SCD Legal Stuffed Bell Peppers

A few months ago, I posted a stuffed bell peppers recipe that wasn’t SCD legal. Now that I’m on the SCD, I’d been wanting to modify that recipe. This afternoon, I did just that, and let me tell you, the stuffed bell peppers I made today taste 100 times better than my original recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 12 red bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 c. Campbell’s tomato juice (in order for it to be SCD legal, the tomato juice you use can’t have tomato paste in it. It’s been reported that V8 has tomato paste, which is why I use Campbell’s brand.)
  • 1/2 c. Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt (I love pink Himalayan sea salt!)
  • Pepper

Preparation:

Just like my original recipe indicates, you’ll want to wash your bell peppers, cut the tops off, and remove the seeds and membranes. This time, I also kept the stems, instead of discarding them like last time. Place them in a pot of salted, boiling water. Boil for 7 minutes. When it’s time to remove them from heat and rinse them in a colander, the skins of your bell peppers should look shriveled up. This is what you want! Last time I made my stuffed bell peppers, the skins hadn’t wrinkled, yet, so the bell peppers were a little crunchy, even after being in the oven for so long.

Put your bell peppers aside to cool a bit and let’s move on to preparing the stuffing.

In a large nonstick pan, cook your ground turkey. Drain the fat in a bowl once the turkey has browned. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute your onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Add 2 cups of the tomato juice and stir your stuffing, so that it mixes well and the flavors distribute evenly.

Spray the bottom of a 13 x 9 Pyrex with cooking spray. Cover the entire bottom of the Pyrex with the remaining 1 cup of tomato juice. Grab each bell pepper, sprinkle the inside with sea salt, and stuff the bottom with a small amount of Jack and cheddar cheese. Add your stuffing so that it fills up half of your bell pepper, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, and fill the rest of your bell pepper up with more stuffing. Place your bell peppers on the tomato juice in the Pyrex.

Put your bell peppers inside a 350 degree heated oven with their lids on top. Cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove your bell peppers, take off their stems, and sprinkle your bell peppers with a mix of Jack and cheddar cheese. Place the stems inside the Pyrex but not on the bell peppers. Cook for 8 minutes, until your cheese nicely melts and browns.

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I threw one green bell pepper in there for aesthetic purposes but generally speaking, red bell peppers are so much sweeter than their green counterparts and add so much more juicy flavor. Although my modified stuffed bell peppers recipe today had way fewer ingredients than my original stuffed bell peppers recipe, it tasted a whole lot better! I felt having fewer ingredients helped bring out all the flavors more. Also, boiling the bell peppers longer in water helped soften them, which added to this dish’s flavor.

On a side note, the stuffing obviously is enough for more than 3 bell peppers but that’s all I had on hand. I would guess this recipe could easily fill a dozen bell peppers total.

These stuffed bell peppers are ooey, gooey, cheesy, and delicious! I will definitely be making them more often in the future. I hope you try your hands at them. If you do, be sure to let me know how they turn out.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

When I found out about almond flour crust pizza, I thought whoever came up with it was brilliant. That’s until I heard about cauliflower crust pizza. I heard of this amazing pizza crust a few months ago and had been itching to try it ever since. But, since I didn’t have a food processor and didn’t feel like grating the cauliflower by hand, I put it off. Luckily, I just bought a food processor, so, I’ve been trying out all sorts of recipes, including this one!

I found two recipes online and switched between the two to make my pizza. The recipes can be found here:

Basically, I’m going to list out which parts of the two recipes I followed. The recipes call for medium heads of cauliflower. The cauliflower I bought seemed large, so, I used only half of it, only to have to go back and repeat the process to use the other half, since it barely yielded any “dough.” After food processing my cauliflower, I microwaved it for 4 minutes, like the first blog, The Lucky Penny, says. I also used all of the ingredients she listed in order to make the crust (which, I must add, turned out to be amazing!), including the almond meal, minus the red pepper flakes (I used regular black pepper.) Adding the egg white is listed as optional but I advise you use it because it helps the dough bind together better. I found that without the egg white, my dough wasn’t adhesive.

I used Closet Cooking’s cooking times, since my pizza crust was pretty thick. I baked my crust for 20 minutes. You’ll notice when it’s done, as it’ll give off a nice light golden brown color. After taking it out of the oven, I layered my pizza with mozzarella cheese (as much as you want), spinach, green onions, red onions, tomatoes, and turkey pepperoni. For those on the SCD, we can’t eat commercially bought pizza sauce, so, I left that out. I then put a final layer of mozzarella cheese on top, in order make all the toppings stick. I put my pizza back in the oven and baked for 10 minutes and broiled for another 3 minutes. Just remove your pizza from the oven when your cheese melts and begins to bubble. When it’s ready, you’ll be able to tell.

My first impression of this pizza was that it’s absolutely incredible! My husband is often my guinea pig, since he gets to try my recipes before they, “hit the public.” He seriously couldn’t stop talking about how fabulous it tasted. You really can’t tell it’s not “real” pizza, either. The cauliflower taste isn’t even noticeable, especially since the pizza crust recipe is jam packed with all those flavorful herbs! Plus, the only real fattening part of this pizza is the cheese, so, really, how can you go wrong with this recipe? I can’t imagine how much more amazing it would have tasted had I added some sauce to it but we didn’t notice any difference in flavor.

