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

Dark Chocolate Coconut Banana Cake Bites

dark-chocolate-coconut-banana-cake-bites - sweetheatchefs.com
You look at this recipe and say..HEY I thought you were eating healthy? I know I know, B U T…my kids have the right to eat some nummy food and I have been depriving them of it because, well honestly, because I CAN’T have it in the house I am too tempted. I have been eating healthy for 8 weeks now and I think I can handle eating one or two of these delicious cake bites. Tastes like banana bread with a lighter cake texture and a sharp dark chocolate to satisfy that chocolate craving too. Hope you enjoy as we have…remember MODERATION!
I won a giveaway from a friend who runs A Girls Gotta Nest, she recently had acquired Coconut Flour and then found out she couldn’t use it. Luckily I won it and have been using it since the day I received it from her. It is gluten-free and makes everything taste just a little better in flavor.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Banana Cake Bites - sweetheatchefs.com
Ingredients
1 cup all purpose white flour, sifted
1 cup organic coconut flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, sifted
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tsp. wheat germ
2 eggs, room temp
1 cup plain yogurt ( you can sub in greek yogurt, you will have a stiffer dough)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup dark chocolate chips
toasted coconut for topping
 
DirectionsPreheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix all dry ingredients together with whisk and set aside.
Beat eggs, add vanilla & yogurt and mix well. Add coconut oil and bananas and mix well again.
Add dry ingredients (except dark chocolate chips & toasted coconut) to wet in 3 batches. Stir until combined but do not over mix.
Fold in dark chocolate chips
Using a tablespoon, add 2 tbs to brownie pan (or a muffin tin) and top with toasted coconut, bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Banana Cake Bites - sweetheatchefs.com
Like this recipe? You might like these other ones from Sweet Heat Chefs too!

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** 

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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

 

 

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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

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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!

 

Week 2 Healthy Eating

Week 2

Ah the infamous week 2! It brought both pain, tears and laughter. Apparently I gave myself shin splints as I didn’t have the correct shoes to run in. Without an extra $60+ lying around I had to grin and bear it. Icing my leg after each run, resting with my foot up and later in the week I got smart and bought the old ICY HOT to rub on! Oh boy did I smell “old”. I ended up borrowing the money from my dad to get the shoes I need because the pain became unbearable. Quite frankly I didn’t deserve the pain I was in and due to the fact I was trying so hard to lose this weight, it seemed unfair, so I bit the bullet and asked my dad if he wanted to contribute to the Monica get fit fund! LOL

Right away I could tell the shoes helped. Until I had gotten them I had stopped running and just walked as fast as I could. I still had to ice when I got home, but as the days went by the pain became bearable again. I upped my workout this week to 2 times a day, equaling close to 2 miles each workout. You know you are dedicated when you push through the pain and “just do it” day in and day out. My kids looked at me and wondered why in the world I would put myself through the torment. I think one day they will get it, but they don’t see me as I see myself. I hope I have inspired them as interestingly I have inspired myself. I just want my kids to look up to me and see all that I am doing is to become a better version of me.

This week in food I made sure to measure-measure-measure. Remember last week I only lost 2#? I was NOT going to live through that again. Someone told me, and I know it’s true, that losing 1=2# a week is normal and the way you should lose weight. I am too impatient for that. I do all this work, I want results! HA! So this week as I said I was going to make sure I lost more than 2#. Although that same person told me to go find something that weighed 2# and pick it up to see just how heavy it really was. You know what? She was right, 2# is not light! I felt better after that.

sweetheatchefs.com

BBQ Chicken Wrap: (in photo above)

1 10″ large jalapeno cheddar tortilla

4.5 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced

1/4 cup baby spinach, washed

3 tsp. shredded mozzarella cheese

28 grams of asparagus, cooked but still firm

1.5 tbs your favorite barbecue sauce (I use Bullseye, be careful on the sugar content)

Add all ingredients to tortilla and roll up. I had a side of shelled edamame beans (super great source of protein) the BBQ Chicken Wrap comes in at 450 Calories and 11 grams of fat!

I again ate my Luna bars trying various flavors. so far the Chocolate Peppermint Stick and Chocolate Dipped Coconut are my favorite and I highly recommend them. I have even given them to my kids as a treat and they LOVE them! 

