Veggie Yakisoba Stir Fry

yakisoba

I have been on a serious hunt to find delicious food that I’m excited to both make and eat, and this is one that I very happily discovered in my own mom’s kitchen! She made it for a family gathering and I had to have to recipe. It was sooo good. I have since tweaked and added to the recipe she told me (off the top of her head of course, because she is amazing and just comes up with this stuff as she goes) and am proud to present my own take on Yakisoba stir fry.  It is a new family favorite (toddler approved, even)!

(I apologize in advance for my not-so-good-iPhone-photography, but just know that the pictures don’t do it justice and it is seriously delicious and worth making.)

Chicken and Veggie Yakisoba Stir Fry

www.homesweethomebodies.net

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini or other summer squash, sliced and halved
3 small carrots, peeled and julienned
1-2 cups shredded cabbage
1 yellow or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 can of bamboo shoots – AND/OR – 1/2 can of bean sprouts
1/2 pkg chuka soba noodles, cooked according to directions on package (I used Caravelle brand)
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
11.5 oz bottle Classic Stir Fry Sauce, divided (I used House of Tsang brand)
Cashews for garnish
1-2 TB Olive oil for frying
Optional: 1/2 tsp sesame oil added to olive oil for frying (adds depth of flavor)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil(s) in a large frying pan, and add sliced chicken.  Season with a few tablespoons of Classic Stir Fry Sauce. Cook until meat is still tender, but cooked through.  Set aside in a bowl (you will be adding it back in with the veggies at the end). **NOTE: as an alternative (to save dishes and time) you can cook the chicken until it is about halfway cooked, and leave it in the pan while you add the veggies.
  2. Add onion, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, bell pepper and celery to the hot pan. Add another few tablespoons of stir fry sauce and stir fry veggies until tender, but not soft.
  3. Add bamboo shoots and/or 1/2 can bean sprouts and cooked Chuka Soba noodles to the stir fry, and add stir fry sauce and heat through.  PLEASE NOTE: I ended up using about half a bottle of sauce in total – don’t dump the whole thing in, but you can always add more if you like a stronger flavor and think it needs it (the first time I made it, I used the whole bottle and it was too strong and salty).
  4. Serve in a bowl and garnish with cashews.

 

First cooking the chicken:

IMG_0149.JPG

Then cooking the veggies:

Everything added in and cooked:

The finished product:

 

Sunday Chicken

This is a recipe that we like to make Sunday mornings and have it ready by the time we come home from church in the afternoon. It is pretty low maintenance, but very delicious- my kind of meal for a day of rest!

I like to use these pretty, multicolored mini potatoes from Costco…

…so that all I have to cut up are a few carrots and an onion. It all goes in the pot (I love to use these crock pot liners because it makes the cleanup so effortless- I know it probably isn’t the healthiest as it is plastic, but right now, it takes away a barrier to me actually cooking, which is a win. Priorities!)

The spices are added to the melted butter- ok, you can reduce the butter, but I don’t recommend it, because chicken is pretty lean, and you want this to be tender and flavorful. To that end, I also recommend using the longer cook time on the lower heat setting.

Sunday Chicken
{aka Crockpot Deliciousness}

Layer in the crock pot, in order:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • a bunch of fresh green beans
  • washed potatoes- mini, or regular sized, sliced 1″ thick
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 white onion, sliced

Mix the following and pour over chicken and vegetables:

  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. ground rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Stir gently to coat, and cook covered in crock pot 5-6 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. Serve and enjoy!

By the way, this meal goes rather nicely with this Rosemary Olive Oil bread (recipe from A Hint of Honey).

Enjoy!

Roasted Parmesan Veggie Dish

It’s that time of the summer when those of us with gardens are starting to panic about what to do with all the zucchini and squash coming out our ears.  You want to eat what you’ve grown, but whatever you haven’t pawned off to your neighbors is sitting on your counter, starting to go soft because you just can’t stand to make fried zucchini one more time.  Sound at all familiar?

This recipe is a winner, and it’s simple!  A friend of mine brought this dish to me while my family was sick with bad colds several months ago, and my taste buds had enough life still in them to know that it tasted amazing!

