Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

WHEW DOGGIE! It is hot here in California, between June and July we get into the 100+ degree temperatures and I can’t fathom myself to make hot food for any one of my 3 daily meals. That is how this gem of a dish was born. I always have left over avocado, sweet peppers and cilantro lying around. (Remember I love Mexican food!) So I was dreaming of a cool summer dinner with little fuss and easy to make, to keep the summer fun going from the day. I am always down to stuff a pepper (that sounds so wrong, but so good at the same time!), and there are endless possibilities with these. My next version will include grated onion and crispy bacon! 

I decided to head to the Farmer’s Market this week and found some gorgeous fresh and organic vegetables, which included the pea shoots you see in this recipe as a garnish. If you haven’t tried these, please do yourself a favor and do so. I first had them from a restaurant that served them with fried calamari. It was all I could do to eat the calamari because these pea shoots were too delicious. Anyway, they are a must try if you can find them. They go great on top salad, in sandwiches, on top or raw food such as this or any other way you can think of!

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

My kids love meat (as do I), but recently I have been making meatless meals for myself and finding I still get filled up. I will never give up meat, it just isn’t in my bones, but every now and then not having to “worry” about what meat to use is a nice thing.

I had only 1 kid willing to try this meal, she said she liked them, but did she have another? NO! It’s ok though, sometimes food such as this are an acquired taste. Regardless, I was happy and cool while eating them with a nice refreshing vodka spritzer and my feet up listening to my spotify tunes! If you are ready to enjoy a quick, easy and healthy meal, read on:

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers 6

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

2 avocado, mashed
2.5 Tbsp pesto
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 a lime + zest + reserve some slices to drizzle over top
handful of organic cilantro, washed & stems removed
handful of organic pea shoots, washed
salt/pepper to taste
10-12 organic sweet peppers (depends on their size how many you will need), washed, de-stemmed and deseeded

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  2. Pour contents into a ziplock baggie
  3. Snip off tip and fill peppers (use the reserved lime to drizzle over tops before eating)

If you loved this recipe, check out more from Sweet Heat Chefs below;

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Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles - sweetheatchefs.com

This past weekend was a hot one! I found myself browsing recipes to try to find something that I could make to beat the heat. As usual I find many a recipe over at The Slow Roasted Italian. This was no exception, as I found just the recipe I needed. You can see their recipe here. I changed nothing about it, that is how good it is!

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

Combine strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. 
Divide half of the strawberry mixture in your popsicle molds and set it aside.
In a small bowl combine bananas, yogurt, 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add banana mixture on top of the strawberry mixture in the popsicles molds, filling them about 2/3 full.
Pour remaining strawberry mixture on top.  Freeze 4-24 hours until completely frozen.
Don’t have a Popsicle mold? Use an ice-cube tray, younger kids love to eat them this way too. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top and insert toothpicks or popsicle sticks to keep in place while freezing. ENJOY your summer!
Strawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles - sweetheatchefs.com

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie - sweetheatchefs.com

 

I don’t know about you…but after a hard workout I come home and drink a TON of water. Sadly after birthing 4 kids, I can’t drink water while I workout or I’d never get through it without hitting the bathroom every 10 minutes (sadly I am NOT joking)!

The weather lately has been magnificent, in the 80’s warm and sunny! It has brought out the “smoothie” in me 😉 I haven’t ever tried smoothies as far as a meal replacement, I tend NOT to get full off them and feel like, well there was “x” amount of calories down the drain that didn’t stick to my ribs. So I usually just forego liquid food and end up eating food or munch a Luna bar instead.

I have though now, added this green smoothie to my post workout regimen. It is clean, refreshing and makes me feel re-hydrated after my runs. This drink is full of all kinds of yumminess fruits, veggies, and protein!

If you are a person who is ok with drinking a meal, (and no I don’t mean a bottle of wine…oh how I miss thee…) you can drink the entire content of this recipe and still be looking good in the end..REAR end 😛  

**Parent alert….even kids like it** 

Green Smoothie 3

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh baby spinach, washed and packed
2 medium strawberries WITH the tops left on, washed
1.5 tbsp flax seed
1 medium sized banana ( I slice mine into 8 pieces (1 banana) and keep in freezer to make a thicker smoothie and so I don’t have to add ice)
2 oz. Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, Plain (I freeze mine in an ice cube tray. Each cube is 2 oz., see pic below)
16 oz. Almond Breeze Almond Milk, Vanilla Unsweetened
1/3 cup fresh mango, sliced
2 tsp toasted unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp. honey or your favorite sweetener

Green Smoothie 5

 

 

Green Smoothie 4

DIRECTIONS

In a blender, add all ingredients except honey and coconut. 

