Healthy Stuffed Peppers with Turkey and Quinoa

Here’s a recent recipe I started making for healthy stuffed peppers. I found a way to make it a faster process than some stuffed pepper recipes.

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My secret weapon: I like to use ready-to-eat quinoa cups to save time preparing the stuffing. I found these at Wal-Mart and Aldi also has something similar

 

Ingredients:
4 bell peppers, any color
1 20oz package of fresh lean ground turkey
2 cloves of garlic
2 ready-to-eat quinoa sides
1 jar of marinara sauce
2 tbps of extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Brown the fresh ground turkey in a large skillet with 2 tbps of extra virgin olive oil and 2 minced cloves of garlic.

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While that’s cooking, wash and slice the bell peppers in half, removing the stem, seeds and ribs inside. Place them on a baking sheet.

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Once the turkey is browned drain the grease and let cool before placing the turkey in a large mixing bowl.

In the bowl combine the ground turkey, the ready-to-eat quinoa cups, and half of the jar of marinara. Keep the other half of the marinara to the side for later.

The mixture should be fairly moist, if it’s too dry add some more marinara sauce or water.

 

Here’s a picture of the Marinara that I like to use, Classico Riserva. I spent a long time reading labels to find the sauce that had the least amount of ingredients and the least amount of sugar. You would be surprised to know how much sugar is hidden in spaghetti sauce. Even the “organic” sauces had more sugars in them.

 

Pack the mixture into the pepper halves. And then cover the top with fresh marinara in order to keep the moisture in.

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Cover the baking sheet with foil and place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. After 30 min remove the foil and let bake for 15-20 more minutes until edges of pepper start to brown.

Serve as they are or paid with your favorite sides. Today we paired it with steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes.

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Hope you enjoy them! Share your pics and stuffed pepper recipes below.

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Success Partners and Sweet Potato Soup

Breakfast was amazing. I love the different colors in the fruit variety and it’s surprisingly so much food for breakfast. I usually have fruit with my shake for breakfast but not nearly this much.

Most days it’s about 3.5 – 4 cups of fresh fruit.

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Day 8 also presented some challenges. My friend and Ultimate Reset Partner, Scott, had been experiencing severe headaches and I took him to an urgent care and then the ER to ensure there weren’t any serious issues. Great news, after hours of appointments, tests and waiting he turned out to be in good shape.

I sure am glad that he’s doing well and the good thing was that we had lunch and dinner prepared so we were able to take it to go and we didn’t miss any of our yummy meals that day!

I’m also convinced that if Scott and I weren’t helping each other stay accountable on this journey that he likely would have thrown in the towel during all of this craziness. So we are blessed to have each other to lean on for the days that it can be easy to give up.

Having a success partner on Thai journey is not required but it’s highly recommended because I would have cheated or quit by now if I was doing it alone.

Day 9: Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

Even before having this soup I knew I would love it. If I was out to eat and I heard the restaurant had this as their soup of the day, I’d be all over it. So this set the expectation very high. I was sooooo excited to learn how to make this one.

So, I’m going to keep this short and leave you with the photos from each step of the way while I was making it.

Ingredients:
Sweet potatoes or Yams
Red bell pepper
Organic low sodium Vegetable broth
Fresh grated Ginger (I struggled with this)
Miso paste
Olive oil
Fresh Herbs
Bragg Amino Liquids

 

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One Week Down….Here’s What I Learned

I’m turning into Rachael Ray

There’s a lot of meal prepping, and the Ultimate Reset program is smart and there’s tips telling you to double the amount of servings you make and save it for tomorrow.

There’s a pattern that usually one or 2 items each day are repeated the next day.

I’m also learning so much about cooking and the proper ways to prepare things. I needed to buy a lot of kitchen utensils to make it through.

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Modifications and substitutions are allowed

Now, I’m trying to follow the program as close as possible, but the creators understand that some meals may not be ideal to every individual. For example, in week 1 we had sushi rolls twice. I have many friends and family that would avoid the sushi meals.

I was surprised to learn that folks will swap out meals from the same week if they don’t want an item listed in the meal plan.

There’s also a substitution list for every specific food item. So if you’re allergic to apples, you can substitute melon, berries, peaches pineapple, tomatoes, or cucumber. Here’s and example of the list

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The Support Groups are Crucial to Your Success

There’s a massive support group in an online Facebook group. There’s over 18,000 people in the group that have done or are currently doing the Ultimate Reset.

This is a great resource for us to ask questions. I’ve even used it to share tips and advice that I thought would be helpful to others doing the program. Plus it’s a great way to make new friends.

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There’s also an online portal provided by the program that is a great resource  it includes exclusive content like meal prep videos, fitness tips and nutrition information.

You will lose weight.

You I’m not a fan of sharing my weight progress during a program because I’m a true believer of the fact that your weight changes daily. Rarely have I weighed the same everyday in a row.

I haven’t weighed myself daily in months now. The scale likes to play tricks on your mind if you use it as a gauge everyday, so I stopped.

I decide for weigh myself after the first week, and guess what?!?

I’m down 7 lbs!

Mint Yeti Tumbler, where have you been all my life?

Day 6 presented a few challenges. We had a picnic to attend and the Penguins were paying their first game in the Semi-finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

We had to find a way to prep our meals ahead of time and take them to go.

We ate lunch at home while I prepared dinner to take along.

Dinner was soup. All I thought was, “how do we heat up this soup later?”.

I spent the time making this fancy new soup I wanted to at least be able to eat it hot so I would know if it was any good.

Queue the Yeti tumblers!

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I received both of these mint tumbler as gifts recently. I hadn’t had a chance to use them with all of the travel and events going on.

