NOT YOUR MAMA’S KITCHEN: Indulge and still fit into that bathing suit
First Posted: 5/21/2013
I opened up my dresser drawer the other day and there it was, staring back at me: my bathing suit.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again, the season to get all the crunches and runs you can in before donning swimwear.
While exercise is certainly important, the biggest part of healthy living is what comes from your kitchen. While I’ve never followed the food rules of Weight Watchers myself, I have family members and friends who have and they love some of the recipes they’ve gotten out of it.
These Chicken and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers are one such recipe, a meal that’s worth six Weight Watchers points. And, bonus – if you sub in low fat cheese you can knock this puppy down to only five points.
Thankfully, this is a dish that doesn’t forego good taste for health, either, so you can nosh away guilt-free while still giving your taste buds a treat.
First, melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add celery and cook until tender, for about five minutes.
Stir in condensed mushroom soup, onion soup mix, and water or chicken broth. I’ve heard of people doing this with either of those, but have found that the chicken broth, which I used, makes it more flavorful.
Stir in chicken and heat through, then stir in rice. After that, remove the mixture from the heat.
Get to work on your peppers by halving and gutting them, then place them cut side up on a shallow baking pan. Distribute the chicken mixture throughout, packing the peppers in up to the top. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on the top. Throw some clear wrap on them and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
When you’re ready to cook them, cover the peppers loosely with foil and chuck them in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Remove them when heated through, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake for another five minutes, until the cheese melts.
A word of warning – it gets messy once you take a fork to it, so just be prepared. Otherwise, eat away, and the next time you encounter your bathing suit like I did, it won’t feel like such a menacing thing.
CHICKEN AND RICE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
Courtesy of Weight Watchers
WW Points: 6
• 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
• 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
• Ten 3/4 ounces condensed cream of mushroom soup (reduced fat, reduced sodium )
• 1 cup water or chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon instant onion soup mix
• 4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
• 3 cups hot cooked rice
• 5 large green sweet peppers
• 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
• 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
• Melt margarine or butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
• Add celery and cook about 5 minutes or until tender.
• Stir in condensed mushroom soup, water or broth, and onion soup mix. Heat until bubbly.
• Stir in chicken. Heat through.
• Stir in rice, then remove from heat.
• Start to assemble the peppers by halving them lengthwise and removing the stems and seeds.
• Place the halves cut sides up in a shallow baking pan.
• Divide the chicken mixture among the halves, then sprinkle the top with lemon pepper seasoning.
• Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
• To serve, cover the peppers loosely with foil and bake them in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 55 minutes.
• Uncover and top with cheese, then bake uncovered for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.