I have made it since then and adjusted the recipe slightly based on what I had.  Here it is:

Roasted Parmesan Garden Veggies

1 Zucchini
1 Crook neck squash
1 c. Bell or sweet peppers, chopped
1/2-1 Sweet or yellow onion (depending on how much you like onion)
1 c. Tomatoes, chopped, or cherry tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 c. Fresh Parmesan cheese (or several tablespoons from a can if it’s all you have)
Salt and Pepper to taste

All quantities are flexible- the above quantities are just a point of reference. Slice all the veggies and toss them with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Place them in a 9×13 pan or other baking dish and broil 14 minutes in the oven.  Alternatively, if you like your veggies to be a little firmer, put the peppers, onions, and squash in for 7 minutes, and add the zucchini and tomatoes in for the last 7 minutes. (This is probably the most tasty way to do it!  Come to think of it, it might be even more tasty with fresh garlic…yummm.)

There, you have another tasty recipe option for all your squash!

Another super yummy summer veggie recipe is this family favorite: Green Beans and Veggies on the Grill!

A Perfect Cold Weather Beverage- Wassail

The Best Homemade Wassail Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

Every autumn, I start getting excited about making cocoa, hot apple cider, and especially wassail.  It smells heavenly, and I’m sure that if you could make an elixir containing all the joy, excitement, and coziness of the holidays it would taste exactly like wassail.

Homemade Wassail for One {Home Sweet Homebodies}

Sometimes my husband and I like to just make it a cup at a time and heat it in the microwave for a cozy evening in, but the honest-to-goodness best way to enjoy it is to simmer it slowly on your stove-top or in a crockpot and savor the smell and perfectly blended flavors.  I will share my recipe for both ways so you can enjoy it any way you want, though.

Wassail for One:
Pour your cup about 3/4 of the way full with apple juice, then fill the rest with orange juice.  Add a squirt of lemon juice (optional). Add 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and a pinch each of ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger (optional).
Microwave on high for about a minute and a half, and let it sit for a few minutes before drinking.  Feel free to strain off
the floating spices or drink it in all its delicious glory!

Homemade Wassail for a Crowd {Home Sweet Homebodies}

Wassail for a Crowd
{Home Sweet Homebodies}

2 quarts apple juice or apple cider- “no sugar added” juice is best in my opinion, but use whatever you have!
2 1/2 c. orange juice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
12-14 whole cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger

Heat everything in the crock-pot on low heat for 3-6 hours.  It is ready after it is piping hot and the spices (besides the cloves) are mostly incorporated into the wassail and no longer floating- you may need to stir it a couple of times.  Your home will smell heavenly!  If you are in more of a hurry you can also heat it on the stove-top over medium heat for maybe 5-10 minutes and then turn it down to low heat!  If you leave it on higher heat on the stove-top it will thicken and eventually caramelize- good for syrup but not so good for drinking.  (Don’t worry if it does thicken a bit, just take it off the heat and let it cool down for a while- maybe even add a little bit of water- and it will thin mostly back down.)

Homemade Wassail Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

Mmmm!

I hope you are all finding joy this holiday season!

Homemade Wassail {Home Sweet Homebodies}

PS: For anyone who is new to Home Sweet Homebodies since last year, check out my recipe for the best Thanksgiving Crescent Rolls ever, or get some ideas to dress up the holiday table with my post on napkin folding.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Green Beans and Veggies on the Grill

This summer we are loving dinners hot off the grill.  Hamburgers, hotdogs, and BBQ chicken are the usual fare, it’s true, but fresh veggies and fruits cooked ’til tender, with a slightly smokey taste… well, that’s divine!  We have loved roasted Mexican corn (Elote), grilled pineapple, and tender french beans this season.  Ahh, makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  The grilled french green beans are probably my current favorite.  I’ve been playing around with a recipe, and each time I make it, I tweak it a bit more, but it is fabulous as-is, so I am going to share it with you!  Grilling veggies on a traditional barbeque/grill is made so much easier if you have one of these babies, but even if you don’t you can grill your veggies in foil.

I found my grill skillet at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $7, but I’m sure other stores like Walmart etc. would carry something similar.

First, you want to preheat your grill to med-high heat.  Then you can prepare your veggies for grilling.
You will need:

~1 lb french green beans- leave them whole, or snap off ends, whatever you prefer
1/2 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 white or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 green onions, also coarsely chopped
1-2 c. white mushrooms, chopped (these will shrink down quite a bit, so if you like mushrooms, add more than you think you will want, because it will end up being less than you thought)

 

Now you will want to pull out your spice rack and the olive oil and really give these veggies some flavor!  Here’s what I added:

~2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2-3 heaping teaspoons minced garlic (I’m sold on anything with garlic or onions, bonus points if it has both!)
~2 tsp. rosemary (or to taste)
2-3 twists of fresh ground pepper from the pepper mill
Celery salt or sea salt to taste

Combine all veggies and toss with the oil and spices.  Pour everything into the grill skillet.  It helps to have a dish under the skillet while you transport it to the grill  so you don’t spill oil on the floor on your way out.

