A bit on the side

I enjoy cooking (mainly because it means I get to eat!) but I only ever cook low fat healthy foods. I would feel too guilty eating something that I had seen myself put heaps of sugar or butter into, so I save my indulgences for eating out or takeaway food.

It also means that I can offset the piggyness of my dining experiences so that hopefully I don’t gain 5 stone and none of my clothes fit.

One of my favourite side dishes when cooking at home is stuffed peppers. They’re quick and easy, healthy, and you can change the filling to suit yourself, or to use up whatever is in the fridge and freezer.

Here I used one green and one red pepper, cut them in half, and put them cut side down on a baking tray

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Sprayed with one cal spray oil and cooked for around 10 minutes until softened.

For the filling I used white onion, mushrooms, courgettes and spinach. Frozen spinach is really useful to have to hand for dishes like this, I defrosted it in the microwave for time’s sake.

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Again used a little spray oil to fry the onions. Added the mushrooms and courgettes and covered. Then added garlic and crushed chillies (from a jar – convenience is key for mid week meals), spinach and tomato puree for flavour and to bind it all together.

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Filled the peppers and popped into the oven for around 5 minutes. I also added some dots of low fat cheese (one mini Babybel across all 4 pepper halves) for a bit of extra yummy gooeyness. Excuse my terrible photography – it’s blurred by the steam as these were straight from the oven!

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Other good fillings are sweetcorn, peas, chopped or cherry tomatoes. You cold make them more substantial by using mince meat or Quorn with herbs and spices. Mixing your ingredients into a thick cheese sauce is absolutely lovely, but that’s where the calories start to mount.

I served these stuffed peppers with chicken and asparagus. Yum.

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