Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers

In my last post I mentioned that I have no motivation to cook. That feeling continues, but I had a rare new recipe adventure thanks to the participants in my Diabetes class. We were discussing alternatives for whole grains, and I mentioned quinoa to them. None of them had heard or tried it before! I find that people are able to make effective changes after a little practice (or taste-testing), thus, I made them a healthy quinoa dish to try in class tonight. πŸ™‚ They better love it!

So here is a delicious, diabetes-friendly, easily turned vegetarian, healthy dish! Enjoy!

Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers (adapted from Robert Irvine’s stuffed pepper recipe on Food Network)

Makes 12 peppers


12 green bell peppers, tops removed and seeded DSC_0383

1 pound lean ground turkey (leave out to make vegetarian)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (or 2 cloves chopped)
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 (14-ounce can) tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 cup diced red pepper
1 tsp. saltDSC_0384

Β½ tsp. pepper

1.5 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tbl. grated Parmesan, to finish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the quinoa according to the package

While the quinoa is cooking, wrap the peppers in aluminum foil, and bake in the oven until tender, but not falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the turkey. After turkey is browned, drain. Add meat back to pan and add oil. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and saute until the mushrooms are golden DSC_0386brown. Add in the zucchini, yellow squash, quinoa, tomatoes, and red pepper and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the tomato paste. Remove from the heat. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the cooled peppers. Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof serving dish and top each with 1 tsp. Parmesan. Bake until the peppers are heated through, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve.

**Cook’s Note: This can be served on a bed of fresh tomato sauce or on its own. Also, I kept this very plain for my class, but I recommend red chili flakes, hot sauce, etc for an extra kick!! Or mix in some salsa in the filling!



Long time… I know…

Once again, apologies for the long absence. This year has been a whirlwind of craziness. We are already halfway through April! So a quick update on life…

First 4 months of 2013:

1.Car accident and insurance claims

2. Sold our first house

3. Bought our 2nd house

4. Renovating our new house (which will consume probably at least 6 more months this year)

5. Practicing 6 batters for my friend’s wedding (3 gluten free and 3 regular flavors)- yep making the cake!

6. Work, of course.

7. …still no car…

I finally know what it’s like to have little motivation to cook. I’ve been so used to my normal routine (meal planning, groceries, execute). 2 weeks living with family then “moving” into a house that we are renovating is challenging. It has thrown a wrench in my perfect plan. My kitchen equipment is either in the garage (with the rest of the furniture) or in 3 boxes in the kitchen. Life is funny. I can only take 1 day at a time. Sometimes Most of the time we have to do things we don’t want to do. So even with little motivation for Bean & Barley Soup Recipehome cooking I WILL continue to eat healthfully and not rely on food out because we need to do it. Our health isn’t worth sacrificing.

This soup has been a staple with the leftovers used for lunches:

Bean and Barley Soup

And made these the other day for quick snacks/breakfasts (just pop in the freezer after they are cooled):

Avocado Blueberry MuffinsAvocado-Blueberry Muffins


Oh no! It’s only Jan. 1st and I’m already sick of salad!

Just kidding about the title. But seriously, isn’t this how we usually feel about 1 week into a New Year? Or maybe it takes us until February or March, but we get there eventually. And every year we say, ” this year will be different.” Is that ever true? So don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Make a few goals. Plan some events you’ve always wanted to do. Do 1 thing at a time. Make a plan.

I have a few goals. Nothing special but things I want to work toward this year. You know what’s going to make this possible? There is no PRESSURE! None. I’m excited about accomplishing a few goals. I’m looking forward to the changes that 2013 will bring. And I plan to ENJOY the MOMENTS.

I hope you join me πŸ™‚


  1. Maintain current weight (weigh myself weekly).
  2. Run 1000 miles.
  3. 3 half marathons and 2 triathlons (at least! you’ll notice no marathons on the goal sheet this year πŸ™‚ and I’m not upset!)
  4. Try 1 new meal per week (or maybe 2/month… I need this to be achievable).


  1. Stick to the budget for entire year.
  2. Save for new car and vacation.


  1. Be thankful. List of 1000 things. (inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts)
  2. Have an open heart for new lessons I need to learn.


  1. Read 12 books (1 per month)
  2. Start and complete 1 year of grad school.

This list will surely grow as the year passes by. Goals may change. This is my start.

Excited about ditching my shopping "lists" and condensing into my new shopping booklet with pockets for coupons!

Excited about ditching my shopping “lists” and condensing into my new shopping booklet with pockets for coupons!

What are your goals?

Challenge Recap and Looking Ahead

My 6 in 6 challenge is over. Total weight loss after 5 weeks: 6.4 lbs. (Honestly, I didn’t get a chance to weight myself after the final week because my scale is at work, and I have several vacay days off. πŸ˜‰ But I met my goal! ) At the end of a challenge there all always mixed emotions. On one side, I’m thrilled that I did what I set out to do. On the other hand, my brain is still in challenge mode and wants to know what’s next. That will have to take a little thought.

I hope you were able to gain some encouragement and motivation from my journey and hope that maybe you joined in as well. Maybe this will inspire you to start your own challenge (maybe with the help of a dietitian?)…? You may be thinking that you have more than 6 pounds to lose. The task seems daunting. But challenges like my 6 in 6, or a 30 day, or 60 day, can help break that weight loss into smaller chunks that are more reasonable to think about and easier to achieve.

Hopefully, this will be good motivator for you to pick your own challenge and start in the New Year. I’m excited for what 2013 will bring and the many changes that we go through as people as each day passes. I need to do some thinking about New Year’s resolutions andΒ  reflections on 2012. I plan to do that in the next few days and share my goals with you for the start of the New Year.

I hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright πŸ™‚

Candied pecans!

Homemade candied pecans!

Me and the hubs ready for Doles family Christmas

Me and the hubs ready for Doles family Christmas

Homemade caramel corn

Homemade caramel corn

Sadie in dog toy bliss

Sadie in dog toy bliss

6 in 6: Final Week Plan

Can you believe it? Week 6 is here!! That’s how quickly you can either make big changes or continue on the path you are on. Time flies. There is no time like the present. Make a change.

This is the final week. Keep pushing hard. This will be a tough week week for me because it’s my birthday week… but I’m not going to let that stand in the way of a strong finish. Balance. Moderation. A perfect time to practice this.

Week 6 plan:



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