Set the skillet on the heated grill, and let it cook for about 30 minutes- depending on the grill, stirring occasionally.  Our particular skillet has a removable handle which is nice, but
regardless, you want to have a couple of hot pads ready when it is time
to stir or remove the skillet from the grill.  No burned hands please!  In my opinion, the veggies are done when they are tender but still a bit crisp- no soggy beans for me!

We had these grilled veggies last month for my birthday (and also 2 other times that week, haha), and my husband was nice enough to grill outside even with a storm brewing.  Does that happen to anyone else?  It seems like at least 60% of the days we decide to grill, end up having terrific lightning and pouring rain for the hour we are grilling, then things calm down.

That day was no exception.  This is the view we enjoyed while eating our grilled veggies, pineapple, and chicken.  Lovely!

Recipe:

Green Beans and Veggies on the Grill

Preheat grill to med-high heat.

Prepare veggies:
~1 lb french green beans- leave them whole, or snap off ends, whatever you prefer
1/2 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 white or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 green onions, also coarsely chopped
1-2
c. white mushrooms, chopped

Add seasoning:
~2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2-3 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
~2 tsp. rosemary (or to taste)
2-3 twists of fresh ground pepper from the pepper mill
Celery salt or sea salt to taste
Once combined, pour everything
into the grill skillet.  Set the skillet on the heated grill, and let it cook for about 30 minutes- depending on the grill, stirring occasionally.  Remove when veggies are tender but still have a slight crunch.
Enjoy!

What are your favorite grilling recipes this summer?!

Tapioca pudding (aka comfort food)

There is something supremely comforting to me about tapioca pudding.  Maybe it is the memories that come with it of my grandmother cooking a large pot of the stuff and us kids running around hardly able to contain ourselves until it was finished.  Or maybe my love of vanilla, and the fact that it is delicious hot or cold makes it irresistible.  In any case, I like it- a lot!  I have been making it quite a bit over the last few weeks.  I’ll be honest and tell you that I have been making minute tapioca, not the whole pearl stuff.  I’m not really one for planning way ahead when I want to make a treat like this, so soaking it over night and all the egg separating stuff is not really up my ally.  But minute tapioca- so easy!  And still so delicious.  After making it the sugar and calorie dense way from the recipe on the box, I decided to change things up a bit to fit my low- sugar lifestyle and make it a bit healthier.

The original recipe with my substitutions in italics:

Minute Tapioca Pudding

1/3 c. sugar Substitute 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp agave instead, OR 2 Tbsp agave + 1/4 tsp liquid stevia
3 Tbsp Minute Tapioca
2 3/4 c. whole milk Substitute 1% milk
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

    Mix egg, milk, sugar or agave, and tapioca in medium saucepan; let stand 5 min. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil. (Pudding thickens as it cools.) Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Cover saucepan with lid or plastic wrap and cool for 20 min. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 6 half-cup servings.

    My Chocolate Variation:

    3 Tbsp agave + 1/4 tsp liquid stevia
    3 Tbsp Minute Tapioca
    3 c. 1% milk
    1 egg, well beaten
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp almond extract
    2 Tbsp each of unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened carob

    Mix egg, milk, agave and tapioca in medium saucepan; let stand 5 min. Add chocolate and carob. Bring to a full boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts. Cover saucepan with lid or plastic wrap and cool for 20 min. (Pudding thickens as it cools.) Serve warm or chilled. Stir before serving. Makes 6 half-cup servings.

    Notes:

    • If you use Stevia, use it as part of a sugar blend- not as the only sweetener in the tapioca!  It will taste awful if you use more than 1/4 tsp or so- take my word for it! 
    • The original recipe yields six 1/2-cup portion sizes, each with ~145 calories.  Making it my way, with 1% milk and agave/ stevia, there are just over 100 calories.  But the chocolate/ carob version brings it up to 150 calories.  I am not really into counting calories, but I was just interested to see how a few changes would affect the overall nutrient density- so there you have it.
    • You can add raisins, dried cranberries, nuts, etc. to the original recipe but in my humble opinion less is more.

     Enjoy!