Turkey, artichoke and bulgur stuffed peppers

I just blogged about a professional food photo shoot and now I present you with these ugly photos (I think I took them after a workout so my hands were shaking). But didn’t you hear, it’s the inside that counts! We are not superficial around these parts. Winking smile

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The other day (and by that I mean several months ago) I was looking for a great veggie-full recipe to make in a crockpot and the idea of stuffed peppers came to mind. They are sort of a blank canvas so you can fill them with whatever you want (including uncooked rice – my favorite magic trick! Surprised smile <—your surprised face when you try it too), go about your day and then come home to a healthy dinner all ready for you. Pretty fab if you ask me.

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And then I came across this turkey and artichoke stuffed peppers recipe from Cara. It uses bulgur which is sold parboiled, which means it cooks quickly. No magic required and it’s a whole (delicious!) grain to boot! You combine it with browned ground turkey (just 1/2lb goes a long way here!), chopped up artichokes, garlic, herbs and cottage cheese and then try not to eat the whole filling all by itself. Smile with tongue out But hold off, because topped with a little tomato sauce and cheese and stuffed in peppers it becomes this awesome little package of goodness. Fantastic!

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No, this was not the crockpot meal I originally intended; there were quite a few steps (although none were complicated) but this was incredibly flavorful between the nutty bulgur, the savory turkey, slightly acidic artichokes and tomatoes, creamy cottage cheese and lots of garlic (I looooove garlic!). It went immediately on our favorites list and I hope it becomes your favorite too! Smile

Thank you, Cara, for another winning recipe!

Do you have a great stuffed pepper recipe? I still want to do another crockpot version with rice.

Celebrating Easter with yard work

… and Vietnamese sandwiches. More on that in a bit. First there was breakfast!

I love leisurely Sunday mornings. Today I was craving a special breakfast that involved NUTELLA. I am certain this would not be BFL approved. It was, however, Elina approved. :)

Whole wheat wrap with 1/2 banana and nutella

Gooey… mmm (I ate 3/4ths of this because it was too good not to share with Adam).

Oikos + 1/2 pear

Yum! This delicious breakfast fueled me for some yard work. Ok, more like patio work. We had some serious brick work on our hands. Hi, Adam! :)

That’s quite the pose.. I know you’re digging the outfit too. ;)

What am I doing here?

Ok, seriously – who’s taking these pictures? :lol:

We did need to eat at some point.

LUNCH

I threw together every veggie we had in the fridge, sauteeing some spinach, mushrooms and chickpeas first.

Sauteed baby spinach, mushrooms and chickpeas, fresh bean sprouts, carrots and avocado

+ 2 cookie dough balls for dessert (this pic x2)

My sister-in-law also stopped by with the kids. They’re growing up so fast!

Oh yes, back to the yard work….

How do you like our new steps?

We worked for hours and hours but it looks awesome now! I’ll take some pictures once we’re done with the entire space. The next project will involve planting some flowers.

SNACK TIME

Ww Tuscan Pane with baba ganoush. I can’t get enough of the stuff!

And as much as I wanted to just veg on the couch, it was then time to make dinner. I had big plans!

DINNER

I’ve been planning on making Adrienne’s turkey meatball banh mi sandwich for nearly 3 months. I mean she said this was the best sandwich she’s ever had. How could I not want to make it? This weekend it had to happen. I’ve waited long enough and I knew I’d get some brownie points from the hubs for this one. ;)

I followed the recipe carefully but omitted the onions and scallions, and used 1.5T of dark soy sauce + some lime juice instead of fish sauce (I thought we had it but I couldn’t find it). I also kept my portion a bit smaller (smaller baguette piece, way less spicyt mayo, 4 meatballs out of 30).

This was FANTASTIC!!! So many layers of spicy – our mouths were on fire but we were smiling while chugging water. It was actually quite simple to make but I was so proud. I can’t believe I made something so complex tasting and delicious. It’s going on our “favorites” list for sure! :mrgreen:

Great dinner, major progress on our patio. I’d say this was one successful day. How was your weekend?

Oh – I also wanted to mention that since I’ll be away in Aruba this Friday-Tuesday, if anyone would like to write a guest post, I’d be happy to post it during this time (or any time if you can’t meet this short-ish deadline). Let me know! :)

[Edited to add: Just as an FYI, I had some chocolate covered edamame + roasted almonds a little while after dinner since I got hungry again.]

Birthdays and soup

I’m writing this post a day late due to CEiMB rules of Thursday recipe sharing. You see, it’s my mom’s birthday today (Happy Birthday, mom!!!!!!!!!!!) so we’re going out to dinner tonight. That means that I made my featured recipe of the week on Wednesday but I’m posting it on Thursday so we’re all good ;) On that note, let’s start with dinner, shall we?

DINNER

This week’s CEiMB’s recipe was chosen by Grandma’s Kitchen. I rarely make soups so I was actually excited to be “forced” to make Ellie’s lemon chicken soup with orzo (recipe is on page 86 of The Food You Crave and has been retyped here). The idea of a lemony soup sounded so fresh and appealing to me. Adam wasn’t too psyched but once in a while he has to eat things for the love of the blog (plus I know what he’ll really hate and I wouldn’t serve that to him) ;)

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So chicken + lemon sounded delicious but onions and celery did not. For some reason most soups call for carrots, onions and celery as the only veggies. Given my hatred for the 2 latter veggies, I was determined to replace them with veggies I do like… but what would work in chicken soup? My twitter friends helped me out with this dilemma (follow me on twitter if you don’t already!). I decided to add a pepper, some frozen corn and baby spinach. I also realized I had some leftover cooked wild rice so I nixed the orzo for the rice. Since I wasn’t cooking the orzo in the soup (and my rice wouldn’t absorb much of the liquid), I also cut the amount of chicken broth to 4 cups in total. I guess at the end, my soup did not resemble that of Ellie’s much… although I did still use chicken + lemon. :D

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Here are all the goodies!

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The soup was lacking in flavor a bit so I added extra lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper to add depth and a bit of spice. Much better! I really liked how the egg made the soup a bit creamier. I’ll use that trick in my next soup adventure! What’s your favorite kind of soup?

[Rewind]

BREAKFAST

TJ’s european style yogurt, chia seeds, mango, muesli + TJ’s nutty American trek mix

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My favorite trail mix is back at TJ’s!!!!! It’s been gone for probably a year (I thought it was discontinued) so I almost squealed with excitement when I saw it at TJ’s a few days ago. I bought 2 packages – just in case. :lol:

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Best yogurt bowl I’ve had in ages. Amazing!!

LUNCH

The yummy eats continued with an amazing sandwich. TJ’s ww Tuscan pane with pesto, turkey, mozzarella and tomato. All ooey, gooey…mmm

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Steamed brussels sprouts + a pickle for some added veggie love

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And an impulse V8 juice I spotted at the back of the fridge. I love this juice but need to get used to the low sodium kind.

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SNACKS

Mid-afternoon I snacked on a Zbar (brownie flavor) and an orange and after dinner this guy was very much enjoyed…

Whole wheat Tuscan pane with roasted garlic hummus and avocado

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Definitely lots of deliciousness all around. :mrgreen:

I skipped my workout for the day because my mid-morning meeting ran into lunch and I missed my spin class. I had no motivation to do my own thing so it turned into a rest day. I used the extra time at night to research Haiti relief programs and chose to donate 100% of my February blog earnings to the National Nurses United. Every dollar donated is used to send volunteer nurses to Haiti.

Happy Thursday… and please wish my mom a happy birthday in the comments. I know she’ll feel the love. :D

[Back tomorrow with a restaurant review]

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