stuffed bell peppers.

This is my new go-to easy, healthy meal!  Seriously easy.  Very healthy.  Tasty, too.

Stuffed peppers are so easy to do.  They’re great because 1 large bell pepper counts as 1/2 to 1/3 of your vegetable needs for the day.  I usually eat 2 stuffed peppers when we have them, so that pretty much meets my vegetable needs in one meal!  Especially if I add other veggies into my stuffed peppers [which I do].

A few fun facts about bell peppers:

  • Excellent source of Vitamin C [more than 100% daily value]
  • Great source of Vitamin A
  • Good source of Vitamin B6
  • Full of carotenoids — which help protect your body against harmful free radicals & help the immune system out!
  • More colors, more nutrients!

More great news:  one of these peppers has less than 200 calories.  So when I eat 2 of these, which really fills me up, I’m having a healthy, vegetable-rich dinner for under 500 calories.

Calorie breakdown:

bell pepper 44 cal

¼ c brown rice 58 cal

¼ c ground turkey w/ taco seasoning 84 cal

¼ c diced tomatoes 8 cal

Total = 194 calories!

I had this awesomely colorful spread of fresh bell peppers from our CSA and had no clue what to do with this many.  Hello stuffed peppers.  And so easy they were to make.

Before you get your peppers going, start browning the ground turkey.  I use ground turkey because it’s heart healthy – lower in fat and all those things that can be problematic for the heart.  It’s a much, much leaner and healthier option than ground beef.  My store sells 85% fat free ground turkey and 99% fat free; make sure to get the 99% fat free.  Add taco seasoning to the turkey once it’s cooked.  This adds a bit of flavor and southwestern flair to the peppers.  Otherwise, they’ll taste pretty bland.
Next, cook your brown rice.

While the rice and turkey are cooking, cut the tops off the peppers and hollow them out.  Remove the seeds and inner membranes so you have plenty of room for your stuffing.

You can cook the peppers before you stuff them, but I prefer to wait until they’re stuffed and then stick them in the oven for a quick cooking and melting of everything together.

Stuff those peppers up!  I like to mix the rice and turkey and fill the bottom half of the pepper with that mixture.  Then I add vegetables on top.  This time I added a bunch of diced tomatoes.  Corn also goes awesome in this.  Put those babies in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Good lookin’ peppers.  We had pepper night and I served these along with some hot jalapeno poppers.

Meanwhile, while I was doing this– little man was doing this…

And apparently going in for his close up…

so excited.

I’m so honored and thrilled that Jessi from Naptime Diaries has let me share about nutrition with her readers.  I’m over at Jessi’s blog talking about nutrition for mamas, especially during pregnancy.

 

COME ON OVER AND READ.

 

You will LOVE Jessi’s blog.  It’s like sitting down to have coffee with a dear friend every time I read a post from her.  She’s so personable and kind-hearted!  I’m so excited for you to get to know her, too!

 

 

 

mr. peppers poppers.

I made jalapeno poppers last night.  I have decided that when we have our next party, I will most likely be serving up these jalapeno poppers.  Two reasons why —

1.  They’re delicious

2.  They’re a great party food

 

Nothing says festive like popping something in your mouth that’s so hot you can’t talk to anyone for the rest of the night cause you’re too busy sitting in the corner crying.  Welcome to my home!

 

Here is the real advantage to the jalapeno popper, as I see it in my dietitian eyes.  Dips need a means to get into your mouth, right?  Cracker, bread, chip, pita— whatever it may be.  If a vegetable becomes the means to get the goodness in your mouth, you’re saving calories, fat, and eating a vegetable all at the same time.  Win, win, win in my book.  Y’all, a jalapeno pepper has 6 calories in it.  Six.  So that means when you eat one jalapeno popper [half a pepper] you’re getting 3 calories from the dip-delivering-vehicle vs. 15 calories that are in a tortilla chip.  Lawyered.  [Any How I Met Your Mother Fans??]  And most of us will eat many fewer jalapeno poppers than chips and dip.  Don’t get me wrong, I love chips and dip, too, but today I’m pullin’ for the jalapenos.

 

So on to the recipe…

[I should note this is my “the-dietitian-in-me” jalapeno popper recipe.  They’re not fried and these aren’t even breaded.  I like them breaded, but I ran out of time so we’re just talking straight up pepper and cheese mixture.]

 

 

Wash the jalapenos thoroughly.  You always want to wash your produce really well– especially if you’re eating the outside like we are here.

