A Healthy Dinner That Made Everyone Happy (and a not so healthy Chocolate Chip Pound Cake For Dessert)

Rarely am I able to accomplish this great feat, but tonight, it worked out splendidly!  Normally, I am completely opposed to making “special meals” for the kids.  “You eat what everyone else is eating or you are welcome to have yogurt and a banana” is my typical rule.  But tonight I made a slight concession and it worked!  I was making stuffed green peppers for a friend and because I know my kids just do not like green peppers and would end up complaining about it, I modified theirs as little pizzas on multigrain Arnold Sandwich Thins.  They have no fat and 11 whole grains per serving AND… they are on sale right now at Lowes Foods for only $1.85 so buy some and stock up.  They freeze well and are great for kids lunches.  Plus, Lowes Foods has green bell peppers right now for $.99 each and they have Shadybrook Farms 99% fat free ground turkey on sale as well for only $4.99 per lb (normally $6.99) so this is a really inexpensive meal as well as healthy.   My recipe is as I prepared it and if I calculated correctly (I am certainly no nutritionist!) it should have only 3-4 grams of fat per serving.  If you want to make all stuffed peppers without the kiddie “pizzas” just steam a few more.

Low Fat Ground Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers

The finished product - halved. I saved half for lunch tomorrow!

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked brown rice

3 large green bell peppers sliced in half lengthwise (with the stem gently cut out and all seeds removed) – You will be able to lay it on it’s side to be filled.

1 small green bell pepper seeded and finely chopped

1 lb 99% fat free ground turkey

1 large portabella mushroom

1 medium yellow onion

2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped

8oz tomato sauce

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tbsp worstershire sauce

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Texas Pete hot sauce to taste

3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese

For The Stuffing:

Throw onion, and portabella in a food processor and chop well or chop finely by hand.  Combine turkey, onions, portabellas, & chopped pepper using your hands.  Mix well.  In a large non-stick skillet over med high heat, brown the turkey mixture until it is cooked through.  Add tomato sauce, garlic, basil, oregano, worstershire, salt, and pepper.  Stir in cooked rice.  Add a bit of Texas Pete to taste.

And The Peppers:

While your turkey is browning, Place a steam basket in a large pot (or a metal colander if that is all you have handy) and a few inches of water.  Gently place peppers in steamer and cover for 5 min.  Remove and set aside.

Portion stuffing mixture generously into green peppers and place on a foil lined baking sheet (be sure to save stuffing for pizzas if you are making those). Top peppers with cheese evenly divided.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min or until the cheese is slightly browned on top.

This is what they look like just before going into the oven - cheese is already melting on the filling.

While your peppers are in the oven, you can make the pizzas for the kids.

 

Ingredients:

5 halves of Multigrain Sandwich Thins

Stuffing Mixture from above

3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Take 1/2 of a sandwich thin and top it with stuffing mixture and mozzarella cheese.  Repeat with other 4 sandwich thins. Place on the same pan as peppers (who wants to wash 2 pans?) and cook until cheese is slightly browned.  These are filled with good stuff (green peppers, onions, garlic, and tomato sauce) and the kids will gobble them up!

 

TOTAL COST FOR THIS YUMMY MEAL?  Only $16.90 or $1.54 per person.  It will feed 6 adults & 5 kids.  The peppers don’t look like a lot of food when you first put them on the plate, but once you cut into it and it falls apart you realize how much it is.  Here is the breakdown of cost – I used Lowes Foods because that is where I shopped today.  Your costs may be a little more if you have to buy the dried herbs.  I recommend stocking up on those though and don’t calculate those in when I figure a meal price.  I buy the huge bottles at Sam’s Club. You can get a huge canister for what you pay for a tiny little jar in the grocery store.  There are 2 columns.  The recipe is the actual cost to make this meal, the total is what you would spend if you went out and bought all of the ingredients and don’t take into account just want you used (example, you will have 5 1/2 sandwich thins and 3/4 of a bag of rice left!)  These sales prices are good my my Lowes Foods in Clemmons, NC until next Wed, Sept 7.

RECIPE TOTAL
4 bell peppers @ .99 each $3.96 $3.96
8 oz hunts tom sauce $0.50 $0.50
1 lb Shadybrook Farms 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey $4.99 $4.99
5 halves Arnold Multigrain Sandwich Thins @ $1.85 per package $0.60 1.85
Comet Brown Rice @ $2.65 per bag $0.60 2.65
Portabella $2.99 $2.99
Sargento Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese @ $3.49 per 8 oz bag $2.64 3.49
Medium Onion @ $2.99 for a 3 lb bag $0.50 2.99
Garlic @ $.50 per bulb $0.12 0.5
$16.90 $23.92

 

 

 

And, to finish it off, gratuitous pictures of the not-so-healthy-but-completely-delicious Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.  How cute are they packaged to deliver?  Let me know if you make the peppers, I would love to hear your feedback!