I have to admit, I got the idea for this recipe from one of my male bodybuilding friends. He posted a picture of a bell pepper stuffed with cooked ground beef and stated that he could have it every day during contest prep because he loved it so much. It’s an incredibly easy snack you can make ahead of time and reheat later. Double the serving, and have it for lunch. Either way, stuffed bell peppers are simple to create, nutritious and offer a great protein-to-carb ratio.
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1/2 pound 99/1 lean ground turkey
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup sliced white onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/2 cup organic spaghetti sauce
4 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 350.
Slice each pepper in half and core. Remove the seeds. Place the peppers in a shallow pan, cut side up.
Spray with cooking spray. Add the ground turkey, and cook until browned, breaking it up as you go. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until they’re transparent.
Add 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce to the pan along with the chili seasoning and chopped fresh basil. Reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer while you cook the rice.
Cook the rice per the instructions on the package.
Place 1/2 cup of meat mixture in each half pepper. Top with 1/4 cup of cooked brown rice, 1 tablespoon of the remaining spaghetti sauce and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and starting to brown.
Makes four snacks or two meals. Each half pepper contains: calories, 164; fat, 2.53 grams; carbohydrates, 18.27 grams; protein, 17.72 grams; dietary fiber, 2.55 grams
Editor’s note: Jenny Grothe is a trainer, nutritionist, motivator, speaker and author who enjoys playing in the kitchen. Having lost 60 pounds, going from a size 14 to a size 4, she knows firsthand the importance of regular training and a clean diet in maintaining a healthful lifestyle. Since losing the weight five years ago, she has competed in seven figure competitions, placing in five, and has run three marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2011. To contact Jenny and learn more about her services, go to www.jen-fit.com.