 

Cut their tops off.   Then you want to cut each pepper in half and remove the seeds and membranes.  I forgot to take a picture of that part.

 

I also forgot to take a picture of my cheese mixture and stuffing of the peppers.  But here they are right after I slid them into the oven.   Please ignore my dirty oven.

 

Hot from the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jalapeno Poppers Recipe 

What you need:

–  Jalapeno peppers  [half as many peppers as poppers you want to make] [I used 9 peppers because that’s how many I had on hand]
–  3/4 cup light sour cream
–  1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded cheese [I used cheddar jack because it was what I had on hand.  A Mexican cheese mix would probably be good, too]
–  1/2 tsp cumin
–  dash of cayenne pepper
–  salt & pepper to taste

 

What you do: 

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Wash jalapenos thoroughly.
3.  Cut off tops to jalapenos & then slice each jalapeno in half.
4.  Remove seeds & membranes.
5.  Lay jalapeno pepper shells on lined baking sheet.
6.  Make cheese mixture by combining sour cream and cheese.  [I said 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cheese just so you can adjust it to your preference.  I used about a cup of cheese and thought that was a good combination for us but you may like a little less]
7.  Add cumin, dash of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.  Stir together well!  [If you like things really hot you could add some of the jalapeno seeds into this mixture.  We are kind of lame when it comes to hot stuff so I didn’t do this and they were still plenty hot for us.]
8.  Fill each pepper shell with mixture.
9.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese gets a nice golden tone to it.
10.  Remove from oven and enjoy!  Serve with salsa, if you like.

 

Hope you enjoy! 

 

the story of spaghetti and hidden veggies.

I have been a fan for awhile of sneaking in vegetables.  I’m not hardcore about it, but I figure there are a lot of places we can add vegetables to boost our intake of them– so why not do it?  For instance, there aren’t too many kids who will eat peppers plain, or even in a mixed veggies dish, but if they’re mixed in with their baked spaghetti, maybe they will.

We all know we need vegetables, but here’ s a little recap of why they’re so good:

1.  Fiber!  A dietitian mentor of mine often uses the phrase “FIBER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND”.  Fiber does so much good.  I think more than we even know.  Fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.  That is seriously awesome.  Bring on the fiber!

2.  Lots of good nutrients.  Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants– vegetables are rich in these.

3.  Low in calories and fat.  Vegetables are always a good choice.  We get way more bang for our buck with vegetables.  For example, one cup of macaroni and cheese has around 335 calories.  1 cup of carrots has 50 calories, no fat.  I don’t know about you, but I can down a cup of mac and cheese in about 1 minute.  It takes me awhile to eat a cup of fresh carrots.  And if you add 2 tablespoons of Ranch dressing for dipping those carrots, that only adds 48 calories [if you use reduced-fat dressing].  So for under 100 calories you can have a healthy snack or side dish thanks to vegetables.

Enter baked spaghetti.  This is a perfect place to sneak in some veggies.  I hadn’t planned for this, so I had to look around my kitchen to see what I had.  I came up with some tomatoes and a pepper.

One of the great things about a CSA is having lots of vegetables on hand to throw into dishes.  One of the bad things is having lots of vegetables on hand to stare at you in the face when you don’t throw them into dishes and they start rotting on your kitchen island and stinking up your house.  But I wouldn’t know about that.

I cooked my noodles and cooked my meat.  I went to the grocery store yesterday, and they had ground chicken on sale for 99 cents because the expiration date was in two days.  So I snagged that up because I knew I would be using it that very evening.  99 cents!  I usually try to use ground turkey or ground chicken in spaghetti.  Occasionally I use ground beef, but always try to make sure it’s 93/7 on the fat.  The 80/20 is cheaper, but it’s no good for the heart, or gut, or rest of the body for that matter.

I sprayed a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and poured the noodles in.  Then I added the chopped veggies on top of the noodles.

I only added veggies on half because I was nervous about how it would turn out.  No need to be nervous, friends.  It was delicious!  No I’m going to be really disappointed when we get to the “plain” half with our leftovers.

I poured the sauce over top.  I used a jar and a half because I don’t like my baked spaghetti to come out dry.  And then I added cheese.  Mozzarella would be perfect, but I didn’t have any, so I went with a cheddar jack mix.  I’m big on using what I have on hand.

