Janet's Notebook
Healthy, Flavorful Recipes for the New Year

Farro Turkey Stuffed Peppers

The holiday season is a time for indulgence... and, oh boy, did I indulge. I don't regret the pieces of cake and all the cookies, but it's time to reset my eating habits. Eating healthier, though, doesn't mean I have to swap calories for flavor. These healthy recipes will help me back on the healthy eating train.

"I had not really decided on what to make for supper tonight, but I knew that I had staples on hand," explains Cindy d'Aquin-Pike (Independence, LA). "I put a bit of a twist on it and came up with this goodie - Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms. I can't begin to tell you how many different ways to crazy good it came out!"

Are you a quinoa fan? Well, you will be once you try this scrumtastic recipe! People often think quinoa is a grain, but it's actually a seed. Quinoa is gluten-free and a great option for vegetarians trying to get more protein into their diet. Cindy's recipe has a terrific combination of textures. It's almost like a stuffed mushroom casserole. Bursting with flavor, you'll never guess it's healthy.

If you'd like to prepare more traditional stuffed peppers, try Tiffany Pennington's (Accord, NY) Farro & Turkey Stuffed Peppers. Farro has a similar look and taste to barley. Full of with fiber, protein, and anti-oxidants, it's one part of Tiffany's stuffing.

"I really enjoy stuffed peppers and tomatoes; I usually use ground beef and rice in my filling," shares Tiffany. "But in recent months, I've been looking to increase my intake of whole grains and lean protein and choosing more organic ingredients. The farro in this recipe has a nice firm texture like barley but has a creaminess to it that blends nicely with the grated cheese."

Packed with flavor from the onion, garlic, seasonings, and tomatoes, these peppers smell good, look great and taste delicious! Ground turkey lightens up the stuffing. Adding the farro adds bulk to the stuffing and makes these a filling dinner.

Homemade soup is fantastic when eating healthier. Especially if you're eating Taylor Simpkins' (Grove City, OH) Kitchen Sink Soup. "I created this soup by looking into our fridge and finding lots of wonderful produce that I had no idea what to do with," says Taylor. "I'm so in love with this recipe!"

This simple soup is surprisingly flavorful. Kale and the mushrooms add a rich, earthy flavor. A tiny amount of bacon adds a bit of smoke and the carrots are sweet. The Creole seasoning gives the soup a slight kick. If you have leftovers, it's even better the second day.

Start the day with Christina Dicken's (Hickory, KY) Clean & Healthy Spanish Scramble. "When using bold flavors and spices it makes eating healthy taste much better," reveals Christina. "Pleasing your palate is key to a satisfying meal."

The spices are definitely bold. I especially loved the addition of cumin. But, the avocado on top cools the spices down. If you don't like things spicy, just cut back on the cayenne and chili powder. I think this would be great served with a side of pico de gallo too. A kickin' recipe to start your day.

Another delicious breakfast option is Janice Joy Miller's (Escondido, CA) Crustless Quiche with Cauliflower and Herbs. If you have to bring a dish to brunch, I'd highly recommend making this quiche. It's easy to make and very impressive.

"I made this for my daughter when she was here last time - it was delicious," adds Janice Joy. "So sweet and delicious with the Maui onion and fresh herbs; the cold tomato on top was a nice juxtaposition to the hot quiche."

The fresh herbs add so much flavor to the recipe. Make sure to go light on the lavender... a little goes a long way. The star ingredient is the champagne cheddar cheese. There's a slightly nutty and fruity flavor that complements all the other flavors wonderfully. If you have trouble getting your hands on champagne cheddar, try substituting with Gruyere. It has the same nutty flavor.

The Kitchen Crew has put together a collection of Healthier Fare in case you're looking for even more healthy, flavorful recipes. Make sure to share your healthy eating tips and recipes too. We can all benefit from inspiration. Happy Pinching!

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