Sunday, July 14, 2019

Summer Stuffed Peppers (Whole 30)

If you love stuffed peppers, guacamole, and cilantro, you'd better run to the store, because this combo of the three is really good. I should probably add that this recipe also calls for one jalapeno pepper, too, but we didn't find it spicy. Mr.4444 can't handle much, in terms of kick, and he loved this flavorful meal, so don't be scared.

I know how you all love it when food bloggers get to the point, so give me just another line or three and I'll deliver. I just want to give a shout out to my daughter Kendall, who turned me on to the Whole30 way of eating a year and a half ago. These days, I shudder at the ingredients I used to use for Mrs.4444 Cooks recipes. Now, I like to cook healthy, flavorful food, and this recipe is a great example. I called it "summer" stuffed peppers because most of the ingredients may be found in your garden, and it has a bright, summery flavor.  Now, here you go: Whole30 Stuffed Peppers, with a nod to lakeshorelady*.

Stuffed Pepper Ingredients (in order of appearance):
6-8 medium to large peppers (any colors you like), cut in half and readied for stuffing like so:

2-3 tbls ghee (or your sautéing oil of choice)
1 large, sweet onion (I used vidalia), diced
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground turkey

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
1 cup riced cauliflower, cooked (I buy the frozen bags and follow their directions.)

6 tbls. cilantro, chopped and divided (2 T for the stuffing, 2 for the guacamole (next step), and 2 for garnish when serving)
kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon each)

2-3 avocados
juice of one lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 garlic clove, minced, salted, and allowed to get happy for about five minutes
1 roma tomatoes, diced
kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

Don't be afraid to double those guac ingredients--Who doesn't love extra guac?! In fact, you may notice from my photos that I doubled the whole recipe this time--It was so good last time, and I'm guessing these will freeze nicely.

After cutting the peppers in half and cleaning them, set your oven to 375 degrees. Open the canned tomatoes and "grease" a cake pan or casserole dish with a bit of the contents so that the peppers are less likely to stick. Get a large skillet hot over medium heat, add the ghee, and saute the onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic and cooking until the onions are translucent, a few more minutes. Add the turkey, breaking up as it cooks and adding a little more ghee if needed. (I did not drain this concoction, but do what makes you happy.)

Next, add the tomatoes, jalapeno, and cauliflower. Heat through for a minute. Add one tablespoon of cilantro (save the rest for garnishing), salt and pepper to taste, give it a stir, and remove from heat.

Fill the peppers generously and place in a single layer in a casserole dish or cake pan. [The recipe I followed called for four peppers, and that's all I had, so it all fit in a single cake pan. I've adjusted this recipe and will use two pans next time.] Bake 30 minutes, uncovered.

Meanwhile, make the guacamole. I use a potato masher to mash the avocados and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir.

Serve each stuffed pepper with a good dollop of guac on top and a sprinkle of more cilantro. YUM!

This doubled batch made this many peppers and filled two small pyrex containers that I'll just eat without peppers.

And's a little funny from my cooking adventures today.
Apparently this pepper was a very willing participant!lol

So many words come to mind: gross, funny, creepy, artsy.

*I found this recipe after randomly landing on this post from A Hundred Affections' 30 of My Most Favorite Whole 30 Recipes. Let me know if you find another good one there!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Apples (Whole 30)

"Very, very, very good!" and "wonderful" are Mr.4444's words for this meal, and I didn't even follow the original recipe's directions. I'd like to say that I was being a creative cook, but to be honest, I just spaced out on some of it. When we make this again (which we definitely will) we'll do so as follows:


Veggies: (Combine inside the crock pot bottom and season with salt and pepper):
1.5 pound fingerling potatoes (keep intact unless there are big ones, which you can cut in 1/2)
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1" chunks
1 1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Place the following atop the veggies:
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (and 2-3 sprigs of herbs listed below with an asterisk if you prefer fresh herbs)

(see apple directions below)

Broth: (Whisk and pour over veggies in the crock pot):
1 cup beef broth (or chicken)
2 tbls Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 tbls chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme*
1/2 tsp dried oregano*
1 tsp dried fennel*

*Either use the dried herbs OR the fresh herbs, not both.

two pork tenderloins (or one pork loin roast) totaling 3 pounds
1 tbls olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Season the meat with salt and pepper while heating up a frying pan or iron skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil to the pan. Brown the meat on all sides, a few minutes each side. While the meat is browning, slice 2 large granny smith apples into 1/4 inch thick wedges or slices. Make 8 cuts in the the browned meat and insert apple slices. (Any extra apple slices can be added to the other veggies in the crock pot.) Place pork on top of the veggies and herbs. Cook on Low for six hours or until internal temperature of the pork falls between 145 and 160.

Move the meat and vegetables to a serving platter and keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid into a saucepan. If you're not eating Whole 30, thicken the broth with cornstarch and water. If not, simply boil the broth until it's thickened or reduced to half. Serve with the pork (sprinkled with extra, fresh rosemary) and vegetables. (We chose to serve it over riced cauliflower.)

Stay tuned for more pics next time.

Shopping List: 3 lbs pork loin or tenderloin, olive oil, 2 Granny Smith apples1.5  lbs fingerling potatoes, 6 large carrots, 2 large onions, 2 green apples, fresh rosemary, fresh or dried oregano, thyme, and fennel, broth, dijon mustard, garlic, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, frozen riced cauliflower (if desired).

The original version of this recipe can be found at Parsnips and Pastries.