Health conscious and love veggies? These delicious recipes are just perfect for you.
1. Orzo-Stuffed Peppers
You’ve never had stuffed peppers like this. This lighter version replaces ground beef with orzo, which cuts down on saturated fat, and has the unique combination of baby arugula and feta cheese.
Ingredients: Orzo, baby arugula, feta cheese, olive oil, bell peppers
- 1 cupdry orzo
- 3 cupsbaby arugula
- 1/4 cupcrumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoonolive oil
- 4small bell peppers, halved and seeded
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cook orzo according to package directions in salted water; drain. Return to pot. Add arugula, feta, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper; stir.
2. Season inside of peppers with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fill peppers; transfer to a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Cover with foil; bake until peppers are tender (35-40 minutes).
2. Sweet Potatoes Stuffed With Broccoli and Feta
One sweet potato contains 377% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes and skin. Orange spuds are also a good source of potassium (important for nerve and muscle function) and vitamin B6, which helps the body fight disease. Stuffed with broccoli, cheese, and red pepper flakes, they are turned into a full meal.
Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, broccoli, olive oil, garlic, red pepper, feta cheese
- 2medium sweet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each)
- 3/4 cupbroccoli florets, chopped
- Olive oil
- 1 teaspoonminced garlic
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- Feta cheese
Pierce potatoes with a fork, and arrange on paper towels. Microwave on high 8 minutes, turning potatoes over after 4 minutes. Cook 3/4 cup broccoli 3 minutes in a medium skillet in boiling salted water; drain. Heat oil in skillet. Sauté broccoli, 1 teaspoon garlic, and a pinch of red pepper 1 minute. Cut a slit lengthwise through each potato; push ends inward to form a pocket. Crumble 1 tablespoon feta into each pocket. Fill each pocket with broccoli mixture and 2 teaspoons feta.
3. Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes
Get a taste of the Mediterranean with this no-cook recipe, which features kalamata olives, olive oil, and capers mixed with tuna. Pair with a salad for a healthy, fiber-filled lunch.
- 8 small tomatoes
- 2 3-oz. cans oil-packed tuna, drained
- 10 pitted kalamata olives, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper
1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut a thin slice off the top of each tomato. Gently scoop out tomato seeds and pulp, leaving shell intact. Set shells cut side down to drain on paper towels.
2. Mix tuna, olives, parsley, capers, olive oil, thyme and pepper, breaking up large chunks. Season with salt and additional pepper, if desired.
3. Spoon tuna mixture into tomatoes and serve.
4. Sausage-and-Rice-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Dress up acorn squash by stuffing it with Italian sausage and wild rice. Dried cranberries add a little bit of sweetness. To make this recipe even more diet-friendly, swap out the Italian sausage for turkey sausage.
Ingredients: Acorn squash, sweet Italian sausage, canola oil, onion, celery, garlic, brown rice, dried cranberries, chives, kosher salt, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425°
2. Place whole squashes in a roasting pan. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until just tender. Let stand for 15 minutes. Halve squashes. Scoop out seeds; discard.
3. Preheat broiler to high.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan; drain on paper towels. Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel.
5. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sausage, rice, and next 5 ingredients (through Parmesan). Divide rice mixture evenly among squash halves. Sprinkle evenly with Swiss cheese. Arrange squash halves on a baking sheet; broil 4 minutes or until golden and cheese is melted.
5. Stuffed Portobellos
Portobello mushrooms are often stuffed with Italian sausage, but this lighter recipe uses soy crumbles marinated in Italian spices, garlic, and fresh herbs. You won’t miss the meat—this type of mushroom has a meaty texture that will help satisfy your cravings.
Ingredients: Portobello caps, soy crumbles, diced tomatoes, green onions, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic, cooking spray
- 6(4-inch) portobello caps
- 1 1/3 cupsfrozen soy crumbles, thawed
- 3/4 cupcanned diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cupminced green onions
- 2 tablespoonschopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoonsgrated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 1 teaspoondried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoonsalt
- 1/4 teaspoonblack pepper
- 1garlic clove, minced
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°
Remove and discard stems from the mushrooms. Remove brown gills from undersides of mushrooms using a spoon; discard gills.
