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We’ve all been there. You wake-up and imagine the next hour lounging on the couch, channel surfing in pj’s and munching on the best bowl of cereal you’ve had in a long long time. So…you take action. Open the fridge and WHAT?! No milk! Your heart sinks and do you even have a plan B?? A Poptart…maybe…

I was in this exact predicament a few nights ago. No, not with cereal. I wanted tacos and I wanted them stat! The predicament…A: I didn’t have wraps or taco shells, B: I didn’t feel like leaving my house to get take-out tacos and C: I didn’t want a “burrito bowl” I needed a vehicle for the zesty taco insides. Time to improvise!

The stuffed pepper approach to tacos! I used the ingredients I had on hand to make these south-of-the-border babes: lean ground turkey breast, bell peppers, black beans, green chilis, corn, salsa and cheese. This recipe is super colorful and packed with nutrition. If you’re watching your carb in-take, then you’ll appreciate this recipe too!

Nutritional perks –

    Turkey – low fat and an excellent source of protein
    Black beans – low in saturated fat and cholesterol, great source of protein, dietary fiber and folate
    Bell pepper – great source of folate, magnesium and dietary fiber as well as Vitamin A, C, K and B6. Dang! Bell pepper you rock!
    Corn – good source of dietary fiber and folate

South-of-the-Border Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4 or 8

1 lb ground turkey breast
4 bell peppers
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz can can yellow corn, drained and rinsed. You can also use frozen corn, thawed.
4 oz can green chilis
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Your favorite salsa
Your favorite cheese. I used shredded sharp cheddar.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Bring a pot (big enough to fit 4 pepper halves) of water to a boil.

Cut the bell peppers on the vertical. You can also remove the top and make the pepper stand up-right for the filling. This approach would give you 4 servings but I decided to cut vertically, which yields 8 servings or 4 servings depending on how hungry you are. I didn’t actually cook 8 servings because I used the remaining 4 halves for snacking!

Dip the bell peppers in the rapidly boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and add to an oven-safe baking dish.

Add the olive oil to an enameled cast iron pot or large pan. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the ground turkey and cook until no pink is visible. Sprinkle in the cumin.

Add black beans, corn and green chili into the turkey and onion mixture. Give it a good stir! Salt and pepper to taste.

Generously add the filling to the bell pepper halves. Top the filling with your favorite salsa!

Before placing in the oven, add 1 to 2 inches of water in the pan to create some steam for the bell peppers during cooking.

Bake for 50 minutes. At the 45 minute mark, top the peppers with cheese and bake for the remaining 5 minutes or until cheese is melty!

Now, gobble up the un-taco! Some low fat sour cream would work well on that too!

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