Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole - sweetheatchefs.com

The very moment I stumbled upon this recipe I knew it was a keeper and in fact I went out and bought the ingredients that same day. I love casseroles, and the cheesy crunchy top that reveals itself after baking so nicely in the hot oven! MMMMMMM I am a cheese & crispy bits  lover! I changed the recipe up some to suit my taste.  To see the original click here. For my edited version…READ ON!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp Paprika, I like hungarian but any will do even the hot stuff
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (I cooked in chicken stock instead of water to add more flavor)
  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

stuffed cabbage casserole

(Love this shot)

stuffed cabbage casserole 6

DIRECTIONS – Preheat oven to 350°F.

  1. Spray a large glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. I used a 10×13″ pan and it was full!
  2. Cook rice and when it is finished set aside (use chicken stock instead of water for more flavor!)
  3. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat; add 1 tbs olive oil, and garlic. Cook until just fragrant (about 1 minute or less) Add salt, pepper, paprika thyme and finally ground turkey. Cook until browned.
  4. To the pan add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce and chicken stock.
  5. Simmer until thickened, around 15 minutes give or take.
  6. While meat mixture is thickening, cut up cabbage and make sure to cut out the core, and chop coarsely.
  7. Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add the cabbage and cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted (I added a lid to help the process along). You want the cabbage about half-cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  8. Add your cooked rice to your meat mixture and stir to combine well.
  9. Take 1/2 of your wilted cabbage and place in your casserole dish, then 1/2 of your meat mixture and repeat until all is in pan. Mix together gently with large spoon.
  10. Add cheese to top and bake for 40 minutes uncovered.
  11. Let casserole sit for a few minutes before cutting, the cheese will stay in place better this way and you get nice even squares for everyone to enjoy, serve hot.
  12. This dish is freezer friendly if you have leftovers. (which I did) I stored in a Tupperware container, air tight.

stuffed cabbage casserole - sweetheatchefs.com

stuffed cabbage casserole - sweetheatchefs.com

stuffed cabbage casserole - sweetheatchefs.com

Fresh Vodka Spritzer Recipe:

1 oz Pinnacle Cake Vodka
1 oz Pinnacle Whip Cream Vodka
2 oz Seltzer Water
Juice of 1/2 lime
Basil & lime slice for garnish

Blend first 4 ingredients together and garnish with basil and lime slice. Light and refreshing!

 

If you liked this recipe, check out more from Sweet Heat Chefs and tell a friend!

 

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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

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers5 - sweetheatchefs.com

Using leftovers in my house is ALWAYS a chore. 1:  My kids and hubby hate leftovers, 2:  it is hard to make only myself leftovers while they eat crap (aka boxed mac-n-cheese or cup of soups which my kids would live on if I’d let them) So today I decided I wouldn’t tell them I was using leftovers to create this dish, and see how that went over.

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers2 - sweetheatchefs.com

I had leftover ground turkey and some sweet peppers. I am rummaging through my fridge to see what I can make to go along with it. I always turn everything into a Mexican type meal so I was determined NOT to make this dish that way. Now I see your brow furrowing and your mind racing saying…wait the name of the dish begins with Mexican.

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

And…You are right, because there is simply no way for me to NOT make a Mexican based dish, I simply love it way too much. My favorite quote of the night was from my daughter, who upon returning home from the mall, ate dinner and stated: “It tastes like a party in my mouth” I do not know 1 chef who would not like that type of review! #missionaccomplished!

Now, this dish is packed full of flavor and guess what? FULL of nutrients too! How awesome is that?! Common, get your shopping list ready and get this dish done!

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 sweet peppers, cleaned, top off and de-seeded
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can diced green chilis
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I use microplane)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 tbs fresh cilantro chopped & washed
  • 1/2 cup Red Quinoa
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup jack cheese, shredded

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers4 - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a sheet pan with foil and drizzle olive oil over it, about 2 tsp.
  2. In a skillet brown ground turkey
  3. Add garlic, onion powder, and salt/pepper.
  4. Once almost browned, add lime juice and green chilis.
  5. Continue to cook over medium high until thoroughly cooked.
  6. While cooking stuffing mixture, rinse  1/2 cup red quinoa in a strainer
  7. Add to pot with beef broth.
  8. Bring to boil and reduce heat cooking on low simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  9. Once stuffing mixture is finished remove from heat and let cool.
  10. Once quinoa is finished add 1/4 cup to stuffing mix, combine well and add 1 tbs chopped cilantro.
  11. Using a teaspoon measure stuff the peppers until filled to the top.
  12. Roll in olive oil on sheet pan and continue until all peppers are stuffed.
  13. Top all peppers with shredded jack cheese evenly. (I push them all together to cheese is not wasted on pan, but ooey gooey goodness all over peppers) 
  14. Bake for 10 minutes on 375 degrees, then broil for 5-7 minutes.
  15. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Serve peppers on top of remaining red quinoa and remaining cilantro, and prepare to lick your plate clean!

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers6 - sweetheatchefs.com

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers7 - sweetheatchefs.com

Additional Hint:

IF your kids are anti-peppers (I have 2) whether they are sweet or otherwise, wrap the filling into a corn or flour tortilla and heat up and roll like a burrito. They will be just as pleased with the dish as you. You still are getting that quinoa in them and a healthy meal!