I love this because kids would never know by looking at this that it’s full of vegetables.  Not that I’m totally into tricking kids.  I think it’s so important to talk with them and involve them in their food so that they want to eat vegetables and feel included in the meal process.  However, if you have really picky kids, this works.  If they are into helping, this is a good dish to ask them what vegetables they would like to add to the spaghetti.  Pretty much any vegetable works, so let them be creative.  They’re way more likely to eat it if they chose the vegetables that went into it.

I was ready to bake it.  I put it in the oven, and as I was closing the oven door I looked up and saw the skillet with the cooked ground chicken.  Fail.  I pulled the spaghetti dish back out, added the chicken, another layer of sauce, and some parmesan cheese on top.

I baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until everything was warm and the cheese was gooey.

I always love tomatoes in anything, but the bell pepper in there was fantastic!  I will definitely add more bell pepper next time.  And I served this up with some texas toast– you know, to make up for all the extra vegetables we were getting.  Oh, texas toast, you are so hard to resist.

how to serve your friends healthier options.

The other night I had some friends over for a sweet time together.  I wanted to fix some sweet treats for them, but then I thought that while sweet treats are awesome [which they totally are, and I did have those] I could probably serve them something that is better for them in so many ways.

I could easily give them something sweet to please their taste buds, but what if I went a step further and served them something that was good for their bodies?

5 Tips for Serving Your Friends Healthier Options:

1.  Serve them water.

I used to think that I had to offer fun, exciting, or even just sugary beverages to be a good hostess.  Now I’m thinking, maybe being a good hostess has nothing to do with what I have to drink.  And on top of that, what if I am being a good friend by giving my friends water- the healthiest option.

2.  Make fruit an option.

Set a healthier option out beside the super sweet goodies.  Some people may not want super sweet or may be watching their calories.  Giving people options allows them to make healthy choices for themselves.

3.  Presentation can help anything look appealing.

Visually appealing presentations make fruits and veggies look more appealing.

4.  Remember less is more.

I used to think a huge spread of food was necessary when having friends over, but I’ve learned that’s just not so.  For one thing, my friends are still going to love me if I have out 1 food or 6.  And B, having fewer foods out, allows for less temptation for someone on a diet.  It also eliminates that “I need to try some of everything” mentality so many of us have.

5.  Encourage healthy habits.

This one’s not so much about serving, as it is about supporting.  I can’t even begin to count how many times someone has said to me “I shouldn’t eat this, I’m watching my weight” or something similar.  And how many times in response I’ve said something like “Oh, it’s ok, you deserve it”  or “Just this one ______ [fill in the blank — brownie, cookie, piece of cake] is ok”.  I used to think I was being good to my friends, to people, by having responses like that.  Turns out, I was feeding into their struggles and being the opposite of helpful.  For someone who’s been working hard to lose weight, they don’t “deserve” to mess up their hard work for 10 seconds of enjoying a brownie.  Next time I’m in that position, I’m going to respond better.  I’m going to tell them that I’m proud of their hard work.  That I’m proud that they see the big picture and know that that brownie’s not worth it.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll follow their example and skip the brownie, too.  Maybe.

when it doesn’t work.

I have a passion for fresh food.  If you’ve been reading my blog, this is not news to you.  This summer I’ve been working on making dishes that are fresh, healthy, and delicious.  I believe that so many people think healthy food is too “hardcore” for them, but I so believe that we can all make healthy choices that fit in with our individual lifestyle.

This summer I’ve been experimenting some.  I’ve learned a few things.

1.  Evidently I think I’m more creative than I am.  I start out with nothing, thinking I can whip something up with no direction.  Doesn’t work.  Hardly ever.

2.  Just because you see the chefs on tv throw ingredients together and make it work, doesn’t mean you can.  And by you I mean me.

3.  I need recipes.

Last night I decided to pull all of our CSA vegetables that we had laying around that were about to go bad and make one big vegetable dinner with them.  FAIL.  A lack of a plan was my first problem, followed by lack of a recipe, and clearly no desire to eat edible food.

I started with this.

Tommy came in and saw the disaster about to take place.  This is how our conversation went.

T:  “what you making?”

L:  “i’m using all of these vegetables that are about to go bad.  it’s vegetarian night.”

T:  “oh, ok… what stuff are you going to make with them?”

L:  “i’m just going to wing it.”

T:  [long pause]  “are you putting all of it in one pot?”

L:  “no, of course i’m not putting all of it in one pot.  i want to make something good.”

