dairy-free

Italian Sausage and Veggie Stuffed Peppers

ACS_0048.jpg

I love recipes that are 1. delicious 2. easily customizable and 3. can withstand adding lots of extra veggies!. This stuffed pepper recipe fits all of these so well! Oh, and it also needs to make good leftovers. Yep, does that too. 

This summer I have been going to the local farmer’s market more often and I’ve discovered some of the best, high-quality meats from one of the farms, Pastimes Farm and Bakery out of Lincoln, Missouri.  If you’ve never thought about purchasing meat at your farmer’s market, I would encourage you to check it out. They often have grass-fed and pasture-raised meats at a competitive price. We have really been loving their Italian pork sausage, which is where I got the idea for the stuffed peppers. It is unbelievably flavorful and works perfectly in this recipe. We also love to use it for homemade pizza.

What to serve with stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers can really be a meal in itself. You have your protein with the meat or a meat substitute, fat from the meat and olive oil, carbs from the veggies and rice, and lots of veggies of different colors. Here are a few ideas for side dishes:

  • small side salad

  • roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes

  • fruit or fruit salad

Substitution Options

There are a lot of different things you can do with this recipe. You can change out proteins, veggies, starch or just eat the filling on its own. Customize to your hearts desire, friends. Here are some ideas:

  • Use ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork in place of the sausage. You will want to add some additional seasonings for flavor.

  • I think lentils or black beans would be really good here as a substitute for the meat. Or even half meat and half beans.

  • You can really mix up the veggies for your taste preferences, sensitivities or what you have available and need to use from your fridge. I like veggies that will hold up well and still have a little crunch like the broccoli slaw and zucchini. Some ideas that would work are chopped or shredded carrots, celery, eggplant, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms. 

  • You can use quinoa in place of rice. You could use all grains instead of cauliflower rice or all cauliflower rice instead of grains. Lots of options here. 

  • If you eat dairy, you could mix in feta or goat cheese or top with shredded cheese. 

  • There is always the option to eat the filling plain or in a wrap if you’re not a big fan of bell peppers. I serve the filling with a little additional rice for my son when we have this and he really likes it. It would also be really good over a baked sweet potato.

ACS_0044.JPG

Italian Sausage and Veggie Stuffed Peppers

Gluten-free, dairy-free, option for grain-free

Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 4 -6 bell peppers, any color (use fewer if serving some of the filling on its own)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli slaw
  • ½-¾ cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 ½ cup or 6-8oz riced cauliflower
  • ½ - 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1# ground Italian sausage or meat of choice
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Instructions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat.
    3. Saute onion in olive oil until soft.
    4. Add ground sausage to onions and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. Drain if needed.
    5. While meat is cooking, slice each pepper in half lengthwise and remove tops and cores.
    6. Add broccoli slaw, zucchini, riced cauliflower and rice to meat mixture. Cook another 5 minutes until tender.
    7. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
    8. Stir in Italian seasoning and sauce.
    9. Spoon meat mixture into peppers. Can cover with foil to prevent the meat mixture from getting overcooked.
    10. Bake until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.
ACS_0046.JPG


I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! If you try this recipe, please leave a comment! I love your feedback.

Cheers!

Lin

Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls

ACS_0018.JPG

I love when two things that are great on their own come together to make something even greater. Like peanut butter and chocolate, chips and salsa, champagne and orange juice. Am I right? And now, pumpkin spice and energy balls! Oh yes, a match made in heaven and just in time for the fall pumpkin season. These healthy pumpkin spice energy balls are quick, easy and make a great snack or sweet treat.

Pumpkin is the hot flavor right now, thanks to the #PSL trend and I’m getting right on that train. I can’t go anywhere without seeing a pumpkin flavored food or drink. And for good reason, really. All of the warm, delicious spices that come with pumpkin flavor like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. I think those spices elicit a warm cozy feeling reminiscent of cold nights by the fire and family feasts at holidays.

So, let’s talk more about pumpkin and the nutritional benefits because there are a few.

