Tag Archives: low carb

Sausage, Goat Cheese + Arugula Stuffed Peppers

19 Jun

Growing up, my mom made stuffed peppers pretty often.  Hers were usually whole bell peppers, stuffed with rice, ground beef, and some kind of tomato sauce.  They were so much a part of our regular rotation that I absolutely hated them.  They were always overcooked or undercooked, never an enjoyable texture.  I think I actually hated bell peppers for a long time because of that particular meal.  It got to the point that I would just empty the pepper of its stuffing and discard it completely.

Oh, I’ve tried to get on board.  I’ve only made stuffed peppers a handful of times as an adult and they just never turned out great.  Until now.  For me, I can say that halving the pepper lengthwise and using the peppers as boats instead of urns makes all the difference.  That and an amazing low-carb stuffing.

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Sausage, Goat Cheese, & Arugula Stuffed Peppers (original recipe from Cook Like A Champion)

  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • half an onion, diced
  • 2/3 lb. hot Italian sausage (use whatever sausage you want!), no casing
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • salt, pepper, olive oil
  • Parmesan Reggiano to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400*F and sautee onion in about 1 T. olive oil until translucent.  Then, add the sausage and cook until browned and crumbly.  While the sausage is cooking, slice the bell peppers in half lengthwise to remove stems and seeds.

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When the sausage is browned, add the goat cheese and arugula.  Mix until the goat cheese is combined and the arugula has wilted.

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I didn’t add any salt or pepper until the arugula is wilted and I can taste the actual mixture.  Here is where you can season it to your taste!  I used fresh ground pepper, sea salt, and some crushed red pepper flakes because I like a little heat.

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Once seasonsed, spoon the mixture into the bell pepper boats and top with the smallest amount of Parmesan Reggiano.

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I baked mine for about 18 minutes – until the peppers were soft, not mushy and not crunchy!

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Yes in every single way.  The only reason I see to eat low-carb dinner is to save room for the most important carb.

Oh and before we move on, I just wanted to share how amazing a one pot dish is for clean-up:

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sweet nothingness

Since I have the absolute best customers in the world, I got this piece of majestic art as a tip earlier in the week!  I knew I had to get it extra cold and save it for the hottest, muggiest day of the week – which was most definitely yesterday.

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(Disclaimer: No, I wasn’t prompted to blog about this or even mention it!)

Um….wow.  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  White Sky Chai Wheat beer from The Brew Gentlemen.  This beer is everything I hoped a beer could ever be.  The chai undertones are phenomenal, all clovey and gingery and cardamomy (hello, fall in my mouth) and the taste is just incredibly smooth.  This may be the best beer I’ve ever had in my entire life.  Sorry, North Country Brewing but you’ve been bested by Braddock’s newest brewers:  The Brew Gentlemen.  I 100% intend on heading over there for a full report!  I don’t care how many beers I have to try, I will do what I have to for you guys!  Oh, to be young and have a higher alcohol tolerance again.

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Oh The Yum.

29 Oct

I’m trying as hard as I can to keep the momentum going, despite my monthly friend stopping by for a visit (i.e. I want to sleep for 12 hours a day and eat everything in sight).  I’m actually so tired that I just spelled sugar as “suger.”  On purpose.

Last night, I decided to give another one of Iowa Girl Eats’ recipes a whirl.  I happened upon her blog a few months ago when I realized I was loving her stuff on Pinterest.  Since then, I’ve been hooked!

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps (from Iowa Girl Eats)

  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 3 T. lime juice
  • 3 T. EVOO
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 T. + 1 t. sesame oil
  • 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2″ knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 T. creamy almond butter
  • 1 lb. thin cut sirloin steak
  • lettuce cups

Quick-Pickled Cucumbers and Onions:

  • 1 small seedless cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 2 t. sugar

This recipe was kind of perfect for us yesterday because I had basically everything in my fridge/pantry.  I just had to run out and grab the fresh stuff – steak, lettuce, and cucumber.

First, I made the pickled garnish by mixing everything together in a bowl and stirring it up.  I continued to stir it about every 15 minutes until it was time to serve.

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Then, I made the marinade by combining the soy sauce, lime juice, EVOO, sesame oil, honey, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic in my food processor.  Once everything was smooth, I took out 1/4 c. of the mixture and poured it over my steak as a marinade.  The rest of the sauce stayed in the food processor and I added the almond butter to it, mixing it again until smooth.  That mixture became the sauce for the wraps.  The steak marinated for about 20 minutes while I pre-heated my broiled, then I cooked it to medium, sliced it up and voila!