Combine soy crumbles and next 9 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Spoon 1/3 cup soy mixture into each mushroom cap. Place caps on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and tops are lightly browned.
6. Broccoli and Cheese-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Potatoes are not the enemy: One spud packs more vitamin C than an orange and contains 60 different kinds of phytochemicals and vitamins. These potatoes are stuffed with broccoli, a high-fiber superfood that’s also loaded with vitamin C and even a little bit of protein.
Ingredients: Potatoes, skim milk, flour, reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, frozen broccoli florets
- 4Idaho potatoes, scrubbed (10 ounces)
- 3/4 cupskim milk
- 1 tablespoonflour
- 4 ouncesreduced-fat extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoonsalt
- 1/4 teaspoonpepper
- 1/8 teaspooncayenne pepper
- 1(10-ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, defrosted
1. Cook potatoes
OVEN: Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce potatoes with a fork, and wrap each in foil. Bake until tender, 1 hour.
MICROWAVE: Pierce potatoes with a fork, and wrap each in a paper towel. Place in microwave, and cook on high 8 minutes, until just tender when pierced with a fork (potatoes will continue to cook when removed from microwave).
While potatoes are cooking, make sauce:
2. Combine milk and flour in a small saucepan, bring to simmer, and cook, whisking, until thickened, 2–3 minutes. Add cheese, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and whisk until sauce is smooth. Continue to simmer, whisking, an additional 2 minutes.
3. Heat broccoli in a heat-safe dish in the microwave for 4-5 minutes, until hot.
4. Split cooked potatoes open with a knife. Spoon 1/2 cup broccoli into each potato, and top with 1/4 cup Cheddar sauce.
7. Guac-A-Taco (Vegan Taco-Stuffed Avocado)
Serve your chips and guacamole inside an avocado shell with this spicy, bold, flavor-tastic Vegan Taco-Stuffed Avocado. Spicy soy chorizo is heated with melty vegan cheese then piled on top of some easy guacamole. Add some crushed corn taco shells and your guac-a-taco is served.
You can also serve with soft corn or flour tortillas and scoop the filling onto you tortilla.
Vegan sour cream is a nice topper too!
1 large avocado, sliced in half
1/4 cup Soy-rizo vegan chorizo (from trader Joe’s – or try another brand)
1 Tbsp vegan cheese shreds
1 Tbsp onion, diced
pinch of salt and pepper
1 lime, sliced (for squeezing and garnish)
1 cherry tomato or 1 tsp diced tomato
1. Add your soy-rizo and cheese to a small cup and microwave on high for thirty seconds. Set aside.
2. Slice avocado and remove pit. Scoop one half of your avocado, plus about 2 Tbsp from the other half. and mash with the onion, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add additional guac ingredients like cilantro and jalapeno if you’d like.
3. Stuff the guac inside the less-scooped half of avocado. Add the cheesy soy-rizo too. Top with tomatoes. Garnish with limes and taco shells or tortilla chips. Serve!
8. Stuffed Kale with Bulgur Tabbouleh and Lime Yogurt Dip
Instead of stuffed grapes leaves, use tender kale as the wrapper, and stuffs them with a tabbouleh of bulgur, cucumber, mint and sour cherry.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup medium-grade bulgur
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 16 large Tuscan kale leaves (1 pound)
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 European cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried sour cherries, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- Mix the yogurt with the lime zest and lime juice. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a saucepan, bring the bulgur and 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Cover and let stand off the heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil 16 cups of water with 1/2 cup of salt and the baking soda. Add the kale and boil until tender, 3 minutes. Drain and cool the kale in an ice bath. Drain well, squeeze dry and blot thoroughly with paper towels. Cut out and discard the tough kale stems.
- Transfer the bulgur to a bowl and mix with the shallot, garlic, parsley, cucumber, sour cherries, mint, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 leaf at a time on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup of the bulgur onto the leaf 1 inch from the bottom and roll up, tucking in the sides as you roll. Serve with the lime yogurt dip.
The cooked kale leaves, bulgur tabbouleh and lime yogurt can be refrigerated separately overnight.