·      Beta carotene – an anti-oxidant that is a precursor to Vitamin A, which protects against inflammation and helps keep eyes and skin healthy

·      Vitamin C – fights free radicals and increases immune health

·      Fiber- regulates blood sugar, decreases LDL, helps with digestion and keeps you feeling full longer

·      Magnesium (very common nutritional deficiency)– essential for bone and heart health

·      Low in calories and carbohydrates – about 50 calories and 10g carbohydrates per ½ cup

I actually made these pumpkin spice energy balls by accident, which is probably how many great recipes are born. I was making the cinnamon energy balls, yet again, for another baseball tournament (for the boys between games when they have a double header) and saw some leftover pumpkin puree I used for a test recipe. It was going to be cold that night at the games and pumpkin sounded good so I made another batch, changed it up a bit and added the pumpkin. I didn’t have high hopes for them but they ended up being a big hit with the boys and the parents.

These pumpkin spice energy balls can be totally customizable. You can use a different nut, add nut butter, add oats or oat flour in place of almond flour, add collagen powder or use all cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice. I love when I’m able to customize a recipe to fit my dietary needs or taste preferences.


Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls - Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free

Healthy, quick and easy pumpkin spice energy balls make a great snack or sweet treat.

Makes: 12-15 balls

Name of image (title of post is fine)

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp pure pumpkin
  • 1/8 cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions:
  1. Add almonds, pepitas and dates to food processor. Pulse until you get small crumbles.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well mixed.
  3. With wet hands, roll into balls. Place balls on parchment lined plate or baking sheet and refrigerate.
  4. Store in airtight container for 1 week.
image.jpg

Happy fall ya’ll! I hope you have a great fall season. I’m planning to enjoy the great weather we are having and get in all the essential activities like the pumpkin patch and apple orchard. And of course enjoy some pumpkin treats like these.

Cheers!

Lin

Crockpot Sweet Potato BBQ Chili

gluten-free, dairy-free (no sour cream)

IMG_9287.jpg

Is anyone else loving chili right now? We are still having a lot of cold days in KC so a good, hearty bowl of chili hits the spot. I know it's late in the football season but the Super Bowl is this weekend and this would be perfect for your game day meal! Make sure you double up the recipe for yummy leftovers too.

I found the inspiration at primaverakitchen.com and changed it up a bit to suit our tastes. If you've read any of my other posts you probably know I love sweet potatoes! I especially love them in this chili for a little sweet to balance out the spices and the acidity. I also love the texture of the sweet potatoes in this chili.

The first time I made this I told my husband there was no way our 9 y/o was going to eat it because he despises anything with bell pepper. Well, he loved it, red peppers and all. He will occasionally ask me to make this chili for him. OMG, a total Mom win!

I also wanted to share with you a kitchen gadget that I always use when making this chili to chop up all of the veggies. This isn't the exact one because my husband probably got it on the "as seen on TV" end cap at the store but it's close enough (click here). It is quick, easy and the veggies are pretty uniform in size. This chili includes chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and sweet potato, which can all be done using this tool in a fraction of the time. I love it! #notanad

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

IMG_9281.jpg
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 3/4 to 1 cup diced onion

  • 2 cloves or 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 pound ground turkey (or grass-fed beef)

  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (or any color combo you like)

  • 1 cup diced carrot (about 4-5 medium carrots)

  • 1/2 cup diced celery (2 stalks)

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups diced sweet potato

  • 2/3 cup chicken stock

  • 1 1/4 cup tomato sauce

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 2 Tbsp good quality gluten-free BBQ

  • 1 can kidney beans (or black beans or a combo of both)

Instructions:

  1. Heat EVOO in pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add garlic and cook 30 more seconds. Add in ground turkey and cook until done.

  2. Add cooked turkey with onions to crock pot.

  3. Add remaining ingredients, except beans, to slow cooker and stir. Cook on low for 4-6 hours (depends on how much is in there and size of sweet potatoes).

  4. Add beans and stir. Allow to heat up in slow cooker an additional 10 minutes.

  5. Enjoy! My favorite toppings are a dab of sour cream, avocado and a few crushed tortilla chips.

It is technically still winter so we are still in soup season and this chili is a great one to have on the list. It is full of veggies and protein and has a slight smoky flavor that is so good. Pair it with some cornbread or just throw a few toppings on and enjoy! Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl? Or are you there for the food and commercials because why else stay up on a Sunday night?

Cheers,

Lin