Protein Packed Bell Peppers
We all heard of stuffed bell peppers. The stereotypical bell peppers are stuffed with beef and rice. This recipe is a spin on the traditional bell pepper recipe for a low carbohydrate option to help you cut calories. I am not a low-carbohydrate follower myself, however, I know that when you are trying to manage your weight fats and carbohydrates are the two macronutrients that you will need to modify. One cup of cooked rice ends up being around 200 calories. If you have an appetite anything like me, I can easily eat 2-3 cups in one sitting. Knowing this, cutting back on the carbs is sometimes needed to make sure I am not eating 1000 calories in just one meal.
Instead of rice I have been eating cauliflower. Not necessarily cauliflower rice, but diced cauliflower instead. There is a difference! Cauliflower rice has the consistency of rice. Every time I eat it I end up feeling disappointed because it doesn't have the same starchy consistency that I am wanting with that particular texture. Instead I learned that when I eat cauliflower, I need to know it is cauliflower so I don't feel let down. So instead of ricing my cauliflower into tiny pieces, I now dice it so I can still have a bit of a crunch when I bite into it. That crunch works in my brain and I no longer feel like I am suppose to eat rice , and thus I don't feel dissatisfied with the dish because I know that it is not suppose to taste like rice, but like cauliflower. Since I made this change I crave cauliflower more because I love the crunchy texture. Besides, who doesn't like added bulk and crunch to their meal without a ton of calories or off flavors. Cauliflower is so bland you can easily hide it in any dish to create more bulk. It is one of those foods you can hide in foods that even veggie haters can't tell it is in there.
For this recipe I decided to use vegan crumbles instead of beef, but you can easily substitute your recipe for ground beef, turkey, or sausage. Just keep in mind the nutrition information will change if you do so. I recommend that if you use meat that you drain it before adding in your ingredients. The fat found in meat is mainly saturated fats which can cause clogged arteries and raise your LDL cholesterol. I personally limit my animal products for personal reasons and use crumbles in many of my recipes.
The spices added a middle eastern style flavor to the grounds. The spices can be easily substituted to whatever flavors you like, making this a very versatile dish.
I then added in Feta cheese and cilantro. Any cheese will work here, or you can skip the cheese all together. The same can apply to the cilantro. You may not like cilantro so you can add parsley, spinach, or other leafy green instead.
Scoop into your bell peppers and then place in the oven.
I recommend eating 2 bell pepper halves to get at least 20g of protein. This dish is satisfying and delicious. Enjoy.