The best part is that the actual crust looks like real pizza crust. Just be sure to ring out all the water after you microwave your cauliflower, so that your crust doesn’t become soggy. We probably wrung out about a cup of water. If you’re like me and don’t have much hand strength, ask your husband or significant other to ring it out for you!

Here’s the masterpiece, in all its magnificent glory:

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I urge you all to try this incredible pizza! If you have kids and are trying to sneak some healthy options into their meals, I guarantee you they will love this and that they won’t be able to tell the difference!

Enjoy!

Hearty Vegetable Stew

I made this stew during winter, before I had started the SCD, and my husband and I really enjoyed it! It’s thick and full of flavor! It’s also the first stew I ever made, so, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it turned out. I’ve come to realize that stews are pretty much foolproof. The best part about stews is that although they sometimes require a lot of ingredients, you mostly just throw everything in one big pot and let the flavors all come together.

This stew is perfect for those cold fall and winter nights when you want something that will really warm you up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 of a 15.5 oz can of garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 1/2 of a 15.25 oz can of corn
  • 1/2 of a 4 oz can of green chiles, chopped
  • Handful of colorful mini bell peppers, chopped
  • Handful of baby carrots
  • 2 c. spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 c. tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

In a pot, saute the chopped red onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the green chilies and diced tomatoes, and continue sauteing. Remove everything from the pot and puree in a food processor; then, return to pot and add the chicken broth and water.

Add the garbanzo beans, kidney beans, corn, mini bell peppers, spinach, and baby carrots. Add the oregano, basil, rosemary, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on medium to low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally in between. Remove from heat and enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Baked Chicken Tenders

The chicken I made last night looks like fried chicken but is actually baked and it has only 1 gram of carbs per serving! OMG, yes, I said only 1 gram of carbs!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg

Preparation:

Mix the almond meal, paprika, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Cut your chicken breast lengthwise into 10 strips. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, put it inside the bowl with the almond meal and seasonings, and give the bowl a few shakes, so that the chicken tenders get evenly coated.  Lay the chicken tenders flat on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree heated oven for a total of 16 minutes; after the first 8 minutes, flip the chicken tenders over, allowing both sides to brown nicely.

Chicken 1

Chicken 2

Lift each chicken tender up with tongs, allow to cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

Chicken 3

Chicken 4

I love how these look fried but are actually baked. Yum! And, did I mention each tender only has 1 gram of carbs?! Now, how can you beat that?

Just Like Mom’s Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is one of those things I love making, even now when I can’t eat it! It’s a nostalgic type of food for me. As a kid, I used to love my mom’s lasagna and no one else’s could compare to hers. It’s the perfect comfort food! While this is not SCD legal, I cooked it over the weekend for my husband and our friends.

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. pasta sauce (I used Classico’s Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic for a little extra flavor)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 13 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried fennel
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 16 oz. cottage cheese
  • 16 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 6 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 32 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 lasagna noodles

Preparation:

Cook the ground beef over medium heat on the stove. Once browned, drain the fat in a separate bowl. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms; saute for a few minutes. Add the pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste,and diced tomatoes. Add the sugar, basil, fennel, Italian seasoning, 3 tbsp of the fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 1 cup water and let the sauce simmer on low for one hour, so that all the flavors mesh together. Be sure to give it a few stirs every now and then, to prevent your sauce from getting too thick and clumping.

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In the meantime, boil salted water and add the lasagna noodles; cook according to the directions on the back of the package, which should be about 8 minutes. Drain and immerse noodles in cold water to prevent them from sticking. Lay flat on foil sprayed with Pam or on parchment paper until the meat sauce finishes simmering.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese (reserving about 1/2 c. for later), the remaining parsley, and eggs. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, layer the bottom with meat sauce. Add three lasagna noodles over the meat sauce. Begin layering by first spreading the cheese mixture over the noodles, then, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, and finish off with the meat sauce as the last layer, before adding three more noodles on top. After layering it twice and having a total of six noodles with the meat sauce as the last layer, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses on top.

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I ended up having extra meat sauce, so I cut some of the remaining noodles in half and made a “mini” lasagna by using a 8 x 8 inch baking dish. You can either do that or use the remaining six lasagna noodles and make a full second batch. I just feel with a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, trying to layer one dish with 9 noodles and all that cheese makes it overflow in the oven (I tried that once and it was not pretty hearing the oven sizzle as the cheese dripped down from the top!)

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Cover your lasagna with foil and place in a 375 degree heated oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

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Now, wait patiently and let the amazing smell of noodles, melting cheese, the different spices, and nostalgia fill your home! Here’s how my lasagna looked when it was done cooking and out of the oven:

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Unfortunately, due to being on the SCD, I was not able to taste my own masterpiece but my husband vouched that it was the best lasagna I had made to date.

Enjoy!