Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Hello blogees!  Is that what you call people who read a blog?  Well it's what I call people who read my blog.  You've been named.

Is anyone else finding it harder to go to work when it's so gloriously beautiful out?  I was so looking forward to spring and now that it's (finally) arrived I'm actually more bummed because I can't be outside to enjoy it.  I keep dragging all my patients out to the parking lot--which is really the only outside space we have--whether they want to or not.  We all need our Vitamin D, right?  Check out what Mark Sisson says, author of The Primal Blueprint that I loved so dearly:

"From the presence of vitamin D receptors in our cells and vitamin D factories in our epidermis, along with the central role vitamin D plays in calcium metabolism, immunity, and gene expression, it’s pretty clear that having adequate vitamin D is an essential component of being a healthy, successful homo sapien."


So there you go, sun time is prescribed by nature!

So I can't lie to you, I did not workout today.  My body felt beat last night from the hard workouts I've been doing lately, so even though I really dislike getting out of my weekday routine, I decided to sleep in today (still woke up at 4:20 to the Coach's alarm though).  So even though I didn't get my daily sweat sesh today, I am still quite sore--especially from the one-arm dumbbell rows I did yesterday.  This exercise is pretty important, since tightening up the postural muscles that run between your shoulder blades helps to spare the rest of your body--everything from your spine to your rotator cuff.  I like bent over rows best, where you stabilize one arm on a bench or on a dumbbell sitting on a weight rack, and step back until your back is nearly flat with a slight bend in your knees.  Tighten your core, i.e. suck that gut in!  Then simply use your other arm to pull the weight up, making sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together without shrugging your shoulder, like so: cute guy, cute row.  One arm at a time allows you to really focus on technique while engaging your core at the same time.

So I'm still making my way through Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, and I continue to be impressed!  Tonight's dinner of Italian stuffed peppers came together pretty quickly, and the simple flavors were really delicious.  Naturally, I made some adjustments for personal tastes, so here's how my version came together:

Italian stuffed peppers
2 bell peppers
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, hopped
14oz can diced tomatoes, juice drained
1 lb ground beef
8-10 Fresh basil leaves, chopped
2c Baby spinach, chopped

Preheat oven to 375.  Chop your peppers in half lengthwise and put them cut-side down in a baking dish.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until soft.
While the peppers are baking, heat some cooking fat over medium-high heat in a skillet.  Saute your onions until translucent, then add the garlic and tomatoes with s&p and cook for a couple minutes.  Then add your ground beef and some more s&p and cook until no longer pink (remember, it's important to season each step of the cooking process so don't add too much salt/pepper along the way).  Add your basil and spinach and a little more s&p and cook until fully wilted.
Your peppers should be done at this point, so just spoon the mixture in to each of the pepper halves.  My peppers were pretty small so I had some extra meat leftover that I decided to eat as is.

This recipe actually came out looking like the picture in the cookbook!  Super pumped about that.  But more importantly, it was delicious!  Considering the whole process took about 40 minutes from start to finish, this dish came together very easily with simple ingredients and really fresh flavors.  This is definitely a meal I would make again, especially with the nutrient-packed spinach.

Hooray for the week being half over!

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