Easy Veggie Stuffed Peppers
Updated: Jan 16
This week’s theme: Plan with Purpose
We’re halfway through the month of January, so it’s time for a pulse check. How is everyone feeling? Do you have goals and intentions you are working on? Did you make a plan?
All month long, my wellness partner Nicole from Harp and Wellness and I are sharing wellness and nutrition tips to get your January started off on the right foot. Follow along with our Wellness Within 2021 series where each Friday I share a new recipe on my blog, and each Saturday Nicole shares a mindfulness exercise to complement the recipe and theme. We hope you try out some new recipes and tune in for some mindfulness exercises and meditation to give yourself a little more kitchen confidence and peace of mind in the new year.
This week’s Wellness Within theme is Plan with Purpose. As the saying goes, fail to plan, plan to fail. What is it about meal planning and prep that can make or break our week? We rely on food to keep us nourished, and having access to the right foods at the right time can really help keep us going and give us time to still do all the things we love. That’s why meal prepping is so important. Whether you’ve been doing it for a while, or are just starting out, setting some goals around meal planning will make your weeks more manageable and reduce stress.
As with any goal, it is important to think of the “why” first. Why is meal planning and meal prepping important to you, and why is it something you would like to focus on? There are a number of benefits to meal planning: less decision fatigue every night coming up with new ideas for dinner, fewer trips to the store to grab last-minute items, and less chance of overeating because all the food is picked out and prepped ahead of time. This ultimately leads to MORE time available to spend with your family, catching up on projects, or taking some YOU time. We could all use a little more free time right?
If you’re new to meal prepping, don’t tackle a whole month all at once. Break it down into manageable chunks. Decide how often you want to meal prep or how many meals you want to make and don't risk getting overwhelmed. Decide what day makes sense for your grocery run and cooking and stick to it. Being prepared is key- grab all your ingredients ahead of time so you are set up for success. For example, decide on 1-2 meals you can make ahead of time with enough leftovers to carry you over for another day or two. It’s also a good idea to keep some key staples on hand if you have to throw together a meal in a pinch – think beans, rice, frozen veggies, pasta, and sauce. Take a look at your calendar, and take inventory of any trips you might be taking or other food related activities so that you do not over buy or end up with waste. Birthdays, holidays, vacations can all play a role in your grocery list and what you keep on hand. Keeping some prepped food in the freezer is another great way to save time in these situations. Whenever my husband and I travel we try to prep some soup or chili and keep it in the freezer so we can thaw it when we get home.
This week on my Instagram I shared 4 main tips for meal planning and prepping:
1. Always keep some key ingredients on hand for recipes
2. Plan meals that use the same type of side dishes or ingredients to save time
3. When cooking, make a double batch of something to use for multiple meals or freeze
4. When you travel or are away for an extended time without any preplanned foods, lean on veggies and try to incorporate one fruit or veggie per meal to prevent bloating and lethargy
I’ve linked a few recipes below that can get you thinking about batch cooking for leftovers or freezer friendly soups.
One of my other favorite go-to, easy meals is stuffed peppers. There are so many variations with this but I will share what I did with these ones here.
Recipe: Easy Veggie Stuffed Peppers
6-8 bell peppers
2-3 lacinato kale leaves
1 tsp minced garlic
1.5 cups cooked quinoa
0.5 cups pasta sauce
1. Cook quinoa based on instructions (simmer in water using a 1:2 ratio for quinoa to water until all water is absorbed)
2. Preheat oven to 350’F
3. Wash, chop and dice kale and carrots
4. Sauté carrots, kale, and garlic until kale is wilted and carrots are a bit soft
5. Wash and slice tops off peppers and remove inside contents
6. Boil water in a separate pot enough to submerge the peppers
7. Boil peppers for 5 minutes or so to get them to soften up before baking
8. Using a glass baking dish, add a little bit of sauce to the bottom of the dish and line up your peppers
9. Prepare the pepper stuffing by mixing the quinoa, veggies, and a bit of optional sauce
10. Fill each of the peppers and top with a tablespoon or so of sauce
11. Bake for 30 minutes at 350’F
Next week I'll be sharing my recipe for baked oatmeal so stay tuned! I hope you can use some of these ideas to make your life easier, save time and money, and try something new.
Be sure to check out Harp and Wellness tomorrow on YouTube. Nicole will walk us through mindfulness exercises every Saturday at 3 pm ET to complement our weekly themes all throughout January. Tomorrow’s video will focus on manifesting desires into goals!
To access Harp and Wellness on social media:
Be sure to check out Nicole's additional resources to help with goal setting
Wishing you all a healthy and peaceful New Year!