Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quino Stuffed Peppers

Quino Stuffed Peppers

I found this great recipe on Eat Yourself Skinny.  I love stuffed peppers and always make them with turkey burger, rice, and canned tomatoes.

This is a great twist for stuffed peppers.  Personally I think these taste better then the ones I normally make.

What you will need:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Trader Joes Pepper Jack cheese
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
  • Salt and pepper
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onion, celery and jalapeno for about 5 minutes, until soft, then add cumin and garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Stir in drained tomatoes (reserving liquid) and cook for 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in black beans, quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.  Stir in 1 cup of cheese and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Preheat oven to 350 F and pour reserved liquid from tomatoes in the bottom of your baking dish.
Fill each halved bell pepper with 3/4 cup quinoa mixture and place in baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.
Transfer stuffed bell peppers onto serving dish and drizzle pan juices over top.  Enjoy!
I left out the jalapeno’s and only used half the amount of the Pepper Jack Cheese.  When it comes to spicy I’m a wimp.
Thanks for the great recipe and dinner Eat Yourself Skinny.

Chicken Cacciatore

The other week Rachel decided to experiment with this and made it in the crock pot.  She wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it was really good.

What you need is:

Chicken:  Boneless and skinless would be the best, but she made it with legs and thighs
Spaghetti Sauce:  You can use any jar of sauce that you like.
Green Peppers:  Cube into pieces
Mushrooms:  Fresh mushrooms would be the best but you can use canned if you want
Onion:  Finely dice or chop the onion
Garlic:  About 2 Tablespoons but you can add to taste.

This is really simple.  Just add the chicken to the crock pot.  Then pour in the sauce.  Then add the green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the top.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Then serve over rice or spaghetti, with garlic bread and a salad.

Chicken Salad

Now that the weather is getting warm, it’s time to make some of my favorite summer dishes.  This one is simple to make and I could eat it every day.

Chicken salad can be enjoyed many ways:  As a sandwich, over a salad, on crackers, ect…

Here is the way I make my chicken salad.

What you will need:

Chicken Breast:  About 2 cups of boneless skinless
Purple Grapes:  Seedless About 1 cup
Celery:  About 1 cup
Almonds:  Sliced or diced:  About 1/2-3/4 cup depending on taste
Mayo:  1 cup of Mayo (I use the Walden Farms brand to cut down on the fat)
Fresh Lemon:  Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of the lemon
Salt & Pepper:  To taste.  (I use either Sea Salt or Mrs Dash)

Boil the chicken till done, then shred into small pieces.   (If you have left over chicken from last nights dinner you can use that)  Cut the grapes into pieces, and dice the celery.  Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well mixed.  Sometimes I add a small amount of onion also. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Serve as a sandwich, or over salad, or with crackers.  Enjoy.  Let me know what you think of this.

Low Carb Chicken Mozzarella with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Now that I have been watching what I eat, and cutting down on the fat and carbs, I was looking for ideas on Pinterest.

I found this great recipe that was posted by Rock Recipes.  The great taste of Chicken Parm without all the carbs of traditional spaghetti.  Also very easy to make within an hour.

In place of spaghetti you will use a spaghetti squash. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp from the center.  After you have the squash cleaned out, brush the inside with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (I used one of the McCormick chicken grinders to season).  Place the cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet until the squash is fork tender.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes (can vary a little depending on your oven).

While this was baking I grilled the chicken breast on my counter top grill (and added a little of the McCormick season).

Once the squash is done baking, you will remove the insides with a fork onto a serving plate.  I used a half for each plate of the squash.  Top with the grilled chicken, and tomato sauce, and then thin slices of fresh mozzarella.

For the sauce I just used my favorite sauce I normally use, but you can find a great recipe on Rock Recipes site if you want to use theirs.

Also, they suggest putting the plates in the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese.  My plates are not oven safe so I just covered each one with a lid from my pots and pans for a minute or two and the cheese melted nicely.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

The picture used is from Rock Recipes site.

Suggestions:  You can also make this vegetarian either by using Boca Chicken or no Chicken at all.

Turkey Noodle Soup

Thanksgiving dinner is past and you have a lot of leftovers.  Here is a great use for left over Turkey.  Everyone loves chicken noodle soup, so change it up a little bit and make some turkey noodle soup.

Turkey:  Just rip up the left over turkey you have
Broth:  You can either use chicken or turkey stock (I prefer the low sodium)
Noodles:  Use the noodles of choice or for a thicker more like stew use the pot pie squares
Veggies:  Add whatever veggies you would like (Carrots, celery, potatoes and more)
Season to take with your favorite seasonings.