Blend until well mixed and a gorgeous green color. 

Add honey (or whatever sweetener you are using) one of two ways:

1. I use honey and drizzled the glass before adding my smoothie, Starbucks style

Green Smoothie 6

2. After everything is blended add sweetener and blend again.

I then garnish the drink with a little toasted coconut that I keep in the cupboard in a mason jar for sassy little drinks like this 😀

Green Smoothie 7

 

Like this recipe? Then you might like these other low fat low cal recipes I made too!

 

Carbless & Gluten Free Turkey Burger

Carb-less Turkey Burger - sweetheatchefs

I definitely enjoy my carbs, but sometimes when eating healthy limiting carbs are a great way to lose weight. I can’t in any way shape or form eliminate foods I love to eat entirely. As I have said before everything in moderation. This burger not only tastes good, but is low in fat, calories and no carbs. Very figure friendly and you can enjoy your meal without the guilt 😀

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach, washed and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs green onion, washed and diced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp powdered ranch mix
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz pepper jack cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • Coconut oil for cooking

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all ingredients together except cheese.
  2. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts and create a ball.
  3. Add a piece of pepper jack inside and form meat mixture around it creating a burger patty. Continue with the rest of the mixture.
  4. Pan fry with 1 tsp coconut oil until cooked through. I served mine with 1/2 slice of pepper jack cheese on top and 2 slices of avocado. 

Calories for 1 burger + avocado = 105 calories and 5.5 grams of fat!

I store the other burgers in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to cook!

Week 3 Healthy Eating

Week 3

Week 3 brought out the BEAST in me 😀

I think this was one of the best feeling weeks yet. I can tell a difference in how some clothes fit, heck I even found a pair of capri jeans that fit and I don’t think I ever wore them to begin with! My shin splints are near gone and I can pick up the pace when I walk and I can alternate some running in. I feel great!

One of my staple foods this week was this Carb-less Turkey Burger! I am all for carbs, but when counting calories, you have to be careful where you use them. So for this burger I chose to eat it without, and it was just as good 😀 Hidden inside is a small piece of pepper jack cheese waiting to be let out!

Carb-less Turkey Burger

  • 1/2 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach, washed and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs green onion, washed and diced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp powdered ranch mix
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz pepper jack cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Carb-less Turkey Burger - sweetheatchefs

Mix all ingredients together except cheese. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts and create a ball. Add a piece of pepper jack inside and form meat mixture around it creating a burger patty. Continue with the rest of the mixture. Pan fry with 1 tsp coconut oil until cooked through. I served mine with 1/2 slice of pepper jack cheese on top and 2 slices of avocado. Calories for 1 burger + avocado = 105 calories and 5.5 grams of fat! I store the other burgers in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to cook!

For lunches I found a quick and easy soup. I don’t like store canned soup, but I broke down and tried a few and liked them. My favorite was the Creamy Tomato Basil by Progresso. High in fiber and only 100 calories per 8 oz. I just heat it up and add 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley and I have a full meal that fills up my belly! This soup has been a staple lunch all week!

Motivating music for the week:

Kelly Clarkson: Stronger

My workout regimen has changed from walking & running 1.8 miles to 2.5 miles twice a day. Some days I struggle to get it done, I have a 2 year old that I have to bring a long and pushing his weight (30 pounds) plus the car stroller (10 pounds) is hard. I think of it as resistance training! hahaha When my other kids get home I have them watch him so I can do my second run alone and it is so much better. But we can’t always have things nice and tidy like that so I do what I have to, to get my time in.

This week I was nervous to get on the scale, yes I knew I had lost weight because those pants I tried on fit, but I just lost 4 pounds last week and was unsure if I could loose more again. To my surprise…I lost 4 more pounds!!!! OMG! I stared at the scale, got off, and re-weighed myself! Yep, sure enough, 4 pounds! WOO-HOO! That brings my total to MINUS 10 pounds from this bod! I am super stoked. 

i can and i will

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Missed a week? 

You might also like these healthy recipes from Sweet Heat Chefs:

Mocha Cappuccino Banana Bread Bites

Coconut Strawberry Cake Cocktail

Zucchini Lasagna

Week 1 Healthy Eating

Week 1

My posts for a while will be different from the usual recipe posts. I will include my recipes, but the post will also include my weight loss pictures (how more embarrassing can i get?), things I have seen during the week doing my exercises and any neat or interesting articles I may have come across. I have been doing this for going on 4 weeks now so as I post there is a time-lapse. It takes time to get all these things in order! LOL I hope you enjoy the new posts coming up 😀

A few things to know going forward:

  1. Please don’t judge my pictures, at least I am trying. I am putting myself out there in the hopes of inspiring!
  2. No rude comments will be tolerated and promptly deleted
  3. I am NOT a dietitian or a doctor
  4. I create my recipes in a database called Spark People, it helps me track what I eat, how much I exercise etc. If you have issues accessing the recipes there, I am going to be adding them on my blog, it is just a slow process.

