14 Simple & Savory Recipes for Stuffed Peppers

14 Recipes for Stuffed Peppers | via givinguponperfect.com

Several years ago, I read an article in Redbook about Trisha Yearwood. Among many other things she shared a recipe for stuffed peppers – and I was intrigued. I’d only had stuffed peppers once before in my entire life, and I thought maybe I needed to try them again.

That was five years ago. Sometimes I’m a little slow to try new things. But when 2015 began, I decided that this year was the year I’d finally make stuffed peppers.

I got so excited about this prospect that I created an entire Pinterest board of stuffed pepper recipes. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making elaborate plans. (Don’t ask me about follow-through. Just don’t.)

But this time – THIS TIME! – I did follow through. I’ve made stuffed peppers not just once, but twice – TWICE! – and I’m determined to try yet another recipe soon. I’m going to tell you about the peppers I made (the peppers I stuffed? what’s the proper verbiage here?), but first, here are the most delicious recipes for stuffed peppers I’ve found:

14 Ways to Make Stuffed Peppers

And then, as if that’s not enough, I also found recipes that look AMAZING for a Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup from Recipes That Crock and a Skinny Stuffed Pepper Casserole from Skinny Mom. No matter what form you want it in, we’ve got your stuffed pepper recipe here, folks!

Now I can’t wait to tell you about the recipe I’ve already tried. She’s the Bross posted a recipe for Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers, and I found it on Pinterest. (Of course I did. Where else would I look for a recipe? In a cookbook?!) (I’m kidding. The church cookbook I got from Mark’s mom at my bridal shower – plastic spiral, no pictures – is my absolute favorite home of tested-and-tried recipes.)

Anyway. I wasn’t sure if my husband (who might possibly be classified as a picky eater, if you like to classify things like that) would like stuffed peppers, but I knew he loves Philly cheesesteaks. So this seemed like a good place to start. (Also? The recipe was simple, and that’s my favorite.)

[Side note: As it turns out, stuffed peppers was a dish Mark’s mom made often – and that he liked. I just somehow missed that in the last two decades of knowing him and his family and their church’s cookbook.]

Anyway, I took the original recipe and made it even more simple. And since it turned this mess:

Philly Stuffed Peppers (2)

into this cheesy goodness:

Philly Stuffed Peppers (3)

I think simplicity wins. (Also? Kudos to real food bloggers who can take photos of things like stuffed peppers and make them look appetizing. I don’t know how you do it.) I do know how I made these peppers, though, and I’m going to tell you about it right now!

Philly Stuffed Peppers | recipe via givinguponperfect.com

2 large green peppers
8 oz. roast beef, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
8 slices provolone, swiss or pepper jack cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the peppers in half, and remove the stems, seeds and ribs. Saute the garlic in a bit of butter or olive oil, then add the onions. Cook over medium heat until the onions are tender.

Next, slice the roast beef (just get it from the deli! so easy!) and add to the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes.

Line each pepper half with a slice of cheese, spoon in the meat and onions mixture, then top with another slice of cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly (probably for 15-20 minutes).

The first time I made this, I used WAY too much garlic! So, you just add however much garlic you like. Also, obviously I know that cheesesteaks usually have mushrooms. The original recipe called for them. But I don’t love mushrooms so I left them out. Enjoy!

How do you stuff your peppers?

Like simple recipes like this one? Like recipe roundups as much as I do? Check out my other food posts here!

Family Meals, Balanced Plates – and Pizza?!

Last week was a hectic week at my house. I was trying to get ready for our family vacation, while also attempting to finish all projects due that week and this week. (I did not succeed, in case you’re wondering.) Add in a husband working on odd shift for the week, a last-minute road trip to attend a visitation and a late night out with my parents, brother and best friend (and kids), and you have the recipe for a whole lot of crazy — and not a whole lot of time for making dinner.

CPK Frozen Pizza - Balance My Plate

I was actually so overwhelmed at one point that on the night I’d offered to take dinner to a friend with a newborn, I COMPLETELY FORGOT. I literally remembered at 1:30 in the morning, sitting straight up and shouting some less than family-friendly words about my stupid, stinking brain.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t at home that night to make and take them dinner. You guys, I WAS AT HOME. And I’d written it on my calendar AND on my to-do list for the day. But I just got flustered and scattered, and I dropped the ball. Or the casserole dish, as the case may be.

Thankfully, my friend was full of grace when I apologized all over place and promised me that they did not starve while waiting for my dinner delivery. And, even more important to me, she let me try again two nights later.

As I did the mental gymnastics required to plan a couple meals during such a busy week, I was so grateful to have a coupon for a CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® oven-ready pizza.

CPK Frozen Pizza - Balance My Plate

In the same amount of time it would have taken me to order a pizza or grab greasy bags in the drive-thru, I baked a BBQ Chicken Pizza from CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN. It didn’t take much longer than zapping a salty microwave dinner and was definitely easier than [the already easy] mac and cheese. And when I added a salad and some fruit, I felt good about feeding my family something healthy instead of our usual go-to convenience foods during a busy week.