In a large stock pot add the turkey, veggies, and broth or stock you choose
Bring to a boil
Once the veggies are tender add the noodles and seasonings
Bring to a boil again and cook until the noodles are done.


Great meal on cold days.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Lower Calories

With Thanksgiving being right around the corner you might be worried about the start of the Holiday’s and what it will do for your diet.  Over the next couple of day’s I’m going to cover the main parts of Thanksgiving dinner and how you can enjoy and make it healthy.

First thing were going to look at is the turkey.  Turkey on a whole is low in fat and full of protein, but when we add on all the extra butter and fats is when we change it from a healthy food to a non-healthy food full of fat.

Depending on the size of your family, the best choice would be a turkey breast, but that might not be the most logical if you have a large family.

Here is a choice on how to make the turkey:

Honey Roasted Turkey:

12-14lb Turkey
Diet 7-UP
Honey (Raw if you can get it)

Dried Multi Grain Bread

Remove the bags from the turkey.  With an injector inject honey into the turkey in about 6 areas.

Stuff the bread by mixing the dried multi grain bread (can use whole wheat also), onion, and celery.  Mix in a large bowl.  Mix a little honey and 7-UP together.  (Might have to warm in the microwave).  Just need enough to moisten the stuffing a little.  Then stuff the turkey.

Bake in oven at 350 based on the directions on the turkey.

While the turkey is baking mix 1/4 cup of honey and 1 cup of diet 7-Up.  After 3 hours of the turkey baking, heat the honey and 7-UP mixture in the microwave.   Bast the turkey with about 1/2 to 3/4 of the mixture.

About half hour before the bird is done bast one more time with the remainder.

Enjoy.  Let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it and feel free to share with others.

Healthy Cooking- Spaghetti and Meatballs

Over the past 3 weeks I have been focusing on weight loss and healthy cooking.  Over the next couple of weeks here on Friend’s Pantry I’m going to post some ideas and recipes that you can make and enjoy the food that you do without the extra fat and calories.

We all love spaghetti and meatballs.  Here’s a great idea to enjoy and cut the fat of the meatballs.

Turkey, Ground – Use the 93% lean
Egg Whites- 2 Eggs
Quaker Oats- 1/2 cup dry of the quick 1 minute
Onions- You can use either dehydrated flakes (1 tbsp) or very finally chopped fresh onions (2-3 tbsp)
Oregano- 1/2 tbsp
Garlic power- 1/2 tbsp
Milk, nonfat- 1/4 cup

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl mix egg whites, oats, milk until well mixed.  Add in the parsley, onions, oregano, and garlic powder.  Mix well.

Add turkey burger to the mix and mix well again.

Take a baking sheet and spay with cooking spray.  Make 32 meatballs.

Bake for 7-10 minutes depending on your oven, or until no longer pink inside.

Serve with whole wheat spaghetti and either diced tomatoes or a healthy spaghetti sauce.

A serving is 8 meatballs for 220 calories and 8.9 grams of fat.

Let me know what you think and share this blog with others.

Pierogi Casserole

I had this at my sister in laws baby shower.  When I first saw it I was thinking there is no way I’m going to eat that.  But to my surprise it was really good.  It’s really easy to make.

If you like Cheese and Onion Pierogi’s then you will like this.

Lasagna Noodles:  1 to 2 boxes depending on the size pan you are making.

Potato:  Peel and cube

Milk:  1/2 cup

Butter:  1/2 cup

Onion:  1 Medium to Larger (depending on your taste for onions)

Cheddar Cheese:  2 cups shredded

Sour Cream 1 Container

Chives:  3 tbsp chopped fresh

Preheat over to 350.

Boil the potatoes like you would to make mashed potatoes.  Once cooked drain, and mix the milk and butter and mash into mashed potatoes.

Boil the lasagna noodles by the directions on the package.  Once cooked cool under running water.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, layer the ingredients as follows until you are out.

A layer of lasagna noodles, then a layer of mashed potatoes, then a layer of cheese, then some onions.  Repeat until your pan is full and make sure you end with a layer of lasagna noodles.

Sprinkle a little cheese on the top and some of the fresh chives (I usually keep the fresh chives and mix them into the sour cream)

Serve sour cream on the side so people can add it if they want.

Bake for 30-45 mins depending on your oven.  Done when cheese is melted and bubbly.

