Fiesta Stuffed Green Peppers

I am the first to admit I need quick weeknight family meals! This one takes 30 min. Serves 4. Is so flavorful and satisfying. Once you’ve made this two or three times you’ll be on autopilot and it’ll be a super easy go-to for you and your family! I switch this up from my “fiesta” filling and sometimes go Italian and stuff with rice, zucchini, Italian sausage or beef, tomatoes, garlic and mozzarella. So this concept can score you a couple quick weeknight options.

20131209-214610.jpg

20131209-214628.jpg

Fiesta Stuffed Green Peppers

2 cups rice (Tip: save time and buy a bag of Spanish or taco rice that cooks stovetop in 8 min, make per package directions)
4 green peppers ( cut tops in a round remove and de-seed)
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 can corn
1/2 can black beans
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (pepper jack would be good here too for those who like spicy)
Top with sour cream

Fill a stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Par-boil the cleaned green peppers. About 10 min. While that’s boiling, in a saucepan cook rice per package directions and set aside.
In a sauté pan add olive oil and sauté chopped onion. After 4 min on medium high heat add in garlic, black beans, corn and some salt and pepper. You can make it a little spicy at this point if you’d like with adding a few pinches of chili powder and cayenne pepper if desired. Drain peppers and start to layer each pepper. First start with spooning in some rice, then the bean and corn mixture then salsa. Repeat once more and then top with shredded cheese and bake at 375* for 12 min. Sour cream on top is optional.

Turkey Taco Soup

20131129-202925.jpg

Have leftover turkey from the big day yesterday? Yea, me too…here’s what I came up with tonight with our leftover turkey. It turned out so flavorful I just had to share it with you all!

Turkey Taco Soup

Serves 4-5

1 TB olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cooked turkey breast, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
1 can black beans
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup Minute white rice
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips for garnish.

In large stockpot sauté onion and celery in olive oil on medium high heat. Cook 3 min then add in turkey, season with salt and pepper. Add in minced garlic, stir well. Let sauté 2 more min. Next, add in tomato sauce, black beans (whole can do not drain), water, bouillon cube and rice. Bring to a boil and after 3-4 minutes add in chopped cilantro. Cut lime into wedges and ladle soup into each bowl. Garnish with cheese, sour cream and a lime wedge. Crumble tortilla chips if desired. Enjoy!

20131129-204930.jpg

Cranberry Walnut Spinach Salad

This week I bought some organic baby spinach that was so good! Sometimes it’s best to remember that simple is better. Go for quality ingredients and showcase them simply! This salad does just that. It was a perfect lunch for me this week and it would be great to pack for work or school.

20131114-215606.jpg

Cranberry Walnut Spinach Salad

1 1/2 cups organic spinach
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup croutons
2 Tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons creamy poppyseed dressing
A dash of salt and pepper

Serves 1

My Week In Food-Hawaii Edition (Last day of the trip)

I’m sitting in the Honolulu airport waiting to catch my red eye home. I have a full heart, a mind full of happy memories from this week, and a very full belly. No seriously, I’ve eaten whatever my little heart desired the entire week and it has been a lot of great food but all good things must come to an end. I’m seeing lots of fruits and vegetables in my future. I’m. So. Full!

Although we had to check out of our room by 10am today we packed sandwiches and took advantage of the resorts beach and pools just a little longer. Late afternoon we headed to some nearby outlets and did a little leisure shopping.

We heard through some other guests at our resort of a “must try” hidden gem near the outlets. It’s a Portuguese donut. This is no ordinary donut people! They are called Malasadas. Whoa!! Never had a donut like it. They came out to us piping hot, like burn your tongue hot, coated in different sugars and some even custard or coconut filled. Holy freakin’ cow! It’ll blow your mind. If you are ever on the island of Oahu, run, do not walk to Leonard’s and buy some Malasadas for yourself!

We got one last Zippy’s Hawaiian BBQ fix on the way to the airport. I tried their Chicken Katsu this time. Pretty good.

So overall, this was an epic week in food and even more important an epic week in marriage. We have made memories this week that we will talk about for the rest of our lives. I’m incredibly blessed to share my life with Eddie Harrison. Happy 10 years babe! I’d love to hear your most memorable anniversary. What did you do? Or go? Or your favorite moment? Mahalo for coming with me this week on my food journey. Here’s to good food and memories!

