Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkins and what I learned today!

While researching the health benefits of pumpkins today, I learned a fun little tidbit.  I already knew that they were a really great source of beta-carotene.  I also knew that they were great for an anti-inflammatory diet.  What I did not know was that pumpkin seeds are packed with the mineral zinc!  They are awesome for fighting cold and flu viruses.  I think that is wonderful news.  A delicious and nutritious way to stay healthy is always a plus.

I love to make Spicy Pumpkin Seeds in the fall.  The spices I use add to the anti-inflammatory benefit so all the way around, they are plain ole good for ya :)  Enjoy!

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sea salt (or salt to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until evenly coated.  Spread single layer on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Cool and store in an airtight container. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall...a perfect time for stuffed bell peppers

Whether I like it or not, fall is here.  The calendar says friends say so... and now the weather says so.  The one thing that really put me in the fall spirit was making these delicious stuffed peppers.  Nothing says fall like these yummy packets of goodness.

I stuffed sweet bell peppers.  My mom made them when I was a child, but she used green bell peppers.  I never did acquire a taste for the green bells because of their bitter taste.  The orange, yellow, and red bell peppers hit the spot for me.   I still use the same recipe as my mom did but with a little anti-inflammatory twist, and they are delicious. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 Bell Peppers, (cut the tops off and wash the seeds out of the insides)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown rice
1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Brown the ground beef.  Add in the onion and saute until transparent.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and cover and simmer until the rice is tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. 

Stuff the peppers with the cooked filling.  Stand upright in a 9X9 baking pan.  Add about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pan.  Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

PS...Thank you Rachael for your encouragement in helping me get back to the business of writing :)