Roasted Vegetables and Chicken with Balsamic

Here’s a nice quick and healthy dinner idea.  I found this one on www.skinnytaste.com and have made this a few times.   For a quick meal it’s very tastey and healthy.


For the most part I have keep most of it the same but have changed a few things.

What you will need:

Boneless chicken:  I use 5 boneless skinless chicken breast and cut them up into strips.  Or you can use the boneless skinless thighs like they recommend.

Asparagus:  20 medium asparagus (I usually throw in extra)

Carrots:  1 Cup (Peel and slice long ways into strips)  I have used the baby carrots a few times but they do take a little longer to cook.

Bell Peppers:   3 ( I usually try and get the larger peppers so I get more and I will usually do a red, a yellow and a green, just to add color)

Mushrooms:  Sliced.  1 to 2 packages depending on the size (they say about 10 oz)

Snow Peas or Snap Peas:  I also added one of these (not called for in the original)

Balsamic Vinegar:   They say a 1/2 cup and 2 tbsps, but I usually do 3/4 cups just to make sure everything has the flavor

Olive Oil:  Extra Virgin 1/4 cup

Sugar:  1 tsp is what they suggest.  I have made it both with or without the sugar

Rosemary:  3 tbsp fresh rosemary but I have also used the package rosemary from the spice section.  I usually only add 2 tbsp

Garlic:  2 cloves is what they suggest, I usually add only 1 at the most, because I’m not big on garlic.

Oregano or Thyme:  2 tbsp  I have only used the oregano since that is what I have on hand

Sage:  2 leaves fresh and chopped  is what they suggest.  I have also used 1 tbsp of the package sage if I don’t have fresh on hand

Salt and Pepper to taste:  I use sea salt, and usually just add 2 grinds of both pepper and salt from my grinders

Preheat Oven at 425.

Wash and dry chicken.  Use a paper towel to dry.

In a large mixing bowl (make sure large enough to be able to mix) add all the ingredients together.  I usually put in all my veggies and chicken.  Then in another bowl i put the olive oil, balsamic vingar, and all the spices and whisk together well.  After I make sure it is mixed well then i slowly pour it over the chicken and veggies in the other bowl, mixing as I go to make sure everything is coated well.  (They say you can mix it all in the one bowl if you want)

Then take either a roasting pan or I have used a cookie sheet covered with foil.  Lay the chicken and veggies out on the pan in a single layer.  You might need 2 pans to lay out in a single layer.  Bake for 35-40 mins depending on your oven.  Then serve.  I have served it over a bed of brown rice once.

Enjoy and let me know what you think

Zucchini Boat (Stuffed Zucchini)

My sister in law made this one night for dinner and now it has become a favorite of ours.  Nice thing with Zucchini Boats is you can make it a many different ways to mix it up some.  With these there really is no right or wrong.  I will give you a few ideas here.

You will want to pre-heat your oven to 375.

Zucchini-  You can either do one really large zucchini or you can do a smaller one (about 6 or 7 inches)  If you have the smaller zucchini you will need about 1 for every 2 people who you are cooking for.

Ground Turkey or Beef- About a pound of either per 4 small zucchini’s or 1 large zucchini.

Onion- 1 large (about a cup) chopped

Garlic- 1 clove

Oregano 1 tsp

Olive Oil- 2 tbsps

Tomato Soup- 1 can (11oz) We always try and get the low sodium

Parmesan Cheese- 1/4c  fresh parmesan cheese is best but you can use the stuff that comes in a can

Mozzarella Cheese- 1 cup

What you want to do is slice the zucchini lengthwise.  Once cut, scoop out the center until the shell that is left is about a 1/4 inch thick.  (Save what you scoop out)

Chop up the zucchini that you scooped out and put aside for now.

Brown the ground beef or turkey until brown and crumbly; then drain

Return the turkey or beef to the pan, add the onion, garlic, oil, and oregano.  Cook till the onion is tender.

Add the zucchini that you diced up, about a 1/4 of the soup and parmesan cheese.

Put the empty zucchini shells in a shallow baking dish.  Spoon the mixture into the shells equally.

Pour the remaining soup over and around the shells, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese on the top.

Cover with foil and cook at 375 for about 45 minutes (or until tender)

Uncover and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on and put back in for about 5 minutes or just until the cheese is melted.

Other Suggestions:

You can add a cup of white or brown rice to the mixture.

Instead of tomato soup you can use canned diced tomato’s (I like the ones with the seasoning in it)

You can also take out the meat and add other veggies to it or veggie burgers