20131109-210905.jpg

20131109-210913.jpg

20131109-210922.jpg

20131109-210935.jpg

20131109-210946.jpg

My Week In Food-Hawaii Edition (Friday)

Woke up to another beautiful morning. I made us a simple breakfast in our room that consisted of this…

20131108-205917.jpg

20131108-205927.jpg

Th

20131108-205953.jpg

This pineapple may have been the best one we’ve ever had. We learned a new trick while we were here about pineapple. Flip it over and smell the center, on the bottom. If really fragrant,a then it’s a good one to buy! Worked like a charm in this case.

After a relaxing morning swimming and pool lounging we came back to the room for lunch. The most noteworthy thing about our day today was our dinner. We had decided to splurge on a fine dining experience for our “anniversary dinner” celebration while we were here and decided no better place than AMA AMA at Disney’s Aulani Resort. Like everything Disney puts it’s hand to, it was magical and memorable. AMA AMA is an open air fine dining restaurant that sits on the beach overlooking the Pacific. Our table was literally set so the sun was setting perfectly in the middle of us. Our waiter, Owen made sure our every need was met. The service was incredible! We ordered the pre-fixed menu for two. We enjoyed a chefs choice appetizer platter which included ahi tuna with avocado mouse and Asian spare ribs. The main entree was a ribeye carved table side. It was seared and caramelized to perfection but what made it over the top amazing was the shallot red wine sauce served with it. The sauce was thick and so flavorful, let me tell you ! Yum, yum, yum! We got a special Hawaiian Chocolate Mouse cake for dessert with a macadamia nut brittle on top. Wow! So rich and delicate. Absolutely a stunning dessert in presentation and flavor. We had amazing fun together dreaming about what the next 10 years of our marriage will bring. I just love Eddie Harrison. What an unforgettable meal! Perfect.

20131108-211638.jpg

20131108-211655.jpg

20131108-211648.jpg

20131108-211702.jpg

20131108-211740.jpg

20131108-211750.jpg

My Week In Food-Hawaii Edition (Thursday)

Today was fabulous! The perfect day! I’m always begging Mr. Harrison to take walks with me at home, and this morning we walked almost 3 miles along the ocean. It was wonderful! We discovered a secret path that led out to a tiny natural beach with tons of black crabs crawling on these huge rocks. On the way back from our walk together we found an obscure beachfront Starbucks just inside a nearby resort and Eddie enjoyed an iced Green Tea Latte while I enjoyed an icy Caramel Frappuccino.

20131107-211159.jpg

Next, we enjoyed total relaxation on the beach while we soaked up the sun till it was lunchtime. We ate at Longboards here at our resort and our table was pretty much ocean front. Here was the view from our lunch table…

20131107-211503.jpg
I had their Lava Blue Burger which had an Angus beef patty, bacon, and an incredible creamy blue cheese spread. Top with fresh chilled tomatoes it was a really great burger. Eddie enjoyed the wedge. A tasty lunch for sure!

20131107-211648.jpg

20131107-211700.jpg

Next, we decided on a whim to hop in our convertible and head to Waimea Falls. They call it a hike but it was a 3/4 of a mile cake walk. We strolled through lush tropical gardens and crossed a bridge to see the amazing natural beauty of Waimea Falls. Loved it there. The scenery, the beauty. We were feeling adventurous and decided to jump in and swim. The current and mist sure was strong at the base of the falls but we swam right up to it and hung out on the rock ledge just beneath it to just take it all in for a minute. It was an incredible experience!!

20131107-212343.jpg

As if the day could not get any better…upon finishing our hike we came back down to learn that on Thursdays Waimea Valley hosts a local North Shore Farmers Market!! I literally squealed with excitement and headed straight in to check out the fresh food and local cuisine.

20131107-212624.jpg

20131107-212638.jpg

20131107-212648.jpg

We decided to eat dinner there! (Duh) Eddie built his own Poke bowl. In it was Ahi tuni, with spicy aioli, avocado, red onion, roasted corn, cucumber, and cilantro. I tasted it….I’m a wimp and my mouth was on fire from the spicy aioli. He adored his dinner choice so yay!

20131107-212936.jpg

Drumroll please…I met a Hawaiian originally from Rome who handcrafts pasta from scratch with fresh veggies and…ready for it. A macadamia nut basil pesto!!! (Insert here: Heavens open up with singing) oh. My. Word!! People, this pasta was incredible and I’m an Italian food snob with my grandmother being from Sicily. There are no words.

20131107-213244.jpg

We finished the day watching surfers catch the huge whitecaps off the North Shore while we finished up homemade ice cream sandwiches we took to-go from the Farmers Market. It doesn’t get any better. Perfect day! Happy 10 year anniversary to us!

20131107-213427.jpg

20131107-213445.jpg

Happy Food…Happy Kitchens