I decided to try and test them out with the soup because I’ve been told they keep things hot for hours.

We packed up our soup and roasted veggies and hit the road.

We managed to have a great time at the picnic without eating any of the goodies. I’m so proud of both my self and Scott for not cheating on the meal plan.

Then we moved on to the Rivertowne brewery to watch the Pens game. In between periods we went out to the car and ate our dinner.

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To my surprise the soup was HOT. 4 hours later!

I’m so impressed and so glad I decided to use them because this soup is amazing.

It’s only 4 ingredients.

Zucchini,
cashews,
water and
fresh herbs.

I loved it.

We also had a variety of roasted root vegetables for dinner. I loved this meal so much we will definitely make this for years to come.

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Days 4 & 5 were the hardest so far; I wanted to quit.

Day 4 dinner was veggie stir fry. I chopped up all of the veggies the night before and stuck them in the fridge in plastic baggies. This was genius. It saved so much time when I cooked dinner.

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Another time saver was when I decided to make all 4 of the salad dressings. Each day we have a salad for lunch and we have desiring recipes to choose from. I decided to make big batches of all 4 so we would have a good variety to choose from. Plus that saves me the time of prepping a dressing every other day.

Finally, I pre-cooked a few times like brown rice and quinoa so they would be done and ready in the fridge for the upcoming recipes and meals.

 

Day 5 was the first day I thought “I’m ready to quit”

I learned what Farnia is and it tastes pretty amazing  with apples and chopped walnuts

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I woke up pretty tired and I knew I had to prep a few more meals and I didn’t have the energy to do it. The program explains that you may experience lower energy levels at times. Your insides are tuning themselves up and it can wear you out sooner than you realize each day.

Plus my friend Scott that’s doing the Reset with me has been battling nasty throat and sinus issues all week. He woke up with a migraine and was not doing well. He hates meds but caved and took a pain pill and he was a million times better in about 30 minutes.

He’s not certain if any of the symptoms are related to the Reset. It’s difficult to tell since he has had this head cold since before we started the Reset.

Many people wouldn’t share that they wanted to quit the program so publicly. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you. I’m going to be honest and let you know the good, the bad and the ugly.

This is what was going through my head on Day 5

I miss coffee.
I want to workout.
I miss going out to the bar for a beer during Pens games.
My brain hurts from meal prepping.
I’m tired.
I want peanut butter.

I am proud to say that I didn’t give up.

It was a tough wall to get past, but I made it through Day 5 and I am still going strong on the program.

On Day 5 we also went shopping for all of the items we needed for Week 2. It only took us 1.5 hours to get all of the items. They give you a shopping list for all of the times you will need for the week. It’s amazing.

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Since I’m doing the Ultimate Reset with Scott I have to remember to double all of the servings on the list so we have enough for of us. Last time I forgot to double up on some items and I had to go shopping mid week.

Our shopping bill was $162 for 2 people. Which isn’t terrible for a weeks worth of meals and snacks.

We saved money on a few items like flax, sesame, pumpkin and chia seeds. We bought them in the bulk foods section. This way we were able to measure out what only we needed. Now we won’t have a 3 lb bag of seeds that would go to waste.

But in all seriousness I don’t think it would go to waste because seeds are an awesome addition to our daily shakes.

I Have to Eat ALL This Food….

Let me start by explaining my surprise as to how much food there is on this program.

Every day we have a full Breakfast, Lunch, Snack (optional) and Dinner.

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I had very high expectations for dinner on Day 3. I got to make sushi!!

Learning how to make sushi is on my list of 30 things to do before I turn 30. I cannot tell you how excited I was to make this sushi.

The Ultimate Reset book had all the instructions. There’s also a great video online in the participant portal where it showed me exactly what to do. It couldn’t be any easier.

I don’t know why I always thought making sushi was this crazy involved process. It’s fairly simple now that’s I’ve done it.

The one important thing is that I needed to by a bamboo sushi mat that helps rolls the sushi tightly.

I snagged one in the Asian foods aisle of my grocery store when I was shopping for all of the ingredients for Week 1 of the Reset. I was so excited they had some because it saved me the trip to another store.

The sushi is made with a roasted seaweed sheet, then brown rice, and the insides include carrot, avocado, cucumber and Crispy toasted Tempeh strips. Tempeh is a soybean based protein substitute. It tastes really good.

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In addition to the sushi roll we each also had 2 cups of miso soup and a cucumber salad made with 2 cucumbers each. I was sooooo full from Breakfast, Lunch and my Snack I only ate half of the cucumber salad and half of the soup.

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The sushi was absolutely 10 times better than I thought it would be. I was super nervous since I didn’t know if I did any of it correctly.

We topped it with something called Nori Gomasio that’s super tasty. We’ve also used this topping on plain quinoa and brown rice. It’s very versatile. Here’s the recipe for that if you’d like to try it.

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People Rave About These Veggie Tacos on Day 2

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Today’s lunch was a Greek Salad. I particularly loved the Greek Dressing. Here’s the recipe:

Greek Dressing from The Ultimate Reset
(Makes 8 servings)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dried oregano
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Pink Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp. Herbal seasoning blend
2 tbsp. Chopped fresh parsley

Places all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Now dinner was just as good as everyone said it would be. I made veggie tacos. It’s a black bean and rice mixture topped with corn cut off the cob, some pico de gallo and avocado.

The meal plan only called for one corn tortilla each but we had plenty of the veggie mixture left over after our taco that we just ate it with a fork.

Honesty, I don’t even like tortillas and I would have rather just eaten the whole meal like a burrito bowl.

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