Even if my salad was iceberg and cheddar with a few carrot curls thrown in for appearances. Because a non-fancy, less-than-nutrition-packed salad is still better than a box of fries, right?!

I didn’t know before working with California Pizza Kitchen, but I’m not that surprised, that most Americans only meet the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for proper nutrition roughly 7 days out of the year (2% of the year). Ouch!! I’m guessing that taking my multi-vitamin a few times a week doesn’t technically bring up my percentage?

CPK Frozen Pizza - Balance My Plate

Balance My Plate is an educational campaign to help consumers build nutritious, delicious, and convenient meals that meet the MyPlate recommendations. So, for example, on busy days you can pair a high-quality frozen food (like a frozen pizza from California Pizza Kitchen, hello!) with fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy or other fresh ingredients.

I’ve used this strategy in the past with other frozen foods – pairing a frozen entree with fresh fruits and veggies, for example. But I know that the frozen foods I served weren’t exactly the healthiest. That’s what makes CPK pizzas a better option – premium ingredients and lower in fat and sodium than other quick options I usually rely on.

CPK Frozen Pizza - Balance My Plate

Another point that Balance My Plate makes is that eating the right portion sizes makes a huge difference when pairing frozen foods with fresh foods. So you’ll notice that the CPK pizzas might be a little smaller than other pizzas. But when you add a salad or fresh fruit, you’ve got a more complete meal than if you’d just eaten part of a bigger, less-healthy entree.

Although, I should warn you that the BBQ Chicken pizza is so good you might want to eat the whole thing. You might consider serving your children microwaved pasta mixed with an orange powder cheese JUST SO YOU CAN HAVE THE WHOLE THING. Or so I’ve heard.

Don’t do that. Cut up the pizza, serve it to your family, and eat your veggies.

CPK Frozen Pizza - Balance My Plate

In case you haven’t tried the California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzas yet, you can read more about it at CPK Frozen. And I’m not just talking about all the pizza flavors (although that’s there, including gluten-free crust, woot!). I’m talking about ideas for adding to your pizza, recipes and appetizer suggestions. CPK means business about making frozen pizza a part of your healthy family meals!

CPK Frozen Pizza - Balance My Plate

You can also visit Balance My Plate online for more information, recipes and resources for healthy eating.

I’m curious. How do YOU balance your plate while also balancing your budget and your schedule?

What’s your favorite way to make fast, affordable, healthy dinners?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Balance Your Plate team and helping spread the word about CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® oven-ready pizzas. As a team member, I receive product and incentives in exchange for participating in brand-related activities.

All opinions and temptation to eat THE WHOLE DARN PIZZA are my own. Obviously.

Family Recipe: Strawberry Bruschetta

Strawberry Bruschetta: An Easy, Light Breakfast Treat | via givinguponperfect.com

Okay, after all my talk about S’mores (on Facebook) and delicious but not exactly diet-friendly recipes (on Wednesday), I thought we’d better end the week on a lighter note.

Get it? LIGHTER note? Because this recipe includes fruit? And no bacon? Right.

You might have noticed that I labeled this a “family recipe.” When I’ve done that in the past, we’ve been lucky enough to have a guest post from my talented and hilarious brother. (No, I’m not biased. I’m a completely objective big sister.)

Today, however, it’s just me.

Strawberry Bruschetta: An Easy, Light Breakfast Treat | via givinguponperfect.com

But I’m sharing a recipe from a friend I consider family, so I decided the label fits. I met Brittany (and her husband, Josh) at choir practice several years ago. Nine years? Could it be that long ago?

ANYWAY. I liked them right away and it didn’t take long for us to become good friends. Over time they became the kind of friends I consider family, the ones I love unconditionally and will do anything for – like drive hours just to meet for a quick, chaotic lunch (with our kids, which is where the chaos came from). We’re visiting them in a couple weeks, and I can’t wait to see them. They are family.

So this is a family recipe.

Strawberry Bruschetta: An Easy, Light Breakfast Treat | via givinguponperfect.com

A couple years after I met Brittany and Josh – after I’d gotten good and attached, you know – they moved about three hours away. I should have seen it coming, since they were here for Josh to finish school and missed their family who still live – you guessed it – three hours away.

As you might have guessed, I’m not a fan of their decision to move away from me. And since I had decided they’re friends-like-family, I basically refused to say goodbye – and try to visit them as often as I can.

And when I do? Brittany almost always makes this strawberry bruschetta for us.

(And jalapeno popper dip, because in addition to music, board games and immature jokes, the four of us also share a love of our favorite cheesy, spicy dip.)

