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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The healthy alternative to a casserole.

I've been a pretty lazy cook lately. For a few days in a row, I've been eating the same things out of sheer laziness: oatmeal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch with a yogurt, salad for dinner. Gets boring mighty quick. So I decided to break out of my slump and make something tasty.

Now, here in the midwest, we lerrrrrve our casseroles. It's what we make when we have leftovers and don't know what to do with them. There are lots of jokes about how much we here in Minnesot-ahhh love our casseroles. Casseroles tend to include whatever leftovers you have, covered in way too much cheese, tater tots, and cream-of-something soup. Too much fat for this girl.

I hate, capital-H-A-T-E throwing out food. What a waste of money and a waste of food. So what are you supposed to do with ingredients that you need to use up before they go bad? Well, I have found a good substitute for the casserole.

Stuffed peppers! These are my stuffed peppers right before going into the oven to bake. Nummm nummm. Do you know that just about anything tastes great stuffed in a pepper and baked? You can use whatever you have in the fridge. These were the ingredients that I needed to use up: ground turkey (that was going to spoil if I didn't use right away), about a cup of corn, an open jar of heart-smart, gluten free spaghetti sauce that was going to go bad soon, feta cheese, onions, canned mushrooms.

So here's what I did. I put a tablespoon of olive oil in a fry pan and heated it on medium. I choppped up the onions and threw them and the mushrooms into the pan and sauteed until the onions were soft. Then I added the ground turkey, around a 1/4 container of fat free feta cheese and the corn, and a little bit of black pepper and fried it until the turkey was just about all browned.

Then I took a baking dish and poured a little of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom. Oh yeah, preheat your oven to 375. Then I cut the green peppers in 1/2 (they were huge), seeded and cored them, and then stuffed each of them with the mix. I took the remainder of the spaghetti sauce and drizzled it across the top of each pepper. Then I sprinkled a little more feta on top. I baked them for 25 minutes. When they came out, I dusted each one with grated parmesan cheese (well, except for the first pepper. Which had a TON of parmesan on it from opening the wrong side of the shaker container).

The spaghetti sauce I used was low carb, which made this dish a nice lower-carb supper. I added no grains (like rice), which would add to the carb count. So I only had to count for the small amount of corn in each pepper and the sauce.

You can use whatever you have in your fridge. If you don't have any meat, use quinoa (higher protein than rice). Mix some veggies in and a little cheese. If you don't have fresh veggies (I didn't), use frozen or canned. It all works in a stuffed pepper. Season it up with some salt and pepper. Yum!

No dinner is complete without dessert.

Especially when it's GUILT FREE dessert!

I didn't want to blow my low-carb meal by eating a high-carb or high fat dessert, so I grabbed some sugar free jell-0 (the black cherry is the BEST and goes on sale often at SuperTarget) and some fat free, low carb whip cream.

What a healthy, satisfying meal that satisfied both my gluten-free and lower-carb needs!

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