Stuffed peppers with a south of the border flair. Oh yes, please. These are so adaptable, so pretty, and so good for you! I say adaptable because you can vary the stuffing to be a little heavier on protein or fat by adding more chicken and cheese. You can go lighter on carbs by eating only a half of the pepper and mounding the chicken stuffing. You can go paleo by leaving the cheese out. Go keto by keeping the protein a little lower with less chicken and replacing the tomatoes and with some avocado chunks. See what I mean by versatile?
I am eating keto, so I had an all protein and fat breakfast (Maple's Meatballs) so I could use my carbs on the veggies in this meal today. Since it is the weekend, I am eating my big meal for Sunday Dinner--I am eating a whole stuffed pepper. Oh my is it worth it!
Now the chicken is wonderful, but if you are making this from scratch, it will be a little time consuming since my stuffed peppers start with cooked chicken. I know all the Diners like shortcuts, so be smart and make the Salsa Chicken into a Triple Play Meal. I prepared a couple pounds of chicken breast in the crockpot Friday night. Just the chicken plus a few taco spices and a cup of chunky salsa. Let it cook on low all night. Turn it off when you get up. Let it cool a bit and shred it with a couple of forks. Don't drain it. The shredded meat will probably absorb the liquid. Depends on if or how much solution was added to your bird. I hate that some producers do that. All about profit.(insert rant) But back to the chicken, let it rest a few minutes after shredding. If any liquid remains, you can drain that off. Mine from Sprouts absorbed it all. Add salt to taste and separate the chicken for different recipes. If you are starting from raw chicken, take about 3 oz. per serving, cover the chicken with salsa and bake until done in the center. Or use, any leftover cooked chicken and stir in some salsa. In other words, get yourself some shredded chicken no matter how you have to do it. JUST DO IT.
3 bell peppers, any color
3 cups raw cauliflower florets
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp thick salsa, divided use
9 oz shredded Salsa Chicken, warmed
3 oz Monterey Jack cheese
6-8 grape tomatoes, quartered or halved
Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes. Arrange them in a snug casserole dish. Use the tops to help sturdy them if they wobble.
In a food processor, chop the cauliflower until fine like rice. In a skillet, heat the coconut oil. Add the cauliflower and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 tbsp of salsa. Saute another 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Place a large spoonful of the cauliflower into each pepper. Top with an ounce of chicken. Add a sprinkle of cheese, some tomatoes and a bit of salsa. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used, reserving a sprinkle of cheese to add at the end of baking.
Place the peppers in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, depending if you prefer a slight crunch to the pepper, or a softer texture. Add a sprinkle of cheese to the top. Slice in half to serve.
To serve 6: 220 cal. 5 net carb 16 g fat 14 g protein
To serve 3: 440 cal 9 net carb 32 g fat 28 g protein
If you would rather lower the carbs and up the protein, just add some extra chicken. Slice the peppers in half before stuffing and lay them on their sides to stuff, mounding the chicken and cauliflower mixture.
Now what to do for the other two meals for the Triple Play? Get creative.
- This chicken is amazing on scrambled eggs topped with avocado. (Had that yesterday)
- You could also make an almost instant south of the border soup by adding it to a can of chicken broth, a selection of low carb veggies and a can of Rotel tomatoes. I like to add a hunk of cream cheese to make it creamy.
- Southwest chicken salad is great. Just add it to mayo, celery, bell pepper, cheese and some jalapeno peppers. Scoop that on a bed of lettuce and lunch is served.
- Finger food! Blend in some cream cheese and diced green chilies. Form into balls and roll in pepitas.
- Mini Stuffed peppers--split mini peppers in half. Fill with the chicken and cheese. Broil a few minutes for a wonderful treat.
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