REAL Housewife | REAL Cooking: A new year = time to eat healthy
I’ll be the first one to admit that stepping on the scale on Dec. 26 was a horribly traumatic experience. But unlike most Americans, I didn’t wait until January 1st to make my New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and get in shape. At one time or another we’ve all had this notion of dieting, and it brings up some bad memories. I can remember my parents going on a cabbage soup diet…man the house stunk throughout that whole phase. I’ve even done some weird things, one of them being a cleanse.
Everyone gets all up in your face when you say you are doing a cleanse, mainly because they think of the ones where you drink nothing but lemonade with cayenne pepper in it for weeks until you are so weak you can barely walk. I’m not into that, I love food way too much! But I did start a cleanse when I was living in Boston several years ago, one that I found in a book written by the doctor who was in charge of the weight loss and meal plan for Celebrity Fit Club.
This cleanse seemed to be a healthy alternative to all the other nasty ones that were out there. I could eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as my little heart desired. BUT…no meat, dairy, cheese, bread, alcohol, soda, well pretty much anything that made my life worth while. But I set out on my first 9 day cleanse before I moved to Hawaii in 2006. Here I am over 7 years later doing another cleanse before our trip to Hawaii.
Why do this now? Well if you didn’t know, this is humpback whale season in Hawaii. Every year the North Pacific humpback whale population migrates to the islands to have their calves in the warm tropical waters. This being said, I didn’t want to be mistaken for a beached calf and have several dozen tourists trying to push me back into the water to save my life. So there you have it…I want to be able to lie on the beach in peace.
Michael willingly went on this cleanse with me, mainly because this is the kind of food that he enjoys more than anything. I on the other hand love meat and bread and all that good stuff. But throughout the course of the cleanses that I’ve done, I’ve become very creative when it comes to what I can and cannot have. Luckily the book this cleanse is in has some lovely recipes in it, some I’ve modified to our liking.
The one recipe that I love to make is a stuffed pepper recipe. And the best part of this recipe is that you can get two different meals out of it. I hope that you enjoy this recipe! Feel free to add meat to this if you’d like, I’ve added tofu because it’s allowed on the cleanse. Also, feel free to add or subtract ingredients. Remember that half the fun of cooking is making recipes your own!
~The REAL Housewife of Snohomish County’s Healthy Stuffed Peppers~
I make a large batch of the rice mixture because it’s fantastic on it’s own or in other things. But feel free to halve or quarter this recipe.
- 2 cups of mushrooms (button, crimini or whatever suits your fancy)
- 3 small carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 small onions (or 1 large onion)
- 1 bell pepper (Use any color. I used green.)
–Remove the stems from the mushrooms then quarter or cut them into like sizes. Peel the carrots and dice them along with the celery, onions and bell pepper. You want all of the vegetables to be about the same size so they cook evenly.
- 3 cloves of garlic – finely minced
- 1 large jalapeño (optional) – minced
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Frozen corn
- Frozen peas
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- 1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed.
- Extra firm tofu, cut into medium dice (Or you can use ground meat of your choice)
- 4 bell peppers for stuffing (I use red, orange or yellow peppers to stuff)
**I try to pick out peppers that sit level when stood up.**
- 2 cups of brown rice (uncooked)
- Chicken stock (you can use vegetable or beef stock as well) to simmer rice.
Optional topping for peppers (Believe me, you’ll want this!)
- 3 tablespoons of light mayo
- 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering as I type out this recipe! I always seem to forget about it until we decide to do a cleanse, and each time I swear that I’m going to make it more often! I hope that you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear from you if you try it out!
Until next time…Keep Cooking!
– By Brian Baisch
About me: As a gay man I’m not your typical housewife…I have a husband, two dogs and chickens. Through blogging and YouTube videos I share my love of cooking while running a household that seems more a bed & breakfast in the middle of a urban farmyard.