Janet's Notebook
Big Flavors Liven up Healthy Recipes

Farro & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

After this long winter, I've had my share of comfort food. I'm starting to think ahead to summer and lighten up my meals a bit. But no boring foods on my menu!

I discovered spaghetti squash a few years ago and it's become a go-to veggie for me. It's low in calories, carbohydrates and can be paired with almost any protein. Seems Julia McGinnis loves it too!

"Last year I was introduced to spaghetti squash, and I was amazed by its versatility," shares Julia. The flavors in her Light and Delicious Spaghetti Squash are so good. I prepared it with chicken, but it would be delish on it's own as well.

"Remember hobo packs from your growing up years," asks Lynn Zak. "This is the same idea, only with chicken instead of hamburger meat." I loved hobo packs as a kid, and I love Lynn's Italian Chicken Packages.

The basil adds wonderful fresh flavor. Lighten these up even more by cutting back on the cheese. Maybe add a dash of Parmesan for an extra pop of flavor. Serve a nice salad, and dinner is complete.

I usually order lettuce wraps when I go to my favorite Chinese restaurant. Jennifer Van Dyke's Low Carb Low Fat Asian Lettuce Wraps with Dipping Sauce is so close to theirs, I did a happy dance when I tried them.

"Make sure to taste as you go along and adjust the flavors to your liking," suggests Jennifer. These are great for dinner, but would also work as a snack.

I made Rebecca Winslow's Zucchini Pasta for my family one night and everyone - of all ages - loved it! I definitely plan on making this dish again. "It's simple and quick and you won't believe it's light," says Rebecca.

Fresh and light it is. It would be great served as a side or an easy main dish. You can even substitute whole wheat or gluten-free pasta if needed. Add grilled chicken or shrimp for an extra zing.

Grilling is a great way to add flavor without calories. I suggest trying Melissa Varaday's Dale's Dazzling Grilled Shrimp. "Leaving the shells on the shrimp while grilling makes the shrimp nice and moist," advises Melissa. What a great tip!

These are wonderfully moist when cooked. Add the shrimp to a nice salad for a great lunch or lighter dinner. For those who like a little less spice, cut back or eliminate the cayenne. The flavor is still great.

"I really enjoy stuffed peppers [and] I usually use ground beef and rice in my filling," explains Tiffany Pennington. "But in recent months, I've been looking to increase my intake of whole grains and lean protein and choosing more organic ingredients." Instead of meat, Tiffany uses farro in her Farro & Turkey Stuffed Peppers.

When cooked, farro has texture similar to a creamy barley. The first time I tried farro was when I taste-tested this recipe and I loved it. These peppers smell good, look great and taste delicious.

Just because I'm eating healthier, doesn't mean I have to skimp on flavor. I think these tasty recipes prove that. Can you believe I'm actually looking forward to lightening up my meals a bit? Share your favorite healthy recipe with us... we can all use the inspiration!

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Nor M. - Apr 21, 2015
Thank you ladies. Hugs!
Dena Holland - Apr 21, 2015
Me too and I love eggplant! Ty
Marion Dyess - Apr 20, 2015
I love Italuan and I m watching my sugar!!!!!! Can't wait to try it
Nor M. - Apr 20, 2015
If anyone likes Italian. This is a great dish for watching your carbs.
Eggplant Chicken Lasagna Made Healthy
Angelica Daniels - Apr 17, 2015
I was wondering if bananas could be added to gufong I remember my grandmother doing it but i'm not sure how. thank you
Marion Dyess - Apr 16, 2015
Yes!!!! I have been doing carb free- watching my sugars and I look forward to grilling and chilling this spring