nourishing

Un-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Un-Stuffed Bell Peppers

As I was loading pics from my phone to my lap top, I came across a picture I took a couple years ago when we had dinner at a relatives home. I loved the spiciness and moist flavors, so I took a picture and thought, I’ll make that soon….well, I forgot all about it until I saw the picture today.

So, I made it and it tastes similar, but not the same, it reminds me of a stuffed bell pepper hence the name “Un-Stuffed Bell Pepper” 🙂 Actually, I have tasted this dish Indian style, Middle Eastern style and Mexican style. It also tastes like chilly beans with no beans 🙂

Anyway, it is delicious and so simple to whip up. You can eat it alone or serve over a small portion of quinoa, rice, brown rice pasta, or even try adding some already cooked (and soaked) beans of choice. As I was eating it, I even imagined it as a breakfast with a couple sunny side up eggs 🙂

Let us know what you think sounds good or what you have tried.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. grass-fed butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 med onion, slivered
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. unrefined salt
  • dash black pepper (optional)
  • dash cayenne powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp.cumin powder (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and onion and saute for about 2 minutes.
  3. Then add bell pepper and saute until onions are limp.
  4. Add the ground beef and fully cook while breaking it up so it won’t clump.
  5. Add the tomato and tomato paste with just a little water (2 Tbs.) to help thin out the paste.
  6. Add the spices and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the bell peppers are soft. Meanwhile keep string occasionally to prevent sticking. The final product should be slightly saucy.

Enjoy!

Spinach and Eggplant Frittata

eggplant and spinach fritatta

Eggplants are coming to and end here, so I was able to get a good deal on lots of them. I don’t want them to go to waste, so I am adding them to my morning frittata! They make a wonderful potato replacement in the frittata. I’ve been trying to eat less starches lately, so this is great.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. (or more) grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • 3 gloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Cup eggplant, chopped into bite sized pieces. (You can leave the peel on or take it off)
  • 3 Cups baby spinach
  • 3 pasture-raised eggs, whisked in a bowl and set aside
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Instructions:

Prepare Eggplant-

  1. First cut eggplant and lay on paper towels, the sprinkle with salt. This will pull out the water so it won’t absorb all the cooking oil (butter/coconut oil).
  2. After about 20 minutes, press with paper towels to absorb water and leave it until needed.

Begin-

  1. Saute garlic in butter or coconut oil on medium-low heat until turning golden.
  2. Add eggplant and saute until getting soft.
  3. Then add the spinach and cover for about 30 seconds to let it wilt.
  4. Lowe heat and remove cover, stir, and place cover back on.
  5. After the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes, remove all from the pan.
  6. Melt another 1-2 Tbs. of butter or coconut oil and add the whisked eggs.
  7. Cook as you would an omelet by adding the vegetables to the eggs once the bottom is cooked or make egg muffins.

Butternut Squash Shepards Pie

butternut squash shepards pie

This recipe is adjusted from the Sheppard’s pie I usually make with potato. Since I am trying to eat less potato, I am substituting with squash.

Ingredients:

Outer Layers-

  • 1 butternut squash (3-4 lbs), peeled and cubed
  • 2 Cups filtered water or broth
  • 1 tsp. unrefined salt (if needed)
  • 2 Tbs grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil

Filling-

  • 2 Tbs grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • ¼ Cup pine nuts
  • 1 lg. onion, minced
  • 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
  • 1 tsp. unrefined salt
  • 1 tsp. all spice powder
  • Dash of fresh ground pepper (optional
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (option to add a little kick)

*To make this simple, you can layer each individual serving dish with mashed butternut squash, and then top it with the meat filling. This will keep it simple.

*If you wish to bake it so that it becomes a bit firmer and slightly browned, follow the full instructions.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place the butternut squash, water (or broth), and salt (if needed) in a pot.
  3. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. When done, remove excess liquid if needed and add 2 Tbs. butter. Mash well and set aside.

mashed butternut squash

  1. While the squash is cooking, melt the butter in a frying pan on medium-low heat.
  2. Then add the pine nuts and stir constantly until golden.
  3. Once golden color is achieved, remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl, leaving the butter in the frying pan. Set aside.
  4. browning pine seedsbrowned pine seeds
  5. Add the minced onion to the frying pan with butter and sauté until turning golden.
  6. Then add the meat, salt and spices.
  7. add spice and meat
  8. Continue to cook until the meat is fully browned.
  9. Add the pine nuts, mix, and remove from heat.

browned meat browned meat and pine seeds

Layering the pan

Choose any shape pan you like that will hold the mashed butternut squash and the filling; 9×13 works well, but I like a round dish.

Butter the pan and layer the bottom with ½ of the mashed butternut squash.

butternut squash 1st layer

Next, layer the middle with all of the meat mixture.

butternut squash 2nd layer

Then with the other half of the mashed butternut squash, layer the top.

butternut squash 3rd layer

Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until begining to turn golden and has firmed up.

baked butternut squash shepards pie

This goes well with a simple salad.

