winter recipes

Curried Lentil Stuffed Peppers

 
Curried Lentil Stuffed Peppers.jpg
 

I have been loving these stuffed lentils lately! They take no time to make and the ingredients are super simple. Even my meat-loving boyfriend loves them! They'd also be good in an acorn squash, but I find peppers cook a little quicker.

In our house, meals can be somewhat challenging. While, I'm not a vegetarian, I prefer to focus on more plant-based meals, while my boyfriend is all about juicy burgers and rare steak. We try to share the cooking responsibility so we get a good mix of vegetarian and meat-centered meals. There are a few things we've found we can make to be half veg/half meat - but more on this later. This is something we can agree on. He also likes stuffed acorn squash with quinoa.

What are your favorite meals to satisfy the meat and veggie lovers in your life?


 

Ingredients:

Snapseed.jpg

3 small-medium, or 2 large bell peppers
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 a yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup diced mushrooms
1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red lentils (or any color would work)
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth*
2 handfuls of spinach

*note: The amount of broth varied depending on the brand of lentils I used. I would start with 1.5 cups and add more as need

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. 

2. Prep the peppers. Slice each pepper in half and remove the seeds. Place in a baking dish, filled with about 1cm of water. Cover with aluminum foil. Place in your preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until peppers have softened and cooked. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium sized pot, heat a dash of oil over med-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and mushrooms and saute for a minute or so until the onion begins to soften.

4. Add the curry, ginger, turmeric, and tomato paste.

5. Add the lentils and broth. Cook until the lentils are soft and have absorbed the majority of the broth.

6. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.

7. Spoon lentil mixture into the pepper halves. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

3 Reasons to Start Meal Prepping & Root Vegetable and Bean Soup by Toby Amidor

Between clients and workshops, I've been talking about meal prep a lot lately. It seems to be on everyone's mind, and for good reason. Having a well stocked pantry and homemade meals ready to grab and go helps make it easy to eat healthy throughout your week. But you may be wondering, should I really be doing this, is it really worth it? 

Meal prep looks different to everyone. Some like to set aside a few hours each sunday to prep meals for the week. I prefer to prep things here and there, often while I'm doing something else, to save time on my weekends. So while my sheet pan dinner cooks, I'll prep a soup in the crockpot or roasted veggies or a salad to eat throughout the week. I may make some egg muffins if I have the oven on anyways, prep some overnight oats, or slice peppers and cucumbers for snacks throughout the week. Meal prep takes me no more than an hour each week, and I'm still stocked and prepped for a healthy week ahead. Find out how we can work together to make this your reality too. 

Whatever meal prep looks like for you, it definitely has it's benefits.

See my Top 3 Reasons to Start Meal Prepping below:


1. Eat Healthier & Feel Better

My number one reason to meal prep is to EAT HEALTHIER. Keeping healthy ingredients on hand makes it so much easier to make healthy choices. And by having the ingredients actually prepared makes it that much easier to choose them.

My meal prep routine includes something as simple as keeping my go-to snacks on hand. Right now I'm loving siggi's plain yogurt (or whatever plain Greek yogurt is on sale), hummus and sliced bell peppers and cucumbers, and peanut butter or nut butter packets with apples or nectarines. I know by keeping healthy meals and snacks on hand that are prepped and ready to go, I'm far more likely to make a healthy choice when I get hungry. I'm also less likely to order takeout for dinner when I have ingredients prepped and ready to throw together a healthy dinner in minutes.

 

2. Save Money & Prevent Waste

When we go to the store without a plan, it's easy to buy everything that looks good or is on sale. But by planning ahead for the week and going shopping with a plan, it's easier to leave with just the items you need. Having just a few meals and snacks in mind can help prevent you from going overboard and spending too much. Meal prep will also save you money by encouraging you to eat out less. When you have prepped and planned meals at home you won't be tempted to stop on your way home or need to grab a muffin with your morning coffee because you have better-for-you, homemade meals ready to go.

 

3. Save Time

Yesterday I took 15 minutes to made a crockpot soup and I'll probably get at least 3 meals out of it this week. I took another 15 minutes to cook up some extra veggies and a big salad with my dinner last night to use in other meals this week. By using my time wisely, batch cooking, and figuring out my favorite, easy, go-to meals, it saves me an hour of cooking each night. So even on the nights I don't feel like cooking, it's easy to eat something healthy.


Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

Over the summer, my colleague, Toby Amidor, released the best meal prep cookbook! The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook is the perfect tool to help you try new recipes, get organized with meal prepping, and keep your food safe all week long (Toby is a food safety pro!).

The book includes 6 different weekly meal plans, including Clean Eating, Weight Loss, and Muscle Building meal plans (2 weeks each). Each meal plan has recipes, a grocery list, and a plan of action for your meal prep day. Each recipe includes tips for storing to keep your prepared meals safe to eat all week long. 

I'd highly recommend this book for anyone getting started with meal prep or healthy eating. Get your copy here and be sure to try her Root Vegetable and Bean Soup recipe below - it's perfect for this time of year!

Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz


What meal prep questions do you have? Ask me here!

Be sure to download my Meal Prep Made Easy Workbook - for my best meal prep tips and tricks, freezer meals, make ahead meals, shopping lists, worksheets, and more.


Toby's Recipe RootVegetableBeanSoup.jpg

Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal (for a crowd or the freezer)

While the frozen oatmeal squares may not be the prettiest picture, it says nothing about their taste. Baked oatmeal is easy to prep ahead and it tastes amazing too! This warm winter breakfast is perfect to serve to a crowd or slice and save for easy breakfasts throughout the week. You can store it in the fridge or freezer and microwave when you're ready. I like to top mine with greek yogurt or a peanut butter drizzle. 


Ingredients:
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups soy milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg (or flax or chia egg*)
2 medium sized apples, any kind, chopped (leave the skin on for added fiber)
1/2 cup of cranberries (I used fresh, but frozen or dried will work too)
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, other other spices to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2. Lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish or line with parchment paper.
3. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
4. Spread the mixture in the baking dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Top with yogurt, a drizzle of peanut butter, or berries to serve. Enjoy!

 
 

 

*To make a flax or chia egg, combine:
1 Tbsp ground flax meal OR 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water
allow to sit for about 3 minutes, it will become thick and gooey like an egg white and has the same binding properties