Stuffed Potatoes with Roasted Veggies

Hello, hello!

Can you believe it’ll be a whole new year in just 2 days!?!

I have BIG plans and goals for 2014. BIG!

I can’t wait to share them with you!

Okay, honestly, it’s not like I’m going to wait long. Tomorrow’s the day!

Can you wait until tomorrow?

I’m not sure I can – I’m so excited and PUMPED about them!

I’d share them today but I have something tastier to share with you. 🙂

Remember that little “gift to myself” I bought when I was out doing last minute Christmas shopping?


Well, I have been totally LOVING it.

And, *sneak preview alert*, it’s helped shape part of my plans for 2014. 🙂

There are some really delicious recipes in this book!

OH! That reminds me! This book came with 2 trial issues of Clean Eating Magazine! Hang on a second – I have to run the card out to the mailbox so I can take advantage!! BRB!

Okay. I’m back. Thanks for waiting. Phew! So glad I remembered to do that!

Anyhow, I found a recipe in there for stuffed potatoes with roasted veggies.

Um, yeah. So TOTALLY making that.

And I did!

With a few small tweaks, of course. Because, you know, that’s how I roll.

Actually, one was because my grocery store was lacking.

The other  two were by choice.

The recipe calls for Yukon Gold potatoes.

I love Yukon Gold potatoes. LOVE. Alas, my grocery store did not have any. 😦

So, I used Russets. A fair substitute but the cooking time/process changes a little. I set my crockpot to high per the recipe and, while the veggies cooked perfectly, the potatoes did not finish. I had to microwave them for about 9 minutes afterwards. Which is fine. Frustrating, but fine. So, just be aware of that if you use Russets instead of Yukon Golds.

The recipe calls for yellow onion. I chose to use red onion instead. I thought the flavor of the red onion would be better. I also increased the cayenne pepper to 1/2 teaspoon. It just seemed to be the right thing to do. And honestly, don’t tell the peeps at Clean Eating, but I think I was right. It was amazing!

And, I served it with a side of bacon. Because, well, it’s bacon!

Bacon. Is. Awesome.


Stuffed Potatoes with Roasted Veggies
Makes 4 servings

Olive oil cooking spray
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 carrot, scrubbed well and thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6-ounce Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed well
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon each sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup crumbled low-fat bleu cheese

1. Coat a 6-qt slow cooker with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, onion, corn, carrot, cayenne, and oil; stir to combine. Using a fork, pierce potato in several spots, wrap in foil and place over top of pepper-corn mixture. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.


2. Remove potatoes and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Add parsley, garlic, salt, and black pepper to pepper-corn mixture and stir to combine.


LOVE the colors in this dish!

3. In a small bowl, add cheddar and bleu cheese and toss gently until well blended. Remove potatoes from foil and cut each in half lengthwise.

4. Fluff potato flesh with a fork and top with cheese mixture and roasted veggies.


5. Om. Nom. Nom.

Nutrition per stuffed potato:
Calories 275; Fat 7g (saturated 2g, monounsatured 3g, polyunsaturated 1g); Carbs 45g (fiber 5g, sugar 5g); Protein 10.5g; Sodium 230mg

Question: What’s your favorite way to top a potato?

– jennifer

Bumblebees, White Squirrels, and Country Captain Chicken

Ah, Tuesday morning. Last Tuesday before Tuesdays become Track Tuesdays. Eep! I was a little stiff and sore from yesterday’s WOD – it’s amazing how 60 pushups can really wear a girl out! – but my ribs are feeling great and it was a beautiful morning for a run. I, of course, went for a cute headband because I needed the pick-me-up.


We enjoyed our nice easy 6 mile run and, as we were heading back to our cars, I saw a white squirrel. A white squirrel?!


I’ve never in my life seen one of those! He (or she; I certainly wasn’t close enough to figure out which) was playing tag with some grey squirrels around a tree. (The above photo is a random photo off the internet. My new life’s goal is to actually get my own picture of one.) And then, I saw another one! Two of something completely random and brand new in less than 5 minutes! That has to be a sign, right? It’s a good omen, I can just feel it.

Speaking of signs/omens, I got into my car on Sunday to head to the grocery store and this is what I saw:


Now THAT, for sure, has to be a sign. 🙂


So, I was perusing my big book o’ recipes and I came across an interesting one. The dish description reads, “Both South Carolina and Georgia lay claim to this classic Southern dish, which may have been brought to America by a ship’s captain ferrying spices from the Far East.” My attention was grabbed! A Southern dish (hey, I *do* live in the South!) with traditional Eastern spices (read: curry powder)? Where do I sign?! It’s so interesting, in my opinion, to learn about a dish’s history and how it came to be. Anyway, we love us some curry so I knew I had to make it.

Now, you’ll note that the recipe says to cut the chicken into small pieces. I neglected to read that instruction which is why there are big pieces of chicken tenderloin in my photo. But don’t worry, it turned out just fine. Also, I didn’t have any currants on hand so I left them out. It only calls for 1/4 cup anyway so it’s not that big a deal. You could always substitute raisins or dates, if you have those. I cannot because Thing 2 would throw a hissy-fit. Raisins are her most LEAST favorite thing in the world. Thus, no dried fruit in our dish. The traditional side accompaniment to this dish is rice but you could certainly do couscous or even top a baked potato. Om nom nom!


Country Captain Chicken
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped, divided
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapeno, undrained
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. Combine curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle chicken with curry mixture.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; saute 5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add broth, currants, 1 tablespoon thyme, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with almonds.


Calories 314; Fat 11.2g (sat 1.4g, mono 7g, poly 1.9g); Protein 30.5g; Carb 23.2g; Fiber 4.6g; Cholesterol 66mg; Iron 2.6mg; Sodium 683mg; Calcium 86mg

Recipe from Cooking Light, January/February 2009

– jennifer

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Tagine

Day 3 of vegetarian week! Okay, more accurately it’s day 3 of 3 days of vegetarian recipes but that doesn’t sound as interesting, now does it? Anyway, day 3. How the heck am I going to follow up those quesadillas?! Well, by taking a tour of the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, of course! 🙂

The tagine is a traditional North African dish named after the pot it was cooked in. Add the Mediterranean flavors of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and fabulous grilled vegetables and you’ve got dinner! Serve it over couscous and enjoy!

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Tagine
Recipe from Cooking Light

1 small red onion
2 red bell peppers, quartered
1 green bell pepper, quartered
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 3/4 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 sliced pitted green olives
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 small red potatoes, quartered
Cooking spray
2/3 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Cut red onion into 4 wedges, leaving root end intact. Place red onion, bell peppers, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag; toss well to coat.


2. Prepare grill.

3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes.


Add cumin, fennel, and cinnamon; saute 1 minute.  Add 1/4 teaspoon, 1/4 cup water, olives, raisins, black pepper, tomatoes, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.


4. Remove bell peppers and red onion from bag; discarding marinade; place on grill rack coated with cooking spray.  (Or, a cast iron grill pan works in a pinch!) Grill 10 minutes, turning frequently.


5. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve tomato mixture over couscous.  Top with grilled peppers and onions; sprinkle with pine nuts.


Yields 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups tomato mixture, 1/2 cup couscous, 1/2 cup grilled vegetables, and 1 tablespoon pine nuts)
Calories 462 (14% from fat); Fat 7.1g (sat 1g, mono 3.2g, poly 2.2g); Protein 15.8g; Carb 95.5g; Fiber 13.9g; Chol 0mg; Iron 4.7mg; Sodium 574mg; Calcium 123mg