Eggplant, Tomaoto and Garbanzo Summer Stew – Lebanese Moussaka

mskaka

This is a delicious Middle Eastern vegetarian dish that should be eaten at room temperature and the flavor gets better over time. This desh can be served as a side dish or the main meal (makes a great on the go food).

Recipe:

2 long Japanese eggplants, approx ½ lbs. (or other if you don’t have)

Coconut oil or cold pressed Sunflower oil for frying

……

4 Tbs. coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced thin

1 ½ tsp. sea salt

1 Cup garbanzo beans that have already been soaked, cooked and drained

2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed

Instructions:

Peel the eggplant in strips as seen in photo, then cut into rounds about 1/2 inch. Next, lay out a paper towel on the counter and place eggplant on it, then generously sprinkle sea salt; this is done to remove excess water in the eggplant and it won’t absorb much oil when fried. Leave for about 30 minutes, then pat dry.

Fry eggplants on medium heat until golden, remove on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

mousakka

Meanwhile, sauté onions in oil on low until limp and golden. Add salt and garbanzo beans and heat for about a minute, and then add tomatoes; simmer covered for about 15 minutes.

Tthen arrange the fried eggplant over the top and cover again; simmer for another 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. If the sauce is too runny; gently boil uncovered until the excess liquid has evaporated.

When ready, add mashed garlic, carfully blend in, turn off heat, and cover pot for another 2 hours or more to let it cool to room temperature.

Notes:

You can either let it all mix together, or make a nice arrangement by carefully placing cooled eggplants on a serving dish first, then put the tomato sauce in between.

Eat with a side of white or brown rice.

This is a great lunch to take on the go packed in a cooler.

Foundation Of A Nutritional Makeover – Nutritional Planning

The following is text taken from my book “A Nutritional Makeover

Foundation of A Healthy Life 

 “No man fills a vessel worse than his stomach. A few mouthfuls that would suffice to keep his back upright are enough for a man. But if he must eat more, than he should fill one third (of his stomach) with food, one third with drink and leave one third for easy breathing”                                                                                                                                                                 ~Islamic ancient text~

The way you eat today will result in a series of lifelong choices and habits. To undo the bad habits requires a step-by-step approach, attempting to change one habit at a time.

A technique called mindful eating makes the act of nourishing the body a thoughtful practice. Mindfulness changes one’s attitude towards food and transforms the way one nourishes and cares for the body.

What Can You Do?                                                                                                                                                

The simplest thing we can do is listening to our bodies; it’s so simple that it seems impossible. In this lesson, you will be given tools from ancient wisdom that you can begin applying to your life today. You can choose to count calories (we’ve explained the reasons that’s not necessary), or learn to apply the advice (at least some of it) of this section. It’s simple but not easy. Everything mentioned here is detailed in later lessons.

First, eating the right kind of foods; do your best to eat only;

  • In season and local, shop farmers markets; plan your meals around them.
  • Organic or homegrown; non-GMO and not sprayed with pesticides
  • Grass fed/pasture raised/ wild caught animals for meat including chicken, sea food, eggs, and milk
  • Properly prepared grains, legumes, and beans

A balanced meal does not mean all food groups in one meal, some foods should not be mixed for example fish and milk make a toxic chemistry combination that is well known by many cultures. The Jewish do not mix milk and meat, perhaps there is hidden ancient wisdom behind this; after all, the calcium in dairy blocks the absorption of iron. Dairy is best consumed within 2 hours prior or after an iron meal.                                              

Stick with it.                                                                                                                                                                                  

This isn’t a diet, or a fad, or something you will only do for a little while. It is a Nutritional Makeover of your food and lifestyle that in time will bring you nutritional wellbeing and will become second nature to you.

Limit unhealthy meals as much as possible. If you do have one, don’t beat yourself up about it—just do better next time. Remember, meal planning is crucial in sticking with it.

Foundation for a Nutritional Makeover

Converting Your Meal Plan to traditional foods is the main idea. Depending on your ethnic back ground, geographic location and cultural food preference, the actual type of foods will vary, but with the same principles;

  • Vegetables will make up a large percentage of the foods you eat; your choices will revolve around what’s in season in your area, with a few exceptions such as onion, garlic, potato, and a few others. When you look at the variety of vegetables available, you’ll realize you actually have a variety of different flavors; you won’t have to eat broccoli all day and you will use healthy fats and spices to add a variety of flavor your vegetables.
  • High-quality protein is important to understand how much and from what source to get protein. More will be discussed in Lesson 4.
  • Healthy Fats; will become a regular part of your diet and provide a variety of health benefits.
  • Starchy carbohydrates, grains and other carbohydrate sources will be part of the plan and you will lean to add more if you’re active enough, and as long as the source of carbohydrates are properly prepared, there is no problem with eating them.
  • Probiotic foods will be incorporated in your meal plan as a way to keep your gut flora health which in turn, will keep you healthy. More on probiotics in Lesson 7.

You can still eat foods that are not part of the plan on occasion – if you still want to.