Stuffed Bell Peppers with a Secret Ingredient (It’s not love!!)

I had been craving stuffed bell peppers for a while so I finally decided to try making them at home. My husband is not a big fan of stuffed bell peppers, so I wanted to make sure he would enjoy it as well. Turns out, they are super easy to make and my husband loved it because I added a secret ingredient!

Whats the secret ingredient?

Garam Masala is a very common Pakistani/Indian ingredient that you find in a number of South Asian recipes! Garam Masala is a combination of 8  ground spices that has a  unique flavor & a distinctive aroma. Read my  post to learn how to make it at home!

stuffed-bell-peppers

Serving Size: 1 Bell Pepper; Calories: 400 – 425 kcals (depending on the size of the bell pepper)

First cook the beef. For that you will need:

  • 1 lb lean beef
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 Tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala

Other ingredients:

  • 4 Bell Peppers
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 0.75 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/8 cup Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

  1. Preparing the meat:
    • Place the beef in a non-stick pan on medium heat and put ginger & garlic paste, salt, red-pepper and turmeric powder.
    • Let it cook for 15 minutes until the meat has turned brown and some of the water from the meat has dried
    • Add chopped onions and cook until all the water has dried
    • Add garam masala and stir well. Remove from the heat.
  2. Boil water
  3. Remove the top of the bell pepper and hollow out the bell peppers
  4. Put the bell peppers in boiling water for 5- 7 mins
  5. Mix beef, rice, and sauce in a bowl
  6. Stuff the bell peppers with the beef, rice & sauce mix
  7. Top each bell pepper with cheese
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
  9. Serve hot

 

Q for Quinoa!

This Quinoa recipe is super easy to make and very delicious in addition to being a good source of protein an fiber — my husband absolutely loves it (well…he has no choice)! It goes well as a side with grilled chicken or even as a meatless entree served with avocado!

Here is the skinny on Quinoaquinoa-3

  • Whole-grain
  • A source of fiber and protein
  • A source of potassium and iron
  • Gluten free

 

 

Serving Size: 1 Cup; Calories per serving: 240 Kcals

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa, 1 cup
  • Water, 2 cups
  • Tomatoes, 1 cup chopped
  • Jalapenos, ½ cup chopped
  • Corn, canned, no-sodium (drained), 1 can (approx 15 oz)
  • Black Beans, canned, low-sodium (drained), 1 can (approx 15 oz) – I prefer to use dry black beans instead of using canned.
  • Cumin powder, 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt,1 tsp
  • Lime, 1

** once i even added taco seasoning to spice it up 🙂

Directions:quinoa-2

  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Cover and simmer (medium low heat) for approximately 20  minutes or until no water is left.
  3. Top with cilantro and squeeze some fresh lime juice.

P.S. Canned diced tomatoes and jalapenos can be used as well.

Eggless Breakfast Ideas

Eggs are the best source of protein food at breakfast! As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, it is important to have a combination of protein and carbohydrates at every meal. Click here to read the post on a balanced breakfast.

For those picky eaters, like my cousin, I put together a list of breakfast foods (other than the typical cereal) that do not contain egg.

Calories ranging from 250-330 kcals

  1. Breakfast wrap: 1 Whole grain tortilla with ½ cup black beans, 2 Tbsp Ragu Sauce/Salsa, and 1 Tb fat-free shredded cheeseBlack Bean Burrito
  2.  Grilled cheese sandwich: 2 slices of whole grain bread and 2 slices of your favorite fat-free cheese with a cup of skim milk
  3.  Cereal in yogurt: 1 cup of cheerios with 1 fat-free Greek Yogurt (approx 5.3 oz)
  4. Waffle sandwich: 2 whole wheat waffles with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter and 1 tbsp of jelly. (Bonus tip: Try a chocolate chip waffle sandwich with ricotta)
  5.  waffle PB&JEnglish Muffin with Ricotta Cheese: 1 Whole grain muffin with 2 Tbsp of Ricotta Cheese, 1 Tbsp of Jelly with a cup of skim milk

Ricotta Cheese Muffin2

 

 

 

 

 

Quick on the Go Options:

  1. Breakfast bars: Nature Valley protein bars (10 g Protein) with 1 cup of skim milk
  2. Smoothie (made the night before): Find the recipe here!