The first recipe I will share I found and tweaked to my liking. These are my best friend right now. Keeping a low-fat low-calorie diet is hard, especially when you weigh everything, count each and every calorie and measure your food ingredient by ingredient. After all that is said and done you usually are done eating in no time, and then on to the next task at hand. For me that means 5 kids and a household to run plus chairing my Relay For Life event, AND exercise which I do 2 times a day. Having these Mini Egg Foo Young Bites in the fridge are a gift from Heaven when your belly is rumbling and you have no time to make and measure and weigh! They are 24 Calories, 1.4 Fat Grams, and 2 Fiber Grams, Not bad!!

Mini Egg Foo Young Bites

The sandwich in the picture at top is 1 piece of whole wheat bread, 1/4 of an avocado, 4 oz lean turkey meat, some baby spinach leaves, 2 slices tomato, and .25 oz of pepper jack cheese. the entire sammy full of protein and fiber is around 200 Calories. Perfect for a quick lunch on the go, and since the calories are low, you can add an apple or a few multi grain crackers with it.

Besides my go to Egg Foo Young Bites, my other new find this week to fill up my belly in the fly is the Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna Bars! Like candy bars? Like almond Joy? Replace it with this and you will be in LOVE! It is so yummy and fills you up like no candy bar will, WITH nutrition!

I started this week strong, but in the end this was one of the hardest things to “get into”. I struggled and did my couch to 5K app 4 days this week. I ended up losing 2 pounds, which I was not that thrilled with. I had a goal in mind of losing 10 pounds a month, and if I only lost 2 pounds now, didn’t see how I would manage in the coming weeks. I decided to have no excuses to get to where I wanted to be, so I took that 2 pounds and challenged it. Next week, it won’t be a 2 pound loss!

you are worth it

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagne - sweetheatchefs.com

Well here we are several years later and the weight I feverishly fought so hard to get rid of (and did get rid of) is back on this bod like white on rice! When I found out I was preggers in 2009, I swore I would still go to the gym….that did not happen. I always saw this woman at my gym super cute, tiny, and a baby belly bump. I thought well that will be me soon, but it wasn’t and it never was.

Now my son is 2 1/2 and I have yet to return to the gym, don’t you know how easy it is to get away with an infant, then a toddler? Not to mention my 4 other kids. So they gym was not in the cards for me and I guess in my own mind I gave up. Sad really. I worked so hard to get rid of years of weight that I had gained for no real reason. Then in the blink of an eye I am close to being back to “that” person again, I vowed I would never let that happen. Before my clothes don’t fit and before I lose any more self respect, I am back in the game folks!

Zucchini Lasagne - sweetheatchefs.com

I have signed up to be in a 5K run that is so popular around here I found my MOJO. I gave myself enough time to train and get in shape before hand, so as not to feel like a dweeb when that day comes. In honor of my new goal I have made lasagna…I know lasagna is not low fat or low cals, but this one is 😀 The very thought of taking away food one loves, is the very reason people don’t stick with eating healthy. Here you can have your good stuff and eat it too! No carb, no noodles, gluten free, low fat, low cal lasagna

~YOUR WELCOME~

By the way…VEGETARIAN? Lose the chicken 😀

Zucchini Lasagne - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

1 cooked chicken breast, cooled and diced
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
3 medium Zucchini or Squash, sliced ( I used 2 green 1 yellow)
1 garlic clove, minced (I used the microplane)
2 cups of your favorite red pasta sauce
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
2/3 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS

  1. Over medium heat, saute onion, garlic, and 1/2 of the salt/pepper until golden.
  2. Add zucchini and remaining salt/pepper and saute until fork tender.
  3. Pull off stove and set aside.
  4. In a 9″ x 9″ glass Pyrex dish begin layering zucchini in rows until the bottom is covered.
  5. Next add a layer of sauce, then diced chicken, then mozzarella cheese and repeat until all zucchini is used. Leave enough mozzarella cheese for the top.
  6. Top with remaining mozzarella, parmesan, and bread crumbs.
  7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Serves 6

Zucchini Lasagne - sweetheatchefs.com

Zucchini Lasagne - sweetheatchefs.com

Zucchini Lasagne - sweetheatchefs.com

I decided to include the nutritional information for the dish. It will change slightly based on what type of red sauce you choose. I am not a dietitian or a Doctor, but this is one yummy dish! I used Calorie Count to find the nutritional information for the dish.