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Sorry about the poor quality of these pictures, it was hard to even snap a few before we devoured them!  So yummy and ridiculously easy to make.  I should also mention that we have leftovers a plenty for today as well.

 

Meet Mallory

17 May

Today I thought I’d switch it up and talk about someone else for a change.  I’ve been following a friend’s weight loss, fitness, and life transformation via Facebook for the last few years.  Mallory’s journey has been really inspiration for me and I was especially curious to know what its like to be a low carb athlete.  Enjoy!

Q1:  Are you carb-free or low-carb?

A1:  I’m low carb. I always have less than 50g of carbs per day, usually I’m under 30g.

Q2:  When did you make your decision to eliminate/cut carbs and why?

A2:   About a year ago, Charlie (her husband) decided he wanted to try low-carb based off of some conversations with a friend that he met while working at a sandwich shop. We had both lost some weight by cutting calories and running a few years back before our wedding, but we both gained weight back so we decided to try it. I struggled with it for a while and I had cheat days sometimes, but as of now, I haven’t had over 50g of carbs in a day since Easter.

Q3:  Were you a runner prior to eliminating/cutting carbs?

A3:    I started running before I started dieting. Running was something that I never, ever wanted to do or even thought about.  But living in Pittsburgh made me realize how awesome it is for both physical and mental health. I started running when I weighed 210 pounds. I decided that i needed to make drastic changes in my life, and couldn’t think of anything more drastic than that!

MalloryBefore Q4:  How have your running/training/fitness experiences been affected since you changed your diet?  (For example, do you notice that you have more or less energy?  Do you notice that it’s easier for you to lose weight?)

A4:   At first, I was really concerned with running while eating low-carb. I was still in the mindset of needing to “carb load” before long runs. I eventually just stopped wanting to eat carbs for the most part.  Before I run, I really don’t eat carbs.  Instead, I’ll have eggs, cheese and bacon.  Carbs are important for recovering, though, so on days that I run I eat a little more. The carbs that I do eat are usually from beans and vegetables (Wendy’s chili and Baja Salads, for example).  As far as energy -I have way more of it!  I sleep better, I wake up more easily, I feel like I recover from long runs and hard workouts better than I ever have, and losing weight is definitely easier.

Q5:  Have you dealt with any fitness-related challenges since making such a big change in your diet?

A5:   The only challenge I have at this point, is finding time for runs. I work a lot of hours in varying shifts, so it’s hard to schedule my runs. Physically, though, I haven’t had problems since I’ve changed my diet.

Q6:  What foods do you depend on to fuel and recover from your workouts now? 

A6:   After a run, I make sure to only drink water until my thirst is quenched. Over hydrating is just as bad as being dehydrated, so I’m very careful with that. I normally try to run right before it’s time to eat a meal, so when I’m done I just eat whatever I would normally: meat, cheese and vegetables and/or beans depending on the intensity of my workout or run.

Q7:  Does your nutritional plan change when you aren’t training for a race?

A7:   I really try not to change my nutritional plan. At this point, I’m not on a diet.  I’ve just changed my eating lifestyle. When I am training for a race, I will eat closer to 50g of carbs on longer run days, but otherwise, I stay around 30g.  I have recently been seeing a fertility specialist and during her testing, we found out that I’m pre- diabetic. I have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and it’s closely related to Type 2 Diabetes.  I started eating low-carb because I wanted to lose weight, but now I enjoy eating low-carb.  It helps me keep my sugar low by not ingesting unnecessary sugar via carbs.

MalloryB&AQ8:  What upcoming fitness goals are you excited to share with us?

A8:   I decided that while I really enjoy seeing lower numbers on the scale, I no longer have a specific weight loss goal.  I decided to make a goal of being able to wear a bikini. I know that sounds kind of weird and super girly, but I never felt like that was something that I could do.  I feel like anything is possible now! Also, I am going to be running some races coming up. I’ll be doing the Montour Trail Half Marathon in September in Robinson Twp. (right outside of Pittsburgh), and I’m giving a full marathon another shot in October at the Wineglass Marathon in New York. Today is actually exactly 2 years since I ran in the Pittsburgh Marathon, but didn’t finish. That moment really made me fall out of love with running for a while, but I’m really back in love again and look forward to earning the title of marathoner!

Thanks for sharing your story Mallory – and good luck at the Montour Half, girl!

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