Strawberry Bruschetta: An Easy, Light Breakfast Treat | via givinguponperfect.com

When we visited our friends last summer and Brittany served us peach and strawberry bruschetta (and I gushed over it, AGAIN), it dawned on me: I could make this, too! Really, the recipe is simple enough that Annalyn could help me.

See? Family recipe!

And boy, was Annalyn excited for us to do a little cooking! She’d helped my mom make strawberry jam, so she now fancies herself some kind of strawberry-dicing expert. I found that to be a little bit of an exaggeration, but she was so proud of herself that I didn’t dare criticize her chopping skills.

The best part of this recipe was doing something new with Annalyn – and the fact that it reminds me of my friends. But second best is how simple it is. It really only takes a few minutes to make a delicious (and sorta, kinda healthy? Not as unhealthy?) breakfast!

Strawberry Bruschetta: An Easy, Light Breakfast Treat | via givinguponperfect.com

Strawberry Bruschetta

1 long, skinny baguette
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
6 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup strawberries, diced

Slice the baguette into 24 pieces. Lightly butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar (mixed together). Toast in oven until sightly browned. (I toasted mine for about 10 minutes on 450 degrees.) Mix together cream cheese and sugar. Spread sugar mixture on pieces of toast and top with strawberries. Then try not to eat ALL THE PIECES and ruin your fantasy of a semi-healthy breakfast.

A few notes: You can find fancier versions of this dish all over the internet. Unsurprisingly, I prefer this simple recipe. Also, I used Neufchatel cheese (you know, the “33% less fat than cream cheese” cheese), and you can substitute powdered sugar for regular sugar if you’d like. Finally, all these measurements are approximations because, again, that’s how easy this is.

Do you have favorite dishes you share with friends?

WFMW: Trying New Recipes

45+ New Recipes I Want to Try in 2015

I love Pinterest. One place to save all the great ideas I find and things I want to do? Count me in! Thousands of pins in, as a matter of fact.

Of course those thousands of pins are sorted into dozens of specific boards, but it can still be overwhelming to sift through them to find what I need at any given moment. Like, for instance, when I want to try a new recipe. Since I don’t always want to scroll through several hundred delicious pins, I created a new board specifically for this purpose: Recipes to Try in 2015.

I was really proud of this idea. But then, I attempted to put my new recipe-testing system to work. And, well, it hasn’t worked out all that great. I’ve been foiled by unproductive grocery trips (i.e. I forget to buy all the requisite ingredients AGAIN.), cancelled dinners, and that pesky decision to sign up for Weight Watchers again. (You might notice that I don’t pin a lot of diet-friendly dishes…)

Still. I’m not giving up. I really do want to try new recipes more often. And despite something going wrong about three out of every four times I attempt a new recipe, it’s not a bad plan. It turns out that it’s just not an easy one!

That’s why I’m still pinning new recipes, hopeful I’ll get the chance to try a few of them soon. And in case you’re curious about which recipes I’m going to try (although you know I’ll probably tell you about the ones that turn out well!), here’s the list (so far!).

{Or you can follow my Pinterest board. I’d love to connect with you there!}

Recipes I Want to Try in 2015


pizza bake

That’s the [very long already!] list. Trying new recipes works for me!

What’s the last new recipe you tried?

Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!


WFMW: Oreo Magic Brownies

Recipe for Oreo Magic Brownies

As I was working on some blog planning today, I realized that I missed a big day. National Oreo Day was last month, apparently. And we missed it!

Since I love all things Oreo and cookies-and-cream-flavored, this is indeed sad. Since I’ve rejoined Weight Watchers, this is probably for the best. (Although, looking at this completely objectively and logically, Oreo Day DID take place well before my first WW meeting…)

Still, once I got Oreos on the mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the delicious Oreo desserts I’ve made. It’s not a good idea for me to make one right now, but that won’t keep me from sharing an AMAZING recipe with you. YOU can make it!

(Please. Let me enjoy these brownies vicariously?)

So, let me introduce you to Oreo Magic Brownies. “Magic,” because they are magically delicious. SO GOOD. Seriously. Make them now! (And then tell me about it. No, wait, don’t. No! Do! Tell me how good they are!)

Oreo Magic Brownies

Original source: Cookies & Cups

1 box brownie mix and ingredients needed according to the package directions
1 (16.6 oz.) package Oreo cookies, divided equally into thirds, coarsely chopped
1 (8 oz.) tub of Cool Whip, thawed in fridge
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Prepare brownies just like the package says, then add 1/3 of the chopped Oreos. Bake according to your package directions, and then let the brownies cool completely. Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar and Cool Whip together, then add in another 1/3 of the chopped Oreos. Spread this mixture on top of the brownies.

Melt the chocolate chips and oil in the microwave (medium for about one minute should do it, stirring every 30 seconds or so). Spread or drizzle melted chocolate over the cream cheese layer, and then sprinkle the remaining Oreos on top. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

And then? Then ENJOY. Happy belated Oreo Day!

Do you like Oreos?

Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!