Zucchini Lasagne Nutritional Info

Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt

Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt - sweetheatchefs.com

You know how we LOVE Greek Yogurt, but it takes a toll on our pocket books? Well here is an easy, NO FAIL way to make it yourself at a fraction of the cost in 2 easy steps, AND you can make it savory or sweet! It is thick and creamy just like the store stuff, you will love this, I promise!

INGREDIENTS

1 – 32 oz. container plain yogurt, I used Mountain High Original Style All Natural Yoghurt.

Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

  1. Find a strainer that will fit over a bowl and add yogurt into strainer.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. Remove from refrigerator and discard the whey in bowl.
  4. Place into an airtight container, I used the same one it came in after I cleaned it that way you will know the expiration date. Keep refrigerated.

Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt - sweetheatchefs.com

Add to your favorite savory dishes or dips, like my Spicy St. Patty’s Day Deviled Eggs, or my Tzatiziki; Or try your endless options with sweet toppings like fresh strawberries, granola, honey, or any fresh in season berries!

Spicy Avocado Deviled Eggs

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

I found this idea from a friend, you can visit her page here. She had shared it on her Facebook page and I snagged it as soon as I saw it! If you don’t know I have decided to try to lose weight, and prepare for a 5K in 5 months, so I have been looking for alternative food options and low caloric fat content. Deviled eggs is so not on that list! Eggs in general are good for us, but when you add in mayonnaise (which I LOVE) it throws it back into oblivion.

Anyway, my kids all like deviled eggs too and they usually like the same old same old. I have tried making variations to no avail, they just want the “plain” way. So when I made this I didn’t even think of them, I was just thinking this would be lunch and snacks for the next 2 days. As soon as the kiddos came home they instantly saw them and wanted to try, I mean they are green right, cool color, to the yellow version. AND it is creeping up on St. Patrick’s Day, they think I am trying to be festive! I love it 😀 They all grab one and chow down…EVEN my, “I hate mayo kid”! “Hey Mikey, they liked it!” (remember that commercial?)

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

Needles to say my plan of snack and lunch for 2 days went down the drain at that point, but that is ok, a good fat & mayo free snack has now been added to our repertoire AND it is holiday friendly!

WIN WIN =  HAPPY MOMMA = HAPPY BLOGGING = HAPPY  YOU!

Click here for the original version. Read on for mine 😀

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 fully ripened avocado; peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of my Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground brown mustard
  • 1.5 teaspoon Dijon mustard (recommend French’s Dijon with Chardonnay)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno; seeded, ribs removed, diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion ( I use the microplane)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (I use the microplane)
  • Garnish: Finely diced jalapeno & dash of hot sauce on top when ready to eat (recommend Tapatio Salsa Picante)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium sized bowl mash avocado and egg yolks until a creamy consistency.

2. Add yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, jalapeno, onion, & garlic; mix thoroughly.

3. Spoon or pipe back into egg white shells, dividing equally. Garnish with jalapeno and hot sauce before serving. Should last 2 days, crossing fingers!

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

If you like this recipe you might also like:

Bacon Guacamole…yes you heard right…BACON!

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

There is one thing my household loves more than avocado and that is bacon. That is why when I saw this recipe I instantly knew I HAD to make it, and soon.

This recipe is from my sweetest and most awesome friend Bernadette. Her fabulous blog is Rantz From My Crazy Kitchen. You can find many amazing recipes there including a page with 58 bacon recipes from breakfast all the way through to dessert, which means you can have a PORK PARTY all day! You can view Bernadette’s recipe for her outta this world guacamole here. Below is my version with just a slight modification.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 slices thick center cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, diced fine
  • 3/4 tablespoon jalapeno, diced fine 
  • 4 heirloom cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (small cloves or 1 big one)
  • handful of freshly chopped cilantro
  • dash of salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut up bacon in bite sized pieces and fry the bacon with the onions until crisp. (this is money right here, in the voice of Guy Fierre!) If you prefer less done/burnt onions, remove as you are cooking. I enjoy crispy bacon and crispy onion and they cooked together the entire process in a pan of marriage bliss! Drain everything on a paper towels when done.
  2. In a small bowl mash the avocado
  3. Next add; tomatoes, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Stir in the bacon and onion, cover tightly with plastic wrap pressed right on top of the guacamole and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. 

This recipe fed 3 of us, 2 boys and myself. We ate every last drop.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

I TEENY TINY PIECE OF ADVICE ON THIS RECIPE…..The yield here is NOT enough, plan to quadruple it for your first try. That way you won’t be licking the container clean just to get a little bit more.