Then I thought, “well, there goes my plan.”  Seriously I was going to put it all in one pot.  Good thing I didn’t because the 2 vegetables I put in the same pot didn’t turn out so good.  I mean we ate them, but it just tasted like cooked squash and cooked tomatoes.  Nothing special.  I struggle sometimes.

So here’s my thing…  when I fail at making a healthy dinner that people will eat I get discouraged and want to throw in the towel.  After all, what good does it do to make something that no one [including myself] likes and then we fill up on ice cream or cereal or something before we go to bed?  No good.
But I’m reminding myself  to allow room for grace in this process.  To allow room for mistakes and growth.  For without them, how will I learn?  So maybe last night my family didn’t eat a delicious dinner.  But tonight it was better [not perfect, or close to it, but better], and maybe tomorrow will be even better.

Here’s a quick recap of my failures, followed by a recipe that I hope you find helpful.

Failure #1

I read somewhere that someone used instant potato flakes as a breading for eggplant, and I thought I’d give it a try.  Apparently the box of instant potatoes that I just happened to have since I never use instant potatoes wasn’t so much flakes as rather large hard pieces.

Doesn’t look too bread-y, does it?  Anyway, they burned, so it’s a moot point [moo/moot, Seinfeld anyone?].

See that bowl up there in the top of the picture?  That, my friends, is failure #2.  I thought if I put squash and tomatoes in a pot in the oven for 30 minutes they would magically become one delicious dish.  Wrong.  They tasted exactly the same- like squash and like tomatoes.  Maybe if I’d had the sense to put them on a baking sheet things would have gone differently, who knows.

While last night had several failures there was also one success [well, 2 if you count mashed potatoes which are pretty hard to mess up].  Zucchini spears.  The only hope my dinner had was the presence of a Pioneer Woman recipe.  She is my hero, and when I saw her post this zucchini recipe the other day, I knew I had to try it.  You can find the recipe on her site here.  Her pictures are gorgeous, her narrative witty, and her food delicious, so if I were you I’d skip on over there now and forget this blog.

photo via 

So is anyone else with me on this?  Anybody have struggles with getting healthy dinners prepared that you actually enjoy?  Tell me I’m not alone. 

the casserole saga.

I’ve never been a big fan of casseroles.  In my mind I’ve always thought of casseroles as unhealthy, processed ingredients thrown together in a mush.  I don’t like any of those things.  For a long time I’ve preferred fresh, simple ingredients.  I’d take a simple meal with 3 ingredients  over a casserole any day of the week.

So I’ve been anti-casserole our entire marriage.  I don’t prepare anything that even remotely resembles a casserole.  I stay away from the condensed soups and, usually, recipes that require them.  When Tommy said he wanted to make squash casserole I was very skeptical.  The squash was fresh, yes, but the casserole part?  But he didn’t want to eat plain squash for another meal [we’ve had a lot of squash in our CSA] so badly that he was willing to make this squash dish.

Turns out I was wrong.  Shocking, I know.  Who knew there was such a thing as a healthy casserole?  Apparently my definition of casserole which includes butter, cream, condensed soups- isn’t right.  Some casseroles are like that but some are made up of very healthy ingredients.  What?  So this squash casserole rocked my world.  Also, Jack couldn’t have loved it more.  The kid ate his weight in squash.  Seriously.  And Tommy said it was really easy to make, too.  So I share with you today the casserole recipe that changed my mind and my heart.  And I apologize to my mama whose casseroles I would never eat.

And if you have kids who don’t like squash, try this.  I’m pretty sure– and Jack guarantees– they’ll be blown away.

Prep:  20 mins

Cooks:  30 mins

What you need:
4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups fresh bread crumbs [we used a fresh loaf of french bread from good ol’ Kroger and put part of it in the food processor to get fresh, soft bread crumbs]
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1 T butter

What to do:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Put squash and onion in a large skillet.  Add 1/2 cup water and cover.  Cook for about 5 mins– until squash is tender.
3.  Drain squash/onion mixture well and put in large bowl.
4.  While squash is cooking on stove, prepare your bread crumbs.  We put our bread in the food processor to get the bread crumbs, then mixed with cheese.
5.  Add half of bread crumb mixture to squash and onion.  Mix together.  [Reserve other half of bread crumbs for topping]
6.  In small bowl mix together eggs and milk.  Then add to squash mixture.
7.  Add 1/4 cup melted butter to mixture.  Add salt and pepper for seasoning.  Give everything a good stir to get it all mixed together.
8.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
9.  Pour mixture into baking dish.
10.  Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs across the top of dish.  Dot with 1 T butter.
11.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.  Their recipe called for crackers to be used as the breading, but we made bread crumbs.