Music motivation this week:

P.O.D. – Here Comes the Boom

Since one of my weaknesses is sweets, I made a yummy version of banana bread that will set your heart a fluttering! Mocha Cappuccino Banana Bread Bites, only 92 calories!! Curbs that sweet tooth after just 1! Freeze them and take out as needed or store in an airtight container. 

mocha cappuccino banana bread bites - sweetheatchefs.com

When Monday rolled around, I was so excited to step on that scale…the result…4# that means I am down 6#!!!! WOO-HOO!!! I knew I could do this, what a confidence booster! I do not go to the gym, I do not take diet pills, I do eat REAL butter AND had chocolate and lost 4#, SUCCESS= ME!

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If I can do this, ANYONE, can do this! Did you have an amazing feat this week? Tell me about it in the comments I’d love to hear about it!

Photo taken from the Spark People Pinterest page

Photo taken from the Spark People Pinterest page

 

Missed week 1? Check it out here:

Strawberry Cake Cookies

strawberry cake cookies6 - sweetheatchefs

I have never heard of cake cookies. I came across a recipe the other day that talked about it, and I had to try it. I usually am about making my food from scratch, but something about this jumped out at me. Moist soft cookies with few ingredients, I just had to do it.

strawberry cake cookies4 - sweetheatchefs

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought I’d surprise the kids with a little pre V- Day treat. They loved it, I loved it and I am almost teetering on the fence as to make more! Scary right? Ok, I won’t apologize for making my life easier by using cake mix to create cookies, but I will apologize for not finding these sooner!

strawberry cake cookies3 - sweetheatchefs

These cookies contain a whopping 4 ingredients 5 if you use the optional ingredient. I heart cake cookies and I’m not afraid to admit it. I am sure I will get some flack for even posting this on my blog, but it’s ok. We all need a quick and easy go to recipe, this is a perfect one! Enjoy 😀

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups white chocolate chips 
  • heart shaped candy (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine, butter, cake mix and eggs. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add white chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.
  4. Chill dough for about 2-3 hours or until firm.
  5. Take 1 tablespoon of dough and form a ball, roll in white chocolate chips or heart candies and place on cookie sheet. In between batches I keep dough in refrigerator to keep cold.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

strawberry cake cookies5 - sweetheatchefs

strawberry cake cookies2 - sweetheatchefs

strawberry cake cookies - sweetheatchefs

Manic Monday Feature photo ManicMondayfeatured_zpsc161d945.jpg

Taco Wreath

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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

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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!

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BBQ Beef Cups

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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.

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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.

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You might also like:

Rosemary & Garlic Infused Oil (sweetheatchefs)

Browned Butter Strawberry Eggnog Pancakes (sweetheatchefs)

Stuffed Poblano Pepper (sweetheatchefs)

Candy Brandy Pecans

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INGREDIENTS:

6 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
5 tbs brandy
2 tbsp Gingerbread Spice Mix
10 oz-bag whole shelled pecans

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non stick spray.

Melt butter in sauce pot on medium heat.

Add brown sugar, brandy and Gingerbread Spice Mix, cook for 1 minute until bubbly stirring constantly.

Add pecans and stir until all coated.

Spread out in an even layer on cookie sheet with rubber spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes stirring several times throughout.

Remove from oven to cool and in medium bowl combine:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp Gingerbread Spice Mix

Pour pecans in bowl and stir until all coated with sugar mixture. 

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Let cool completely and store in airtight container. I put mine in decorative mason jars for Christmas gifts. This would also be good for birthday gifts, hostess gifts, parties, baby showers, Thanksgiving snacks, mother’s day gifts, and father’s day gifts

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This recipe is being shared at Foodie Friends Friday

 

Gingerbread Spice Mix

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This is the beginning of so many things you can create. This Gingerbread Spice Mix is versatile for gift giving and for making different recipes out of it, some of which I have in this post for you. 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup ground ginger
6 tbsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container  until ready to use.

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Bag up and give as gifts for Christmas or any event that calls for one! This does not have to be a holiday only gift!  

I gave mine as Christmas gifts, added tags with the recipes below and tied on to the bag with a decorative ribbon. This gives the recipient an idea of what to use it with and get creative in the kitchen!

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You can add this mix to the following recipes: (more coming soon)

Crispy Gingerbread Treats

3 tbsp butter, melted
1 bag (10 oz) mini marshmallows
1 tbsp Gingerbread Spice Mix
6 cups crispy rice cereal

Melt and mini marshmallows in a large sauce pot over medium heat stirring occasionally. Stir in Gingerbread Spice Mix and crispy rice cereal. Press into a greased 13 x 9″ baking dish. let cool and cut into squares.

Do you have a recipe to make with this? I’d love to share it and see what you come up with. Leave me a comment below with the deets and you could be featured on SHC in the near future!