Tuesday, August 30, 2011


During this past work week, I ate whole vegetables, "low-flavor" baked chicken, cereal and milk, and some snacks while at work. But for dinner, because I was working during the daytime for that week only, I sort of cooked. I baked a very healthy pizza. Today I'm making some low-carb stuffed red peppers. So I thought I should share. 

But I give you fair warning: the points values I give are based on what's in the WWPP book. I'm still losing weight on ballpark figures, and I'm just starting out, so I know I'm not accurately counting some of it. Substitute healthier options when you can, like wheat pizza crust instead of regular. Also, leftovers are your friend!


(Not low carb, really, but it is very easy to make. It yields 8 slices at only 5 WW Points per slice!)

3-4 oz Leftover baked or grilled chicken, plain, crumbled or diced
1/2 cup prepared pizza sauce
1 pkg pizza crust mix
2 tablespoons Real Bacon bits, or three slices bacon, crumbled
1 fresh banana pepper, large, cut into rings(or a serving of the jarred stuff)
3 spring or green onions, washed, trimmed and diced on the bias (or a half of a yellow onion, diced)
8 oz mozzarella cheese slices (or shredded)
2 tbs olive oil
Italian Herb Seasoning

Preheat oven to crust mix package directions for regular pizza. Prepare crust according to package directions, usually by frantically stirring in 1/2 cup hot water and using your hands to ball the dough up and press in all the remaining powder, like picking up bits of Play-Doh. Roll it into a ball, smear a tbs of olive oil over all the surface with your hands, and cover. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

While you're dirty, smear the remaining olive oil all over the surface of your pizza pan. Twiddle your thumbs for the remaining 5 minutes, or cut up your veggies if you haven't already. Now take your dough ball, splat it in the middle of your pie pan, and pinch and knead it out to the edges of your pizza pan. The oil on the outside of the dough makes this easier. Try to keep the thickness uniform. 

Now add toppings. Pour half the sauce in the center and smear over surface with a spoon. Leave at least a quarter inch of dough so you can see when you've burnt it! :) Add three slices of mozzarella on top of this, sorta like a pinwheel. Anal-retentively place the chicken all over the surface of the sauce, then drizzle remaining sauce. Then add the banana peppers, then the onions. Sprinkle bacon evenly over the thing. Tear up the mozzarella into squares and arrange on top of this. Finish with a sprinkling of Italian seasoning, and perhaps a smattering of Parmesan. 

Bake until exposed crust is crispy, almost burnt (seriously) and cheese is melted. Cut into eight slices. Pig out at 5 points per slice. It also tastes dreamy cold. 

(If they're gonna sucker me into eating more vegetables by making them all zero points, then I deserve to enjoy it! Red peppers on sale, so looks like my vegetable o' the week now! These are all half-measurements because I made spaghetti and meat sauce with the other half of the meat and onions mixture. Each serving will be between 9 and 12 points, depending on prep and ingredients.)

1/2 lb chuck or mostly lean ground beef
1/4 roll of Italian sausage (the WW Points wild card. Didn't factor this into the points.)
1/2 yellow or sweet onion, diced
1/2 banana pepper (still have one more fresh one left for pizza number 2!)
1/2 can spaghetti sauce (get healthy stuff if you want, but I didn't discriminate!)
2 medium to large red peppers
Olive oil
Italian seasoning and garlic powder
Mozzarella cheese slices, 4
Parmesan cheese for sprinklies! 

Brown all meat. Drain if needed (mine was very lean). Add onion and banana pepper. Stir on low-medium heat until onions are translucent. Add seasoning, garlic, and sauce. Stir and simmer until ready to use. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice red peppers in two vertically, carefully cutting around the stem. Remove membrane and seeds, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Line dark pan with aluminum foil, or oil glass dish, and place pepper halves side-by-side, skin side down. Pour a small amount of oil in each pepper "cup" and smear around inside. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and fill according to below:

Place a half slice of mozzarella into bottom of each pepper cup. Divide meat mixture into four portions and fill pepper cups. Place remaining half-slice of mozzarella on top of meat mixture. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

Style Note: If your red (or green or yellow or orange or purple) peppers are small and globe-shaped, you would use a whole pepper for each serving and just cut off the cap instead of slicing vertically. I just bought these large peppers on sale and they were not the "ideal" pepper shape. They wouldn't have set upright. Also, the mozzarella on top browned into a crust of sorts. If you don't like the crusty cheese on pizza, I would suggest that you wait until the last five minutes of cooking to add it.

Other Note: This is not my usual stuffed pepper, which consists of using a whole green pepper vertically and filling with my meatloaf mixture and way more tomato sauce, ketchup and crushed crackers. Nor did I use rice like I've read in other recipes, even though it's tasty too. I wanted a lower-carb, meaty version and this is what I came up with. It's deceptive. It looks really yummy and bad for me! :)

Both of these meals cost me 5 or 6 dollars each to make, and that's for all servings, not just per serving. In the case of the pizza, I even have leftover sauce, bacon, chicken, and banana pepper to go toward making it again! So I just bought a few more packs of the crust mix on sale for 40 cents a piece. For the stuffed peppers at the same price, I doubled the meat mixture for use as spaghetti sauce. I prepared some wheat pasta I already had and there's another couple of meals to eat for pennies more. 


I just realized that I ate lunch at work all week for less than about 3 dollars a day, and that's for baked chicken, applesauce, celery, Ranch dressing, fat-free pudding cup, and cereal and milk. Pretty snazzy. And if I buy the non-produce stuff when it's grouped and on sale, I save even more. But that's math, and well, ya know...

On a full late-shift work schedule, I can also eat breakfast, a pre-work snack, a first break snack, lunch (the veggies and chicken), a 2nd break snack, and something small when I get home. That's the six meals I was going for to keep me from slipping into hypoglycemia. Hmmm. Worked out without me realizing it!

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