Enjoy!

my favorite things.

A few of my favorite things:

this lotion.

Keeps mosquitoes from biting- don’t know how it works but it does!  I put it on before heading outside.  The last few weeks I was doing a lot of work out in the yard after Jack went to bed.  Dusk is prime time for mosquito bites.  I rubbed this stuff on and did not get bitten.  I’m very edible to mosquitoes; the record is 36 bites on both legs in one hour.

watermelon.

It just doesn’t get old around these parts.  The little guy loves watermelon, and we do too.  He would live off of it if we let him.  Since watermelon is rich in vitamins A & C and is a good source of vitamin B6, I don’t mind him indulging i this sweet goodness.  Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes, and vitamins A, B6, and C are all important for the body’s immune system.  Watermelon is packed with antioxidants, including the ever-important and popular lycopene, so I’m all over it, too.

my camera strap.

A birthday gift from my sister, I’m lovin’ this camera strap.  It makes carrying my camera around so much more fun.  And pretty.  [And don’t mind the adorable little guy in the background riding his dinosaur.]

my new headboard.

This beauty has really jazzed up our bedroom and is easy on the eyes as I’m crawling into bed.

What are some of your favorite things right now?  I’d love to hear what’s making your heart skip a beat!

where our produce comes from.

I’ve briefly mentioned before that we are members of a CSA for the first time this year.

This was something I’ve debated on doing for a couple of years now.  I first learned about CSAs when I was a Dietetic Intern with the University of Maryland.  One of my favorite rotations [and where my dream job would probably be] was at Food and Friends.  Food and Friends is an awesome organization who delivers food to those with life-challenging diseases in the greater Washington-DC metro area.  This is a phenomenal place, who  staffs 3 Registered Dietitians to provide nutrition counseling and make sure the nutritional needs are met for those who have special nutritional needs [cancer patients and AIDS patients, just as an example].  So many volunteers work at F & F each day, helping to prepare meals, load them up, stock grocery bags, and deliver meals all over Virginia, DC, and Maryland.  I’m in love with this place.

Upon completion of my program I so wanted a position to open up.  I knew it was a long shot, but you’ve gotta go for your dream job, right?  Well, one did, and I had my first interview in the same week that I had 2 other job interviews.  The F & F process was long [lots of applicants] and there was no guarantee I’d be selected, so when I had 2 job offers come in, I got nervous, lost sight of patience and went with the sure thing.  Was it wise or did I give up?  I’m still not sure but based on some other patterns in my life, I know patience is not my strong suit.  And I do regret missing my opportunity at F & F.  So back on track… the RD who was my preceptor left a tremendous impact on me.  I will never forget her.  She explained to me what a CSA is—the concept behind it, the good, the bad, and the beauty of it.  I fell in love with this idea.  So when the next year’s enrollment came around, I wanted to sign up, but I got nervous.  I didn’t know if we could make the pick-up each week.  I was nervous about trying new produce, and quite frankly I was concerned that I wouldn’t get all of the tomatoes that my body needs.  Yes, needs.  So I balked.  Then one week our friends asked us if we wanted to pick up their CSA while they were away on vacation.  I jumped at the opportunity, fell in love with the CSA idea all over again, and vowed that I would join.  We moved in November, so I was sad to not be able to join the same CSA we had visited—as their set-up and produce was amazing!  But during the winter we researched our CSA options here in Knoxville and have been pretty happy with what we’ve got.

Here are some questions I get pretty often about a CSA.

What is a CSA? 

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  The purpose is for community members to stand with their local farmers and support the farm by contributing financially and enjoying the produce from that farm.  CSAs can be set up differently depending on the farm, but it’s basically an informal contract where the community member says “I will get my produce from you” and the farm agrees to provide quality produce for a set amount of time.  I’ve seen CSAs go in 10 week increments; ours is 25 weeks.

Do you get to pick your produce? 

We don’t.  The way our CSA is set up, we arrive at our pick-up location and they give us a box with our weekly produce.  You get what they grow.  Our friends CSA was pretty cool in that it did allow you to choose from what they had, so if you wanted a lot of tomatoes, you could swap out your potatoes for tomatoes and that kind of thing.  So it did allow some choices.  I do wish we had that here, but I’m not complaining.

What if you get something you don’t like?