 

Yummy Pics

Turkey Skewered Meatballs with Pomegranate Sauce

sweetheatchefs.com

sweetheatchefs.com

This week in my kitchen has been a trial and tribulation week. Trial, error, success, mess, crying, laughing and doing it all over again. This recipe was no exception, including all the pictures that went with it that got erased! All I can say is if you don’t try you won’t succeed, AND make sure you read a recipe in its entirety before buying ingredients AND proceeding to make it. This recipe was adapted from one I saw recently on a blog, click here for the original version. I adapted it to fit our household and you can too. This is a healthy meal and pretty filling with just 2 meatballs served with the rice and a salad.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pomegranates (do not use pomegranate juice as it will not reduce)
  • 1 clove garlic, slightly pressed
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (divided)
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs or panko crumbs (divided)
  • 1 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts (can use pecans or walnuts instead)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped baby spinach, fine chop
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS – Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cooks for 30 minutes (or see alternate cooking method at the end)

  1. Halve the pomegranates and over a fine mesh strainer squeeze the juice into it until you get 1 cup. 
  2. In a heavy (or non-stick) saucepan or skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add a sprig of rosemary and 1 clove of garlic.When the garlic is golden brown, discard it and add wine and the pomegranate juice to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and allow to reduce over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Chop the hazelnuts and add 2 tbs bread crumbs and 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese and set aside.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet, add the shallots and garlic and cook until translucent over low and make sure not to brown.  Dump the shallot and garlic mixture into the fine mesh strainer and let set aside to let drain and cool.
  5. Soak the bread in broth until soft, then drain by squeezing all the liquid out, and set aside.
  6. In a bowl, combine the ground turkey with the cooked shallots and garlic, the salt and pepper, spinach, drained bread, nutmeg, egg and additional breadcrumbs as needed to firm up the mixture. Mix everything together really well.
  7. Allow to rest for two minutes until it firms up, making the mixture easier to shape. 
The consistency of the mixture should be soft and wet and hold together in a ball.
  8. Shape into 1″ to 1 ½” sized meatballs.
  9. Roll the meatballs into the hazelnuts and bread crumb mixture.
  10. Line a baking tray with a sheet of foil and brush with a small amount of  olive oil.
  11. Thread the meatballs onto skewers (If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before cooking)
  12. Arrange the meatballs on the foil in one layer and lightly drizzle the top with a little more olive oil.
  13. Bake until golden brown about 30 minutes. Drizzle pomegranate sauce over the top and serve over my coconut rice and side of salad greens.

Alternate Cooking Method

You can skewer the meatballs and place over indirect heat on the BBQ. Using a medium heat cook the meatballs for approx 25 minutes, checking frequently to make sure they don’t burn. I placed them on an old cookie sheet lined with foil and oiled generously. I turned them every 5-10 minutes to avoid one side from getting too done at a time. Mine took about 30 minutes but remember all ovens & BBQ’s vary in temperature, so your cooking time might not be the same as mine. The flavor you will get from grilling these will add that much extra to the lean protein you are working with here.

This recipe is being shown at Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen, Manic Monday Party!

Taco Wreath

2012-12-28 17.57.39

This recipe was inspired by Spice Gals version. Click here to see their version CHUCK full of yumminess!!

INGREDIENTS

1 roll Pillsbury crescent rolls ( 8 count)
1/2 lb ground beef, turkey or pork
2 tbs. olive oil
taco seasoning
1 cup cheese (I used shredded mozzarella and provolone)
1/4 cup queso fresco
parmesan cheese for dusting
1 egg for brushing tops with

2012-12-28 17.57.50

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat and brown meat through.
  3. Add taco seasoning and a little water and let evaporate
  4. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray
  5. Line up crescent rolls in a circle pattern creating a wreath, placing the wide end toward the middle. You will overlap the edges and press to connect them.
  6. Add shredded cheese mixture across the wreath without a break for each roll, just keep it going in circle fashion
  7. Next add meat in the same manner, also spreading meat up the crescent roll toward the thin end
  8. Top with a little of the queso fresco.
  9. Fold the narrow end of the crescent roll toward the center of the wreath until all are done. I connected them together, you can tuck them under each roll too.
  10. Brush top with egg and dust with parmesan cheese
  11. Bake for 15-18 minutes (mine took 18)
  12. Remove from oven and immediately top with remaining queso fresco and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  13. Top with sour cream, hot sauce, sliced olives and avocado!

2012-12-28 18.07.06

BBQ Beef Cups

2012-12-17 17.29.42

This is a quick and easy dinner or appetizer for the family or the family get together, it would be great for a party too. You could halve the biscuits and use mini muffin tins!!

My kids are always helping in the kitchen, and this is a great way to get them in there where they can do little damage if something goes wrong. I have 1 kid roll the biscuits and 1 scoop the meat mixture in the muffin tins. They are happy as clams!

This dish comes out as a nice savory dense biscuit, when you bite into it you get a sweet tangy bite on the tongue. After 2 biscuits, the kids have full bellies!

In about 30-40 minutes you are done with the entire meal (except clean up) but the kids can do that while you put your feet up and relax with a glass of wine! After all, all you had was a itty bitty muffin for dinner 😀

Can you believe my grandma sent me this recipe??!! LOVE YOU GRANDMA!!!

INGREDIENTS:

2 tubes (10 oz.) Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits 
1.5 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 lb thin lean cut bacon
3/4 cup ketchup
5 tbsp brown sugar pressed firmly into spoon
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese + 1 tsp per cup

DIRECTIONS:

Roll each biscuit into a flat circle twice its normal size and place in greased muffin tins and set aside.

2012-12-17 16.55.21

In a skillet brown ground beef or turkey. When done set aside.

Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels and cut into bite sized pieces. Combine with reserved meat.

In a medium-sized bowl combine; ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and chili powder. Stir until well combined.

Add meat mixture to BBQ sauce mixture and stir well.

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Add 2-3 tbsp of mixture to each biscuit and top with 1 tsp cheese.

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Bake in 375 degree F. oven for 15-18 minutes.

2012-12-17 17.29.16

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Rosemary & Garlic Infused Oil (sweetheatchefs)

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Stuffed Poblano Pepper (sweetheatchefs)