Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Healthy and Comforting Meals...

When I think of comfort food I think of Macaroni and Cheese, Meatloaf, or Giant Stuffed Green Peppers.  I'm also reminded of the calorie and fat content, and how it's not exactly of any health benefit to my family; or is it?  Has anyone else noticed all of the recipes and/or pictures of food shown on people's Facebook updates?  It's always..this is what I'm cooking, this is what our dinner looks like, and wouldn't this be a treat?  I've been guilty of it myself in the past.  What really made them stick out to me was when they are also listing how they're going to go exercise or how they need to start.  Seriously?  Props to you for getting off your booties and doing some exercise; just realize that going home and eating homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac 'n cheese, and cheesecake isn't going to benefit your exercise regimen.  I have started the new year with a commitment to yoga three times a week and I love it.  I haven't really seen a "change" in my body, but I have certainly noticed how much stronger I feel.  I sleep better and just generally feel better minus the sinus infection I am currently fighting.  There are some great yoga instructors who have made me feel super comfortable and are ready to assist with the "correct" way of the poses.  Hey, I'm trying.  I realized that there was no way I could be all about exercising and feeling great with my family and go home and cook a humongous calorie-loaded meal.  Yes, I'm a proud southern woman who loves her homestyle meals; but I have three other people looking to me to also set an example for a healthy lifestyle.  I decided that I could still make those down-home meals, but I could also make them healthier.  Here's the first recipe with more to come....

Crock-Pot Stuffed Green Peppers

4 large bell peppers with top and insides removed.
2 1/2 lbs of ground turkey
1 medium carrot or parsnip
1 small onion
2 small pieces of bread slightly stale (I used 2 slices of Udi's)
1 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper
1 tbs tarragon
1 can crushed tomatoes

The night before...  to food processor I combined the parsnip or carrot, onion, and bread; processed together to form binding ingredients.  Combined with ground turkey, salt, pepper, and tarragon.  Load inside the green peppers and place in fridge till morning.  The next morning; place peppers inside crock pot and pour can of crushed tomatoes over top.  Turn crock pot on warm or low setting and you'll come home to that great homemade comforting meal without all the work and fat.
Unless it's a holiday or I'm entertaining I don't make super large dinners and I've discovered that if the only sweets/desserts that we have are the ones I make... no one is consistently eating sweets.  There's nothing better than coming home to a comforting homemade meal without a ton of fuss; just fix a great side salad!