You either get creative or you waste it.  We’ve had several vegetables come in our produce box that we’ve never had before.  And quite frankly that I never cared to try.  I tried to do something with all of it since I’ve been on a “waste not want not” kick.  But did I always?  Nope.  I never tried the bok choy and wasted a whole bunch of swiss chard, among other things.

Isn’t it expensive? 

It really is a good value to us.  We pay what works out to $25 a week for our produce.  Sometimes our boxes have had what we would value at less than that, but more often they’ve had more.  This may not work for some families but for us, it’s a good use of our produce money.  If you have a whole bunch of picky eaters who only eat apples and carrots, a CSA probably isn’t for you.  But for us, we’re willing to try new things, like a variety of produce, eat A LOT of produce, and really love that our money is going to support a local farm and family who we have the pleasure of getting to know through this.

We really have gotten some beautiful produce from this farm.  I’m sold on the CSA.

I want to encourage you.  If you are nervous, like I was, about stepping outside of the box and taking this risk, to go for it.  Be creative.  Take a risk.  I think you’ll really like it.  If not, it’s only six months.

Visit the website for the farm where we get our CSA here.

Visit the incredible Food and Friends here.

*Neither Food and Friends nor the Colvin Family Farm know that I’m talking about them here.  I was not compensated for this post.  I’m just a huge fan of CSAs and Food and Friends and want you to be too.

what i did with cabbage.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, this summer we became members of a CSA for the first time.  I am going to do a post some time this week that talks a little bit about a CSA– what it is, how it works, etc.  One of the blessings and challenges is getting produce that I normally wouldn’t pick out for my family.  I like the challenge.

Cabbage has been one of those things.  I have honestly never bought cabbage at the grocery store.  I like cole slaw– some kinds– but have never cared to make it.  I’ve done a couple of things with the cabbage we got, and this one turned out really good.

I got this recipe for Cabbage Roll Casserole from the farmer’s wife at our CSA’s farm.  I think she got it from Keeper of the Home’s blog.

Here’s how I did it [concise recipe below]:

1.  Heat olive oil and add onion.  Cook until soft, tender, and slightly brown.

2.  Add minced garlic.  Cook for about 1 minute.

3.  Add ground turkey and cook until browned.

4.  Meanwhile, cook rice according to directions on box.

5.  Once rice is cooked and turkey is browned, add rice to the turkey mixture.

6.  Add beaten egg to turkey and rice mixture and stir well.

7.  In a bowl, combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, & tomato paste.  Stir in apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and chili powder or cayenne.

8.  Coarsely chop about 8 cups of cabbage.  This is about 1/2 to 1/3 of a large cabbage.

9.  Spray Pam in a large casserole dish.  Use at least 9×13 but bigger is even better.

10.  Begin to add layers in dish.  Layer like this

–  cabbage


–  meat and rice mixture


–  tomato sauce


–  cabbage
–  meat and rice mixture
–  tomato sauce
[if you have any left]
–  cabbage
–  tomato sauce

11.  Cover and bake for about one hour.

Recipe

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef [I used ground turkey]

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 egg, beaten

1-2 cups cooked brown rice

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 T honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Dash of chili powder or cayenne pepper

8 cups coarsely chopped cabbage

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.  Heat olive oil and add onion.  Cook until soft, tender, and slightly brown.

2.  Add minced garlic.  Cook for about 1 minute.

3.  Add ground turkey and cook until browned.

4.  Meanwhile, cook rice according to directions on box.

5.  Once rice is cooked and turkey is browned, add rice to the turkey mixture.

6.  Add beaten egg to turkey and rice mixture and stir well.

7.  In a bowl, combine tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, & tomato paste.  Stir in apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and chili powder or cayenne.

8.  Coarsely chop about 8 cups of cabbage.  This is about 1/2 to 1/3 of a large cabbage.

9.  Spray Pam in a large casserole dish.  Use at least 9×13 but bigger is even better.

10.  Begin to add layers in dish.  Layer like this

–  cabbage
–  meat and rice mixture
–  tomato sauce
–  cabbage
–  meat and rice mixture
–  tomato sauce
[if you have any left]
–  cabbage
–  tomato sauce

11.  Cover and bake for about one hour.

–  This dish is really good with sour cream.  It’s healthier if you don’t do the sour cream, but I found the sour cream helped with the heaviness of this dish.

–  I wouldn’t ever choose this as my birthday meal, but as a way to use cabbage and have a healthy dinner for my family, it really was pretty good and easy to make.

Hope you enjoy!