Monday, April 22, 2013

How can a weekend be so non-productive and productive at the same time?

If you looked up unproductive in the dictionary, it would show a picture of me from Saturday.  The most productive part was when I drove to Papa Johns to pick up a pizza.  But Sunday was a different story, kind of . . .

After being super lazy all morning, I finally cleaned my kitchen and did my laundry and went grocery shopping.  My grocery shopping trip included a trip to Target (where I spent too much money, sorry Husband), a trip to Fresh & Easy, and a trip to Albertson's.  Why?  I don't know.

Once I got home I decided to make one of my favorite recipes:  Stuffed Bell Peppers.  They're great because they refrigerate and heat up in the microwave super well - I like to make 4-6 at a time and then eat them for lunch all week.

The recipe is essentially this one from epicurious, but I added cumin to the ground turkey, because I'm wild like that.

Start by cutting off the top and pulling out the seeds.  I use yellow bell peppers because they're a little bit sweeter and I like sweet.

Then, you pop the peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes: 

Once the peppers are done in the boiling water, place them upside down on a plate with a paper towel so they can dry out a bit.

Next, you chop/dice/whatever one zucchini and half an onion.  Put those in a skillet with a little olive oil, garlic, and diced tomatoes.  **I cheat by buying big jars of minced garlic and using a can of diced tomatoes** 

Brown your ground turkey.  You can use ground beef if you want, but I use extra lean jennie-o ground turkey just to maximize the healthiness. 

Add the ground turkey to the vegetable mixture.  At this point, you also add some crumbled feta cheese and some cooked brown rice. 

For the rice, I cheat and use one packet of this magical (microwavable) stuff:

Finally, now that everything is cooked and combined, it is time to spoon the mixture into the peppers and top with more feta cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes and voila!!

I am *really* going to enjoy lunch this week.

6 bell peppers
1/2 cup brown rice (uncooked) OR one packet of Trader Joe's frozen brown rice
1 zucchini
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic OR a spoonful of minced garlic from the jar (I use this so much that I buy it at Costco)
1 tomato OR 1 can of diced tomatoes
several mint leaves (I never add this because I'm cheap and don't want to buy mint)
olive oil

1.  Cut tops off of peppers, remove seeds and membranes.
2.  Bring a large pot of covered water with a dash of salt to boil, add peppers, re-cover, and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove and drain upside down on paper towels.
3.  In a small pot, cook 1/2 cup rice in 1 1/4 cup water, set aside once rice has soaked up all water.  It is sooo much easier if you use the rice from Trader Joe's because it just requires that you put the packet of rice in the microwave for 3 minutes.  
4.  Finely chop garlic (unnecessary if you use the minced garlic in a jar), chop onion, zucchini, and tomato (also unnecessary if you use canned).  Heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil in large skillet.  On medium/low heat, add garlic to skillet first, then onion.  Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes.  Lower heat if the garlic starts to brown.  Then add zucchini, cook for another minute or so.  Add tomato last, continue stirring.
5.  Meanwhile, cook ground turkey in a separate skillet.  This is where I add the cumin.
6.  Stir in cooked rice and turkey to vegetable mixture.  Stir in a few tablespoons of feta cheese.  Chop up the several mint leaves and stir them in as well. (I don't use mint)  Add black pepper to taste.  Spoon mixture into peppers (fill them up!)
7.  Stand peppers upright in deep baking dish and sprinkle feta cheese on top.  Cover dish and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

I also bought this for Husband while I was out on my errands.  It's one of his favorites . . . this is mostly a test to see if he reads this whole post =)

Was your weekend productive?

What is your favorite recipe to make and refrigerate to eat later?

♥ Wishing You Merry Miles ♥


  1. Those look deelish! I am so going to make them! I like the yellow peppers best because of the sweetness too. As you know, my weekend was a little productive, I only ran a marathon. ;)
    I never make food ahead of time to eat for later! I probably should. I know preparing ahead of time would make things a lot easier!

    1. I love making food to eat for later. I mostly live alone (with my dogs) because my husband works out of town and is only here on the weekends. Making things that are easily put aside and eaten later makes cooking for one a little more productive. I do this with soup a lot too by making it in the crock pot and then freezing the left over in individually-sized containers. The soup came in handy last week when I was down for the count with a bad sinus infection and strep throat!!

      Congrats on your marathon!!! I *loved* your race recap . . . it actually sounded a lot like my last marathon, especially the part where you were so dead tired even though there was only a half mile left. You'll love the Chicago Marathon. It is my favorite of all the races I've ever run.

      I'm looking forward to reading about your prep for the Chicago Marathon over the coming months. I'm hoping that we can get a group of bloggers together for a shakeout run that weekend.

      (Dang, this is a long reply)

    2. I'm SO looking forward to Chicago! I'm looking forward to reading about your prep too- I'm feeling a little lost right now, not sure how I'm supposed to train, I'm already trained, right? Lol! I'm sure I'll figure it out. Would love to meet you and other bloggers there too!

  2. Sorry to comment again- you're running the Chicago Marathon?? I am too!! :)