Banana Nut Bread made with Whole Grain Flour

The delicious banana nut bread recipe contains 50% whole grain flour thus providing you with some fiber in your diet. Enjoy a piece of bread with skim milk in the morning and you have a breakfast of less than 350 kcals. Remember: eat in moderation!

1 loaf = 12 servings        

Nutrition Value of 1 serving:

254 Kcals     36.3 g of Carbohydrate (2.6 g Dietary Fiber)     11.3 g Fat     4.2 g Protein

  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar     Image
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of hot water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 large ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ C walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350o
  2. Grease the pound pan
  3. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  4. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition
  5. Sift all-purpose flour and salt together
  6. Add baking soda dissolved in hot water
  7. Stir in whole wheat flour and mix well
  8. Fold in mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and walnuts
  9. Pour mixture into pan and bake 50-60 minutes or till the cake tester comes out clean
  10. Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan

Easy Hummus Recipe with Nutrient Analysis

Hummus is a very common side dish in the Middle East that is gaining popularity in the West. It is a great low calorie snack and a good vegetable source of protein.

Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are rich in fiber and protein. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid (chickpeas tend to be higher in folic acid than other beans), zinc, and magnesium.

Read complete article here.

Number of Servings- 8     Serving size – 2 tbsp

Nutrition Info:

114 Kcals     16.7 g CHO     4.6g Pro     4.3 g Fat

Hummus with Pita Chips

Hummus with Pita Chips

Ingredients:

  • Chickpeas – 1 can (15 oz)
  • Lemons – 6
  • Tahini – 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic cloves – 2
  • Cold Water – 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil – 1tbsp

Directions:              

Blend it all and refrigerate

Enjoy with pita chips or fresh veggies!

Karhai Chicken

Number of servings: 6          Serving size: 2 pieces of chicken          Calories: 240 calories

Ingredients: 

Shan Meathi 2

1 whole chicken
8 medium sized tomatoes (cubed)
1 cup oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp (turmeric powder)
2 Tbsp cayenne pepper flakes
½ tsp red chili powder 5-6  green chili  (split into half and remove the seeds)
2 Tbsp plain low fat yogurt
11/2 tsp fenugreek leaves (Qasuri Methi)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat the oil and add garlic, ginger, and chicken. Cook the chicken on high heat until it turns white.
2. Add cayenne pepper flakes, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and tomatoes.  Cook until there is very little water remaining in the pan.
3. Add yogurt and cook till water dries up and oil has surfaced.
4. Add fenugreek leaves (qasuri methi) and green chilies.
5. Add 1 tsp salt or as desired.Karhai Chicken 3 6. Optional: add ground gram masala
7. Garnish with cilantro

Note: the calories are based on the estimate that 5.3% of the corn oil was absorbed and rest was burned. Absorption depends on the heat, type of oil, and food that is being cooked.  Information is based on this research article.

Chappli Kabab: healthier version

Chappli Kabab is one of my favorite foods but it is usually deep fried in oil. My mom slightly adjusted the recipe on the back of the Shan Chappli Kabab masala box to make it a little healthier.

chappli kabab

Bake it don’t fry it!

Forget the egg!

Go lean!

Serving size: 2 kababs

Number of servings: 6

Nutrition information per serving:                319 kcals, 16 g protein, 25 g fat

Ingredients:

  1. 500 grams of regular ground beef (approximately 1 lb)
  2. Shan Chappli Kabab Masala (1 packet =100 g)
  3. 1 large tomatoes, sliced
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 large jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  7. 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  8. 1 tbsp corn oil

Directions:

  • In the minced meat add Shan Chappli Kabab masala, onion, jalepeno, ginger, garlic, and oil.
  • With wet hands make thin flat round kababs (about 12 kababs). Place a slice of tomato on one side of the the kabab, and place on baking sheet (spray the baking sheet with oil)
  • Bake in 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes or until kababs are cooked (internal temperature of 165 degrees)

Tip:

Use lean ground beef (281 kcals/serving)  to reduce the fat and calories. Use chicken instead of meat to cut out the calories even more.