Mini Sweet Peppers

sweet peppers

Have you seen these cute little peppers at your store? I just love them. They are so colorful and sweet! I’ve used them in breakfast dishes like scrambles and Quiche cups. They added a nice pop of color to my grilled chicken kabobs too. They would also be great stuffed with some cheese and herbs and broiled as an appetizer!

I like that they have very few seeds and are easy to clean and chop up. Also, the fact that the come in a resealable bag means that they stay fresh longer.

This package is from SunWorld, and is USA produce. Be sure to check the package, I picked up a similar-looking package at Target and it was produce from Mexico. The quality was not as good. I don’t like buying produce from outside the US anyway, so I was mad at myself for not checking at the store.

This is not a sponsored post, I just really liked these cute little peppers and thought I would share!

 

 

Ham & Spinach Quiche Cups

ham and spinach individual quiches

These low-carb, low-calorie muffin-size quiches make a great grab-and-go breakfast. They are a nice alternative to basic scrambled eggs in the morning and can be made ahead and frozen. Simply take a few out of the freezer the night before and pop them in the microwave for a fast hot breakfast! I also like them cold as a snack.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 25-30 baking (45-50 total)
Yield: 15-18 quiches

Ingredients:

1 package frozen chopped spinach

1 package (6 oz) Canadian Bacon

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 small onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

12 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper (or less)

Directions:

  1. Line muffin tins with foil baking cups or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Defrost and drain spinach according to package directions.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender.
  4. Chop Canadian bacon into small pieces.
  5. In a large bowl crack eggs and beat well with a wire whisk.
  6. Add drained spinach, Canadian bacon, onions, peppers, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 35-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center of quiche comes out clean.
  8. Refrigerate or freeze after cooking.

Broiled Tomatoes With Basil & Mozzarella (No-Bread Bruschetta)

broiled tomatoes with basil & mozzarella

I love the flavor combination of tomato, basil and mozzarella. It’s a classic for a reason! When I needed a quick no-carb lunch last week I turned this classic combo into a five-minute treat. It really satisfied that craving for bruschetta without any bread!

Ingredients:

1 large ripe tomato, stem and core removed, sliced  1/4 ” thick

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1-2 TBSP fresh basil herb paste (found in the produce section of the market)

Directions:

  1. Wash, stem, core and slice tomato. Place on non-reactive cookie sheet
    or dish.
  2. In a small bowl combine cheese with basil paste.
  3. Spread evenly over tomatoes.
  4. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned.
  5. Serve immediately.

This makes a great quick lunch or a nice side dish on a hot summer night since the broiler won’t heat up the house. For extra pizzaz try adding a little salt and pepper to the tomatoes or drizzle with olive oil before broiling.

Spicy Picked Carrots & Peppers

spicy pickled carrots

This is a recipe for my husband. He was craving spicy carrots so we found a recipe and made them together. Personally, I am a wimp when it comes to spicy foods, so I never would have made this without his suggestion.

Ingredients:

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced

2 TBSP vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic, diced

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups water

6 bay leaves

1 tsp. salt

12 whole peppercorns

8-12 oz jarred sliced jalapeño peppers (the more, the hotter your end result)

Directions:

  1. Peel carrots and slice into stick or cut on bias into 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a large (10-12″) skillet on medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and carrots. Saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add vinegar, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add water and jalapeños (with liquid from jar). Return to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Remove bay leaves.
  7. Place in air-tight container including liquid and refrigerate overnight.
  8. To serve remove carrot and jalapeño pieces with a slotted spoon.

Makes 2 quarts of carrots and liquid.

This recipe is adapted from About.com’s Mexican Food Section

The best pasta sauce! (And it happens to be low-carb)

This sauce is from Costco and it is so yummy!  It’s called Victoria White Linen Collection Marinara. It comes in large jars (40 oz.) and amazingly only has 1 gram of sugar.  If you haven’t checked your pasta sauce for sugar content, you might want to do that.  What is average?  In my checking of various brands at the grocery store I’d say 8 gram is common.  The best I’ve found in the store is about 5 grams of sugar, and the worst – over 12 grams!  They had a sale on a particular brand, a very good price, but it was just too high in sugar so I didn’t buy it.

For whatever reason, the two Costco stores near me don’t carry this sauce.  I had my mom bring me a few jars on her last visit so I could stock up!  Look for it the next time you’re in Costco, and I did find it on Amazon.com if you shop there.

Easy Breakfast Quiche Cups

breakfast quiche cupsIt is the “Blue” table’s turn to bring breakfast foods for the MOPS meeting tomorrow.  We had  enough breads and such so I was asked to bring an egg dish.  I decided to make quiche cups!

This recipe is based on one in the original South Beach Diet book, but I’ve changed it a bit and increased the quantities for a total of three dozen mini quiches.

  • 2 bags (16 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb. diced ham
  • 2 1/2 cups Mexican Blend shredded cheese
  • 1 carton (32 oz.) egg substitute
  • foil cupcake liners (do not use liners if you plan to freeze)

Preheat oven to 350°. Fill muffin tins with foil cupcake liners and spray them with non-stick spray. Mix all ingredients and divide evenly amount 36 muffin tins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are set.  A butter knife inserted into the center should come out clean.

These can be frozen in gallon size zipper freezer bags and stored for a month in the freezer. To reheat place one quiche (without foil liner!) in microwave and heat for about 1 minute on high. I have a very powerful microwave, and microwaves vary, so check that it is heated through and adjust cooking time if needed.

Variations:

Use low-fat shredded cheese to make it a South Beach “legal” breakfast for Phase 1 or Phase 2.  Non-South Beachers can substitute crumbled bacon or sausage for the ham, if desired.